Marrakech is known for a lot of things, but their riads in particular are a real stand out experience when staying in the city. Below are just 6 of my favourite riads dotted around the world famous Medina.
Many of the riad owners will offer to meet you somewhere on arrival so you don’t get lost, BE Marrakech was one of those properties. I said no, I have Google maps and it will be fine! However, we did get a little lost on our way (the riad is full of dead ends) so make sure you read your maps properly!
BE Marrakech was hidden down a quiet side street with a rather understated entrance. It was the first riad we visited and I wondered if we had the right place. We knocked on the door and as soon as it was opened, I knew we had arrived at an oasis in the heart of the city.
The hotel is comprised of two absolutely stunning riads, with a Spa, yoga studio and a gorgeous rooftop terrace. Like with most riads, each room is individually designed, but at BE, the rooms are doused in light and breathtaking mosaic tiles adorn the walls.
For those not staying, no worries. Outside visitors can obtain day passes which includes pool access, as well as lunch if you wish for 200 DH (£16.30), dinner for 250 DH (£20.40), you can enjoy a cookery class for 400 DH (£32.64) or a Hammam and massage for 500 DH (£41)!
Prices start from £70 per night
La Sultana is possibly the most luxurious riad you will find within the medina walls, there is no surprise it is part of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The property is made up of several different riads, offering a labyrinth of corridors and levels, each one in a completely different design, and each leading up to one of 28 individually design suites.
La Sultana offers both a riad experience as well as a luxury five star hotel, so guests don’t have to choose between the two. La Sultana puts is just a stone’s through from the royal palaces, museums and souks that make Marrakech so magical. If spas are what you love then this is your place, there is a Jacuzzi, two hammams and sauna, alongside candlelit pools!
The pièce de résistance is the stunning rooftop terrace overlookin gthe Saadian Tombs, with its own plunge pool, bar, restaurant and cooking school, not to mention plenty of places to relax under the Moroccan sun.
Prices start from £330 per night
The Royal Mansour is a riad experience unlike the rest… it was purpose built as a hotel. Set amongst a beautiful garden on a large plot of land, the Royal Mansour offers riad accommodation of the highest quality, hust moments away from the famous Jemaa El Fna Square that is the beating heart of Marrakech.
The garden (Le Jardin) has been specifically designed to create a peaceful retreat within an otherwise very busy city. Spread across 2 and a half hectares, the central point is the large swimming pool, as blue as the Moroccan sky, a space in which guests can soak up the tranquility . Also in the garden is includes an herb garden, an organic vegetable orchard and an artist’s residence, all created by Spanish landscape designer Luis Vallejo.
Prices start from £770 per night
El Fenn is quite possibly the most Instagrammable spot in Marrakech, the aesthetics are breathtaking. Owned by Vanessa Branson, sister to Richard, no expense was spared when she brought this riad back from the ashes. Vanessa was searching for her own holiday home when she stumbled upon this crumbling riad, little did she know that the adjoining properties came with it.
Due to its size, Vanessa decided to turn her Moroccan home into a small guesthouse, she used strong colours and made the most of the the abundant artisan skills found all over Morocco. The baths were made deep, the showers powerful, and only the most luxurious linens would be placed on the beds.
El Fenn became an artistic masterpiece with striking mid-century modern furniture, originally there were just 6 guest rooms but the property has expanded since opening in 2002. Today El Fenn employs 90 members of staff and the property spreads over 2 acres across the Medina, nothing ever stays the same here, in 2020 a new rooftop pool was opened, as well as a ground floor bar & private dining room.
Prices start from £300 per night
Located in the heart of the Medina, Riad Tchaikana is discreet, luxururious and peaceful. The riad is small with just two beautifully designed suites and three smaller rooms. The decor is inspired by Sub-Saharan Africa with a desert sand colour palette mixed with whites and dove grey.
The central riad garden is filled with orange trees and there is a shady rooftop terrace where you can have a drink, eat breakfast or enjoy some relaxation time. Breakfast is an experience has you are served oodles of pancakes, fresh orange juice, pastries and even Nespresso, there is no restaurant on site but you can book a dinner here if you ask in advance.
Prices start from £80 per night
La Maison Arabe
La Maison Arabe is an intimate 37 room retreat founded by a French mother and daughter duo in the 1940s, it was the first restaurant in the medina open to foreigners and was restored in the 1990s by Italian aristocrat, Count Fabrizio Ruspoli to become the first boutique riad-hotel in the city.
When you arrive at the property you will instantly be taken on a journey back to a bygone era, cocktails can be enjoyed in the piano-jazz bar and hammams and massages are available at their fully equipped spa.
Each of the rooms and suites are king-size and like the rest of the riads mentioned, each room is unique in layout and design, most have a fire place and private balcony.
Prices starting from £190 per night.