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 because of its restrained, 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 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 splashes of fuchsia and red in cushions and bedspreads. A tented roof terrace offers views over the city roofs towards the snow-capped Atlas mountains, 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.


  • Packed with traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, yet feels beautifully light and contemporary
  • Delicious, home-cooked Moroccan and Middle Eastern food. We had a fabulous vegetarian tagine during our 2013 visit - the best of our trip
  • Delightful roof terrace with tented pergola and views of the Atlas mountains
  • Good location: 10-15 minutes walk to Djemaa el Fna square, but far enough away to feel reasonably secluded
  • Staff are extremely efficient and friendly
  • Very good value for money


  • 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
  • The dipping pool is very small
  • With only 5 rooms (and our glowing endorsement), it's often booked up - in which case try their sister property Riad Chi-Chi
  • The 2 ground-floor rooms lack privacy and can be noisy, 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
  • = 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


The overall décor is simple and restful: you get white plaster walls, dove grey woodwork, arches in doorways, crisp white bed linen. Colour is restricted to bold hues such as the fuchsia, flame, royal blue and black you find detailed in rugs, throws, the odd cushion, acting as a contrast to the white linen. Windows have beautiful wrought ironwork, wooden shutters and linen shades for privacy. Expect to find decorative arches instead of headboards, and niches next to the beds with reading lights which you can actually read by. There's air-conditioning for the summer heat, and heating for cooler winter evenings.

Every room has its own ensuite bathroom with tadlakt walls, sinks with traditional taps, and good-sized showerheads.

The largest room is Jasmine, which has its own sitting area with a fireplace, and a bathroom flooded with light from a skylight. Jacaranda, also with a sitting area, is the second largest room. Its bathroom boasts a fabulous domed ceiling as well as bathtub, shower and 2 sinks. Oleander has its own private staircase with lovely French windows overlooking the courtyard and loggia. The smaller rooms, Rose and Lemon Tree, are on the ground floor and open onto the courtyard. They do lack some privacy, although curtains and wooden doors help combat this. Couples should bear in mind that the double bed in Lemon Tree is narrower (140cm) than the other rooms (160cm or 2 x 80cm beds).

Features include:

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


You can enjoy meals all over the riad - in the courtyard, the salon, the loggia or on the roof terrace - and at almost any time of day. The simple continental breakfast consists of freshly pressed orange juice, coffee or tea, fresh bread, toast, eggs, yoghurt, Moroccan pancakes, jam and butter.

All other meals are ordered in the morning or the night before so that Khatija can go to the market to buy fresh produce. You can also order food in advance of your arrival so dinner is waiting when you arrive.

Light snacks are available - usually sandwiches, soup and salad - to more substantial dishes like pastilla and couscous. Lunch and dinner are served with hors d’œuvres of hot and cold salads and finish with dessert which can be fresh fruit, a tart or cakes. Both Moroccan, Middle Eastern and European cuisine is available although most go for traditional fare such as delicious lemon chicken tagine or lamb and apricot tagine.

Mint tea and a range of other soft drinks can also be ordered all day. 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 where alcohol is for sale. The staff can also suggest any number of fine restaurants if you wish to dine out.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Cooking classes
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Go shopping in souks (local markets) - the most famous are around the Djemaa el-Fnaa
  • 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, set amid the highest Atlas peaks; it's superb country for trekking and mountain-biking, and you can hire a car with driver for the day. Desert trips can also be arranged
  • Visit Lake Lalla Takerkoust for water sports, 40 km from Marrakech
  • Rent bicycles: cycling around Marrakech is easy and fun, and there's a hire shop on the Casablanca road
  • Go horse-riding in the Palmeraie (palm forest outside town)
  • In winter you can even go skiing 70km from Marrakech, at Oukaimeden
  • Back at the riad, you can sunbathe on the roof terrace with its views to the Atlas Mountains, 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


Children are welcome at riad Ariha.

Family friendly accommodation:

Baby cots and extra beds are available for a supplement, but Jacaranda and Jasmine are the only rooms big enough to accommodate them.


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:

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