Where to Stay in Marrakech: Hotels by District

Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech // Photo by VanderWolf-Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Paula Hardy, The Telegraph, September 28, 2017

Marrakech is a city of many parts, at the heart of which sits the thousand-year-old, Unesco Heritage site of the walled medina. Inside the medina, at its core, is the Djemaa el-Fna, the city's fabled square full of storytellers and snake charmers. Surrounding it within the mud-brick walls are the neighbourhoods of Mouassine, Bab Doukkala, Kaat Benahid, Derb Debachi and Riad Zitoun. To the south, in a further walled enclosure is the royal Kasbah where the king’s official palace is located. Outside the medina walls, to the west, is the Ville Nouvelle, the ‘New City’ created by the French in 1912, while a couple of kilometres to the north is the suburb of the Palmeraie, which as the name suggests, sits in an oasis of palms.

Bab Doukkala

Located at arm's length from the hustle of the souks, Bab Doukkala is the prime place to see what the Medina is like in its downtime. Largely residential, it features a daily vegetable market as well as community hammams, bakeries and cybercafes where locals linger to talk to their neighbours. Behind the main drag you’ll find tranquil riads and good restaurants and the clubs of the Ville Nouvelle are a short taxi ride away.

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Riad Jardin Secret is arranged around a flourishing green garden in the Bab Doukkala neighbouhood.

Where to stay

El Fenn Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

Vanessa Branson’s 21-room party pad combines the charm of riad living with an impressive array of facilities – a 50-cover restaurant, three pools, a spa, yoga lawn and a new shop showcasing cutting-edge Moroccan brands. In addition, there are three adjoining private houses to rent. Read expert review. From £164per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com. 

Riad Kniza Marrakech, Morocco

9Telegraph expert rating

Enjoy Moroccan hospitality at its finest in the lavishly restored suites of this historic 200-year-old mansion. Restored by teams of Morocco’s most highly skilled craftsmen, the soaring salons, spacious rooms and tranquil patios make no apology for their decorative excess. Read expert review. From £157per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

Riad Jardin Secret Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

Arranged around a flourishing green garden. Fashion duo Cyrielle and Julien have worked hard to retain the artisanal authenticity of their historic medina house while creating five simple, soulful rooms and host of artful niches and lounges. Read expert review. From £95per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best riad hotels in Marrakech

Mouassine

Marrakech’s Belgravia, the Mouassine is crammed with stately Saadian architecture, grand riads and important shrines and mosques. It’s also bang in the centre and full of hip artisanal boutiques and instagrammable cafes and restaurants, as well as a couple of choice sites such as the Douiria Derb el-Hammam and Le Jardin Secret. Given the number of historic homes in the neighbourhood, this is an ideal place to stay (particularly for single female travellers).

Where to stay

Riad de Tarabel Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

A grand, colonial-style riad with an Old World atmosphere, acres of space spread through four interconnected houses, an eight-metre heated pool, multiple lounges and terraces and 10 handsome and luxurious bedrooms. Read expert review. From £180per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith.

Palais Lamrani Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

A truly historic riad palace with a spectacular garden full of fruit trees and song birds, surrounded by lavishly furnished lounges and a secluded pool patio, and six large and richly decorated rooms that conjure fantasies of 1001 nights. Read expert review. From £130per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

Riad Adore Marrakech, Morocco

9Telegraph expert rating

A spacious, light-filled hotel with a contemporary finish, the Riad Adore offers original architecture, homely service, a courtyard pool and a pint-sized hammam. The best room in the house is the Victoria Suite. Read expert review. From £112per night. Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The most romantic Marrakech hotels

Derb Dabachi & Kaat Benahid

Abutting the eastern edge of the souks, these two neighbourhoods share their dense, maze-like character and other-worldly atmosphere. Carts shifting tanned hides, food stalls serving hungry workers beans for lunch and kids carrying the morning bread to local bakeries are all part-and-parcel of the experience here. Amid the throng you’ll also find the grand Ali ben Youssef Medersa, the Marrakech Museum and the Photography Museum.

Where to stay

Dar Al Assad Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

Dar al Assad offers five beautifully appointed suites in a grand Medina mansion. Staying here isn’t just about sleeping in posh surroundings; it’s an unforgettable experience of Moroccan hospitality. Read expert review. From £112per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com. 

