“Hard to find, hard to leave: a beautiful and homely 7-room riad on the edge of Marrakech’s old city”
Narrow stairs wind up to the 7 double or twin bedrooms, which are spread over 2 floors in the main house and the adjacent guest wing. Most feature silk drapes, plump cushions, snuggly rugs and warm colours; they’re not as lavish as some riads, but the overall effect is homely and very comfortable.
The newer rooms in the guest wing are generally brighter-coloured. We stayed in the Red Room when we last visited in 2014, and we loved the vibrant walls (painted to match the bougainvillea outside) and the open fireplace (which staff will light on request). Rooms in the main house are decorated in more subdued tones and are further from the pool, so they're a little quieter.
All rooms have ensuite bathrooms with showers (the Ground-Floor Room in the main house also has a tub). Ours had an impressive domed ceiling, while the Yellow Room's bathroom is covered in chequered mosaics which are surprisingly gentle on the eye (and handy for a monster game of chess). The tapering stone shower enclosures are ingeniously practical (if only one’s torso was equally V-shaped), and you’ll find pool towels, bathrobes, toiletries and even bathroom scales.
Other practicalities include wall-mounted heating/air-con units, satellite TVs, DVD players, Hi-Fi units (there are DVDs and CDs to borrow downstairs) and, in the main house rooms, free WiFi. You won’t get high-spec gadgetry such as flat-screen TVs or iPod docks, but somehow that only adds to the charm of the place. Baby cots can be added to most rooms, but those wanting an extra bed should book the Red Room or one of the First-Floor Rooms in the main house.
A good breakfast (all the standard continental fare plus muesli, eggs and cheese) is served either around a large cedar-wood table in the main house, by the open hearth of the guest-wing dining room, or under the sun on one of the roof terraces.
Other meals are available with advance notice, and the food is tasty stuff indeed. Beautifully prepared lunches normally consist of a choice of salads and hot dishes, served with fruit and orange juice - perhaps chicken with saffron rice and cumin, stuffed calamari, or tuna with preserved lemons and couscous. For dinner, chef Fatima, who has worked for Gaby since long before Riad Noga opened, can prepare either traditional Moroccan feasts or ‘international gourmet’ meals. We opted for the former, and tucked into delicious grilled artichokes, a lamb and sweet potato tagine and homemade ice cream, all washed down with a bottle of crisp white Moroccan wine.
If you fancy eating out, there are many good restaurants a short walk away and further afield in the newer part of town - Gaby and her staff can provide plenty of recommendations and book taxis if needed.
Tranquillity being the riad’s trump card, children are expected to be well-behaved. That said, entertainments on offer include the pool, TV-surfing and the pets (including a whistling African grey parrot and a tortoise). There's a discount for under 12s in their own room; or they stay for free if sharing with parents (cots can be provided, and extra beds can be added to the Red Room and the First-Floor Rooms in the main house). Babysitting can also be arranged.
Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking