living room with orange crushed velvet couches and paintings on the walls
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La Mamounia

At La Mamounia in Marrakech, every detail has been considered, to provide a full service experience with history and classic glamor.

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rectangular pool lined with lounge chairs with a covered area at the end
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Le Royal Mansour

Le Royal Mansour is the King of Morocco’s personal passion project and the most expensive and extravagant hotel in Marrakech. The hotel’s sprawling riads are the perfect enclave for those seeking the ultimate in privacy and pampering.

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Pool side Pathway at Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco

Amanjena

Designed by Ed Tuttle, the master of refinement behind many Aman resorts, Amanjena has utterly stunning architecture. The vast rooms, which are set around twelve and a half acres, epitomize grand minimalism. If the palm trees seem to line up just right—even heightwise—with the building columns, and all the pillows are at exactly the same angle, it is not by accident: Aman founder Adrian Zecha focused obsessively on getting all the details right. Your suitcase is unpacked for you, cold washcloths magically appear just when desired, rose petals float about the many pools, and sunbathers are served sorbet at teatime.

The property is centered on a huge square reflecting pool lined by palms and ferns. At night, amid the sparkle of dozens of perfectly placed lanterns and crackling bonfires, it is simply magical. There are two restaurants, two wonderful hammams, and two golf courses nearby. The staff is able to arrange for guides (accompanied by drivers and air-conditioned cars) to take you through the souk or hiking in the mountains.

The resort has such peace, beauty and harmony that it feels almost spiritual. The staff is flawless and intuitive (they started preparing my cappuccino as they saw me approaching breakfast). The twenty-minute drive from the medina means you spend a lot of time in cars going back and forth, which can be spent getting to know some of the staff members, and can be a nice element of the trip rather than an annoyance.

Two complaints: the music and lighting systems were extremely complicated with no in-room instructions, and the interiors can feel a little cold and minimalist for such a decorative culture.

Good to Know: Two-bedroom maisons have a large living room with a fireplace, one bedroom upstairs and another downstairs. The advantage of the upstairs bedroom is a huge bathroom with a bath; the disadvantage is that because it has interior windows that face the courtyard-like living room, it is not especially private. While less exposed, the downstairs bedroom has the disadvantage of having only a shower, no bath. That configuration is best for families, who would also like the private pool.

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Bab Hotel

Marrakech has its own version of a hip urban hotel. Imagine the Moroccan version of the Delano in Miami or the Standard in New York and you may just conjure the Bab. Just around the corner from the trendy boutiques that line Rue de la Liberté in the Gueliz area, Bab Hotel was completely redesigned by its French owners (who also own Grand Café de la Poste and Bo & Zin). There’s a small pool tucked behind the check-in desk and the lobby bar, which has massive couches, funky ottomans made of recycled plastic and deep white banquettes that invite lounging.

A revolving exhibit of local artists’ work and photography from the owner’s collection add to the groovy gallery atmosphere as do the Fadila el Gadi boutique and library areas which also display modern Moroccan style in the form of fashion and books. All of the 45 guestrooms and suites, which are designed to feel like lofts, have small terraces and are decorated with a black-and-white palette that complements the black-and-white photos on the walls. Among the hotel services are Segway rentals and golf outings in the Palmeraie. The hotel’s hippest feature, though, is the Skybab rooftop lounge, where the city’s young and attractive gather after sunset for mojitos and DJ mixes.

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Four Seasons Marrakech

Located on forty acres near the conference center of Marrakech, the Four Seasons Marrakech opened in 2011 as one of the first of many international luxury hotel brands to stake a claim in the “red city.” Its grey facades amidst the sea of surrounding ochre buildings is the first signal that this is a different kind of property. While most of the top addresses in town make the most of the abundant craftsmanship available with displays of dark wood marquetry, hand-tooled leather, glazed walls, mosaics and latticework, the aesthetic here is decidedly spare and minimalist. In place of the dimly lit, opulent interiors favored by iconic competitors like Mamounia, you will find light-filled public spaces and suites.

The 139 rooms are spread between the main building which overlooks the central pools and theriads surrounding them. There is one family-friendly pool near the kids’ club and another that is reserved for adults in search of a quiet zone. For families, the property provides a reliable Four Seasons Kids Club to keep the little ones entertained while the adults can enjoy the spa which puts a focus on traditional Moroccan hammam techniques.

Travelers who are looking for a North American resort experience with great service and a fantastic kids’ program will be pleased with the Four Seasons, which offers a coddling introduction to Marrakech. It may not deliver the most quintessential Moroccan experience but it does deliver Four Seasons reliability. Indagare Tip: You are not within walking distance to the center of town so you will need taxis for forays to the best shops, restaurants and sights.

