Deciding where to stay in Marrakech can be quite confusing because there are so many options, over 500! So I’ve done some of the hard work for you guys and put together a small list of different riads for different tastes and budgets! But first comes the decision, Riad vs Hotel.
So what is a Riad?
Riads are old, usually 17th century, houses that have been refurbished into small hotels to reflect classic Moroccan living and craftsmanship.
Why should you pick a riad over a hotel?
Riads are uniquely Moroccan and I wouldn’t be looking anywhere else to stay when next I visit. It’s a much more personal and cultural experience because they tend to be pretty small. As you arrive, first order of business is the complimentary mint tea which is the absolute best welcome anywhere!
After all the beautiful pictures you’ll have seen on the gram of riads, it’s a fair question to ask:
Are riads affordable?
The answer is YES! There’s something amazing for every budget that offers culture and of course there are more expensive riads if you are that way inclined.
What area to Stay
The walled Medina, in my opinion, is the place to be! At the core of the Medina is Djemma el-Fna, the Main Square. If you stay in the Medina, look for riads that are about 20 mins walk to the square from any direction.
Outside the city walls to the West is Ville Nouvelle, the ‘New City’ created in 1912 by the French and is home to the YSL museum and to the North is the Palmeraie, an oasis of palm trees
Throughout our 4 night Marrakech holiday, we stayed in 2 riads and I would definitely recommend staying in a couple of riads if your holiday is that length or more. (All the hotels and riad prices listed here include breakfast and were accurate at the time of posting this.)
1. Riad Golfame
This was the first riad we stayed in and it was a great start to our stay in Marrakech! It’s very traditional, a little rustic with bags of character. It has a little pool and a courtyard shaded by trees where the great continental breakfast is served. All the staff were super nice (until there was an issue with payment and things got a bit tense, so make sure you confirm you’ve paid online if that was your method of payment).
Price- Doubles from £74/night (on booking.com)
2. Riad Sashema
This was our second riad and well this place is gorgeous! The rooms are spacious, designed beautifully with so many traditional touches and lots of light. The small plunge pool is perfect for cooling down sun and the rooftop terrace with amazing views over the Medina. It’s in a great location and I think its amazing value for money!
Price- Doubles from £58/night (on nustay.co.uk)
3. Riad Porte Royale
A small riad with 5 en-suite rooms dating back to the 1700s and has been traditionally restored with thick walls and textiles and all things Marrakech. The riad has a very spacious, light courtyard and also a dipping pool, providing what looks like the most tranquil spaces.
Price- Doubles from €65/night (approx. £56)
4. Riad Kasbah
This riad is super popular, probably because of its Instagram-ability (just made up that word), there are lots of spots here to take some very pretty pictures. It’s a beautiful riad with lovely staff and really great breakfast! It’s a 14 min walk from Jemma El-Fna which is a good location as well.
Price- Doubles from £64/night (on booking.com)
5. Riad Star
The riad and its seven rooms are themed around Josephine Baker and parts of her life, as she once stayed within the walls of this riad. One amazing thing they provide is a free GPS mobile app to help their guests find their way around the winding alleys of the medina and back to the riad. The courtyard also has a small dipping pool and there’s a rooftop terrace with great city views and a fire place for cooler evenings.
Price- Doubles from £85/night (on booking.com)
A Bit more Coins
6. Riad Assakina
This riad located in the Jewish quarter is a great riad to get luxury on a budget. All the rooms are done to a high standard and the staffs are very welcoming and helpful. Being walking distance to Jemma El-Fna, it’s a perfect location for seeing all the sights.
Price- Doubles from £116/night on booking.com
7. Riad Be
This is one of the most Instagramed riads! The décor is beautiful with intricate, colourful tiling and greenery; it provides an oasis from the hustle and bustle outside. As you can imagine, it gets booked up pretty quickly so if you want to stay here, book well in advance. If you’re not able to stay here, you can always have lunch and still get to see it.
Price- Doubles from €190/night (£164/night) on booking.com
8. Riad Da Darma
Located near the Marrakech museum, this restored 18th century mansion exudes elegant and luscious luxury. It just looks so rich! It has a pool, two patios and a number of lounges on the property. It’s another small one with two apartments and 4 suites available. There is not one, but two pools in this riad; one on the rooftop terrace and a dipping pool in the courtyard.
Price- Doubles from £205/night on booking.com
9. Riad Farnatchi
This riad stylishly mixes Moroccan and European influences to create the luxury boutique atmosphere at Riad Farnatchi. With ten suites, it offers lots of space, comfort and great service. There’s a courtyard and a roof terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains.
Price- Doubles from £242/night
10. La Mamounia
In 1935, Winston Churchill in a letter to his wife, Clementine, said this hotel was “one of the best I ever used”. And since Mr Churchill, this hotel has been renowned for flawless, considerate service. Rooms are furnished with fresh roses and bowls of luscious fruit. If you’ve watched Sex and the City 2 and remember the hotel the girls stayed in, this is it! This very hotel and no it’s not in Abu Dhabi!
Price- Doubles from £310/night (advance) on mrandmrssmith with last minute bookings from £545
11. Mandarin Oriental
This hotel successfully elevates traditional Moroccan style and makes it contemporarily cool. The main courtyard features vast reflecting pools and the 54 private villas constructed in the style of traditional Moroccan riads giving the impression of having a riad all to yourself!
Price- Doubles from £699/night on nustay.co.uk
12. The Royal Mansour
This is the place to be if you want to live in tranquillity like royalty, as it was built by the King of Morocco, King Mohammed IV and he actually houses some of his guests here! If like me you can’t afford to stay here (yet! Jesus be a provider) you can treat yourself to lunch at the hotel’s restaurant and sneak a peek into how the other half live.
Price- Doubles from £800/night on tripadvisor.co.uk
I hope this helps you get your mind around accommodation in this wonderful city. This list is intended to help you benchmark the riads you see on your search and give an idea where to stay in Marrakech. If there are any amazing riads you’ve stayed in please share in the comments below!
Until Next Time Biscuits xx