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Post-Colonial Luxuriance: The Villas of Marrakech, Morocco

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Located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the Moroccan city of Marrakech sits between the desert and the sea, and, like most North African cities, is comprised of an ancient "old town" and the more modern communities outside of the walls. Lately though, that distinction has become less and less relevant, as wealthy Moroccans and foreigners have renovated older structures and built lavish new mansions all around the city. This 29,000-square-foot villa was built in 2003 in Dar el Bacha, a tony old town neighborhood, and mixes modern luxury with a traditional setting. The price of the nine-bedroom spread is available only on request, but judging from the vast expanses of marble and the choice setting this isn't a cheap desert getaway.

? Surrounded by a lush lawn, pool, and palm trees on a 12-acre lot on the outskirts of town, this massive mansion measures almost 50,000 square feet. Despite the massive size—which is only amplified by the tall ceilings—this place doesn't have the overdressed appearance one might expect from a $29M mega-manse.

? Back in the old town, this riad—the Moroccan term for a house with courtyard—looks like a fashion designer's sunny North African getaway, at least judging from the impeccable interiors and the canary yellow dress in the listing photos. The 9,300-square-foot house has a wider courtyard than most, allowing plenty of light down into the interior, where a fountain and fruit trees provide cooling from the harsh heat. The luxe five-bedroom riad is asking $5.8M.

? Surprisingly, this artist's home fifteen minutes from the city center isn't quite as aesthetically pleasing as the fashion designer's house in town. Still, it is 11,000 square feet of luxury, even if that luxury seems to be viewed through the lens 1980s Miami. The $3M villa offers an expansive patio and swimming pool, along with the quiet of a more rural setting.

? Also out on the edge of town, this modern palace sprawls to over 43,000 square feet, with 16 bedrooms, 16 baths perched atop a five-acre hilltop. Guests will have plenty to occupy themselves with: like a tennis court, meditation cave, heated pool, and spa. So what's the price for this massive modern castle? Would be buyers will have to ask.

· The Secret [Christie's]
· Breathtaking Moroccan Palace [Christie's]
· Fashionable Riad [Christie's]
· Sublime Artist's Villa [Christie's]
· A Palatial [Christie's]