Riad 11 Zitoune

Marrakech, Morocco Book from Book from £78 per night

A bang-central riad with bold interiors, 6 colourful bedrooms, a lovely roof terrace, and a peaceful vibe that feels far removed from city life
When the hubbub of Marrakech’s blushed-walled medina and the full-throttle action at nearby Jemaa el Fna Square get a bit much, this former spice trader’s home becomes much more than just a place to lay your head. Opened in 2014 as a passion project for German owners Alexandra and Ahmed, Riad 11 Zitoune is easily one of the prettier hideaways on the city’s hip riad scene, not least for the curated interiors that combine classic Moroccan design with contemporary flourishes to a highly refined effect.

While we’re yet to see it for ourselves, we love how the pair have gone big on recasting the riad as a soothing space where things feel homespun and relaxing. You’ll be greeted by a scene-stealing tiled courtyard with green and duck-egg blue hues and spoilt further with six luxe-leaning rooms and suites - all with French-style double beds and bathrooms decorated with traditional tadelakt plaster. While it’s too bijou for full-blown facilities, there’s a library, private yoga classes, eat-where-you-like dining, and a roof terrace with sunloungers and lofty views. Add to this thoughtful staff who will happily assist with reservations and recommendations and you've got the perfect recipe for a boutique stay in the heart of the medina.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • A desirable Marrakech address in the centre of the medina, just a five-minute walk from Jemaa el Fna Square
  • Impeccable service awaits from owners Alexandra and Ahmed. Their staff are lovely, too
  • Just six individually styled rooms with uncluttered décor that mixes up classic Moroccan craftsmanship with modern design flourishes
  • Masterful Moroccan cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner - all served where you like
  • The private yoga sessions, peaceful courtyard and roof terrace dotted with sunloungers

Lows

  • Finding this place can be a bit tricky, but the riad guard will meet your taxi on arrival
  • The courtyard and rooftop terrace are quite small, and there’s no pool
  • There are no interconnecting rooms, so it's not geared up for larger families
  • No TV in the rooms may niggle teenagers, but there is WiFi

Best time to go

Our favourite time to visit Marrakech is from March to May, but September to November also rewards with warm (but not ridiculously balmy) weather. December to February tends to experience sunshine and blue skies, but it can get extremely chilly at night. Avoid June and August unless you’re a fan of the heat (average temperatures are from 29C to 36C most days).

Our top tips

Spend time chilling at Jardin Majorelle - the gardens famously saved from property developers in 1980 by fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. We love the Insta-worthy backdrop of bamboo, cactus, palms, yucca, bougainvillea, jasmine, white water lilies, weeping willows and banana trees.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Romantic
  • Boutique Riad
  • 6
  • Breakfast + other meals on request
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 29 July - 12 August 2020
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry service
  • Yoga
Room:

Rooms

There are just six equally delightful rooms and suites, each with a tasteful mix of traditional Moroccan craftsmanship and simple yet soulful modern design. Expect white-washed walls, colourful accents, handmade furniture, vibrant fabrics and artworks, and comfortable French-style double beds swathed in high-quality linens and plentiful pillows. The three suites also come with their own private terraces. Bathrooms are decorated with traditional tadelakt plaster and have showers, Egyptian cotton towels and bathrobes, lounging chairs, vanities and toiletries.

All the light-flooded rooms assure ample creature comforts such as air-conditioning, heating, safes and hairdryers. There are no TVs or telephones as the owners want to keep things tech-free (that said, there is free WiFi). The two Junior Suites (Saffron and Pistachio) on the second floor offer the most living space. Each has a French-style double bed, an extra single child’s bed and a furnished terrace that’s the perfect spot for gazing up at the cobalt-blue Marrakech sky.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The riad has a relaxed eat-where-you-like (and when-you-like) dining policy so meals can be enjoyed in your room, in the courtyard, or on the roof terrace. There’s a huge emphasis on homecooked dishes, all of which are made with locally-sourced fresh ingredients and flavoured with aromatic spices from the souks. Breakfast is a simple but hearty affair with offerings such as fresh-pressed orange juice, homebaked breads, eggs, pancakes, pastries, and a choice of mint tea or excellent coffee.

Return later for sumptuous à la carte lunches and dinners, with menus that pull focus on couscous creations, tagines and oriental salads. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are also available, and gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian meals can be arranged; just ask the staff. For your nightcap, head to the lounge area on the roof terrace.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Haggle your heart out in the souks and save space in your suitcase for spices, woven carpets, handmade Berber rugs, leather goods, silver jewellery, shisha pipes and all manner of trinkets.
  • Embrace the chaos of nearby Jemaa el Fna Square, the city’s dazzling centrepiece with a constant stream of fireeaters, snake charmers, jugglers, acrobats, musicians and dancers.
  • Visit Maison de la Photographie for its eyebrow-arching collection of photos, glass negatives and documents dating from the 1870s to the 1950s. Also spend time at Musée Yves St Laurent, making a beeline for the designer’s studio with its original décor, sketches and swatches.
  • Owners Alexandra and Ahmed will happily advise on the best sightseeing spots in Marrakech. Private day tours can also be arranged - just ask.
  • Back at the riad, take a yoga class on the rooftop terrace. Later, ask staff to book you in at the nearby hammam to enjoy a steamy bathing ritual with black soap and a liberal slathering of mud.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Kids of all ages are welcome at Riad 11 Zitoune. While there isn’t a huge amount here to keep little ones occupied, being just a five-minute walk from the pram-accessible Jemaa el Fna Square is a real plus. The riad offers kids' menus, as well as two dedicated family suites (baby cots and extra beds can be arranged on request). There’s also an on-site library, iPads for guest use, and free WiFi everywhere.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The two Junior Suites (Saffron and Pistachio) located on the second floor are ideal for families. Both have a French-style double bed, an extra single child’s bed and a private furnished terrace. Alternatively, the Green Tea Deluxe Studio and the Ginger Suite can each fit an extra bed or baby cot on request.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby bedding
  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

There are steep steps in the riad so keep an eye on toddlers.

Distances:

  • Airport: 20-minute drive
  • Hospital: 10-minute drive
  • Supermarket: 5-minute walk
Kid Friendly:

Location

Riad 11 Zitoune is on Derb Lakhdar in Marrakech's medina. It's a five-minute walk south of Jemaa el Fna Square.

By Air:
Fly into Marrakech Menara (6km), which is served by international and budget airlines.

From the Airport
The riad can arrange an airport transfer (20 mins), or you can take a taxi to Riad Mokha where you’ll be met by the riad guard (it’s a five-minute walk from here).

By Car:
If you want to hire a car (for your travels outside Marrakech), see our car rental recommendations. Note you can't bring cars into the medina.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Marrakech Menara 6.0 km

Other:

  • Beach 170.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Rates for Riad 11 Zitoune

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