“An intimate, stylish riad with sumptuous suites, aimed at romancing couples and creative types seeking privacy and inspiration”
Each room is decorated in natural hues: cream tufted rugs or leopard skins, white pouffes, crunchy white bed linen and creamy limestone walls. Carved silverware is everywhere, from the giant overhead lanterns to the containers around the sink, the bed surround and even the 10-foot doors which have hammered into them the story of AnaYela in Arabic, like the pages of a book.
There are 5 rooms in total, including 2 Suites on the first floor. These are slightly larger and include fireplaces - useful in the chilly Moroccan winter months - and giant brick baths that are big enough for 2, while the Standard and Superior rooms have gorgeous floor-to-ceiling mirrors where the fireplaces would be. No room is very large, and there is little natural light, but the lighting is cosy and extremely romantic.
Fixed mealtimes and menus don't exist at AnaYela; the whole set-up is relaxed and fluid. Guests can breakfast whenever they emerge, and say then if they wish to have dinner. If so, Khadija, the female Marrakechi chef who specialises in traditional Moroccan cuisine, will then cook a set meal tailored to any special requirements. Meals can be taken either in one's room, around a large communal cedar wood table beside the pool on the ground floor, up on the roof terrace watching the sunrise or sunset, or on the tapis volant. There is also a genuine old Berber tent erected on the roof covering a relaxing cushioned area where guests can have an open-fired Moroccan barbeque (on request).
Breakfast is lovely, and incudes fruit salad, cheeses, dried fruit and nuts, pastries and Moroccan crepes and eggs to order. Salads and snacks are available all day without notice, while dinner might include traditional Opriouate or Moroccan pastries filled with cheese and served with a refreshing salad of tomato, pepper and cucumber, delicious tagines au poulet with nutty rice, and yogurt with rose petals for dessert, all washed down by some of the ferociously sweet Moroccan mint tea.
Close by are several leading Marrakech restaurants. We'd also recommend heading into the Djemaa el Fna square one evening to sample the open-air barbeques.