April 1 to 6, 2019
Cost: $3300 - $3985
(If you paid a deposit only at registration, your balance is due by January 15, 2019.)
In a far away land of intricate patterns, saturated colors and secret gardens, join artists Mati McDonough and Faith Evans-Sills on the exotic journey of a lifetime. This will be our fourth retreat in Marrakech, we have come to love the energy of this magical place and can't wait to share all of our favorites with you!
Join us in Marrakech, Morocco for a week of opulent luxury, guided shopping, cultural exploration and workshops bursting with creativity and inspiration gathered on location as we journey in this exotic land. This will be a time to nurture the whole self, to slow down and soak in the environment with all of your senses. Mati & Faith will lead you through workshops on capturing inspiration with watercolor paint, providing you with the opportunity to meet the projects wherever you are in your art practice.
Inspiration Gathering with Watercolor Painting will be our jumping off point as together we'll delight each of our senses with fresh food, exotic tours, field trips down secret alleys, guided shopping, henna parties and so much more.
Consider this your invitation to join us on the adventure of a lifetime in Marrakech, Morocco, April 1 to 6, 2019.
WE WILL BE STAYING AT THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE...RIAD YASMINE
NESTLED IN ITS OWN PRIVATE GARDEN OASIS, RIAD YASMINE IS A STYLISH, CHARMING AND HOME-LIKE BOUTIQUE RETREAT THAT IS LOCATED WITHIN MARRAKECH’S MEDINA, IT IS THE PERFECT LOCATION FROM WHICH TO EXPLORE MARRAKECH ON FOOT. TWO GUEST ROOMS ARE SINGLE OCCUPANCY, OTHER GUEST ROOMS ARE DOUBLE OCCUPANCY.
THE RIAD IS A FORMER PRIVATE HOME WITH MOORISH ROOMS AND SUITES OF REFINED ARCHITECTURAL BEAUTY DOWN TO THE SMALLEST DETAIL. IT COMBINES AUTHENTIC CHARM, DISCREET LUXURY AND A CONTEMPORARY ATMOSPHERE. ENJOY THE DIFFERENT RELAXATION SPACES THE RIAD OFFERS. FROM THE ROOF TOP TERRACE ENJOY BREATH-TAKING VIEWS OF THE MEDINA AND THE SNOW CAPPED ATLAS MOUNTAINS IN THE DISTANCE. THE WIDE SOLARIUM IS EQUIPPED WITH LOUNGE CHAIRS, TOWELS, HATS, GIVING YOU THE OPTION TO UNWIND IN THE SUN OR IN THE SHADE OF A PARASOL. IN ADDITION TO THE SPACIOUS LOUNGE AREAS, THERE ARE SEVEN DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY, AND ONE SINGLE OCCUPANCY, GUEST BEDROOMS EACH WITH SPACIOUS EN-SUITE MOROCCAN TILED BATHROOMS. THE ROOF TOP AND OTHER COMMON AREAS WILL ACT AS OUR CENTRAL MEETING SPACE FOR RELAXING, GATHERING, ART MAKING OR EATING. THE CARVED STUCCO AND MULTIPLE BALCONIES THROUGHOUT, CREATES A BEAUTIFUL EXOTIC ATMOSPHERE WITHIN THE INTERNAL COURTYARD AND CENTRALLY LOCATED TILED SWIMMING POOL SURROUNDED BY LOUNGES.
THE BEAUTIFUL DINING ROOM ON THE GROUND FLOOR, WHICH CONTAINS A LARGE MIRROR REFLECTING THE PATIO, IS FRAMED BY A LIVING ROOM IN THE MOROCCAN TRADITION WITH LOUNGE AND FIREPLACE, AS WELL AS AN EQUIPPED LIBRARY.
MODERN ETHNIC GLAMOUR IS THE THEME . ATTENTION TO DETAIL EMERGES AT EVERY TURN IN THE HAND-PAINTED DECORATIVE CEILINGS AND INTRICATELY CARVED PLASTER THROUGHOUT THE HOTEL ON THE BALCONIES AND FIREPLACE IN THE MAIN DINING ROOM, AS WELL AS IN THE CAFTAN-FABRICS CONVERTED INTO CUSHIONS.
Cost: $3300 (double occupancy) - $3985 (single occupancy) airfare not included
$900 NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT REQUIRED TO HOLD YOUR SPOT. TOTAL BALANCE IS DUE JANUARY 15TH, 2019. PAYMENTS PLANS ARE AVAILABLE, PLEASE SEE FAQ'S BELOW FOR DETAILS.
