Riad Farnatchi

Marrakech, Morocco Book from

Chic 10-suite riad bringing luxurious style service and spa facilities to the oldest section of the Medina
Since Marrakech has become a Mecca for high-fashion shoots and swanky celebrity parties, the number of stylish riads has rocketed. Award-winning British hotelier Jonathan Wix bucked the trend and spent two years converting 3 small riads into a holiday home for family and friends. But then he was converted and convinced that his creation should be shared. And so Riad Farnatchi was born.

The original riads stood on one of the oldest parts of this exotic and classy city; some of the walls are more than 400 years old. But there’s nothing ancient about the sleek lighting and crisp decor in this chic retreat. It has the feel of a beautiful private home yet the facilities of a world-class hotel, including a beautiful spa next door. And, rest assured, mere mortals are just as welcome as models and movie stars.

Highs

  • Palatial and exquisitely decorated suites; all are pristine and immensely private
  • The beautiful white-marbled Farnatchi Spa sits next door to the hotel building; overnight guests have direct access
  • A candlelit dining rooms where delicious homecooked Moroccan suppers are served
  • Outstanding service and thoughtful little extras (complimentary Moroccan robes and in-room snacks)
  • two trainquil courtyards, one with a 7m jetstream swimming pool

Lows

  • More expensive than most riads (but worth it, as there's lots of free goodies)
  • Expect delicious homecooking rather than haute cuisine
  • Families with boisterous kids might feel self-conscious amid the peaceful ambiance
  • Can get booked up quickly

Best time to go

Farnatchi is closed in August but any other month it maintains its chic retreat status. The riad's powerful air con is most welcome in the hot May to July period.

Our top tips

If you're captivated by the beautiful wares on offer in Marrakech, ask about Riad Farnatchi's artisan craft tuition. Ranging from half-day intros to full courses, calligraphy, carpet weaving, embroidery, leather working, jewellery making, brass working, wood carving, zelige mosaic and tadelact (architectural or pottery) are all available.

Great for...

City Style
Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Riad Hotel
  • 10
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Allowed but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

Farnatchi's incredibly spacious suites have been beautifully designed in a classic Moroccan style. With high standards throughout, all have airy sitting areas, hand-made beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and a soothing sense of space.

We stayed in Suite 5, a very large open-plan room accessed via a private balcony. Beautifully tiled, it has a fireplace, a feature bed and his ‘n’ hers basins in the palatial bathroom.

Suite 1 also stood out for us. Thanks to the private courtyard garden (with fountain), it feels like a private riad within the riad. Suite 9 is also enormous, with its own courtyard and an abundance of ornate plasterwork. Those seeking a serene, pampering stay will love Suite 10. Dressed in calming whites and creams, it has direct access to the Spa and a private roof terrace.

Suite 4 has a modern, almost masculine feel with its stark steel fireplace, black velvet bed-drape and Arabic script wooden headboard. We loved the little balcony overlooking the indoor pool. Across the way, the larger balcony of Suite 3 can be seen. Inside, a stunning olive green interior and twin baths await. If you like to lie in the sun, Suites 6 and 7 have private roof terraces.

It’s the little extras that raise these rooms above the norm. Each space comes with complimentary Fez hats and djellabas, a selection of fresh fruit, Moroccan biscuits, and a mind-boggling array of Molton Brown bath products.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Tv

Eating

Evening meals are enjoyed in the candle-lit salon. It’s very good Moroccan home-cooking, which we loved. The Berber cook bakes her own khobz bread and is the creative genius behind all of Farnatchi’s food, from preserves to pastilla to pickles. We shared a pigeon pastilla to start, followed by beef and aubergine tagine. Both tasted pretty amazing. Adventurous diners can indulge in cuts such as brain, liver, heart and testicles, all fried up with spices. Meals are arranged individually for your particular palate, although only Moroccan cuisine is served.

Breakfast can be taken anywhere. We opted for the roof terrace to enjoy the skyline and fresh air. It’s a typically mammoth Moroccan spread. Lots of fruit, homemade yoghurt, various breads, fig jams. We recommend the Moroccan spiced eggs – they look a tad underwhelming, but taste amazing. Fresh squeezed orange juice and cafetiere coffee kick-start the day nicely.

Complimentary pre-supper canapés might be eaten in the semi-open-air B'hous (sitting area) overlooking the internal courtyard or in the roof garden, with its traditional Moroccan barbeque.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Set aside an indulgent afternoon and take advantage of the Farnatchi Spa - there are 2 marble hammams, treatment rooms, a wide range of treatments and healthy lunches on offer. The luxury Ila products are organic and handmade, with ingredients including Moroccan argan oil

  • Dine in lavish surroundings at one of Marrakech’s grand palace restaurants - or have the Farnatchi chef prepare a special dish and dine a deux on your balcony

  • Take a tour in a horse-drawn caleche around Marrakech’s main sights - guests taking the whole riad will have free use of one during their stay

  • Show off your souk shopping bargains to the other guests over the complimentary canapés in the sitting B'hou

  • Swim in the pool and enjoy the underwater jet stream, then lounge about in your djellaba

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Kids

The Riad accept children of all ages, but it's not ideal for younger ones as the pool has no attendant and the furnishings are not really kid-resistant.

Family friendly accommodation:

Suites 3, 5, 6 and 9 can hold an extra bed or baby cot; the rest have space for a baby cot only.

Babysitting:

Babysitters are available on request.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots can be provided if necessary.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

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

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Rates for Riad Farnatchi