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 and its cooling pool. 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 a view that stretches 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 in the 6 rooms and 1 suite, 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.


  • 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 set out snacks, organise excursions, provide recommendations and even lend out pre-programmed mobile phones to dial should you get lost
  • Easily combined with a few days at The Capaldi, Ed and Tara’s brand-new country retreat in the Atlas Mountains, so a good option for a 2-centre holiday


  • No children under 12 - the focus here is on romance and relaxation
  • It’s hidden down one of the thousands of dark alleys in the medina - not easy to find or accessible by taxi
  • Rooms can feel a little snug, but this is an authentically renovated building and the décor makes the most of the small spaces
  • No massages available on site (unlike many Marrakech riads), but a highly recommended spa is only 50m away
  • WiFi is only available in the communal areas

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
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • 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


The poetically named rooms - Cinamon, Ivoire, Rose, Olivier, Jasmine, Oulidia, the Dome Suite - open onto an arched walkway overlooking the inner courtyard. Each is individually decorated, with shuttered windows and French doors that bring in plenty of sunlight and show off gorgeous Moroccan details: herringbone bejmat floors dotted with Berber rugs, hand-carved bedside tables, traditional black-wood ceilings, silk sconces and cushions, velvet curtains pooling by the door. Background colours such as warm taupe and olive are accented with rich purple fabrics, gold wall hangings, Mauritanian wooden artefacts and copper-framed mirrors.

All rooms have a double or kingsize bed (Cinamon and Ivoire can be set up as twins on request), a chair or cushioned bench, and an ensuite shower bathroom with polished tadelakt walls and traditional copper fittings. Olivier and Jasmine also have small sitting areas (with a fireplace in the latter), and Oulidia has a private terrace. Largest is the 2-storey Dome Suite, a mini palace with a separate lounge, a terrace, delicate white fretwork, cut-metal lamps and intricately painted woodwork.

Luxurious amenities include Egyptian cotton sheets and towels, robes and slippers, artisan soaps and shampoos, complimentary bottled water, and vases of fresh flowers. All rooms have heating, air-conditioning and a safe; the Dome Suite also has a TV and DVD player.

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


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.

Light snacks (club sandwiches, pasta, salads) and drinks are available throughout the day, and 2- or 3-course lunches and dinners can be ordered with a few hours’ notice. The manager will discuss the menu with you; the mostly Moroccan dishes include pastillas, tagines, kefta, couscous and salads, as well as a few European staples. There’s also a short but well-chosen wine list. We enjoyed a delicious lunch of lamb and vegetable tagines, served in the dappled shade of the roof terrace just as the Friday call to prayer began.

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. Another must is Al Fassia, legendary because it is owned and run by women, while Le Comptoir is the place for lively music and belly dancing - both are a 10-minute taxi ride from Riad Capaldi. We also recommend wandering over to Djemaa el Fna (the medina’s vast main square) at sunset, when it becomes a huge open-air restaurant lined with food stalls, storytellers, musicians and snake-charmers.

Features include:

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


  • Experience the souks - a multi-sensory adventure. Visit workshops to watch traditional craftsmen at work, then shop for silks, spices, leather goods, baboush slippers, jewellery and intricate cut-metal lamps. The hotel concierge can recommend a guide to help you navigate your way around, or provide a pre-programmed mobile phone if you want to go it alone
  • Tour Marrakech’s spectacular historical sites - the Saadian Tombs, where 16th-century sultans lie in lavish chambers, 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 (photography museum). It's only 50m from Riad Capaldi and i-escape guests get free entry. 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
  • Indulge in a traditional hammam, or get pampered at one of the city’s spas. We liked the spa at Riad Farnatchi, a short walk from the hotel, and Les Bains de Marrakech, 10 minutes away by taxi
  • 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 away from the crowded medina at Riad Capaldi's 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


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:

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