By night, Morocco’s poster city is all about snake-charmers and spicy cuisine in the Jemaa el-Fna. By day, it is a city of raw beauty, red-walled and medieval, but also of fantastic check-ins – whether at elegant riads with tranquil interior gardens, or resorts with swimming pools and gorgeous spas. Try one – or more – of these places to bed down in Marrakech.
Marrakech is a heady whirl indeed, and it will exhaust you, but if you’re staying at the right address, you’ll be refreshed each morning for more exploration. Our hand-picked selection will help you make that choice.
Home to snake charmers, storytellers, acrobats, water-sellers and dentists with their wares laid out on the pavement, Jemaa el-Fna is fast-paced and frenetic. Just a few steps away, through impressive brass doors, lies the peaceful retreat of Art Place with traditional Moroccan decor, good cuisine, comfortable rooms and helpful staff. Add a rooftop pool and you’ve found the perfect Marrakech stay – so close to the action, yet so removed at the same time.
In the heart of the city, with the Koutoubia minaret rising above the beautiful gardens, this splendid hotel captures the very essence of Marrakech. Three restaurants, Asian, Moroccan and French, will spoil your taste buds, while drinks are served on the terrace and in the piano bar. Rooms here ooze understated elegance, some with their own landscaped terraces. After shopping in the nearby souks, the spa is the perfect place to unwind.
Just a three-minute walk from Jemaa el-Fna and the souks, the Faouzi presents a variety of room options offering excellent value. Prettily decorated in colourful Moroccan tadelakt (polished plaster) with mosaic tiles and lots of plants, it’s a great place for budget-conscious travellers, with comfortable beds and plenty of hot water. You’re bound to end up swapping tales of the desert and mountains with other guests over breakfast on the rooftop terrace.
Riad Lavande offers the intimacy of a select boutique hotel, yet it sits in the grounds of a luxury resort complex, with all the amenities that has to offer: pools, restaurants, a bar and spa. Better still, it’s on the edge of the medina, just a 10-minute walk from all the action on Jemaa el-Fna and the surrounding souks.
If you’re looking for traditional Moroccan decor, you’re in the right place. Palais Sebban is lush with glorious plasterwork, zellij tiles, carved or painted wood and Venetian chandeliers. The garden restaurant is especially atmospheric, festooned with flowering vines, tinkling fountains and candles. It’s all set in a convenient location for exploring the medina, close to Dar el Bacha Museum with its preserved hammam, and Jemaa el-Fna.
Ambre et Epices is a stylishly restored riad that exudes calm serenity with a typically Moroccan colour palette of amber and spice, and great tubs of olive trees. The 11 rooms are furnished in impeccable yet inviting style, the perfect antidote to a busy day of sightseeing. In this part of the medina, you can shop for antiques, upmarket clothing and essential oils, all within a short walk of the Jemaa el-Fna.
Three grand traditional houses join together to form this large riad, so it has plenty of secluded patios for relaxing as well as a large roof terrace for dining. Among the 19 rooms are two-bedroom apartments that are perfect for families or groups of friends. Riad Karmela is close to the magnificent Ben Youssef Medersa and other museums, and is an eight-minute walk to Jemaa el-Fna when you want to top up your Instagram posts.
Italian flair meets Moroccan charm with dramatic results at this contemporary riad, creating a very special ambience. Tall arched windows frame the plant-filled public spaces, complementing traditional architecture and luxurious features. The bold colour themes extend to the suites, some of which have two bedrooms and two bathrooms while all have a sitting room. The rooftop pool, hammam, library and excellent cuisine round off this fabulous experience.
This little jewel is the perfect spot for a family or group of friends as it has just three ensuite rooms – a double, a double with an extra bed and a family suite with bunk beds for two children. There’s a sitting room with a cosy fireplace and a roof terrace with views of the medina, and it’s just a five-minute walk to the Jemaa el-Fna. Make an appointment at the hammam spa at some stage during your stay – your limbs will thank you for it after all those long souk strolls.
You’ll be right in the middle of the action staying at this lovely riad. It’s a couple of minutes on foot to the Jemaa el-Fna, yet perfectly quiet and peaceful inside. Andalusian arches and vivid decor surround three separate patios, one of which has a pool. “Itrane” means star to the Berber people of Morocco, and rooms are named after stars and constellations. Order dinner in the morning and the staff will cook especially for you – a particularly romantic way to end the day.