Riad Ariha

Marrakech, Morocco Book from

Beautiful budget riad in the medina - a wonderful blend of ancient craftsmanship and modern Zen-chic (5 rooms)
There are scores of riad hotels in Marrakech, but this one stands out from the crowd for its understated, fresh decor and its exceptional pricing. The building is centuries old, but newly and sensitively restored using authentic materials and traditional forms: tadlakt walls, wrought-iron window grilles, sculpted arches and alcoves. Harmony and simplicity are the watchwords. Elegant furnishings sit beside white walls, a tiny dipping pool hides in an alcove, the sound of water from the courtyard's fountain soothes the spirit. It's a real oasis in this authentic quarter of the medina.

The comfortable ensuite bedrooms are all white with dove grey woodwork. A tented roof terrace offers views over the city roofs, an ideal spot for afternoon mint tea. Staff are welcoming and helpful; nothing is too much trouble. And, to ensure you feel refreshed after exploring Marrakech, a private hammam and beauty treatments are on offer. Delightful.

Highs

  • Packed with traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, yet feels beautifully light and contemporary
  • Delicious, home-cooked Moroccan food - our fabulous chicken tagine was the best of our trip
  • Staff are welcoming, thoughtful and efficient. We felt very much at home
  • Good location: 10 minutes walk to Djemaa el Fna square, but far enough away to feel secluded
  • Great value for money - as is their sister property Riad Chi-Chi

Lows

  • It's a 300m walk from the nearest taxi drop-off point, and hard to find; book your transfer through the hotel and the driver will accompany you to the riad door
  • Riad architecture dictates that noise can travel, so you may hear breakfast being set up in the morning, but we loved feeling part of a homely environment
  • The dipping pool is very small - more decorative than anything else
  • The 2 ground-floor rooms lack privacy, as they open straight onto the courtyard

Best time to go

The best times to go weather-wise are in the spring months (March to end of May) and the autumn (October and November), when it is not too hot. The high season is April, May and the Christmas/New Year period.

Our top tips

De-stress after the hassle of the medina with a stroll in the Jardin de l’Agdal (behind the Royal Palace). Its citrus groves are sweetly scented by blossom in the spring months.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Foodie
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Riad Hotel
  • 5
  • Breakfast (+ lunch/dinner by arrangement)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Cookery lessons
Room:

Rooms

We stayed in Jasmine, the largest room, and relished curling up by the fireside before bed each evening. Being on the first-floor created an added sense of privacy and a skylight flooded the shower room with sunshine during the day. Jacaranda is similar in size and setting, though it has a fabulous domed ceiling as well as bathtub. Oleander has its own private staircase with lovely French windows overlooking the courtyard and loggia.

On the ground-floor, Rose and Lemon Tree are a touch smaller and open directly onto the courtyard. Their position means the lack privacy but curtains and shutters help combat this.

We found the simple, restful and rather on-trend interiors to be utterly charming. White plaster walls, dove-grey woodwork and crisp white bed linen complement beautiful wrought ironwork, wooden shutters and linen drapes (great for privacy). Ensuite bathrooms come with tadlakt walls and basins, plus good-sized showerheads or bathtubs. There's air-conditioning for the summer, and heaters for cooler winter evenings.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

Each morning, we took breakfast in the airy, peaceful courtyard. It’s a simple continental offering, with freshly pressed orange juice, coffee or tea, fresh bread, toast, yoghurt, Moroccan pancakes, jam and butter. The roof terrace is also a popular spot.

For lunch and dinner, its best to request in advance, as the cook buys her ingredients fresh at the market each day (according to demand). If you arrive on a late flight, it’s particularly nice to have supper waiting for you at the riad. You’ll be asked about your preferences but generally traditional Moroccan tagines and couscous are the order of the day - and very good they are, too. The chicken, olive and lemon tagine was the best of our trip.

Light snacks, mint tea and soft drinks are also available, though you’ll probably spend most of your day out and about exploring. In common with much of Morocco, the riad does not serve alcohol, but guests are welcome to bring their own - staff can provide a map with the address of a local supermarket selling alcohol.

If you’re after recommendations for local restaurants, the team are happy to oblige.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go shopping in souks around the Djemaa el-Fnaa and wander around the old city of Marrakech, now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit the royal palaces and museums
  • Take a day- or overnight trip to Kasbah du Toubkal or the desert, set amid the highest Atlas peaks - superb country for trekking and mountain-biking
  • Visit Lake Lalla Takerkoust for water sports, 40km from Marrakech
  • Rent bicycles: cycling around Marrakech is easy and fun
  • Go horse-riding in the Palmeraie, just outside town
  • In winter, go skiing 70km from Marrakech, at Oukaimeden
  • Back at the riad, sunbathe on the roof terrace or relax in the hammam

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Children are welcome at Riad Ariha.

Family friendly accommodation:

Rooms Jacaranda and Jasmine are big enough to accommodate an extra bed or baby cot. For bigger groups, the riad can be booked in its entirety; some rooms made up with twin beds.

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request.

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

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

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