Gazing out into the arid plains below the Atlas Mountains, it might be hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for a festival that combines the best of Eastern and Western art, culture, music and food. But the Marrakech Beat Hotel is a wonderful display inspired by the Beat poets. While the original Beat Hotel of Paris’s 1950s Latin Quarter was something of a trying experience without hot water or fresh linens, this version of the hotel embraces the same approach to the arts and local culture.
The artistic home for poets such as William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and others became a breeding ground for creativity, and eventually spread from Paris to Tangiers, right in Morocco at the end of the 1950s. So step back in time and be led by the spirit of the Beat poets at Marrakech Beat Hotel—albeit with a delightfully modern and luxurious twist.
The Beat Hotel plans to host a four-day escape in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains near Marrakech during the third weekend of March. Known as the Glastonbury Beat Hotel in previous years, the festival will return to Marrakech for its own event hosted in the Fellah Hotel.
Festivities will begin each day at 10 a.m. and officially run until 4 a.m., though attendees don’t have to end then. The 27-acre boutique resort will include a weekend of live music sets, DJs and pop-up culinary events and lectures featuring some lively minds and voices.
Following in the footsteps of the Beat Poets, the music, food and creativity program encourages guests to enjoy a weekend away with endless entertainment options. There’s a wide range of local and international talent alike slated to perform such as Kate Tempest, Gilles Peterson and Sound of Mint, a “Moroccan Ethnic-electronic” duo. Other DJs include Young Marco and Andrew Weatherall among others too.
Lectures scheduled to take place will revolve around art-forward subjects such as installation art, books and music. Among those participating in the talk series are XL Records’ Richard Russell and Jeremy Deller. Hassan Hajjaj, known as the “Andy Warhol of Marrakech,” and the Franco-Moroccan author Leila Slimani will also speak. Camille Walala, a jet-setting installation artist, will also lend insight and wax poetic on her work and industry as it exists in the modern, cross-sectional culture of the world.
Enjoy a wide menu of delicacies from Moroccan and international chefs prepared and presented in styles ranging from banquets to barbecues to light bites. You’ll find mouth-watering Moroccan cuisine, North Africa’s Berber-inspired grilled dishes and even a taco emporium for late-night tacos after a buzzing night of music and dancing.
So take inspiration from the Beat poets and their unquestioning quest for creativity-without-borders, and marvel at the excellent culture, cuisine and music gathered together among the plains at the base of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakech Beat Hotel promises to be an awe-inspiring elixir for the traveler with a heart for immersive experiences.
Molly Harris is a freelance journalist. You can often find her on the highway somewhere between Florida and North Carolina or taking life slow in Europe.