Hotel by Beldi

Marrakech, Morocco Book from

A magical oasis 10 minutes from the medina - 28 rooms arranged as a traditional village, with gardens, pools, restaurants, souks and a spa
Like many Marrakech residents, Jean Dominique Leymarie makes his home in the medina. But he was intrigued by the idea of creating a retreat from the dust and noise, so he bought some land just outside town, planted 15,000 rosebushes, put in a pool and a spa, and invited the public to spend a day in the country. It proved a hit, and in 2009 he added a luxury boutique hotel to the mix.

Designed in the traditional - or beldi - style that is the heart and soul of Morocco, the 28 rooms were built of earth, plaster, wood and iron, and furnished entirely from local markets. They form part of a living, breathing Moroccan village with craft workshops, a bakery and souks selling Safi pottery, hand-embroidered linens and Berber carpets. All around are 15 hectares of magnificent grounds, filled with palms, olive and fruit trees, tall grasses, herbs and a sea of roses. It’s a 10-minute hop by taxi to the medina, and staff can arrange lakeside picnics at their kasbah in the Atlas Mountains, whose snow-capped peaks shimmer in the distance. Return each evening to find dozens of lanterns glowing along serpentine paths to the 3 restaurants, bar and cosy salons, creating a sublimely magical and private setting.

Highs

  • An authentic cultural experience, reflected in the smallest details (everything from dishes to linens was handcrafted on site or in nearby villages)
  • Spacious and surprisingly good-value rooms with sitting areas, fireplaces and private gardens or terraces; some even have outdoor bathtubs
  • Wow-factor facilities: 2 pools (one heated), a spa and hammam, tennis courts, tents for private dining, evening concerts
  • Romantic but good for families too, with kids’ pools, Family Suites sleeping 4 plus a baby, and innovative activities like bread- and pottery-making
  • An admirable commitment to environmental and social responsibility: organic vegetables, fruits and olives are used in the spa and restaurants (much grown on-property in the biodynamic kitchen garden); profits from the souks support mountain schools

Lows

  • Some parts of the property, such as the spa, pools and souks, are open to visitors who purchase a day pass
  • The French/Moroccan cuisine in the restaurants is satisfying but not gourmet, and other eateries are a taxi ride away
  • Some reports suggest service can be slow, although we didn't find this during our visit
  • Finding a taxi to get back from the medina can be a bit of a hassle - best to book in advance if you can

Best time to go

Marrakech is at its best in spring and autumn, when it's warm but not oppressively hot. The city bakes in the summer months of July and August. By the end of October the evenings are cold, although the midday sun is still warm enough to bask in. The weather in winter, from November to March, ranges from cold and rainy to balmy and clear.

Our top tips

While you could happily spend your entire holiday without leaving the property, hotel staff can help you incorporate different experiences of Morocco into your trip. These range from a picnic at a kasbah in the Atlas Mountains to a few nights at sister hotel L'Iglesia in the up-and-coming Unesco World Heritage Site of El Jadida, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast; just ask.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 28
  • 3 restaurants and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Books and games
  • Occasional concerts
Room:

Rooms

From the unpaved car park at the end of a dusty country road, you enter into another world. A short stroll through lush gardens brings you to reception, where a cool glass of lemonade is waiting. From there, you follow a narrow alley through arched courtyards to your room, hidden away in one of the buildings scattered around the grounds.

The double and twin rooms have different layouts, but all are decorated with handcrafted furniture, textiles made on site, and antiques purchased at local markets. The doubles have four-poster beds, and all have sitting areas, a fireplace and a private garden or terrace. There are also a couple of standalone Family Suites, set in walled yards with 2 bedrooms (one double, one twin) sleeping up to 4 plus a baby.

The creamy stucco walls of our double room rose to a lofty vaulted ceiling with painted crossbeams. The bed faced a small brick fireplace and a traditional Moroccan sitting area with a low brass tray table, a cushioned bench and a red-striped Berber carpet. Shuttered doors led to our flower-filled garden where, in addition to cushioned loungers, we had an outdoor tub set under a pergola of tree branches - a lovely touch, although the half-wall didn't provide enough privacy for bathing without swimming togs.

