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 or Hotel.

Riad vs Hotels - Where to stay in Marrakech

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 in Marrakech

The walled Medina, in my opinion, is the best area to stay in Marrakech! At the core of the Medina is Djemma el-Fna, the Main Square. You’re right in the centre and have alot of affordable accommodation options at your finger tips. If you stay in the Medina, look for riads that are about 20 mins walk to the square from any direction as the Medina can be confusing.

Gueliz is the modern trendy part of Marrakech. This part of the city was developed by the French and the European influence is clear to see with the wide tree-lined streets, high end shops and fancy restaurants. This is also the area for those looking for a night out as it is home to a lot of bars and clubs where you can enjoy a few drinks when the sun goes down.

Hivernage is one of the chicest neighbourhoods in Marrakech and the place to be if you have money to spend. This areas is known for its luxury hotels, fancy restaurants, and high end villas. It’s also where you’ll find shopping malls, art galleries and plenty of sidewalk cafes. It’s proximity to the centre makes this a top choice for luxury travellers. Even though this area has a reputation for luxurious, high-end accommodations, they are often still more affordable to their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

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. 

Affordable Luxury Riads

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).

Riads Golfame - Where to stay in Marrakech
Riads Golfame - Where to stay in Marrakech

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!

Riads Sashema Where to stay in Marrakech
Riads Sashema Where to stay in Marrakech
Riads Sashema Where to stay in Marrakech

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.

Riad Porte Royale
Riad Porte Royale

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.

Riad Kasbah
Riad Kasbah

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.

Riad Star
Riad Star
Riad Star, Marrakech. Photo by Alan Keohane


Mid Range Riads

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.

Riad assakina
Riad assakina

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.

Riad Be
Riad Be

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.

Riad Da Darma

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.

Riad Farnatchi
Riad Farnatchi


Luxury Riads/Hotels

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!

La Mamounia
La Mamounia

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!

Mandarin Oriental Marrakech
Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

12.   The Royal Mansour

This is the place to be if you want to live in tranquility 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.

The Royal Mansour
The Royal Mansour

I hope this helps you get your mind around accommodation in this wonderful city. So riad vs hotel? I hope I’ve been able to convince you that riads are the way forward! They’re intimate, authentic and best of all, affordable. This list should help you compare 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!

Riads vs Hotels Where to stay in Marrakech

Until Next Time Biscuits xx


  1. Nina | Lemons and Luggage Reply

    That’s it! When I’m going to Marrakesh I’m definitely staying in a riad! Thanks so much!

  2. I loved staying at Riads when I visited Morocco! It’s such a great way to get in touch with the locals and there are so many gorgeous places 🙂

    • Riads really give you a feeling of being in Morocco, they’re so different to regular hotels, I loved them! Marrakech is GORGEOUS! would visit again in a heart beat!

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