Live like a pasha in this ultra-stylish riad with lush gardens, secret courtyards and an impressive restaurant, hidden amidst the souks of Marrakech
Imagine a young girl walking with a ginger cat and a large dog
through an exotic leafy courtyard to see ‘Lion’,
‘Chameleon’ or ‘Prince’. It sounds like an
extract from a Lewis Carroll book, but it's a real scene in
Marrakech’s most fairy-tale hotel.
The girl is Enija, daughter of Swedish architect Bjorn Conerdings and Swiss designer Ursula Haldimann. The setting is a 200-year-old silk-traders’ palace, transformed by Bjorn and Ursula into an ultra-stylish maison d’hotes. Lion, Chameleon and Prince are 3 of the 15 spacious and meticulously decorated rooms and suites (fabrics and colours by Ursula, structure by Bjorn). The animals are the family pets. And the exotic courtyard? Well, you can see for yourself. There's more - tropical gardens, burbling fountains - around every corner. But the magic does not stop there: step outside and you are in the heart of Marrakech’s humming souks, colourful alleys and bustling bazaars.
Reviewed by Michael Cullen
- Exuberant, petal-perfect decor makes this perhaps the most stylish and exotic of the medina's many restored riads
- Ursula’s friendly yet discreet and excellent service maintains the style
- The Moroccan cuisine is delicious; be sure to take a cooking class whilst here!
- Two courtyards, tropical gardens, a pool and several terraces offer total tranquility after the buzzing souks
- The medina's prime markets and shops are on your doorstep
- Come after a mountain trek and you might feel out of place (or fashion)
- Don't expect 5* facilities - no bedroom phones, TV, radio, air-con or front desk (though staff are extremely obliging)
- It’s not cheap
- Early booking is essential
It's not unusual to wake up and find a fashion shoot going on...The Guardian