If you walk around Marrakech for long enough you will get glimpses into hidden hotels, restaurants, and homes which exist behind elaborate wooden doors. These buildings are riads and dars. Traditional buildings face inwards around a garden or courtyard with an open roof. Riads will be centered around a garden with a water feature, a Dar will be centered around a courtyard.
Walking through these heavy wooden doors is like discovering a secret hidden world. A lot of these riads are now hotels, labyrinths full of treasures, and all of the architectural language I love about Morocco. Bathrooms are finished with tadelkat. Vintage Berber rugs. Zellige tiles and patterned textiles.
As a lover of hotel design and Moroccan architecture and design, I thought it only right to put together my wish list of hotels for Marrakech. These hotels all mix modern and traditional designs beautifully.
Photos © Riad 42
This stunning Riad has 5 bedrooms and is available to rent as a whole for large groups. It is located in the heart of the Medina and I am itching to stay here. I love how minimal it is and pared back compared to most Moroccan hotels.
42 Derb lalla Azouna, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Rooms from £85 per night
• El Fenn •
Photos © El Fenn
The leader in Marrakech riad hotels. El Fenn is a must for any design lover visiting Marrakech. If you aren’t staying here you can visit their shop and stay for a drink at the bar. I would recommend a visit to the rooftop bar if you can. As you are led to the bar you get a feel for the space and the lovely little nooks and plunge pools for guests to relax in.
Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, 2, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Rooms from £397 per night
• Riad de Tarabel •
Photos © Riad De Tarabel
Staying at Riad de Tarabel was my first taste of a riad hotel and I have been hooked since then. I was lucky enough to stay here just before the spa was about to be built so I was the only guest for one night. It is such an elegant hotel with beautiful touches. The walls are a buttery soft Tadelakt plaster and soft furnishings are in gorgeous natural linen, did I mention they have stand-alone roll-top baths too.
Derb Sraghna, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Rooms from £198 per night
• P´tit Habibi •
Photos by P’tit Habibi
A modern riad P’tit Habibi is a modern take on traditional Moroccan style but still has crafted elements. I love the thread of red accessories throughout the riad and those huge glass doors are to die for. This riad is in the design district of Marrakech which is within easy reach of the Medina.
59, bis Zaouia Sidi Bellabes Taouia Sidi Ghanem, Bab Lakhmis, Medina, 40030, Marrakech, Morocco
Rooms from £118 per night