Riad Enija

Marrakech, Morocco Book from Eur230

Live like a pasha in this ultra-stylish riad with lush gardens, secret courtyards and an impressive restaurant, hidden amidst the souks of Marrakech
Imagine a young girl walking with a ginger cat and a large dog through an exotic leafy courtyard to see ‘Lion’, ‘Chameleon’ or ‘Prince’. It sounds like an extract from a Lewis Carroll book, but it's a real scene in Marrakech’s most fairy-tale hotel.

The girl is Enija, daughter of Swedish architect Bjorn Conerdings and Swiss designer Ursula Haldimann. The setting is a 200-year-old silk-traders’ palace, transformed by Bjorn and Ursula into an ultra-stylish maison d’hotes. Lion, Chameleon and Prince are 3 of the 15 spacious and meticulously decorated rooms and suites (fabrics and colours by Ursula, structure by Bjorn). The animals are the family pets. And the exotic courtyard? Well, you can see for yourself. There's more - tropical gardens, burbling fountains - around every corner. But the magic does not stop there: step outside and you are in the heart of Marrakech’s humming souks, colourful alleys and bustling bazaars.

Highs

  • Exuberant, petal-perfect decor makes this perhaps the most stylish and exotic of the medina's many restored riads
  • Ursula’s friendly yet discreet and excellent service maintains the style
  • The Moroccan cuisine is delicious; be sure to take a cooking class whilst here!
  • Two courtyards, tropical gardens, a pool and several terraces offer total tranquility after the buzzing souks
  • The medina's prime markets and shops are on your doorstep

Lows

  • Come after a mountain trek and you might feel out of place (or fashion)
  • Don't expect 5* facilities - no bedroom phones, TV, radio, air-con or front desk (though staff are extremely obliging)
  • It’s not cheap
  • Early booking is essential

Best time to go

The heat is oppressive in June and August, while January and February can be cloudy and quite cold (but the most promising snow-wise for skiing in the Atlas).

Our top tips

Shopaholics could spend a lifetime in the souks of Marrakech, but 3-4 days might be a more sensible target. It’ll take newcomers 2 to find their way around the medina, and a third to recover.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Makes the grade
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Riad Hotel
  • 15
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • 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
  • Cooking lessons
  • Market trips
Room:

Rooms

After an exhausting day seeking out curio shops and snake charmers (or avoiding them), you need to be cosseted. Riad Enija will cosset you, and in style.

All bedrooms are spacious and airy, many of them with windows or terraces overlooking one of the courtyards; most have a dressing or sitting area. They are all unashamedly romantic, and many have antique four-poster beds.

For those who want to splash out, the Lezard suite is the largest, while at the other end of the scale the Patio room is cosy and warm but, being right on the courtyard, less private. One of the most exotic rooms is Lion, with its ornate wall tiling and carved doors onto the courtyard.

All have their own bathroom, but not all are ensuite - you may have to cross a corridor. Some bathrooms are long and thin, others more compact; expect vivid-coloured walls, an old roll-top tub or a shower.

For full descriptions of each room, see our Rates page.

Features include:

  • Wifi internet
  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Bathrobes

Eating

The assault on your senses continues at dinnertime, with the heady aromas of cumin, coriander and saffron drifting out into the moonlit evening. Trace them back into the kitchen and you can freely watch the riad’s cook at work.

The menu consists of a choice between 2 starters, followed by a main and desert. If there's anything you don't like, or would love to try, just let staff know and they'll pick something up specially from the market. Dine inside at a mosaic, candle-lit table, or outside in the garden courtyard to the sound of twittering birdsong and distant muezzin.

Either way, leave enough space for a healthy and delightfully presented breakfast the following morning: homemade bread, delicious herby omelettes, pancakes, fresh fruit and orange juice.

There are numerous salads, sandwiches and soups available for lunch; there's a menu left in each room.

If you prefer to dine in town, there is no shortage of options and staff can advise.

Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Walk to restaurants
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Engross yourself in the all-singing, all-dancing, fire-eating, snake-charming, food-vending madness of Djemaa el Fna, 10 minutes' walk away
  • Shopping is a national pastime, and the souks are only a short walk away (official guides can be arranged). Refresh yourself with a dip in the pool on your return
  • Play golf at one of three 18-hole courses 10-15 minutes away by 'petit taxi'
  • Escape to the Atlas mountains for a trek or just some fresh air
  • Or to the southern deserts for a camel trek or a glimpse of endless dunes
  • Or to the Atlantic Coast for a swim, surf or a lunch of fresh fish
  • In winter, Oukaimeden ski centre (open December to March) is just 2 hours south of Marrakech

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Museum
  • Private guided tours
  • Trekking
  • Shopping

Kids

Children should be safe (and endlessly entertained) in Marrakech, but crowded alleys are tricky for buggies, and it is easy to get lost. Extra beds are free for children under 8 years, and discounted for older children.

Family friendly accommodation:

Most rooms can fit an extra bed or baby cot.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape