“A very chic little riad tucked away in the central medina, with soothing rooms, a cool roof terrace and unbeatable prices”
There are 4 double/twin rooms and 1 suite, all looking onto the central courtyard. Like all riads, the rooms are quite narrow, and the 2 ground-floor ones (Plum and Turquoise) open straight onto the courtyard - expect a little noise at breakfast time. But leaving aside these traditional design characteristics, they are about as perfect as you will find for under 100 Euros. They're also surprisingly quiet: we heard practically no street noise, just a squeak of dawn chorus and the call to prayer from the neighbouring mosque.
The look is what you might call Scandinavia-meets-Morocco chic - the spitting image of Ariha, with the same careful craftsmanship and perhaps a tad more space. Creamy white walls and dove grey woodwork are offset by bright accents of indigo blue or pink in cushions and carpets. Pretty lanterns illuminate bedside niches, tasselled lampshades hang overhead, and chunky rugs sit on tiled or tadelakt floors. Also expect billowing white curtains, plump pillows and fresh flowers. Beds are queensize doubles (which can be made up as twins), with firm Simmons mattresses.
Ground-floor rooms have space for a cot or child's bed, but it's the 3 first-floor rooms which are the ones to go for, if possible. Ivory, where we stayed, has a beautifully preserved menzeh - a bay window with latticed woodwork overlooking the courtyard. Aubergine - our favourite - also has full-height windows, latticed at the bottom and arched up top, plus a seating corner with a working fireplace, and plenty of storage space. The suite, Indigo, has a separate sitting area with a sofa which can be made up as a single bed to create a triple room that actually has enough space for 3.
Bathrooms have peachy tadelakt walls and surfaces, most with a shower only (Indigo has a tub as well), and all with glass bottles of fragrant toiletries made from essential oils. In Ivory's, the domed ceiling has been preserved to create a quirky, hammam-like space.
Like most riad hotels, breakfast is served (included in the price, here) and other meals are available by prior arrangement. You can take your breakfast in the courtyard or the loggia, or up on the roof terrace, depending on the weather. You'll get eggs, fresh orange juice and Moroccan crumpets or pancakes, in addition to the usual continental fare.
When you check in, you'll be offered Moroccan pastries and mint tea - a nice touch - and you'll find mineral water in your room. If you're arriving in the evening and don't want to go out again for dinner, or if you just prefer to dine one evening in the pretty candlelit courtyard, ask ahead for the riad's chef to prepare a Moroccan meal to suit your tastes: tagines of lamb and prunes or lemon chicken with olives, or a vegetarian one if you prefer. We enjoyed a lovely lentil and tomato salad, tasty beef casserole with saffron rice, and crêpes with sautéed seasonal fruit. It's all freshly prepared on site, and not expensive by hotel standards (see Rates).
Most people will head out at least once to the frenzied open-air stalls and grills of Djemaa el Fna, and perhaps dine another evening in one of the more ceremonial Marrakchi restaurants. Nearby Le Foundouk comes recommended; crisp savoury pastries, succulent lamb skewers and rose-petal-strewn desserts taste as good as they look.
For a special celebration, jump on the free shuttle from Dar El Bacha (10 minutes' walk from the riad) to buzzy Bo & Zin, 5km outside town, whose tented garden seating and exotically glowing braziers are matched by the superb (but not cheap) Franco-Moroccan cuisine. It's quite a jet-setty place, filling up after 10pm with cool cocktaily couples from Marrakech and beyond. You'll find foie gras, sushi, crème brûlée and even shark tagine on the menu among the usual brochettes, couscous and pastries.
Children of all ages are welcome, and 2 rooms (Plum and Turquoise) can take an extra child's bed (1.4 x 0.7m). The suite, Indigo, can be made up as a triple room, and every room can take a cot. Having said that, neither the stairs nor the plunge pool are protected, so parents of toddlers should be aware.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking