Riyad El Cadi

Marrakech, Morocco Book from

Reviewed by Sarah Notton
Tranquil and stunningly decorated riad in the heart of Marrakech’s bustling medina (15 rooms)
This place is like a private art museum, but without a trace of stuffiness. Home of a former German ambassador, the riad makes an exotic, idyllic base from which to explore the souks and palaces of Marrakech. Spread over 7 interconnecting houses, this 14th-century building has been turned into an elegant ‘home from home’ - a glorious mix of chic, comfort, hospitality and art. Wander around the labyrinth of rooms, staircases, balconies and alcoves and you’ll discover magnificent Berber and Islamic art treasures - a true feast for culture-vultures.

The more epicurean, meanwhile, can enjoy the plunge pool, the hammam (steam bath), the tented roof terrace, the library, and some excellent food and wine served in a quasi house-party atmopshere. Five minutes walk from the front door is the famous Djemaa el-Fna square, bustling with snake-charmers, storytellers, medicine men and food stalls, in what has been described as one of the world’s greatest shows.


  • Your own private museum of north African art
  • An oasis of calm 10 minutes from Dj. El-Fna
  • Delicious food served by welcoming staff
  • Perfect for a large group rental (15 rooms) or for families
  • There's a plunge pool and most rooms have air-conditioning to provide welcome relief from the heat


  • It’s not a hotel, so don’t expect instant service
  • Its location down the narrow alleyways of the medina requires a good sense of direction, especially at night
  • And this means a 10-15 minute walk to reach it from the nearest taxi drop-off point - though porters are at hand

Best time to go

Marrakech is baking in the summer months – a dry but relentless heat beats down on the city, although the plunge pool and air-conditioning helps. The best times to visit are the spring and autumn. By the end of October the evenings are cold, although the midday sun is still warm enough to bask in.

Peak periods include Easter, Christmas/ New Year and the annual Festival of Folklore that takes place in June/July. The riad is open all year.

Our top tips

Come in June for the extravaganza that is the Festival of Folklore, ending with a Berber musket-firing cavalry charge.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Riad Hotel
  • 15
  • Restaurant (guests only)
  • 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


The 15 stylish and peaceful rooms and suites all differ in size, décor and layout, with some having the welcome addition of air-conditioning, plus a bath instead of shower. Larger suites also feature a separate child’s room, fireplace, sitting area and kitchenette. The Senior and Master Suites also have TV's. Unlike some traditional riads, the bathrooms are fitted to a high standard and the beds are comfortable, though those in the Blue House are quite narrow (140cm). Don't be surprised to find your double bed made up with 2 single duvets, German style - the owners are German.

Aesthetes will delight in the historic objets d’art that grace each room. Lie in bed staring up at the 18th-century painted ceiling in the Douiriya Suite, or step into the Chaouen Suite through an intricately patterned door, carved in the homonymous town in northern Morocco. With this kind of decor in your bedroom, you need hardly venture out to the museums!

Features include:

  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Plunge pool
  • Terrace
  • WiFi


A simple Moroccan-style breakfast is included and served on the tented roof terrace (weather permitting) or in the courtyard under the orange trees. Expect breads, pastries, honey and jam, teas and coffee, fruit salad, homemade yoghurt, cheese and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Lunch and dinner are available daily, and Hassan and his team will prepare whatever takes your fancy - a traditional tagine or couscous, or something less exotic (but no less delicious) like a lamb burger or leek and potato soup! Vegetarians and other diets can be catered for, given advance warning. There is a good selection of local wine and some nice German wines as well. Meals are served wherever you wish - in your room, at a private table in one of the courtyards, or more communally in the dining room. All rooms have complimentary water and some also have basic cooking facilities: fridge, small hob, saucepan, crockery etc.

If you want to explore the city’s culinary delights, see our restaurant recommendations.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Haggle your way around Marrakech’s evocative and fascinating souks offering a bewildering array of textiles, carpets, leatherwork, spices and jewellery

  • Wander down to the tanneries to witness one of Morocco’s oldest, and smelliest, arts

  • Engross yourself in the all-singing, all-dancing, fire-eating, snake-charming, food-vending madness of Djemaa el-Fna

  • Take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage around Marrakech’s main sights including the Koutoubia Mosque, Palais el-Badi and the Saadian tombs

  • Seek shade in Le Jardin Majorelle, tropical gardens lovingly restored by Yves St Laurent

  • Dine in lavish surroundings at one of Marrakech’s grand palace restaurants

  • Play golf at one of three 18-hole courses 10-15 minutes away by 'petit taxi'

  • Escape to the Atlas mountains for a trek or just some fresh air

  • Or to the southern deserts for a camel trek or just a glimpse of endless dunes

  • Or to the Atlantic Coast for a swim, surf or a lunch of fresh fish

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures


Chic, tranquil and a maze of staircases and corridors, the riad may not be the ideal environment for young children, although they are welcomed and the riad's staff is well accustomed to children. All ages are welcomed; we think it's best for older children and teens.

Under 12's stay free, and cots are supplied for babies without charge.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Two of the Junior Suites (Chaouen and Douiriya) have a second bedroom and can accommodate extra beds (on request), while the Blue House, rented as a 2-bedroom whole, will suit family groups. Some bathrooms have baths; others have showers. Ask on booking if it is important.


French-speaking babysitting available by arrangement; English-speaking babysitting might also be possible. See rates.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors available that work from the restaurant to bedrooms.

Baby equipment:

  • 2 cots
  • Baby bedding
  • Potty
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Food is available all day, with special early dinners for children, half portions of adult mains and a kids menu. You can also self-cater in some suites - again, request self-catering when booking. There are cafés in walking distance.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool (unheated) in shared courtyard
  • Some toys and books for toddlers

Kids Activities nearby:

  • The souk, snake charmers and musicians of Djemma el Fna
  • Horse carriage (calèche) rides
  • Playgrounds
  • Horse and camel riding
  • Oasiria Waterpark (20 minutes away)

Families Should Know:

The pool and stairs inside the riad are unfenced. While the riad is accustomed to babies and children, its rather fine artwork and interior design does need to be respected - tiny tearaways won't be appreciated.


  • Airport: 20 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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