THE SECRET SOUK

JASMIEN HAMED + NICOLE MAFRON

The Secret Souk, Photo by Morgan Ione Yeager, WTF Magazine

The Secret Souk, founded by Jasmien Hamed and Nicole Francesa Manfron, is an online marketplace featuring travel treasures that they’ve personally collected or developed, such as Berber wool rugs, tiles, antiques, copper pots, table wear, and lanterns. Nicole fell in love with Marrakech twelve years ago, and opened a Riad, La Maison; Jasmien rented La Maison on a visit to Morocco, and the rest is history. Last year, they brought their concept to life with a two-week pop-up in New York City, and will do so again at Oasis.


Photo by Morgan Ione Yeager

Jasmien Hamed San Francisco, United States

What are 3 items you should pack when visiting Marrakech?

  1. A good pair of walking shoes/sandals. You do a ton of walking, specially inside the medina where no cars are allowed.
  2. A silk kaftan. Specially for that night out at La Mamounia.
  3. A swimsuit. Surprisingly, a lot of private Riad’s have swimming pools. Also, there’s an excellent array of country clubs and retreats with beautiful pools to enjoy.

What souvenir item that you suggest that someone bring back from Morocco? A rug! The first time I travelled to Morocco, I bought 7 rugs and shipped them back home. They are all over my house and its such a joy to step on a rug and think back to the great time you had traveling. What’s the one thing that people should not miss while visiting Marrakech/Morocco? At least one night at La Pause. A beautiful ‘eco’ resort about an hour outside Marrakech where the the cabins that are open to the outside. No cell service, no wifi, just solitude and space. Take a nap by the pool, book a private hamam session, a horse back ride trough the desert. Then at night, traditional food gets served in your private bedouin tent surrounded candles and oil lamps.

Nicole Francesca Manfron Amsterdam, The Netherlands

What are 3 items you should pack when visiting Marrakech? Travel light, focus the on the few items, which you consider you cannot live without and which would be difficult to find abroad, bring an extra empty bag to fit your treasures found along the way and an open mind to experience & to explore. What souvenir item that you suggest that someone bring back from Morocco? Use your empty bag and get a handcrafted rug “made in Morocco”. What’s the one thing that people should not miss while visiting Marrakech/Morocco? Do not leave without having experienced a traditional Hammam followed by a massage. And if you have planned in more time, explore the country, go beyond Marrakech, travel down the Atlantic coast or across the atlas mountains, meet the locals and add images of beautiful landscapes & breathtaking views to your travel memories.