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Room with leather furniture and boos with a dog lying down.

Jnane Tamsna

Jnane Tamsna is the creation of one of North Africa’s most stylish women, Meryanne Loum-Martin, and is popular with fashion designers & celebrities.
Exterior View - Ksar Char-Bagh, Marrakech, Morocco

Ksar Char-Bagh

This decadent palace, on four acres of Persian gardens, comes complete with courtyards, rosebushes and fountains. The French owner studied Arabic culture, and although the building is new, it has been made to convincingly appear centuries old with such details as wooden beamed ceilings and stone fireplaces. The twelve suites are grand and calm, with Moorish-style baths and small roof terraces. Guests are ferried around in a brilliantly incongruous black London taxi, and when the weather heats up, you can dine in the shallow end of the swimming pool with your feet submerged. The chef trained with Joël Robuchon, and his dishes are outstanding; they helped earn the property Relais and Chateaux status. The enormous hammam is the best in town, and even if you are not staying here, you should pop over for lunch and a steam (book ahead) as well as a browse in the beautifully curated gift shop.

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L'Hotel Marrakech

Opened in 2017, L'Hotel Marrakech is a five-suite riad that is a chic and intimate oasis tucked away in a quiet section of the bustling Medina.  
Pool at La Maison Arabe, Marrakech, Morocco

La Maison Arabe

A favorite of such locals as jewelry designer Gogo Ferguson, this beautiful small hotel in the medina also has an annex just outside the city for poolside lounging, so guests have the best of both worlds. The medina maisonhas housed one of the top Moroccan restaurants since the 1940s (it was originally opened by two European women who created the first Moroccan restaurant in the medina near the Bab Doukkala Mosque). Over the years, a number of guest rooms were added (including five in 2021), as well as a small pool and a wonderful second restaurant, Les Trois Saveurs. Like all riad hotels, the 37 rooms are on the small side but many of them come with fireplaces, pool views and balconies (note that the four standard rooms do not have baths). Overall, the in-room décor is more sleek than that of the main Arab-Andalusian public spaces. Traditional crafts such as carved plasterwork, tadelaktwall painting and cedar ceilings are used in a refreshing contemporary way.

Other notable charms of the hotel: a gorgeous hammam and a very well regarded cooking school. Many of the ingredients come from the kitchen garden and the teacher is a famous dada, or traditional Moroccan chef.

One of the great pluses of La Maison Arabe is that it offers a town-and-country experience for its guests thanks to its garden-framed annex just outside the city. This outpost has a large pool area surrounded by gardens, so guests can stay in the medina but escape daily to the more relaxed outskirts. The pool feels like a secret walled garden, and hotel guests can enjoy lunch or dinner there under a fig tree or in a caidale tent.

Exterior View -  Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco

Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

The Mandarin Oriental Marrakech is an oasis, offering top-notch luxury with Moroccan influence and located 20 minutes outside the medina.

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Terrace at Palais Namaskar, Marrakech, Morocco

Palais Namaskar

Palais Namaskar is a sprawling resort in Marrakech ideal for couples looking for an indulgent hideaway. Read Indagare's review.
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Palais Ronsard

Though located just 20 minutes outside the bustling center of Marrakech, the Palais Ronsard is like traveling back in time to a French-colonial manor house.

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Peacock Pavilions

A stylish designer hideaway outside of Marrakech
hotel room with wooden ceiling, green painted walls, terra cotta floor and a bed facing stained glass french doorway. there is a yellow chair and matching yellow lampshades on two lamps above bed

Riad El Fenn

Richard Branson’s sister’s hip riad in the medina brings a cheeky-yet-cozy option to the heart of Marrakech.
Library at Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech, Morocco - courtesy Riad Farnatchi

Riad Farnatchi

This ravishing riad, right in the center of the medina, is the brainchild of British hotelier Johnathan Wix, who spent two years transforming what had been his vacation home into a nine-suite mini hotel with an authentic atmosphere. He personally hammered the pictures on the walls, imported Philippe Starck bathroom fittings and down pillows, and commissioned locally made furniture. The result is a crisp and comfortable setting, with lovely big bedrooms, a hammam and massage room, and the added benefit of twenty-four-hour room service—a rare occurrence in a riad. Breakfast is served on the roof terrace, the pool is a cold refresher of the best sort, and the house melon juice is sweet nectar.

Lobby at Riad Meriem, Marrakech, Morocco

Riad Meriem

New Yorker Thomas Hays is just one amongst a new breed of style-obsessed global nomads who has decided that a well-lived life must include a home in Marrakech. Thankfully, the major antiques collector has decided to share his five-bedroomriad with other visitors so now you can check into his private home and live among his treasures. The former banker turned hotelier spent years working with craftsmen to create this supremely comfortable retreat.

