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Bucket list experience:

Interior of ornate riad with fountain, plants and tile-work

For the most authentic experience, stay a few nights in a traditional riad in the centre of the old town


Last updated: 07 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Mandy Sinclair

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Moroccan life than staying in a riad; the traditionally-designed townhouses that line the twisting alleyways of the medina. Rooms are set around an internal courtyard – traditionally divided into four quarters, with a small fountain at the centre and filled with plants and greenery.

Traditionally, Islam forbids any external show of wealth when it comes to property, so all riads – even the most upscale and ornate – are hidden behind plain walls. This adds to the tantalising sense of stepping into a hidden oasis; riads are designed to be cool and quiet – a cocoon from the frenetic streets outside.

Riads vary hugely in style; many have swapped the traditional mosaic tiling and tadelakt plasterwork for a more contemporary, minimalist feel, but what almost all have in common is a rooftop terrace. These are the places to experience Moroccan a sunset, when the Atlas Mountains shimmer in the distance and the call to prayer echoes up from the mosques; Marrakech at its bewitching, enigmatic best.

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Price from: £20
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: +
When: All year around
Duration: 1+ nights

Hotel du Tresor

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

Idiosyncratically decorated in vintage mid-century furniture, this little treasure is Marrakech’s best budget riad.

Official star rating:

La Sultana Marrakech

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

One of Marrakech’s most sumptuous riads, with richly decorated architecture and interiors. This opulent complex has five courtyards around which rooms and suites are arranged.

Official star rating:

Le Farnatchi

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

A chic, elegant riad hotel set across seven houses, creating a wonderful sense of space inside the busy medina. It’s also home to a very good spa.

Official star rating:

Les Jardins de la Medina

Marrakech, Marrakech-Safi, Morocco

A lovely light-filled Medina riad, with superb pool and spa (with hammam) is a tasteful mix of Moroccan style and modern comfort.

Official star rating:

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