“Feel utterly spoilt with unstinting personal attention in this magnificent 200-year-old mansion inside the ancient medina walls”
Each of the 11 rooms and suites is refined and elegant, with an open fireplace, soft lighting, antique furniture, incredible rugs, exclusive fabrics and a well-appointed marble bathroom with a tub (except Senior Suite Ambar, which has a rain shower only).
In addition each room offers its own individual elements, such as a wooden room divider, a canopy, gold ornaments, wooden chests, brass or tile works, art and other beautiful Moroccan details. Some of the suites also feature intricately carved domed ceilings or raised platform sleeping areas.
Beds are large and extremely comfortable; we didn’t want to get up in the morning. All rooms have kingsize beds (except Deluxe Room L’Orientale and Superior Deluxe Room Samar, which have queensize beds). Towels and bathrobes are thick and fluffy, and little extras like heated towel racks, double sinks and shaving mirrors are nice touches. All rooms are fitted with air-conditioning, safes, telephones, flat-screen TVs and WiFi, and there is more than ample closet and luggage space. You’ll also find a fruit basket and rose petals to welcome you.
There are 4 Deluxe and Superior Deluxe rooms, and even the smallest of these is spacious compared to most hotels' standards. The 2 Junior and 4 Senior Suites are more like small apartments, with sectional sofas, carved wooden doors or luxe curtains that can close off the rooms, and great views of the courtyard or Marrakech.
During both of our visits we were lucky enough to have the Royal Suite Bahia, which is simply breathtaking. As large as a small house, it has a living room and, up a few steps, a vast bedroom with a sitting area plus a massive bathroom with separate toilets and twin sinks. It’s perhaps the single most incredible hotel room we’ve stayed in and well worth the expense if you fancy a treat, but even the cheapest Deluxe Rooms here are exquisite.
Food here not only provides sustenance, but also an experience in itself. Every meal is worth savouring and the staff will accommodate you almost any time for lunch and dinner (the latter must be booked 24 hours in advance).
Evenings often kick off with cocktails in the courtyard as traditional Gnawa music (a mix of African, Berber and Arabic songs) is played. You then make your way over to your table - perhaps in your room or under the moon on the rooftop terrace - for a lavish 4-7 course feast. The Moroccan starter is much more than the name implies: a sampler of several different dishes, all equally scrumptious. This is followed by soup (perhaps lentil and chickpea), a traditional pastilla, meat or vegetarian tagines with sides, and decadent desserts (a creamy mille-feuille when we last visited), all accompanied by fine wine.
If you fancy something lighter, opt for the Moroccan salad (in reality a 6-course spread of empanadas, olives, couscous and other little delicacies), or order a glass of wine and a late-night snack to enjoy by the fire in the library.
Breakfast is just as spoiling, with delicious homemade pastries, breads and jams, fresh juice, rich coffee, yoghurts, eggs, perhaps even pancakes. The spread changes slightly every day (a nice touch if you’re staying for a few nights), and we suggest taking it in one of the lovely rooftop tents.
Riad Kniza even offers hands-on, half-day Moroccan cooking workshops - a real treat for the gourmet traveller and highly recommended.
Guests aged 12+ are welcome at Riad Kniza, although it is much more of a romantic couples' place than a family place.
Teens (over 12)
The Junior and Senior Suites can take an extra bed for no additional charge. If you are bringing more than one teenager, they will need another room unless you take the Royal Suite Bahia, which can comfortably sleep 4 people.