Guide : How to choose a Riad in Marrakech

How to choose a Riad in Marrakech

There are many styles of riads in Marrakech because there is a very large number of this type of accommodation in the city itself, but also in the surrounding countryside.

It is therefore already necessary to dissociate city and countryside, the style of the riads being absolutely not comparable in this case.


    The geographic location :


    The riads in town


    Riad accommodation in Marrakech is mainly located in the Medina, the historic heart, inside the ramparts. First, a clarification, with a few exceptions, almost all the Riads are not accessible by car or taxi to the door. The old Medina (old city) is composed of many hundreds of narrow streets (Drouba), with mesmerizing charm, but impossible to pass through by a vehicle. This same Medina is made up of districts, each of which has a specificity, an attraction, whether commercial or historical.


    The proximity of the Jamae ElFna square


    If this is an absolute priority in your search, you should give priority to the districts of Bab Laksour, Riad Laarouss, Dar El Bacha, Mouassine, Riad Ztoun Jdid, Derb Dabachi, or Riad Zitoun Lakdim. These are very popular sectors, they all allow access to the square in less than 10 minutes on foot, are very well frequented and the many shops that animate them are of quality, perhaps a little too adapted to the taste of tourists. And perhaps a little less attractive for someone curious about tradition. They also allow you to access a taxi or your car very easily.


    The proximity of a door in the ramparts


    Bab Aylen or Bab Ghmat, the Bab Doukkala sector, or the entire Kasbah district are options not to be overlooked, accessibility is optimal by taxi or car. The Kasbah is a special case, the whole district or almost is accessible by car. The streets are on average wider than in the medina and the main street goes around the district, allowing easy access to the small side streets. Of course, the Jamaa El Fna square is no longer so close. But, it should not be forgotten that, even if on a plan the medina seems very large, the distances in diagonal for example can be traversed (if one does not get lost) in a small half-hour.


    How to match your desires and your budget


    Within this geographical location, it is good to then distinguish the styles of Riads which are very closely linked to your budget or your expectations. Note that, whatever the style of the Riad or its financial category, you are not in a hotel, the atmosphere will always be more comfortable and relaxed, the freedom of movement too, the service more neat, discreet but effective, the sound advice, in short, certain flexibility which allows all the adaptations. Morocco is renowned for its hospitality, its art of welcoming, the Riads are an archetype. 

    Don't forget to follow the advice that will be given to you, they are the result of experience, knowledge of a city and its culture, and they will save you a lot of wandering. As far as the cuisine is concerned, you have every chance of eating real good Moroccan cuisine in a Riad, in a restaurant, it will be much more difficult in Marrakech.


    Small, simple, and authentic Riads


    The price per night is around 50 euros, they are medium-sized, from 4 to 6 bedrooms, the owners live there very often, the atmosphere is friendly, the cuisine simple but tasty, always prepared with fresh products bought in the Medina daily. Contact will be easy, if you wish, a form of closeness that gives the impression of being at home, without domestic problems. You will be surrounded by the simple charm of the Orient, carpets, pottery, Zellig, marquetry and stamped metal lanterns, candles that bring real magic to the night. It's a real change of scenery, in a pleasant and comfortable setting, without ostentation.

    This type of Riad is perfectly suited both to a small budget and to all those who wish to immerse themselves in a culture out of curiosity and a spirit of discovery.


    The more “elegant” Riads, a little larger, still authentic


    The price per night is around 80 euros, they are often larger, the patio larger, the rooms too. The number of bedrooms is around 6, it very rarely exceeds 8 bedrooms. Privacy is always preserved, the rooms are larger but not more numerous. The difference is made in the infrastructures, a jacuzzi here, a Hammam there, perhaps a basin for this refreshment or a massage room. The decoration will be more elaborate and the deckchairs perhaps more comfortable. What will not change is the conviviality, the good cuisine, the sound advice, and the comfort.

    This type of Riad is perfectly suitable for this pleasure without delirious on the prices, to offer a little more which radically changes the daily life while being in direct contact with the reality of the Medina.


    The “chic” riads, luxury, calm, and voluptuousness in abundance


    Here we are in the category above 100 euros per night and sometimes much more. There are, however, notable differences in these so-called luxury Riads. like Riad demeures d'orient.


    The guest palace or the high-end riad


    Very authentic beautiful and elegant, a decoration made of shimmering colors, refined objects, the fruit of the country's craftsmanship, a staff of very professional discretion, all suffused with serenity, calm and marked with l imprint of this fascinating Orient. It is easy to imagine in these beautiful buildings, the whispering harem, the sultan all in precious stones and silks, the musicians and the dancers.


    The top-of-the-range riad, but revisited by the European spirit


    Made of sobriety, geometric lines, extremely luxurious materials, a mixture, often harmonious, of architect's creation and Arab-Andalusian structure. Here it is often white, black, and gray that dominates, the furniture is often designer, and the objects too.


    What these different styles have in common


    They have a very neat service, of course very high-end. There is always a beautiful and comfortable Spa area, a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a solarium, and so on. The cuisine is refined, served with ceremony, you feel you are becoming important at every moment.

    This type of product is suitable for everyone! Who would refuse this delicious and tasteful luxury! Question of budget…maybe


    Riads in the countryside


    A completely different option, which can also be combined with a Riad in town. 

    Two nights here and two nights there, a good way to discover all the facets of Arab-Andalusian architecture, to get your fill of tumult on one side and green calm on the other. But it can also be the deliberate choice of a privileged place from which you will rarely go out for a day's walk or to indulge your passion, golf or quad biking...for example. 

    Of course, the same quality of welcome and friendliness is required whether you are in Marrakech or outside.


    The riad "beldi" means traditional and authentic


    Prices are around 50 euros per night. There are often up to fifteen rooms, without it becoming the "club med"! It is a guest house renovated with respect for authenticity and which was a farm or a modest building, often in adobe with animals frolicking in the garden, dogs, cats, a few chickens, and donkeys. Everything is done to feel "country" gentleman farmer version in a friendly conviviality. Of course, the space makes it possible to offer good-sized bedrooms, fireplaces everywhere, a large swimming pool, a bread oven where you can watch the cooking yourself, a spacious and comfortable Spa. The food is always delicious and in most cases, you can, if you wish, participate.

    A choice that is particularly suitable for a family with children, a group of friends with a small budget. The space and the number of rooms make it easy to organize a birthday or a family reunion, without stepping on each other and guaranteeing real privacy.


    The more elaborate, more elegant Kasbah riad still authentic


    The prices are around 80 euros. This is a mix between the riad and the Kasbah. The architecture remains very Arab-Andalusian, the places are simply more grandiose and more elegant. We are in the category of houses of masters, tribal chiefs, or sultans, renovated or rebuilt with respect for tradition. The fabrics are more precious, the furniture more refined, the objects more elaborate. The details are more meticulous, monogrammed towels, products available in the bathrooms, deeper and softer armchairs... However, conviviality is always present. Freedom too. It's invaluable to be able to evolve in an environment of this quality without having to play a social role!

    A suitable choice when the budget rises or for a long-awaited pleasure. Here too, a wedding or a reunion of friends is easy to organize, especially since the staff is capable of anything to satisfy the slightest desire.


    The luxury villa or the guest palace


    Prices are above 100 euros and can go very high. Just like for Marrakech Intramuros, it is perhaps not necessary to launch into a great description. We are in the domain of privilege, of exception. Luxury is in the smallest detail. The services are of very high quality. An example? A desire for a walk in the desert? Yes, well, let's go there by helicopter… It's still faster…


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