“Tranquil riad with simple elegant design, hammam and plunge pool”
The riad's deliberately understated and calming decor is also very manifest in the 8 bedrooms, found across the ground and first floors at Riad Sapphire, divided into Suites and Superior Suites on the basis of size. Each is named for jewel colours, denoted by the coloured tassels hanging from the central pendant light, curtains and the bespoke shaded soft suede sofas.
As befits an old building, the rooms are all unique in shape, size and layout. Cinnabar Superior Suite has a fireplace, Ebony Suite has a wonderful menzeh (a traditional latticed alcove), Peridot Suite has a chaise longue, Sapphire Suite opens onto the petite courtyard on the ground floor in effect giving it a semi-private terrace, while adjacent first-floor Superior Suites Amber and Topaz are adjacent to each other (great for families). Each has four-poster beds, which cannot be made up as twins) and wraparound sofas which can be converted to single beds. We stayed in Topaz and loved its domed ceiling with inset coloured glass (Amber has a pyramid skylight).
Walls are smooth white plaster, floors are polished grey tadelakt, and cupboards have louvred doors, ample space and safe boxes. Specially commissioned queensize beds abut alcoves or sculpted plaster headboards. Some, such as Amethyst Suite, have French doors onto courtyards. Artwork is contemporary Moroccan, and there are some black and white photos; lighting is modern in design yet retains a local feel.
All have grey tadelakt tiled shower bathrooms with complimentary Natus organic toiletries (locally-produced shampoo, conditioner, shower gel). Amethyst and Peridot also have bathtubs.
Breakfast is taken on the first-floor gallery or in the courtyard, or in room if you prefer, and consists of fruit salad, yoghurt, eggs cooked to order, freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh coffee or tea, and bread or Moroccan pancakes with butter and local jam. And you can eat at whatever time you choose. Gluten-free choices are available.
Other meals are available on request, (ideally one day in advance) see Rates. We had a most delicious lemon chicken tagine and creme caramel when we dined in one night. Traditional mint tea is available all day, and offered on arrival along with Moroccan pastries. There is no bar, but you can request drinks at any time from the staff.
Beryl and her team can make restaurant reservations; they recommend Dar Zellije, which serves traditional Moroccan food, has a great atmosphere and has a great roof terrace, just a minute's walk from Riad Sapphire and Spa.
Children are welcome here and there are cots and extra beds, plus babysitting can be arranged, but this isn't really the right set up for kids with no special facilities for them, unforgiving marble steps, an unfenced pool and a quiet calm ambiance for older couples.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
All rooms can take a baby cot. Three of the Suites - Sapphire, Amethyst and Ebony - can take an extra bed, and the fourth - Peridot - has a chaise longue for a child to sleep on if required. Of the Superior Suites, Topaz and Amber have sofas that can convert to single beds. Amber can take two extra children or adults, and Topaz one adult and one child. The Peridot and Amethyst Suites both have baths as well as showers.
English speaking babysitters are available on request.
There are some games in the salon (Scrabble, Monopoly).
The marble stairs would be rather unforgiving for toddlers taking a tumble, and the plunge pool is unfenced. The rooftop is rather uneven and has steps without a balustrade.