DUE TO HIGH AMOUNT OF INTEREST, WE EXPECT THIS RETREAT TO SELL OUT QUICKLY. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PUT YOUR DEPOSIT DOWN EARLY, THAT WAY YOU'LL HAVE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TIME TO COMFORTABLY SPACE OUT YOUR PAYMENTS.
ONCE WE RECEIVE YOUR DEPOSIT WE WILL BE IN TOUCH AND SEND YOU TIMELY UPDATES AND TRAVEL TIPS AS NEEDED.
OUR LUXURIOUS ITINERARY:
monday, april 1 - arrival and orientation
Arrive in Morocco. We suggest you plan your landing arrival time no later than 3pm local time. Transportation from the airport to Riad Yasmine will be provided. You'll have a chance to refresh yourself and settle into the beautiful Raid, take a dip in the pool, relax on the roof top terrace, or explore the neighborhood. The Retreat will begin with an Opening circle at 6pm, followed by a three course dinner at Riad Yasmine.
tuesday, april 2 - workshop, tour of marrakech & guided shopping
Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, along with an inspirational workshop on Watercolor Painting. Then it's off for some adventuring. Guided tours of the Marrakech Medina and Souks will be taking place, along with excellent guided shopping. We'll have lunch at a magical restaurant in town. That evening we will enjoy a buffet dinner served at Riad Yasmine.
wednesday, april 3 - workshop, henna party, majorelle gardens & camel riding
Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, followed by the continuation of our Watercolor Workshop.
Lunch at Riad Yasmine will be served family style on the Moroccan tiled terrace where we'll relax as local women paint our hands with traditional henna designs. In the afternoon we will visit the legendary Majorelle Gardens, followed by optional Camel Rides in the desert at sunset (the perfect photo op!).
That evening we'll enjoy a fantastic dinner together at Riad Yasmine.
thursday, april 4 - a morning of pampering at the beautiful beldhi country club & free time
Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, followed by departure for our day trip to the Beldhi Country Club, a gorgeous exotic escape in the desert outside of Marrakech. Today will be all about relaxation and being treated like a queen in this oasis of ancient olive trees with views to the Atlas Mountains. We'll be pampered with traditional hammam & massage treatments, relaxation by their 4 pools, curated shopping in their private souk and lunch at one of their restaurants. In the afternoon upon our return to Marrakech, you'll have free time to explore the city as you wish. Dinner will be on your own, either at Riad Yasmine or at a fantastic selection of nearby restaurants that we recommend in town.
friday, april 5 - workshop, bahia palace, guided shopping, closing circle
Breakfast at Riad Yasmine, followed by a continuation of our Watercolor Workshop: Harnessing Local Inspiration with Watercolor. Lunch will be served family style on the tiled terrace at Riad Yasmine. In the afternoon we'll be treated to a guided tour of the inspiring Bahia Palace and we will have a second guided shopping trip to the Souq market, ending in the central square at dusk. We'll travel back to Raid Yasmine by horse drawn carriage through the streets of Marrakech. In the evening we will have a beautiful closing circle, art viewing of our work from the week and celebration of our time together over a 3 course farewell dinner at Riad Yasmine.
saturday, april 6 - farewell & departure
Breakfast at Riad Yasmine followed by noon check-out and transfer to the airport.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS OUR PROSPECTIVE ITINERARY. SMALL CHANGES MAY BE MADE DUE TO WEATHER, DESIRES OF THE GROUP AND UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES.
:: FAQ'S ::
Are there payment plans?
Yes! Upon receipt of your $900 non-refundable deposit you may divide your remaining total into up to 2 separate payments. Total balance is due January 15th, 2019.
What does the cost cover?
- 5 night stay at Riad Yasmine
- Airport Transfer and Transportation to and from all destinations
- Guided shopping trips and sight seeing in Marrakech with our expert local guide
- A Welcome Gift Bag full of goodies upon your arrival.
- Harnessing Local Inspiration: 3 Watercolor Painting Workshops with Faith & Mati
- 5 Breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 Dinners at Riad Yasmine
- Day trip to the Beldhi Country Club, including hammam & massage treatment
- Admission to the Majorelle Gardens
- Admission to the Bahia Palace
- Henna party
- Evening Carriage Ride through Marrakech
- Camel Riding
What isn't covered in the cost?
Your airfare is not included in the cost. Any meals eaten off Riad Yasmine grounds (2lunches, 1 dinner). Expect to pay $15-$20 for lunches and $30-$60 (depending on the restaurant) for dinner. Anything you buy in the markets or on various trips will not be covered as well as any extra tours or excursions that you choose during your free time if you choose to go.
Do I need travelers insurance?
We highly recommend it.
How much money should I bring for spending?
That is totally personal and depends on how much shopping you plan to do. ATM's are available to you and credit cards are taken at some major retailers.
Do I need immunizations?
Please see the CDC recommendations here.
Do I have to share a room?
Yes. Riad Yasmine is a luscious and intimate retreat space, we will have the entire property at our disposal. Each of their rooms are uniquely beautiful with en-suite bathrooms. Two of their rooms are single occupancy, which will be given on a first come first served basis. Their other rooms are double occupancy with two beds per room. We will do our best to pair you up with someone we think you'll match well with. On our retreats the sharing of rooms has fostered close bonds of friendship within the group.
What kind of food will be served?
Riad Yasmine never uses processed foods and all meals are prepared the old fashion way – from scratch. Vegetarian options are available if we inform the hotel before hand, other food sensitivities can not be accommodated. They provide a fixed daily menu that relies on fresh and organic ingredients.
Breakfasts - daily made bread from the local communal bread oven, homemade jams, eggs made to order, yogurt, fruit, just squeezed juice, coffee and tea
Lunches – light and fresh (soups, salads, quiches, etc.) served with cookies or fruit for dessert
Dinners – three delicious courses, served by candle light
How do I get to Riad Yasmine from The airport and back again?
We will secure transportation to and from using a transportation service. When booking flights please plan your landing arrival between 1 and 3pm local time on April 1, for shuttle coordination from the airport. On April 6, our departure day check-out is at noon. If your flight is earlier that's not a problem, and if it is later in the day you are most welcome to lounge around Riad Yasmine as long as you need.
What airport do I fly into?
When booking your flight please fly into Marrakech Menara International Airport. We recommend booking your flights at least 90 days before the beginning of the retreat. Please try to arrive between 1 and 3 pm local time on April 1, for shuttle coordination from the airport.
What will the weather be like?
Weather in early April is likely to be in the high 70's. It is expected to be a bit cooler in the evenings with highs in the 50's.
Is there anything special I need to bring?
We will send you a supply list two months before the start of the retreat. Art supplies will be minimal and will include two 8 x 10 cold-pressed watercolor paper pads, a travel watercolor set full of your favorite colors and a roll of watercolor brushes. We also recommend that you bring an extra bag (a collapsible duffle) to bring home your goodies you have collected on our shopping trips. Morocco truly has some of the best shopping in the world! The temperatures will vary, so don't forget layers, pack a bathing suit, sweater and a light jacket!
How should a woman expect to dress in Morocco?
We recommend modest clothing for your time in Morocco. During our previous visits, we felt most comfortable in clothing that kept us covered from our knees and elbows up. Long skirts, dresses, pants and layers will work fine! While Morocco is a Muslim country, women are not expected to cover their heads in public. You will see many people of all different styles of dress throughout Morocco. We found this article very helpful on what to pack.
I'm not an artist is this retreat still for me?
Absolutely! This retreat is much more focused on adventure and gathering inspiration, taking notice of your surroundings and approaching your life from a creative and holistic point of view. Painting is just one of the tools we'll encourage you to explore on this retreat.
I've never been anywhere this exotic, will I like it?
We ask you to approach this trip with a sense of adventure in your heart. We think you are going to love this retreat! We encourage you to do a little research on the area and how to shop before you come. There are many articles available online to help with this. Here is a great one written by Maryam; an American who lives in Marrakech, Travel + Leisure. It will be a mix of laid back down time, exploration, pampering and immersion into a vibrant, lively culture.
Do you offer refunds?
There will be no refunds for this Retreat due to the planning and logistics involved. When you register be sure to know all you can about traveling to Morocco.
come Take a peek and immerse yourself in all of the beauty & Magic that we experience on our Morocco Retreats.....
What are former retreat participants saying?
"My recent trip to Morocco with Faith and Mati was the soulful healing I needed. I have been painting for years, and was in a bit of a creative lull. I was looking forward to spending time with like-minded women and seeing a new area of the world...and hopefully leaving with some inspiration. By painting with other women and delving into the creative process in such a spiritual place, I ended up uncovering some deeper truths and returning home with a sense of creative wholeness. My trip to Marrakesh was a gift in so many ways..... and Mati and Faith's guidance made it possible. Not only did I have a wonderful experience, but I left having made some lifelong friendships." ~Daniela B.
"When people ask what my favorite memories are I can say it’s been traveling to beautiful destinations with Mati and Faith! I’ve gone to Costa Rica and Morocco with them and both trips have changed my life for the better! Not only are you discovering new places, but also exploring parts of yourself through art making. Being able to travel and create colorful artwork while making new friendships have been the most transformative and joyful moments in my life. If you want to be nurtured and truly feel awakened, I suggest art retreats because it’s 100% happiness!"~Lily U.