The Menara's lagoon and villa-style pavilion are ensconced in an immense royal olive grove, where pruners and pickers putter and local women fetch water from the nearby stream, said to give baraka (good luck). A popular rendezvous for Marrakshis, the garden is a peaceful retreat. The elegant pavilion—or minzah, meaning "beautiful view"—was created in the early 19th century by Sultan Abd er Rahman, but it's believed to occupy the site of a 16th-century
Saadian structure. In winter and spring snowcapped Atlas peaks in the background appear closer than they are; and, if you are lucky, you might see green or black olives gathered from the trees from October through January. Moroccan families swarm here during the holidays to picnic in the olive groves. Children can throw chunks of bread to the huge carp in the pool or ride camels outside the garden gate.