8 GREAT RIADS IN MARRAKECH

THE REALM OF THE RIAD – ENJOY A SHORT BREAK IN MARRAKECH

 

Miserable cold and dank weather in Geneva makes everyone dream of sunnier destinations. So why not book a long weekend away to Marrakech – we select 8 great riads to choose from, courtesy of Sarah Scaddan, Travel Planner at www.inspiremytravel.com.

 

A GREAT CHOICE FOR A LONG WEEKEND

With daily direct flights on Swiss or Easyjet, and a flight time of just over 3 hours, Marrakech is a great choice for a long weekend destination from Geneva. Flight prices in the winter are very affordable and although the winter weather in Marrakech is a little chilly, it is still considerably warmer than Geneva. Find the right luxury Riad to stay in, a heated pool and plenty to do and see in the area, I’m sure you’ll love it!

A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or Palace with an interior garden or courtyard, which were originally the stately homes of the wealthiest citizens in the city. Riads were built focussed inwards to allow the family privacy and protection – so often they look like nothing at all from the outside, but when you enter the courtyard, you’ll be sure to catch your breath.  In Marrakech, Riads are situated in the Medina (walled city) or in the Palmeraie (palm grove) which is a palm oasis of several hundred thousand trees on the edge of the northern section of the city. From the Palmeraie, Marrakech is a short taxi ride away.

Here are our pick of some sumptuous Marrakech Riads:

 

 

IN THE MEDINA

 

RIAD L’ORANGERIE

Two hip young French brothers bought this neglected Riad and transformed it into an elegant and intimate oasis in the heat of the Medina. The rooms are arty, the food is amazing and from the roof terrace, there is a view of the Atlas Mountains.

The location is fantastic, only 5 minutes stroll from the Djemaa el-Fna which is the busy, main square in the city. One can shop, pop back for swim in the mosaic pool, and then head back to the souks. There is a hamman and spa treatments are available. With only 7 rooms, it is possible to hire the entire Riad for families or groups.

BEST FOR: Shopping, gastronomic local food, feeling the vibe of Marrakech.

COST: from 180CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

EL FENN

Created from 3 Riads merged together, El Fenn holds many varied decadent rooms and suites. In addition, there is a nearby annex with double rooms and suites, and a 4-bedroomed private house that can be booked exclusively.

There are two heated marble swimming pools as well as a hamman. The rooms are large with high ceilings, deep bath tubs and in many cases, open fires. Meals are taken at the palatial theatre style bar and terrace, or on the roof terrace. The Djemaa el-Fna is a short walk away but the generous courtyards ensure total peace.

BEST FOR: Larger groups or families, a spa break, romance.

COST: from 270CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

RIAD MISRIA

Nestled in a small cul-de-sac, Riad Misria is a small 6 room Riad located a few minute’s walk from the Djemaa el-Fna. It is an affordable haven of peace among the busy hubbub of the old medina.

An eleven metre heated overflow swimming pool, hamman and massage space complete the harmony of the Riad. It is a little difficult to find, but that is all part of the adventure!

BEST FOR: Money conscious, prefer to dine out than dine in, like to hear the sounds of the city.

COST: from 75CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

RIAD ZAMZAM

According to Zamzam, a holiday in Marrakech is not complete until you’ve eaten fantastic traditional Moroccan food on their beautiful terrace with views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. And who are we to argue? Riad Zamzam takes food very seriously and offers cooking courses on site, and caters for all food allergies and special diets.

There are seven rooms of suites in this Riad, a heated plunge pool and hamman, and a spectacular sitting room with open fire for pre-dinner drinks. Zamzam are very keen on promoting the entire Moroccan experience and can arrange a stay in a desert camp, beach camp or a retreat.

BEST FOR: Foodies, desert or beach combination trips, aperitifs.

COST: From 140CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

LA VILLA DES ORANGERS

Another unassuming door opening to a sumptuous residence, Villa des Orangers is a larger Riad with 27 rooms and a private small private Riad.

The rooms are divine and centred around an unusually large pool. There is even another smaller pool on the terrace. The restaurant serves fabulous Mediterranean food and the 5* service is impeccable.

BEST FOR: Big spenders, those wanting the space and comfort of the Palmeraie but the convenience of the Medina, those unimpressed by Moroccan cuisine, and those allergic to small children (children under 12 are NOT invited).

COST: From 450CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

IN THE PALMERAIE

 

DAR ZEMORA

The English owners have created a discreet county house style hotel with a lovely 3-acre garden and heated swimming pool. The luxurious suites have fireplaces and private terraces. Meals can be served whenever you want, either on your terrace, by the pool or in the elegant winter dining room.

There is a Hamman and massages are available, and there are lots of communal areas for lounging in colder months. There are only six rooms so if you need peace and quiet to recharge your batteries, this is the place.

BEST FOR: Privacy, romance, tranquillity.

COST: From 180CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

JNANE TAMSNA

At Jnane Tamsna there are 25 rooms spread over 5 houses, 5 pools, 1 tennis court and 5 acres of garden. The pools are heated so you can swim all year round and although most riads tolerate children, here they are positively encouraged.  A host of activities can be booked, including preparing magic shows for their parents and learning calligraphy, and trips around the medina or to the Atlas.

They are also very accommodating for parents with younger babies and babysitting arrangements can easily be made. Jnane Tamsna has the beauty and facilities of an upscale Riad, without the hushed and intimidating atmosphere. As well as being 15 minutes from the medina, there is a great shop selling local wares in the hotel.

BEST FOR: Families, foodies and shopaholics.

COST: 180chf a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

KSAR CHAR BAGH

This hotel is regularly nominated as one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. It is not your ordinary Riad, it is a palace. A guest palace to be precise.

Inspired by 14th century Moorish architecture and 21st century minimalism, the spa, restaurant and magical grounds are hideaways of the rich and famous, so don’t expect to make many friends. Take your dinner on your private terrace at night for an incredibly peaceful experience. The Medina is 15 minutes away by hotel car.

BEST FOR: Those wanting privacy, space and to gaze at the stars.

COST: From 340CHF a night.

FURTHER INFO: Click here.

 

 

 

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