How we choose the best place for you to stay in Marrakech
Deciding where to stay in Marrakech can be difficult as there is so much choice. Our Destination Experts have all the insider knowledge required to ensure they select the best option for you – from atmospheric riads to the top boutique hotels and most luxurious villas. Each of these offers a profoundly different experience, so the optimum solution, of course, is to combine two or three.
There is something very special about staying in a traditional Moroccan house in Marrakech: they have bagfuls of character, exquisite interiors and are usually centrally located. We, at cazenove+loyd, would recommend that all our clients spend at least a couple of nights in a riad for the experience of being able to wind through the busy, maze-like streets and then pass through an unassuming door into a calm oasis.
We use a carefully selected handful of beautiful riads in Marrakech, two of our favourites being Riad Adore and Riad Joya. When choosing these, we have contemplated many questions. First and foremost, location is crucial. We tend to select riads that are within a short stroll of the bustling souks and other highlights of the Medina but are tucked away on a peaceful street, away from the noisy hubbub.
Second, we consider the size and style of the guestroom. The rooms of most riads are quite small as they are restricted by the classic layout of a Moroccan house, but they boast an authentic feel. Many do not have much natural light because of their design, so we purposefully select rooms that are as airy as possible; these are mostly on the upper floors, where it is more secluded.
In addition, we feel it is vital to have a spacious terrace with shady areas and comfortable sun loungers for curling up and reading a book. Some of our favourites even have a rooftop plunge pool. Although riads are not renowned for their food and most only serve breakfast, you can rest assured we only suggest properties that dish up a feast to kickstart the day.
In our opinion, this type of accommodation would particularly suit couples, avid shoppers and those keen to be in the thick of it.
The experience of staying in a boutique hotel differs hugely in terms of the style, facilities, space and location. Although there are a few around the Medina, most of our favourite boutique properties are in the Palmeraie area, in the northern outskirts of Marrakech. Therefore, a key consideration is whether you would like to stay in the hustle and bustle of the centre or somewhere quieter further out.
The decor in Marrakech’s boutique hotels is sophisticated and often modern, and the guestrooms are large and light as they are not confined to the traditional architecture of a riad. There are also diverse room categories, including interconnecting rooms for families, and excellent concierge and babysitting services too.
Moreover, all of our preferred boutique hotels have oversized swimming pools and greater outdoor space – in the form of lovely gardens or ample courtyard areas – and usually a spa. Three of our favourites include Dar Zemora, Villa des Orangers and Jnane Tamsna, with its nine-acre botanical garden.
Food is another important factor. Given the number of fantastic places to dine in Marrakech, in-hotel restaurants are not essential but a nice perk – Villa des Orangers is home to one of the best fine-dining restaurants in the city and Jnana Tamsna offers some fantastic cooking classes onsite for those who are keen.
We believe Marrakech’s boutique hotels are most suited to older couples on the lookout for a more relaxing, indulgent experience; families requiring the freedom of space, interconnecting rooms and childcare; or those wishing to spend a few days here in combination with some time in a riad in the Medina.
A private villa
There are some absolutely stunning houses available to take exclusively in and around Marrakech. Our meticulously chosen villas all come with as many staff as you would like, from private hosts and chefs to nannies and drivers. We know the owners personally and can arrange whatever you need. Location, again, is paramount, and we ensure our handpicked houses are within easy reach of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, depending on what our clients would like to do. They make the perfect base for exploring further afield.
The interiors are characterful, reflecting the individuality of the owners, so which one is best for you will depend on your taste. All of them have glorious gardens and big swimming pools, and many have a hammam or spa. Some are more of a low-key, home-from-home vibe, such as the charming and well-priced Villa Alexandra – situated in a serene walled garden – and others are more similar to a hotel, such as Villa Ezzahra, our favourite house. However, one thing is for sure: if you’re looking for freedom, space and privacy, this is the choice for you.
A villa would be ideal for a group of friends or a family wishing to enjoy a longer holiday in more idyllic surroundings, as opposed to being immersed in the electric atmosphere of Marrakech.