• Marrakech Riad
  • Marrakech: Where to stay

    Weather its the food, exotic smells, abundance of culture, beautiful architecture, art, or call to prayer, it's easy to be seduced by Marrakech. I'd often read a lot about marrakech, but visiting was a experience in itself. I will actually admit, I have Marrakech fever. It's difficult not to fall in love with this city! Marrakech has always seemed slightly cliche to me, and always struck me as a place to visit to experience the quintessential Saharan life of North Africas' region. It's the fourth largest city in Morocco, located in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, and is the perfect destination to visit if you want to introduce yourself to Morocco. Due to its geographical location, it'a accessible, in only 3 and a half hours from London, making it one of the easiest journeys to do Its bursting with a abundance of culture in such a short fall of time. In other words, it's perfect! Being a islamised Country has made it subject to certain stereotypes due to prevailing political problems nearby, however keep an open mind and you will be welcomed with open arms. Somehow the city manages to balance its culture and assent western values seamlessly.

    Where to stay?

    You will find countless riads in the Medina and old city, or countless hotel chains in the new hotels. If you want to experience real moroccan hospitality, go for a Riad, even if it's only for a night! Once owned by the wealthiest citizens such as merchants and courtiers focused around family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco, They will take you back in time ,. Many of the restored riads in the districts of Mouassine and Lakssour offer the finest examples of restoration as historically these areas contained many of the grand palaces from Marrakech's Saadian period, now owned mostly by foreigners, helping restore UNESCO sites.

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    Luxury: Riad Al Maha

    Almaha is a relatively new premium boutique Riad, with a decor fit for royalty. With large spacious suites, amongst only 12 rooms, your truly likely to have a unique one to one experience here. All the food is home made, and you could spend hours bird watching on the hotel grounds, or admiring the rooftops from the Terrace.

    When I arrived to Al maha, I was greeted to a average wooden door from the main street. I did't really know what to expect. When I entered, I was greeted by wonderful staff with a mint tea, in a quaint front room with a large bookcase. 'Ma'am, there is a secret door in here, can you guess where '? I had a look around, and from watching one too many movies I guessed a moving bookcase would't be far off, although I couldn't see any entry points. She pushes the book case and asked me ' please come in' . I approached with suspicion, enjoying the banter at the same time. After this, I'm sure the wow in my facial expressions said it all. How is this great hidden gem, hidden behind that one door? I already have a feeling I won't want to leave. And thats what I love about Marrakech. On every corner or through every door, it holds a little secret waiting to be explored.

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    Beautiful grounds of AlMaha

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    This riad is cleverly designed by Charles Kaisin, a Belgian architect. With the thick walls, and centre water feature, and beautifully draped curtains, it was at least 10 degree cooler as you enter. With only 8 exclusive boutique rooms individually tailored, their accomodation is fit for a king (literally)! It's a surreal experience, with only the sound of birds or fountain to keep you company. This is definitely my number one property in Marrakesh!

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    Almaha Boutique Marrakech hotel grounds

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    Homemade traditional Moroccan Cuisine

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    In hotel spa

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    The pixel room- each pixel is handcrafted to imitate the 'Jna Al Fna' Square

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    Key Features: Luxurious interior design exclusive by Charles Kaisah, located in prestige Kesbah, boutique rooms,  ;Price ££££

    55 Derb Ben Zina، Marrakesh 40040, Morocco; +212 5243-86782; http://www.almahamarrakech.com

    Perfect for romance/couples

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    Budget: Riad Adore

    Marrakesh is full of a range of beautiful options if on a budget. There are many reasonable priced riads dispersed around the Medina with a beautiful boutique feel , each one to its own identity. I was lucky enough to try our Riad Adore. Its a small chic read, run more by a small number of staff, making the service exceptionally personal. With 10 individually decorated rooms, newly decorated by Christoper S , Its located in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the Medina.

