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20 of the Best Marrakech Riads

Marrakech and it's riads have it all: gorgeous gardens, exciting shopping, exotic interiors. The best Marrakech riads are listed here - there are over 1000 of them. Yes, there are large hotels for sure (famous La Mamounia reopened its doors in 2009 after a two year closure), but for those who want to join in the party the rise of the Marrakech riad is a revelation, and there are some seriously cool hotels here. These converted townhouses (spelt riad or riyad), deep in the heart of the hub of the city, are transforming the hot, dusty, noisy medina into a 21st-century lifestyle destination.

Riad Farnatchi

What is a Riad?

Riad, which can also be spelt Riyad or Ryad, is the Arabic word for a traditional house or palace with an interior garden, designed to provide both cool shade from the heat outside, as well as privacy for the family, especially the women. Consequently the walls of a Marrakech riad are typically very thick, made of mud, brick or clay, with no exterior facing windows, just a grilled entrance and a heavy studded door. Once inside, however, a magical world is revealed, of scented potted plants, lemon trees, birdsong, and often a tinkling fountain.

Dar Les Cigognes

Characterized by plain facades, duck-your-head doorways, and decorative interior courtyards, the best of the riads in Marrakech are in the heart of the action, but at the same time providing a cool oasis from the noise, dust and hubbub. They provide your own utterly authentic oasis. These riads are intimate affairs, and most have fewer than ten beds.

Alternatively, consult our complete list of the best hotels in Marrakech, or see our articles on the Marrakech Medina or Marrakech Riads for guidance on staying in these truly authentic riads.

  • Riad Dar Zaman 4 rooms from $90

    Marrakech (Sidi Ben Slimane)

    Charming four roomed riad situated in the heart of the medina. Traditionally decorated rooms feature berber rugs and original hand-crafted pieces. Delicious Moroccan cuisine and cooking classes available too. Beautiful sun terrace with views to the mountains. An excellent value chic retreat.

    Exclusive offer  -  Free transfer and dinner
    Groups  -  Take over the whole riad for a stay to remember!
    Views  -  Fantastic views over the medina and to the Atlas Mountains in the distance from the roof terrace.
    Cooking classes  -  Scour the souks for ingredients, then return to the Riad to learn how to cook them.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 12 unless you take over the whole property
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Dar Zemora 6 rooms from $254

    Marrakech

    Understated luxury in the Palmeraie a short drive from the medina that will appeal to couples and small groups seeking poolside peace in a beautiful garden location. Ideal for completely unwinding.

    Country Escape  -  A totally tranquil property near the bustling city of Marrakesh making it the ideal place to relax after a days exploration
    Romantic Break  -  A romantic haven, with lavish fourposter beds, incredible six-course dinners and lush gardens for strolling hand in hand.
    Swimming Pool  -  Two outdoor pools
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check prices
  • El Fenn 28 rooms from $286

    Marrakech

    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

    Honeymoons  -  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.
    Wellbeing
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Riad Farnatchi 9 rooms from $293

    Marrakech (Rue Souk el Fassis)

    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.

    Local 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 souks
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Dar Les Cigognes 11 rooms from $189

    Marrakech Medina

    An understated and elegant Riad, in the heart of Marrakech. The beautifully decorated rooms fuse Moroccan and European styles to create enchanting spaces. Fantastic views from the roof top terrace, while you chow down on award winning delicious food. Simply magical.

    Exclusive offer  -  Free Night Offer
    City Style  -  Magical rooms in a stylish Riad, with award winning restaurant and extensive spa services- all in the center of Marrakech!
    Elegant
    Cooking 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 Marrakech
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
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  • La Maison Arabe 26 rooms from $237

    Marrakech (Bab Doukkala)

    Iconic restaurant turned luxury hotel, in the Medina of Marrakech. The decor is a sublime combination of traditional Moroccan craftsmanship and smart European style. Every detail sings charm, old-school elegance, and history.

    Luxury
    Restaurant  -  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.
    Check prices
  • Villa des Orangers 6 rooms from $290

    Marrakech (Place Ben Tachfine)

    Smart French-owned hotel with authentic Moroccan decoration. Sophisticated rooms with rich Moroccan-style wooden furnishings, beautiful and luxurious hammam, and inner courtyards for relaxing. A destination for wellbeing and pampering.

    Great walks  -  Wander around the Djemaa el Fna bursting with fire breathers, snake charmers, belly dancers and street vendors.
    Spa breaks  -  The lavish spa treatments are professional and totally spoiling, nevermind the Hamamm and multipile pools.
    City Style  -  An elegant Riad, minutes from the main attractions, with an exclusive feel and first rate amenities.
    Luxury
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux
    Check prices
  • Riyad Al Moussika 5 rooms from $263

    Marrakech (Kennaria)

    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.

    Great 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 pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
    Check prices
  • Riyad el Cadi 15 rooms from $165

    Marrakech (Dabachi)

    Calm, stylish refuge filled with fine furniture and art. Beautiful white washed patios and roof top sun terrace. A place of tranquility and calm. Its accommodations are well suited for families. A stay in history, amidst history.

    City 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 features
    Local markets  -  Explore the wonderful and wild souks haggle over an array of textiles, carpets, leatherwork, spices and jewellery.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Maison MK 6 rooms from $531

    Marrakech

    A fabulously relaxing and romantic retreat in a frenetic city. Subtly lit rooms with neutral tones and sensual shapes. Sensational food, fantastic hammam, and wonderful roof top terrace. Truly luxurious.

    Honeymoons  -  Honeymoon heaven, with a bottle of bubbly on arrival, romantic rooftop terrace, pampering spa and private dining options.
    Foodies  -  Spectacular Moroccan-French fusion- the five course tasting menu with rooftop drinks and canape reception, is a MUST!
    Great walks  -  Wander the streets of the old city, watch a snake charmer, bargain for some goods, and most importantly get lost!
    Cooking classes  -  With two courses- one hardcore cooking, the other includes an interesting visit to the local market.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Riad Kaiss 9 rooms from $183

    Marrakech (Riad Zitoun Kedim)

    Magnificent, traditional riad in the Medina with easy access to the historic sites. Stunning rooms with exquisite touches, sun-drenched roof-tops, peace, calm and beauty.

    Chic
    City Style
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    Check prices

 

Written by James Dunford Wood

posted Friday, 12th February 2010
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