Bathrooms are luxurious, with marble counters, rain showers, bathrobes, and shampoo and shower gel in handmade pots; some have tubs, too. There are no TVs or minibars, but WiFi, air conditioning, central heating, hairdryers and coffee- and tea-making kit have all made the cut.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Terrace or garden
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel has 3 restaurants to choose from. In warm weather, Le Palmier Fou (‘The Crazy Palm’), shaded by a vine-covered pergola with a view of the main pool, is perfect for breakfast, lunch and evening meals. It also has a cosy indoor area with river-rock walls, camp chairs, a fire pit and large picture windows looking out over the grounds. Elegant Le Messraf Café spills out from curtained arches, with an open bread oven, while Le Badya takes the form of an open-air poolside café; both are open during the daytime only.

Whichever you choose, you’ll find a daily changing French/Moroccan menu which showcases fresh, seasonal ingredients, much grown on the property in the large biodynamic garden. Expect a variety of soups and tarts, along with quail, lamb and seafood dishes and a well-chosen wine list. Spicy tagines served in distinctive cone-shaped pots are a particular staple. It’s tasty enough but not gourmet, although you’re welcome to make special requests if there’s anything in particular that you fancy.

Breakfast, included in the rates, features fruit (perhaps pomegranate or oranges), bread still warm from the bakery, crêpes with jam, fresh orange juice, and tea or coffee.

Pool and room service are also available, and private family meals or romantic dinners can be served anywhere you choose, including a silk-draped Berber tent or a table among the roses. For evening drinks, there’s a smart Art Deco cocktail bar adjacent to reception.

It’s worth taking a taxi to other eateries for a change of scene during your stay. If you’re spending the day in the medina, staff recommend Al Fassia and the restaurant at El Fenn. Alternatively, Bo & Zin is a trendy restaurant and bar set in a tented garden just outside the city.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Le Badya
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax. Stroll in the gardens, find a peaceful spot to read among the flowers, or soak up the sun by the main pool. If the weather’s cool, there’s also a heated pool with a partial roof and a fireplace at one end
  • Indulge. Book a traditional hammam or treat yourself to one of the dozens of massages, facials and body treatments offered by European-trained practitioners in the spa
  • Shop. Browse the on-site souks for unique crafts - handmade pottery, embroidered linens, Berber carpets, pretty glassware. They're open from late morning to evening, and you can often watch the artisans at work
  • Learn. Brush up on your ball skills with a professional tennis coach, learn how to bake bread, have a go at throwing a clay pot using the age-old Safi method, or try your hand at flower-arranging with the freshly cut roses left at stations near your room
  • Go to town. Get a taxi into Marrakech to explore the bustling medina and the huge square of Djemaa el Fna (packed with open-air BBQ stalls, nut and date vendors, snake charmers, story tellers and assorted touts), or take in the peaceful beauty of Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Garden
  • Explore. Head into the Atlas Mountains for a day at the hotel’s kasbah, set on the shores of Lake Takerkoust (30km away). It has beautiful gardens, 2 pools with sweeping views, and a seating area where picnic lunches are served under the shade of an old tree

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

With 2 kids’ pools and large grounds, this is a great option for families seeking a cool, calm base away from the heat and bustle of the medina. There’s no organised kids’ club, but for good reason: the hotel was designed for families who want to spend time together. Activities such as pottery-making and excursions to the Atlas Mountains are fun for all ages, and parents with younger children can book babysitters while they head off for spa treatments or romantic dinners.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Suites each sleep 4 plus a baby in 2 bedrooms (one double, one twin), with their own walled gardens. All other rooms can take a baby cot and an extra bed.

Babysitting:

Available on request.

Children's meals:

No specific kids’ meals, but special requests will be accommodated wherever possible - just ask

Kids Activities on site:

  • 2 kids' pools - one for 1-3 year olds and one for 3-10 year olds
  • Large garden with ducks and guinea fowl plus fish in the lily ponds
  • Playground
  • Bread-making
  • Exploring the large biodynamic kitchen garden
  • Moroccan cooking lessons
  • A pottery atelier where kids can practice pottery and bring home their own masterpiece
  • A tennis court (coaching available)
  • Cycling around the 15-hectare grounds
  • Books and games
  • Cinema

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Marrakech medina
  • Horse-drawn calech rides from Djemaa el Fna
  • Trips into the Atlas Mountains
  • Oasiria waterpark

Families Should Know:

The pools are ungated, and there are unfenced lily ponds in the grounds

Distances:

  • Airport: 10 minutes' drive (Marrakech Menara)
  • Shop: 5 minutes' drive
  • Hospital: 15 minutes' drive (central Marrakech)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
7/
Food
8/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Hotel by Beldi