The magic is in the mix of Moroccan traditions with modern flair: the walls were prepared in the centuries-old process of tadelakt, but in a purple color tone; the customary courtyards that are now overgrown with bougainvillea; antiques carpets are juxtaposed with modern abstract paintings. Hays’ photograph collection mixes with textiles from western Africa and objects that he picked up on his many travels to Asia.

The atmosphere is quirky in the most refined way and if the service feels more like that of a private home, it’s because that is how Hays and his wife like it. Two wonderful couples, one English and one Moroccan, cater to guests needs, so you will never rest long by the courtyard pool, without someone delivering a cool drink. Among the amenities that can be arranged: a private chef, belly dancers and hammam treatments.

Interiors at Riad Tarabel, Marrakech, Morocco

Riad Tarabel

A true labor of love, the house was bought by Leonard Degoy, who had spent holidays in Marrakech for fifteen years before deciding to buy a riad. He hired the architect Romain Michel Menière to transform it into his ideal fantasy retreat. While maintaining the original Arabic layout and proportions, Menière and Degoy have brought a Provencal elegance to the property. (Tarabel is the name of his family chateaux in the south of France and many of the antiques and paintings came from the region.)

Dainty iron garden furniture sits in an alcove off of the central courtyard where orange trees scent the air. In another corner sits a vintage rattan chaise shaded by a giant umbrella and next to it rests an antique birdcage. Regional decorative details like latticework and tadelakt walls have been subdued by a neutral palette of beiges and grays. There are many colonial influences but the overall atmosphere is that this is a private home, with only ten rooms and suites. It is the kind of place that plugged-in artists, photographers and designers retreat to and then pass along as a favorite address to their friends.

There are lovely salon rooms, which are perfect for drinks or curling up with a book, a tiny hammam, a small pool and a rooftop terrace where meals can be served. (There’s a housekeeper and cook who look after guests.). A spa is in the works for December 2017. I hope that it keeps its highly personal, intimate feeling, though, because that—and its Provencal-Moroccan aesthetic—is what sets it apart.

Lounge with Table at Riads to Rent, Marrakech, Morocco - courtesy Peacock Pavillion

Riads to Rent

We can recommend stylish riads in the heart of the medina for a house party or a sprawling villa in the Palmeraie that is perfect for families. We will tailor suggestions based on your particular wishes and group configuration. Contact our bookings team to arrange.

Pool at Selmen, Marrakech, Morocco

Selman

The Selman, which opened in 2012, is the passion project of a wealthy local couple, Saida and Abdeslam Bennani Smires. The hip hotel is situated on a sprawling fifteen acres, and its heart and highlight is the 260-foot outdoor pool, which is surrounded by extensive, perfectly manicured Andalusian gardens. Fenced off areas throughout the gardens showcase the owner’s collection of thoroughbred Arabian horses, adding to the majestic and regal atmosphere. This is a true enclave of serenity, close to the city yet seemingly miles removed.

While the exterior façade references Moorish architecture, the interiors and guestrooms are contemporary yet opulent—the signature style of its designer, Jacques Garcia. The French mastermind, who also oversaw the refurbishment of La Mamounia to great acclaim, uses a rich color palette, with deep purples and gold. Enormous and flashy chandeliers throughout the reception areas verge on Las Vegas glitz. On the upper floors, long hallways are decorated with black-and-white photos of the owner's celebrated Arabian horses. They lead to the 56 spacious and comfortable guestrooms (the smallest rooms measure 600 square-feet). More understated than the common spaces on the ground floor, the guest rooms feature a Moroccan-inspired, black-and-white color scheme, with geometric tiling, that’s accented by such modern touches as studded bedframes and armchairs. The bathrooms are sleek and spacious, and all feature separate showers and soaking tubs. The five riads, located in a separate area of the hotel, each have their own private gardens, heated pools (the main pool is unheated) and 24-hour butler service.

Spa enthusiasts are drawn to the hotel’s Espace Vitalité Chenot, offering the same exclusive cures and treatments used at the Chenot Center at Palace Merano in the Alps. Focused on the principles of Biontology, or “the study of the essence of life and its evolution,” Chenot’s methods seek to balance the mind, unconscious, and body in order to combat aging and fatigue.

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view of a canal lined with manicured lawns

The Oberoi Marrakech

This sprawling property is a stand-out choice for returners to Marrakech or first-timers who want to be outside the city center.

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hotel courtyard in marrakech with orange trees

Villa des Orangers

Indagare's review of Villa des Orangers, which combines the quality craftsmanship of Marrakech with a true French l’art de vivre.

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