12 Classic Riads of Marrakech
Most countries have their own distinct forms of accommodation. In England it's the village inn, in France the gite, in Mexico the hacienda and in Spain the finca. In Morocco we have the Marrakech riad, though they can also be found in Fez, Essauoira and elsewhere, but they are most identified with Marrakech.
Over the years, many Marrakech riads had fallen into disrepair, but recent times have seen their resurrection, and reinvention, as exotic places to stay for visitors. Ironically, those who perhaps have appreciated the style of these Marrakech riads the most have been the visitors themselves, so many of them have been bought by French and German fans of riad life and developed by them into hotels and restaurants.
Shopping in Marrakech
It has to be the souk, for spices, rugs, shawls, fabric, tactile rounded clay and wooden cooking utensils, lamps, lanterns and the all important items that you don't know you need until you see them. Haggling is vital and expected so don't be shy to offer half or less the first suggested price. If noisy busy shopping environments are not your idea of fun, go anyway for the enjoyment of returning to your Riad and marvelling at the instant calm and quiet. Even Riads which are right in the bustling medina manage to pull off this impressive trick.
North African Cookery Lessons
With the huge popularity of North African food based around slow-cooked tagines and cous cous, there are now many excellent cookery schools and classes in Marrakech. Many of us think of cous cous as a quick easy alternative to rice - in Marrakech you can learn how to take three hours to prepare the most delicious cous cous you have ever eaten. Dar Les Cigones, Dar Tchaikana and Dar Fakir are among our recommended Riads which offer cookery classes. The Faim D'Epices and La Maison Arabe schools are also popular.
Here's a selection of Marrakech riads we recommend as places where you are likely to get the most authentic, historic atmosphere. Many of these have been bought and restored by art dealers and collectors so it's not just the buildings that are special, but also the art collections within.
12 Classic Riads of Marrakech
Classic Marrakech Riads
These Marrakech riads have been converted from classic historic buildings, and all include the traditional interior garden as well as wonderful roof terraces. There's nothing more magical than eating traditional Moroccan cous-cous or tagine while reclining on silk cushions by the light of flickering candles in the courtyard at night, perhaps beside a limpid pool - or waking up to the heat of the day over croissants and coffee on the rooftop.
Dar Zemora Marrakech 6 rooms from £195Country Escape - A totally tranquil property near the bustling city of Marrakesh making it the ideal place to relax after a days explorationRomantic Break - A romantic haven, with lavish fourposter beds, incredible six-course dinners and lush gardens for strolling hand in hand.Tennis - Access to tennis courts can be arranged by the hotel.Swimming Pool - Two outdoor poolsRecommended by - I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
El Fenn Marrakech 28 rooms from £217Honeymoons - Stunning suites and spectacular views, spa treatments and belly dancers plus unbeatable food- what more could you want?Chic - An arty riad filled with British modern art and Moroccan collectables.Roof terrace - Magical views at night.WellbeingRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Kiwi Collection
Unique understated bohemian hipness meets flawless service in this sprawling interlinked 5-riad strong hotel owned by Vanessa Branson, on the edge of the Marrakech medina. Lounge out in one of the vast colourful suites, 7000 ft roof terrace or hip rooftop restaurant with views of the Atlas Mountains See More
Riad Farnatchi Marrakech (Rue Souk el Fassis) 9 rooms from £225Local markets - Just ten mins from Jemaâ El Fna Square.Cooking classes - There are a whole range of classes available from extensive courses to a day in the market followed by learning a dish or two.Great walks - Guided tours to help you uncover the history of Marrakech, get your bearings in the souks or even find the perfect carpet.Sights nearby - 2 min walk from the souksRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
An elegant luxury riad right in the heart of Marrakech. The chic airy suites feel spoiling and romantic, with private balconies, Egyptian cotton sheets and handmade furnishings. Traditional white marble hammam is an ideal way to unwind after a day in the Souks. A really exquisite and intimate spot. See More
Dar Les Cigognes Marrakech Medina 11 rooms from £143City Style - Magical rooms in a stylish Riad, with award winning restaurant and extensive spa services- all in the center of Marrakech!ElegantCooking classes - Learn to cook traditional Moroccan food with the school that was voted Best Moroccan Cooking School in the world.Local markets - Less than a ten minute walk away you'll find Jamaâ El Fna Square, the main market in MarrakechRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
La Maison Arabe Marrakech (Bab Doukkala) 26 rooms from £180LuxuryRestaurant - Recommended.Local markets - Ten minutes from Jamaâ El Fna Squarem, with plenty of smaller souks nearby.Great walks - Head out to Majorelle Gardens for a peaceful stroll.
Riyad el Cadi Marrakech (Dabachi) 15 rooms from £125City Style - Five stunning 14th-century Riads, with enchanting interiors, cool leafy courtyard and tented roofterrace, right in the Medina.Local exploring - Just around the corner from the all-singing, all-dancing, fire-eating, snake-charming, food-vending madness of Djemaa el-Fna.Artworks - Lofty architecture, museum-worthy textiles, historic objects d’art and original frescoed featuresLocal markets - Explore the wonderful and wild souks haggle over an array of textiles, carpets, leatherwork, spices and jewellery.Recommended by - I Escape
Intimate Marrakech Riads
For small family groups or special occasions, you can often rent the whole riad exclusively, and the following riads are amongst the smallest and most imtimate, ideal for hiring for a weekend.
Riyad Al Moussika Marrakech (Kennaria) 5 rooms from £200Great walks - Explore The Medina's famously rabbit warren-esq streets, be sure to bring a hotel card as getting lost is all part of it!Local markets - Just five minutes from Jamâa El Fna Sqaure where you can find killer bargains, or simply observe the hustle and bustle.Sights nearby - Explore the magnificent Bahia Palace and Gardens, orginally built by a slave who rose to be grand vizier.Swimming Pool - Courtyard poolRecommended by - Tablet
Opulence and gastronomy come together in this impressive restaurant guesthouse, once one of the residences of Lord of the Atlas, with five remarkable rooms. For couples and solo travellers who want to experience a slice of historical splendour in the middle of the medina. See More
Riad Kaiss Marrakech (Riad Zitoun Kedim) 9 rooms from £139City StyleChicSwimming Pool - Lovely Outdoor PoolKids Club - Fully staffed.
Riad Sapphire & Spa Marrakech (Sidi Ben Slimane) 8 rooms from £94Spa - Private hammam and spaSwimming Pool - Larger than average for a riad in the MedinaSights nearby - Situated in the heart of the MedinaLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Brand new stylish riad situated in the heart of the Medina. Eight cool suites offer simple yet elegant furnishings with plenty of local craftmanship on display. Two marble courtyards for relaxing after a day at the souks, roof terrace to soak up mountain views and spa with hammam for pampering. See More
if you haven't found your idea of the perfect place to stay in Marrakech on our Guru's list of 12 Classic Riads of Marrakech you could:
- Expand your search to include all the best places to stay in Marrakech?
- Or refine your search to the best hotels in the Palmeraie? or to Marrakech's Best Medina Hotels?
- Or you might want to consider our Guru's recommendations for 20 of the Best Riads in Marrakech? or 15 of the Best Boutique Hotels in Marrakech? or 10 of Marrakech's Best Hammams and Spas?
- Or you could contact one of our friendly Gurus for personalised advice.