Riyad El Cadi Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

This former ambassador's retreat offers peace and seclusion around the corner from the brouhaha of Djemaa el-Fna. Not one, but five linked riads offer gallery-sized guestrooms showcasing Middle Eastern artistry, from hand-painted tiles in the Ottoman suite to antique Berber wedding veils in the Douriya rooms. Read expert review. From £124per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

Dar Housnia Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

This boutique riad effortlessly combines authentic medina arts and crafts style with contemporary interior design. Guests that check in here can enjoy creative Cordon Bleu cooking, cool off in the secluded pool, and go for a scrub down in the compact hammam. Read expert review. From £112per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best Marrakech hotels in the medina

Riads Zitoun & The Kasbah

Southeast of the Djemaa el-Fna down the two arterial lanes Rue Riad Zitoun el-Jdid and Rue Riad Zitoun el-Kedim lie the ancient royal suburbs of the Medina. Palaces like Dar Si Said and the Bahia sit cheek by jowl with private mansions once owned by courtiers. Nearby is the Mellah, once the largest Jewish quarter in North Africa, strategically sited close to the original citadel of the Sultans, the walled Kasbah.

Where to stay

Riad Mena & Beyond Marrakech, Morocco

9Telegraph expert rating

This elegant riad, with its harmonious proportions, tiered terraces, eight-metre pool and six vast suites set around a mature garden of palm, citrus and banana trees, redefines luxury in the medina. In places it channels a Miami-in-Marrakech vibe. Read expert review. From £163per night.

Riad Al Moussika Marrakech, Morocco

9Telegraph expert rating

This exquisitely decorated, six-suite riad was once a former palace of Thami el’Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech and Lord of the High Atlas. Now its interiors are Art Deco, and it houses one of the medina's most popular restaurants, PepeNero, which enjoys incredible views of the Atlas Mountains. Read expert review. From £78per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

Villa Makassar Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

Jay Gatsby would approve of the louche Moorish Deco style of the 10-suite Villa Makassar. Other than the Mamounia, this place is the reference point for Art Deco in Marrakech, combining an air of timeless elegance with the period’s colourful geometric style and luxurious materials. Read expert review. From £109per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best Marrakech spa hotels

Palmeraie

This 54-square-mile palm oasis three miles north of the medina is a bucolic bolthole favoured by privacy-conscious celebrities who hole up here in some of the city’s finest resorts. But for all its big money ways, the Palmeraie is like a village and the main activities here are countryside pursuits like cycling, riding, golfing and spa time. Getting into town is a drag so book elsewhere if the call of the souks is strong.

Where to stay

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech Marrakech, Morocco

10Telegraph expert rating

The Mandarin’s debut African resort is as subtle and stylish as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading luxury hoteliers. Its 54 villas, nine suites, three restaurants and world-class spa are set outside the medina in a gorgeous, two-hectare garden of blooming roses. Read expert review. From £734per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com. 

Jnane Tamsna Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

Moorish arches frame views of the organic gardens, and shed light on co-owner Meryanne Loum-Martin's extensive contemporary African art collection. Booker Prize winners, star chefs, and other prominent figures regularly offer courses here to benefit the Diversity Foundation's international educational initiatives. Read expert review. From £126per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

Les Deux Tours Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

The original bucolic country retreat, designed by Charles Boccara as a rambling Arabo-Andalucian village with suites set in three hectares of perfumed gardens amid lily ponds, a heated pool and a garden potager where the Michelin-starred chef grows his own ingredients. Read expert review. From £148per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best hotels in Marrakech

Ville Nouvelle

When the French came to town in 1912, they built a ‘New City’ adjacent to the medina – one where they could reimagine some of the comforts of home: Art Deco garden villas, wide boulevards lined with bistros, a new railway station and a theatre, and pretty city parks such as the Jardin Majorelle. Although independent-minded Moroccans kicked the French colonial government to the kerb in 1956, the Ville Nouvelle still sets the city’s pace with home-grown galleries, trendy cafés and boutiques showcasing the best Moroccan artists and designers.

Where to stay

Royal Mansour Marrakech Marrakech, Morocco

9Telegraph expert rating

The gold standard of luxury hotels in Marrakech, the Mansour was commissioned by King Mohammed VI, who often hosts his guests in its 53 private riads, which are situated in almost four hectares of fragrant Moorish gardens. Read expert review. From £907per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com

La Mamounia Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

La Mamounia is a characterful Marrakech hotel offering lovely walled gardens, a choice of four restaurants, fabulous breakfasts and Moroccan style rooms, near the Medina and Jemaa El Fna square. Read expert review. From £395per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Mr & Mrs Smith.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Marrakech Carré Eden Marrakech, Morocco

8Telegraph expert rating

The new Radisson Blu typifies how Marrakech is on the move to a cooler, more contemporary vibe. The 198 rooms, bar, restaurant, business suite and spa were conceived by a savvy Casablanca design studio and mix laid-back, mid-century modern style with subtle Moroccan influences. Read expert review. From £114per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

 

This article was written by Paula Hardy from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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