Riad Ariha

Marrakech, Morocco Book from Book from £57 per night

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
  • 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...

Based on 9 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
8/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Small, cosy riad and our room was great, spacious, full of light.

9/10,

Very friendly staff and a fantastic bathroom.

8/10,

A beautiful Riad. Calm, cool and peaceful, yet close to the crazy Souks. We loved our room, (Jasmine) and the tiny cold pool and enjoyed a massage arranged by the hotel

8/10,

The welcome we had was perfect after a long day's travelling: fresh mint tea and homemade biscuits served in the tranquil courtyard listening to the resident finches chirruping in the background. With wonderful and warm hosts, the service was definitely the highlight of this very pleasant Riad. Our bed was mightily comfy and the bathroom, with its stained glass cupola ceiling was pretty darn special too.

The only potential downside (although wonderfully authentic) was being woken at five am by the call to prayer which seemed to be coming from pretty much directly next door! However, the peace and quiet at all other times was remarkable, particularly given Riad Ariha's excellent proximity to the souks and main square. Thoroughly recommended!

9/10,

Great service from Khaled and Abdo, they couldn't do enough for you. Lovely first night on the terrace. IL Limoni was an excellent Italian, Morrocan place within walking distance with Lemon trees in the courtyard. In Guilez L'Atelier is a great little french restaurant that has a cooking school also.

9/10,

We had a lovely stay at Riad Ariha, they want to lots of effort to make us feel at home, even coming to meet us when coming back to the hostel at night. Would definitely recommend for a quiet peaceful stay in Marrakech.

9/10,

Our room was large, clean and airy, and during our stay was kept clean and tidy. I felt the breakfasts were rather basic and uninspiring - we stayed six nights and had fresh fruit on only one morning. Considering so much fresh fruit is available in the markets I would have expected some most days. The staff were friendly and helpful.

7/10,

Very easy and relaxed, so nice to escape to after a busy day in the medina. Staff very friendly, rooms bright, clean and tastefully decorated. Would definitely recommend it to friends and family.

10/10,

It would be nice if they offered snacks/food during the day as the riad is situated quite far from the centre/local “shop” so forced us out at lunch when we could have happily stayed there for food. I didn’t really like their vegetarian option for dinner, i felt it was a bit limiting.
The staff however were very accommodating and helpful, although there was a slight language barrier they still guided us to the medina and tried to assist on directions/taxi’s whenever we asked. I didn’t like the location as it was down some alleys and poorly lit at night (no light in fact) but the Riad felt like a nice safe-haven and it was quiet away from the Medina.

8/10,

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Rates for Riad Ariha