“Modern design meets Moroccan flair: a chic riad with lamplit courtyards, roof terrace and cool, understated décor”
It's converted from a pair of riads, whose 2 shady courts lead into each other, one with an ornately tiled fountain, the other with a rose-petalled splash pool. The suites and rooms bristle with design details: copper lanterns, Balinese mirrors, egg-smooth tadelakt bathtubs. Up on the roof, under a loggia hung with gauzy textiles, the manager knows just when to offer cocktails or mint tea to guests lazing in the afternoon sunshine. The laid back atmosphere - everyone is made to feel at home, nothing is too much trouble - will delight couples seeking both style and substance on a long weekend break or some post-trek pampering.
- Stunning, eclectic décor, which mixes modern and Moroccan pieces
- A calm and classy haven, set in a quiet part of the medina
- Pretty courtyards planted with palms and orange trees; and a large open-air roof lounge
- A huge tadelakt hammam
- Don't expect to swim in the splash pool - it's more for cooling toes and limbs
- If you want lunch or dinner, you'll need to order in advance
- As always in the medina, the nearest car park is a short walk away (about 5 minutes)
- The medina is a maze, so take a guide or a good map to visit the souks, which are a 10- to 20-minute walk from the hotel
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Riad Hotel
- 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
Each of the rooms and suites has been cleverly renovated so that European comforts - crisp sheets, flawless plumbing - sit beautifully alongside original architectural details like hand-painted ceilings, latticed windows and keyhole-arched doorways. On top of that you get genuine design panache, ranging from gleaming brass door details to Starck chairs and beautifully sculpted stone basins. The owners have sourced furniture from Bali and Italy as well as North Africa, and you can tell that real care has been taken.
We were lucky enough to stay in the Arab Suite. Glass doors open onto a skylit hall where a blue sofabed is strewn with cushions, and a brown leather desk artfully holds an Aladdin’s lamp and trinkets. An archway leads into the sand coloured tadelakt bathroom, with power shower, toilet, twin basins and enormous bathtub. A tall, pale blue wooden door slides sideways to hide the wardrobe space (clever!) and reveal the bedroom. Windows with dark wood lattice shutters overlook a private balcony and the courtyard below. The tadelakt fireplace and sheepskin rug on the bed are as welcome in winter as the air-conditioning is in summer. But the trump card of this suite is the private roof terrace, with sun loungers and trailing roses.
The other rooms are no less stylish or unique, though they may lack the outside space. Expect wood- or iron-latticed windows over the court, carved wooden chairs, antique photographs and modern artwork, ornate copper lanterns and sleek designer lamps. Bedspreads and chaises are covered in local textiles; tadelakt bathrooms offer bath salts from decorative bottles.
The Ennafora and Menzeh Suites have tadelakt fireplaces - though the Ennafora Suite’s ground floor location makes it less private. The double-bedded Basha Suite has a stunning 300-year-old hand-painted ceiling, and can link with the double-bedded Berber Deluxe Room, via a shared lounge, to make a fantastic family apartment. The Mesrya Junior Suite makes up for its compact size with a pretty little veranda. While the Sabba Junior and Arab Suites have additional sofabeds and the former has a split-level sitting area.
Since our last visit, three new suites have been created: Mrah Junior Suite, Nour Junior Suite and Azro Suite. Though we haven't seen them for ourselves, we hear they're equally stylish.
All rooms except the Ennafora Suite and Berber Deluxe Room have air-conditioning.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Fruit basket
- Safe box
- Yoga mat
With advance warning, lunch and dinner can be served by the pool, in your room, or in the courtyard, sitting around low wooden tables on leather pouffes. Or you can dine on the roof, where rattan parasols shelter small metal tables from the sun; there's a small kitchen up there, and a sofa'd b’hou (loggia) for reclining with a mint tea afterwards. A poolside lunch might be a salad caprese or nicoise, or a Moroccan salad of aubergine and tomato served with freshly baked bread. Dinner could be harira (a Berber soup), a lamb pastilla or a chicken tagine served with almonds and lemons. As usual in Morocco, there is no alcohol served in the hotel.
Breakfast, also served on the roof or in the courtyard, consists of fresh fruit, yoghurt, honey, croissants, pancakes, bread, coffee or tea, and fresh orange juice. Room service can be arranged but is not 24 hours.
For those suffering couscous overdose, the manager recommended a good colonial French restaurant, Grand Café de la Poste, in the modern quarter of Guéliz, though it’s less atmospheric than medina restaurants. His advice to visit the bar at Le Comptoir, also in Gueliz, for chic cocktails and fabulous entertainment. Another tagine-free option is Foundouk, a smartly refurbed caravanserai in the Mokef quarter, where trendy French media types enjoy nouvelle Franco-Moroccan cuisine such as magret de canard with caramelised peaches.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Explore the souks with a guide - they might take you to places on commission but it’s worth it for the fascinating historical detail they provide. They’re a great help when bartering too
- Enjoy the hammam - 2 therapists are on call most hours during the day for guests, though it’s best to give a couple of hours advance notice
- Have a sundowner in the rooftop loggia overlooking the courtyard, as candles flicker around the petal-strewn pool below
- Sunbathe around the tiny pool - you need some respite after the sensory assaults of the medina
- Staff can organise trips into the Atlas Mountains or desert for those staying more than a weekend, as well as camel rides, golf or tennis in the Palmeraie
- The rooms are so beautiful that you’ll want to spend some time simply reading on your private balcony, or luxuriating in the enormous bath, some of which are big enough for 2
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children are welcome but the riad probably isn't that suitable for small ones and toddlers, as the pool has no guard rail or attendants. Cots and extra beds can be provided on request in most rooms.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.