Staying in a riad (traditional Moroccan home) is as authentic as it gets. Choose from posh to moderate accommodations in Marrakech, Fez or Essaouira. With their interior courtyard gardens and serene atmospheres, riads provide a great escape from a day out in the big city.
Staying in a riad (a traditional Moroccan home with an open, inner courtyard garden) during your stay in Morocco is an authentic cultural experience that is unforgettable. Many riads have been renovated and transformed into chic boutique hotels or guesthouses. Typically, riads have three levels including a roof terrace. The courtyards are filled with plants and trees built around a fountain or a pool. Traditionally, many were decorated with zellige tiles from floor to ceiling, and the doors were made of cedarwood.
Riads provide a unique hideaway away from the busy city crowds and are generally located in the heart of the medina/city. Each room is uniquely decorated and furnished with its own style to offer the ultimate luxury in Morocco. From budget to high-end accommodations, every riad provides a magical encounter for its guests. Here are some fabulous riads for Marrakech, Fez, and Essaouira to help you narrow your search.
Marrakech is a hip and modern city, a popular holiday destination for people from all over the world. With 1,500 riads to choose from, here’s our top five.
Riad Yasmine and Petit Yasmine
A truly intimate experience, this riad has 7 rooms and one suite. With an emerald pool at the center of its dreamy courtyard, it’s a true oasis amongst the chaos. Their extremely friendly and helpful staff will ensure that you have everything you could possibly need to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. Petit Yasmine is their newly renovated riad located right next door. It’s super exclusive with just three luxury suites and a plunge pool. Both are close to Jardin Majorelle, Koutoubia Mosque, and Bahia Palace among many other popular attractions.
Located in a quiet alley so you won’t have to worry about street noise, this small, luxury riad lies right near the historical Ben Youssef Madrasa. Dar Kawa has four, fabulous rooms, three of them are suites and each one is cozy and comfortable. The decoration is a harmonious fusion of traditional and contemporary Moroccan design. There are a spacious terrace and tranquil patio with orange trees. There is also a spa on-site so you can get pampered with a massage or beauty treatment.
Considered one of the best riads in Marrakech, this five-star riad has been family-owned and operated for the past 200 years. Its prime location means that you will be very close to many popular attractions like the Jemma el Fna so you can easily transition from the crowds to quiet. With 11 exquisitely decorated rooms and suites filled with antiques, you might feel as though you’ve walked into a museum rather than a riad. There is also a hammam and sauna on-site to help you wind down from your busy day of sightseeing.
Ryad El Fenn
This super hip riad is expansive with 21 rooms and suites, 3 swimming pools surrounded by lush plant life, a hammam/spa, a boutique, and a 7,000 square foot rooftop terrace with incredible city views plus a restaurant and lounge. You won’t ever need to leave! El Fenn’s swoon-worthy style combines Moroccan and Western aesthetics. Decorated with vibrant colors and textiles to accentuate their amazing contemporary art collection, you will be inspired, revived, and restored after your stay here.
This massive, luxury palace complex offers a truly unique and extravagant experience. There are 53 private residences to choose from and each is individually decorated with its own, private pool. You can stroll the exquisite gardens full of exotic plants and trees offering plenty of shade and serenity that will make you forget you’re in the middle of a big city.
There are four restaurants to choose from each with unique cuisine and four bars to unwind with a cocktail after a long day exploring the city. There is a kids club with activities for all ages, a lavish spa with exceptional beauty treatments plus a hammam, a fitness center, and a hair salon. A swim in the gigantic main pool will you all the space you need to let it all go so you can achieve full relaxation.
Fez is the oldest of the four imperial cities of Morocco and one of the best-preserved. It has a traditional atmosphere and an endless medina that you are sure to get lost in. The riads of Fez are authentic and enchanting with a mystical flair.
Meaning “House of Pomegranate”, Dar Roumana with its absolutely stunning décor and intricate details will transport you a world away. You can choose from five divine suites all handcrafted by master Fassi artisans. These charming, spacious suites have high ceilings and are decorated with handcrafted furniture that adds an authentic touch. Close to Coin Berbere, a family-run carpets, and antique shop, you can easily shop for an incredible souvenir.
A former 17th-century palace, this upscale riad provides elegance and peace. An aromatic courtyard with orange trees and exotic plants so you can relax in this private oasis. With four rooms and four suites, this riad has a down-to-earth vibe to mellow you out after spending all day out in the crowds. The rooftop terrace has spectacular city views with mountains in the near distance. There is a restaurant, a hammam, and a pool surrounded by ancient city walls and lush foliage. Close to Bou Inania Madrasa.
Close to many of the city’s main attractions like the historic Blue Gate and Borj Nord. Each room has its own balcony. With extravagant decorations and historic charm, this luxurious riad has eight suites and two bedrooms. There is also a hammam and spa.
An ancient, Atlantic port city, Essaouira will lure you in with its siren’s song. Known for its spectacular beaches and the infamous Alizee (trade winds) this is the ideal destination for surfing, kite surfing, and windsurfing. With a rich history, medieval vibes, and relaxed atmosphere, Essaouira is a desirable haven to explore and recharge by the ocean.
Villa De Lo
A stunning guesthouse with incredible ocean views, Villa de lo is the perfect place to unwind after a day out sightseeing. There are 12 rooms and three suites all with simple yet elegant decoration. There is a tranquil, inner courtyard, two lounges (one with a fireplace), and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the coast. Very close to the beach and port so you can easily take a hassle-free sunset stroll.
Just a 20-minute drive south of the city, you’ll find this fabulous upscale riad in the heart of nature. Surrounded by eucalyptus trees and wild beaches, Baoussala is a secluded paradise, the ideal place to refresh and relax. There are free hammam and spa services available, an enormous, heated outdoor pool (great for a proper swim), and incredible outdoor spaces. All six rooms/suites are spacious, include a fireplace, and are beautifully decorated.
Modern, Moroccan chic, with bright and airy rooms decorated with few yet stunning traditional objects, accentuates its charm. Centrally located on a quiet street within the medina, you can expect a quiet and relaxing stay. They can also arrange off-site activities for you to enjoy from taking a camel ride on the beach to surfing, kitesurfing, or windsurfing.
Riads are the greatest escape within a city. It’s your turn to unlock the secret behind a simple door and discover the magic within.