The 10 Most Beautiful Riads in Marrakech

  • The 10 Most Beautiful Riads in Marrakech

    Marrakech’s riads showcase some of the most stunning architecture and design in the world.

    Marrakech has thousands of riads that offer travelers an intimate and peaceful retreat from the city’s bustling medina. By definition, a riad is a traditional home that contains an interior symmetrical garden and rooms facing inward so that their doors and windows overlook the courtyard rather than the streets. The arrangement was intended to provide privacy for family and friends to spend time together, and to keep the home cool during the hot summers. Over time, the term riad has become more loosely used to describe the guesthouses and boutique hotels in Marrakech. And because many of these properties have been bought and restored by foreigners, they showcase design and architectural influences from Morocco and the rest of the world. The result is a fabulous fusion that’s a feast for the eyes.

    Erika Hobart

  • Riad BE Marrakech

    BE is the fun and laidback retreat created by Nicole Billi and Mohamed Bousaadi, who treat all of their guests and staff like family. The couple first met in 2012 when Billi traveled from her hometown of Zurich, Switzerland, to Marrakech and fell in love—with both Bousaadi and his home country. The pair wed and are now the proud owners of one of the most vibrant riads in the city, blending Billi’s love of modern European design and Bousaadi’s dedication to preserving his cultural heritage. BE also has a yoga studio and spa, plus sells local crafts and artisanal goods.

    Erika Hobart

  • Dar Darma Riad

    The moodiest and most mysterious of Marrakech’s riads, Dar Darma is run by an owner who prefers to remain anonymous and was originally intended to be a private residence. Italian designer Dario Locatelli has since transformed it into a gorgeous mansion seeped in rich tones and ornate details. The Red Suite is the most exquisite of the six suites available and will make you feel like the star of your own romantic drama set in the 18th century.

    Erika Hobart

  • Le Riad Yasmine

    Arguably the most popular and recognizable riad in Marrakech, Le Riad Yasmine found Instagram fame in 2016 when an image of its gorgeous green pool went viral. Run by French couple Alice and Gabriel Paris, the space is an oasis full of plants and tiled floors. The rooftop terrace is perfect for enjoying fresh mint tea and you’ll often find yourself accompanied by chirping birds and two saucy felines named Bowie and BB, who went from living on the streets to becoming social media sensations who live like royalty inside the riad.

    Erika Hobart

  • LM 130 - Riad LA MAISON

    German-Italian globetrotter Nicole Francesca Manfron has transformed La Maison (“The House” in French) into a design lover’s dream. Her home is a blend of industrial vintage and Moroccan design—but also embraces the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an aesthetic that places value on natural objects and imperfection. Manfron incorporates everything from concrete and metal to Berber carpets to a bevy of cacti and lanterns strewn about—a smattering of things she adores. As a result, staying at her place feels like a special peek into having one’s own artsy retreat in the medina.

    Erika Hobart

  • El Fenn

    El Fenn (which means “art” in Arabic) attracts as many stylish locals as it does design-conscious travelers. It boasts an incredible rooftop bar, delicious jewel-hued rooms, and an impressive collection of art from both the owner Vanessa Branson’s private collection and from rotating exhibits. One of the first boutique riad-hotels to ever open in Marrakech, the trendy destination is spread across 12 interconnected riads and has three courtyards—which makes it tempting to explore rather than sit back with a cocktail. The good news is you can do both.

    Erika Hobart

  • Riad Mena & Beyond

    Named after its charming German-Norwegian owner Philomena Schurer Merckoll, Riad Mena & Beyond showcases a beauty that’s subtle compared to that of its more flamboyant peers. The white-washed rooms feel airy and serene, and are accented by only small splashes of color in the forms of contemporary art and hand-embroidered cushions. For those who love a minimal mood, Merckoll’s tribute to the mid-century-modern aesthetic and Marrakech’s creative scene are the perfect combination.

    Erika Hobart

  • La Mamounia

    Referred to as “The Grand Dame of Marrakech,” La Mamounia is as rich in history as it is in glamour. It opened as a hotel to the public in 1923 and has since welcomed a long list of celebrities and politicians. Despite La Mamounia’s fame, it remains relatively unknown that the hotel has three private riads on its grounds. Each riad comes with its own heated swimming pool and is hidden among acres of orange trees that makes it hard to believe you’re a stone’s throw away from the medina.

    Erika Hobart

  • Royal Mansour Marrakech

    Commissioned and owned by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, the Royal Mansour is the definition of opulence. Case in point: It took more than 1,500 local artisans to build the royal tribute to Moroccan architecture. Rather than rooms, guests stay in one of 53 private riads spread across several acres of fragrant gardens. The Royal Mansour’s crown jewel is the spa, an elaborate atrium made of white metal lacework that resembles a (very fabulous) birdcage.

    Erika Hobart

  • Riad Tarabel

    Riad Tarabel is an enchanting hideaway that exudes old-world charm. Antique maps, peacock chairs, taxidermy birds, and sparkling chandeliers all have a place here, as do lush paintings that were shipped from the enigmatic owner’s family château in France. For those who love travel-inspired nostalgia and treasures, a stay at Tarabel is an absolute must.

    Erika Hobart

  • La Sultana Marrakech

    A study in sumptuousness, La Sultana aims to emulate the experience of what it would be like to be welcomed into a sultan’s home. The luxury hotel contains five lavish riads and courtyards (as well as a swoon-worthy pool) nestled within Marrakech’s Kasbah district. This is a place for guests who revel in excess; there’s no shortage of copper accents, marble columns, and intricately-carved wooden accents. Surely even a true sultan would approve.

    Erika Hobart

See more at Fodor's Travel