Riad Jaaneman

Marrakech, Morocco Book from Book from £155 per night

A fashionable 5-suite retreat in the medina, with a tropical courtyard, cool roof terrace and designer interiors
After a heady day getting lost in the medina, bartering in the souks and dodging snake charmers, you’ll almost certainly find yourself in need of an escape. And Riad Jaanamen is just the place. As you veer off down a dark alley and enter through a conspicuous side door, you could never imagine that what hides inside could be so beautiful, so peaceful, so zen.

The riad is set around a courtyard with exotic plants that shoot up to the heavens. Birds swoop overhead, and there’s a dipping pool for cooling off in. It all feels very tropical. Next to the courtyard are 2 salons decorated with designer lamps, an enormous fireplace, a towering mirror and trinkets from around the world. Italian owner Leonardo Giangreco, who used to live here with his family, has style in his genes and clearly spent his time in Marrakech scouring the souks for treasures. His collections decorate the 5 resplendent rooms, which each have their own quirky design themes. When you tire of wandering the souks, hide away in your chamber with a Moroccan mint tea and a plate of sticky pastries, then head up to the roof to loll on the loungers with a cool beer in hand. Divine.

Highs

  • Unique, romantic suites with vintage furniture, modern art pieces and marble bathrooms
  • The oasis-like courtyard with palms, bamboo and climbing ivy
  • Delicious breakfasts that include healthy smoothie shots and homemade yoghurt; traditional Morocco dinners are also available on request
  • Impeccable service from the staff; the vibe is relaxed and very friendly
  • Brilliant location in the heart of the medina, yet tucked away to block out all noise from outside

Lows

  • The pool isn’t really for swimming in, more for cooling off toes
  • It's a little quiet in the riad for dining in, but this might be a welcome break from the lively restaurants of the medina
  • Bees were a bit of a nuisance at breakfast, but this is a seasonal issue and staff are working hard to sort the problem
  • Although kids are welcome, the romantic atmosphere of the riad means it's not ideal for little ones

Best time to go

We think Marrakech is at its finest in springtime, when the orange blossom is out, the sun is usually shining and the temperatures are perfect for walking around in. Autumn is also great thanks to good weather conditions. Winter can be a lovely time of year, and very cosy when the fireplaces are lit. July and August are hot and probably best avoided.

Our top tips

On the way back from exploring the Jewish Quarter, call in at Kosybar for a quick tipple. It has a big open-air roof terrace and is particularly lovely at sunset.

Great for...

City Style
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Riad
  • 5
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

There are just 5 rooms - 4 upstairs and 1 downstairs. Refreshingly, no 2 are the same. Our favourite was ground-floor Leale, which is set around its own private courtyard with a trickling fountain. On one side of the courtyard is the bedroom, coloured with splashes of turquoise and royal blue; on the other is the tadelakt bathroom with white marble sinks.

Above this is Partenope, which is owner Leonardo’s favourite room (he always sleeps there when he visits). It has the same layout, with a glass-walled corridor that reveals Leale’s leafy courtyard below, but is decorated with Italian artworks and has a dazzling emerald marble sink.

We stayed next door in Hima, the lowest grade room, but you’d be hard-pushed to know it. It has a charming hand-painted ceiling, lovely vintage chests and old maps on the walls. Also on this floor are Gemeaux, the red room with space for 2 extra beds, and Nefelibata, which has an African theme and 2 walk-in dressing rooms.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is impressive - the best we had in Morocco. It starts from a very leisurely 8am and can be served in the courtyard or on the roof terrace. Sip fresh OJ, choose your preferred type of coffee (the perks of a having an Italian owner!), and tuck into fresh cakes, toast, fruits, homemade vanilla yoghurt, Moroccan pancakes, creamy smoothie shots, and eggs cooked any way.

Other meals are available on request, though you’ll probably find that most guests eat out. If you do want to dine in, let the staff know first thing so that they have time to prepare. We tucked into stuffed aubergine, followed by a fragrant lamb tagine with apricots, and a sticky poached pear with walnuts to finish.

There are loads of restaurants nearby, and the staff will be happy to help with suggestions and bookings. Madeline, the manager, recommended Salama for dinner with a view, or Terrasse des Epices if you don’t want to venture too far. Her favourite place, however, is Comtpoir Darna, which is located a little way out from the centre (you’ll probably need to take a taxi), but is totally worth the trip thanks to the fabulous food, drinks and belly dancing shows.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Haggle for handmade rugs, leather babouche slippers, pretty lanterns and other traditional handicrafts in the souks. They are a 5-minute walk from the hotel, and Madeline has drawn up a very helpful map that pinpoints what you can buy where
  • Have a look inside Dar El Bacha Palace, which is an excellent showcase of ornate Moroccan architecture, with colourful tilework, painted ceilings and orange trees in the courtyard
  • Explore the Jewish quarter, which houses El Badi Palace and the Saadian tombs
  • Stroll around Majorelle Garden, 2.5 acres of lush tropical foliage that surround a cubist villa with 3 different museums inside
  • Go on an excursion to the Atlas Mountains or the desert; in winter you can do a day trip to the ski slopes at Oukaimeden
  • Relax at the riad with an in-room massage or beauty treatment, and a mint tea on the roof terrace

      Activities on site or nearby include:

      • Historical sites
      • Museums / galleries
      • Private guided tours
      • Shopping / markets
      • Traditional cultures
      • Well being

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, but there isn’t a huge amount to keep little ones occupied. We think it would be best suited to older children; the atmosphere is very relaxed so noisy toddlers might disrupt the peace!

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Gemeaux is recommended for families as it’s slightly larger than most of the other rooms and can fit 2 extra beds.

Children's meals:

Kids' menu available

Families Should Know:

Steps up to the rooms and roof terrace are steep and winding.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Riad Jaaneman is located in the medina, close to Dar El Bacha taxi stop and a 10-minute walk north from the main square Jemaa el-Fna

By Air:
Fly into Marrakech airport (5km). From here, take a taxi, or use the hotel's airport transfer service (must be arranged in advance).

By Car:
You really won't want to drive around Marrakech given the narrow labyrinthine streets - far better to walk and get taxis. But if you're planning to explore further afield see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Marrakech 5.3 km MAR

Other:

  • Beach 180.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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