    The patio area is decorated with pretty greys, authentic feeling window shutters, and the sound of the fountains make you feel you are sleeping out in the open at night. The property facilitates a hammam, a salon offering a wide range of treatments, a library, and a rooftop berber tent perfect for shisha summers, or fire lit winters.

    The boutique riad comes alive at night, lit with candles and chillout music, making a magical atmosphere for the guests.

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    Fatima room 

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    Riad Adore grounds

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    Riad Adore,94 Derb Tizouagrine, Dar El Bacha, Marrakech Medina 00 44 (0) 7935 079 983 (UK) Riadadore.com

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    Medina: Riad Star

    If you want to opt into staying deep in the Medina and experience the old city first hand, then head to Riad Star. It's owned by Mike wood, but was the original home of Josephine Baker in the early 1940's, so it's got a unique character which sets it apart from other riads.  The  7 bedrooms character property has changed very little, with just the much needed updates to the bedroom keeping the original artefacts to give the feel you are stepping into her original home. Its a fun modern art deco property with Moroccan spirit, and stepping into the riad is like taking a step back in time to the 1940's flapper era without sacrificing modern comforts. You will have fun dressing up as Josephine, as they still have her costumes on display for guests to try on.

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    Colourful doors on the First floor terrace

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    Conveniently located near the Ben Youssef Mederessa, its one of the tallest buildings in the neighbourhood with astonishing views of the rooftops and Koutobia mosque especially at the sunset hour .You can take a stroll on the terrace at night, enjoy the sunset, prayer time next to the rooftop fireplace with some tasty homemade dinner.

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    Rooftop terrace

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    The terrace top room which I stayed

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    The rooms have small dainty artisans belonging to Josephine herself, and all rooms are equipped with top of the range en suites with power shower, luxury robes, silk sheets, hairdryer, mini fridge and

    Watch me having fun at riad star!

    staff are extremely attentive and friendly, and you feel part of a family from the day you step in . Most importantly, they provided a prepaid mobile phone to each of their guests to call them if they take a stroll out and hesitate to find their way back. Even on my third trip to Morocco I was hopeless in the Medina! Safety is a huge thing and the Medina can be daunting at night, especially if its your first time! This service really sets this Riad apart.

    Riad Star, 13 Derb Alilich, Kaat Bennahid District, Marrakesh; 800-845-0810; riadstar.com.

    Key Features: Boutique Riad, Medina location, Excellent views of rooftop and Koutoubia, Events can be arranged here, onsite hammam

    Perfect for solo travellers/ groups of friends/female travellers Price ££

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    Chain hotel: Four Seasons

    On the other hand, if you are after something a bit more commercial, you won't have a shortfall of a well known large chain group to choose from. Marrakesh has attracted properties from the Four Seasons, Sofitel, Sheratton and Fairmont. I resided with the Four Seasons, and although it comes at a larger price tag,they have done a fabulous job of keeping the Moroccan identity, whilst amalgamating their signature image well. This property is located at a prestigious part of Marrakesh, and it has 141 rooms, alongside 27 suites – all with private balcony and terraces, on site Le Spa, swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness grounds. Their tranquil gardens are a world away from the bustling city and most importantly which goes without saying, you will be treated with the exclusive hospitality as a Four Seasons. I recommend their properties worldwide!

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    Four seasons signature fountain

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    Hotel grounds at night

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    Four Seasons signature coffee  leaf

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    Generous views from the deluxe rooms

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    Look who we bumped into! Zoz Alajail follow him on Insta @zozalajail

    Key features: 5 star hotel, chain group hotel, Situated in premium neighbourhood of Marrakech, 3 nights get one free; Price ££££

    One things for sure, if your coming to Morocco, you should't miss out on the serenity and hospitality of riads, lets face it, how many times will we get the chance to experience a riad?

    perfect for couples, families, people with a high budget

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    monu's lifestyle diaries

    monu's lifestyle diaries