“Tranquil riad with simple elegant design, hammam and plunge pool”
How lovely, by contrast, to stay in this soothing space, created from two family houses over a 2 year restoration period using traditional craftsmanship and authentic materials yet deploying a contemporary Zen-chic sensibility. An anonymous door gives onto two marble courtyards with a fountain apiece and a cooling plunge pool, linked by a comfortable small salon. There's a dining area on the floor above, plus a rooftop with seating and views aloft. The restful decorative scheme of white and grey is embellished only by some carved plaster, calligraphy, occasional artworks, and etched glass. Bespoke furniture is locally made and up to date. The 8 suites are spread over both storeys, and are named after jewels. The English owners, sisters Beryl and Barbara, are experienced at running riads and ably assist with reservations and recommendations. A gem.
- A calm clean haven in deliberate contrast to the bustling Medina with restrained elegant interiors in both common areas and suites
- Thoughtful, helpful service
- Small solar-heated hammam and spa on the ground floor offering both Moroccan and western treatments
- A choice of areas to relax in from the rooftop to 2 courtyards and a salon
- Accessible room rates
- Breakfast only, but other meals can be provided on request
- Although many are referred to as 'suites', some rooms are not large
- In a quieter, more out of the way part of the Medina which can be tricky to find - when you arrive a member of the team will meet you from the transfer drop-off point and help you get your bearings
- Don't expect much in the way of in-riad entertainment - the point is that this is a less is more environment
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Riad
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Plunge Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Satellite TV in salon
Understated and calming, the 8 bedrooms are each named after jewel colours, denoted by little accents in their décor. As befits an old building, they are all unique in shape, size and layout.
Ground-floor Junior Suite Amethyst has French doors onto the communal courtyards. Similarly, Sapphire opens onto the petite courtyard, a quieter part of the riad that gives the effect of having a semi-private terrace.
Up on the first floor, adjacent Luxury Suite Topaz and Suite Amber are handily located for families. Each has a four-poster double bed and a wraparound sofa / single bed. We stayed in Topaz and loved its domed ceiling with inset coloured glass; Amber has a pyramid skylight. The Cinnibar Luxury Suite has a fireplace.
Of the three Suites, Ebony has a wonderful menzeh (a traditional latticed alcove) and Peridot has a chaise longue.
Walls are smooth white plaster; floors are polished grey tadelakt; cupboards have ample space. Grey tadelakt tiled shower bathrooms have complimentary Natus organic toiletries. Amethyst and Peridot also have bathtubs. All rooms can be made up with twin beds apart from Topaz and Amber.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Plunge pool
- Safe box
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.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian menu
- Shop as if your life depended on it in the Medina
- Go on a day trip to the Atlas Mountains to take in some Berber culture
- Relax at the riad in the calm courtyards, splash in the plunge pool, work on your tan on the rooftop
- Enjoy a treatment in the spa or recline in the hammam
- Visit the wondrous Majorelle Garden created by Yves Saint Laurent
- Clutch a bunch of herbs to your nose while witnessing the almost medieval tanneries
- Ride a camel in the Palmeraie
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
Children are welcome here, but this isn't really the right set up for kids. There are no special facilities for them, unforgiving marble steps, an unfenced pool and a quiet calm ambiance suited to older couples.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
All rooms can take a baby cot. Sapphire, Amethyst and Ebony can take an extra bed, Peridot has a chaise longue for a child to sleep on if required. Of the Luxury Suites, Topaz and Amber have sofas that can convert to single beds. Amber can take 2 extra children or adults, and Topaz one adult and one child. Peridot and Amethyst both have baths as well as showers.
English speaking babysitters are available on request.
Kids Activities on site:
There are some games in the salon (Scrabble, Monopoly).
Families Should Know:
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.
- Airport: 20 minutes
- Hospital: 15 minutes
- Shops: 1 minute
Riad Sapphire is in Sidi bin Slimane, in the northern section of Marrakech's Medina.
Fly into Marrakech Menara (15km). Click on the link below for a list of airlines.
By Train / Bus:
Marrakech has good rail and bus connections to the rest of Morocco, including Casablanca and Agadir.
From the Airport
Riad Sapphire can arrange a transfer, see Rates, or you could take a taxi.
If you do want to hire a car (for your travels outside Marrakech), see our car rental recommendations.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Morocco and getting around
- Marrakech Menara 15.0 km RAK
- Beach 180.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km