Riad Capaldi

Marrakech, Morocco Book from

A bijou oasis in the medina: 7 rooms overlooking a beautiful courtyard, with a pool, pampering service and a panoramic roof terrace
How delicious to step from the hot, dusty chaos of the souks (with the day's treasures in hand, of course) into the white-columned serenity of Riad Capaldi’s courtyard. A labour of love for owners Ed and Tara Lyle, this stylishly restored retreat is an intimate jewel box that feels more like a private residence than a hotel.

For one thing, more than the average amount of space is dedicated to the beautiful communal areas, which range from a chandelier-lit lounge with an arched fireplace to a bougainvillea-trimmed roof terrace with views stretching all the way to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Then there's the above-and-beyond service from the staff, who think nothing of walking you to and from nearby restaurants, and the contemporary Moroccan-style rooms and suites, which have hand-carved furniture and sumptuous fabrics. Days begin with breakfast on the roof, with the city’s exotic markets spread out at your feet, and end with drinks or dinner in the sun-splashed courtyard, which glows pink after dark in the light of romantic red-glass lanterns; just perfect.

Highs

  • An unbeatable location, steps from the souks and restaurants of the medina, 10 minutes' walk from Djemaa el Fna, and near landmarks such as the Musée de Marrakech and the Ben Youssef Medersa
  • Plenty of space to unwind, including the sprawling roof terrace, a library and a cosy salon with a fireplace for cooler evenings
  • Wonderful breakfasts-with-a-view, plus tasty Moroccan lunches and dinners on request
  • Round-the-clock care from the on-site manager and his staff, who organise excursions and provide recommendations
  • Easily combined with a few days at The Capaldi, Ed and Tara’s country hotel in the Atlas Mountains' foothills

Lows

  • Rooms lack privacy due to glass doors and windows (but you can close the wooden shutters)
  • Being in the medina, it's hidden down a narrow pedestrianised walkway - not easy to find or accessible by taxi
  • It's also next door to a mosque, so you'll hear the early morning call to prayer
  • WiFi is only available in the ground-floor communal areas
  • No children under 12

Best time to go

Marrakech is at its best in spring and autumn, when it's warm but not oppressively hot. The city bakes in the summer months of July and August. By the end of October the evenings are cold, although the midday sun is still warm enough to bask in. The weather in winter, from November to March, ranges from cold and rainy to balmy and clear.

Our top tips

Ask the concierge to recommend a shopping guide for at least one trip to the souks. We got a guided tour, a history lesson, a behind-the-scenes peek at metal, leather and rug workshops and help with haggling - all with no pressure to buy.

Great for...

City Style
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Games and books to borrow
Room: Jasmine

Rooms

Each room and suite is individually decorated, with shuttered windows and French doors that bring in plenty of sunlight. The poetically named rooms open directly onto an arched walkway overlooking the inner courtyard. Most are doubles, but Cinamon and Ivoire can be set up as twins on request. We loved Jasmine's fireplace - perfect for cosy winter evenings.

The suites are much more private. Oulidia is tucked around the corner and it's double bedroom has stairs leading up to a private area of the roof terrace. Largest is the 2-storey Dome Suite, a mini palace with a separate lounge, delicate white fretwork, cut-metal lamps and intricately painted woodwork. Stunning.

Gorgeous Moroccan details include herringbone bejmat floors, Berber rugs, hand-carved bedside tables, traditional black-wood ceilings and velvet curtains pooling by the door. Ensuite shower bathrooms have dark polished tadelakt walls and traditional copper fittings.

Luxurious amenities include Egyptian cotton sheets and towels, robes and slippers, artisan soaps and shampoos, complimentary bottled water, and vases of fresh flowers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Complimentary bottled water and fresh flowers
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Terrace in Oulidia and the Dome Suite
  • Toiletries
  • TV and DVD player in the Dome Suite
  • WiFi

Eating

A traditional breakfast is served every morning on the roof terrace, in the courtyard or in the dining room. Expect fresh bread, Moroccan pastries, homemade jams from sister hotel The Capaldi, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and tea, fruit salad, yoghurt and a choice of eggs.

Lunches and dinners can be ordered with a few hours’ notice; the manager will discuss the menu with you. Our supper was an absolute feast of Moroccan dishes, including delicious pastillas, lamb tagine, spiced vegetables and butter-soft poached pear for pudding. There’s also a short but well-chosen wine list.

Staff are always happy to recommend restaurants, make reservations and even walk you there and back. Le Foundouk, an easy stroll from the hotel, is known for its authentic Moroccan cuisine, stylish interiors and lovely roof terrace.

Features include:

  • All-day snacks and drinks
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Experience the souks - a multi-sensory adventure - and tour Marrakech’s spectacular historical sites - the Saadian Tombs, the Musée de Marrakech (housed in the stunning Dar Menebhi Palace), and the 14th-century Ben Youssef Medersa, once the largest Islamic school in Morocco
  • Browse the Maison de la Photographie. Just 50m from Riad Capald, it houses photographs depicting life in Morocco in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and its roof terrace is a great place to stop for mint tea or a tagine
  • Visit Yves Saint Laurent's 12-acre Majorelle Garden, a short taxi ride from the medina and filled with cacti, palms, trickling fountains and giant bamboo
  • Book an expedition to the Atlas Mountains. Ride a camel, go trekking or hot-air ballooning or enjoy a quiet lunch, a swim or a stay Riad Capaldi's peaceful sister hotel
  • Back at the riad, sunbathe on the roof terrace, cool off in the pool, browse art books in the library or compare purchases in the lovely salon

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking

Kids

The riad is aimed at couples, and the stairs, open galleries and roof terrace are not safe for young children. Those over 12 are welcome, but there are no extra beds and only one room (Cinamon) can be set up as a twin.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

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

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