There is something about a riad which captures the heady romanticism and mystery of those deep Arabian nights. Sultry and steeped in history they can literally be oases of calm amid the raucous bustle of major centres like Marrakech and Fez. Here is our guide to some of the best riads as experienced by readers. If there's one you think has been missed, then post a tip
and make it known.
Riad Al MoussikaPosted by Angientom
We have just returned from a five-day holiday in Marrakech. Al Moussika was our base to explore the medina and for trips to the coast and to the Atlas mountains. The riyad is a carefully and tastefully restored historical building which offers a quiet retreat after a busy day in the pulsating city. There are only six bedrooms and many additional sitting rooms including a well stocked library and a room with a grand piano. The weather in January was too cold to use the pool in the beautiful courtyard but we thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in the hamam. Breakfast is of very good quality and the lunches were among the best meals we had in Marrakech. The personnel is competent and very helpful and offers a friendly, personalized service. Restaurants and transportation are suggested on request and promptly organized. We highly recommend this riyad!www.riyad-al-moussika.com
________________________________________________________________Riad KnizaPosted by dwestwell
From the moment you arrive at Riad Kniza you know you are staying somewhere special. It's an oasis of tranquility set within the city walls and only a few steps from the bustling narrow streets of Marrakech. An excellent location within the ancient Medina and only a few minutes walk to the main historic sights. The riad is tastefully decorated and the suites luxuriously appointed and very comfortable. The swimming pool in the open courtyard is very inviting and a welcome place to cool down after relaxing on the comfortable sun loungers on the rooftop terrace. All the staff were exceptionally friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. They really made us feel at home during our stay and this all added to the fabulous experience of staying in the real Marrakech.www.riadkniza.com
________________________________________________________________Riad MaiziePosted by DebsH
Riad Maizie is a beautiful calm oasis right in the heart of Marrakech. Reached through a maze of alleyways, but only seven or so minutes' walk from the main square, it's set on three floors (the top one being a fabulous sun terrace) around a cool tiled courtyard.
Our accommodation was fabulous - comfortable and spacious, and the whole place is ideal as a base from which to see the sights, or for day-long lounging - our favourite hobby. Our host, James, was the most charming, knowedgeable and helpful person, and his team were also lovely - helpful and eager to please. We may well have exasperated James a wee bit with our lack of sightseeing ambition, but it never showed and a plentiful supply of teas, coffees, cooling drinks and interesting chat was always on offer.
This is a great place for a holiday - we spent six days there, but I think you can book for shorter breaks - or, of course, for longer! Warmly recommended.www.mirandan.com
________________________________________________________________Riad Wardat RihPosted by sebri
Beautiful Riad, friendly people, quiet, great food. What makes it different is they are relaxed. No need to pay in advance, free transfers. I would go back there!www.wardatrih.com
________________________________________________________________Riad Tizwa in FesPosted by Summersup
This is a rather stylish, calm riad in the best part of the medina owned by two Scottish brothers who have cornered the market in Moroccan hospitality (they also have a property in Marrakech). The house has been painstakingly restored and tastefully decorated to include 21st century five-star comforts without compromising on local craftsmanship and details.
Riad Tizwa Fes is a personal and intimate Moroccan townhouse with charming and welcoming English-speaking staff containing nine double bedrooms and wi-fi in all the rooms. This place is an oasis we will definitely return to again and again!www.holidayfes.com/home.html?lang=en
________________________________________________________________Riad Dar NajatPosted by mooje
Dar Najat is a beautiful cosy riad located in the heart of the medina in Marrakech, just five minutes' walk from the famous square, Jema El Fna, which makes it an ideal place to stay! The owner and his team are clearly dedicated to making their guests feel at ease and create an environment full of fun but also very relaxing.
The rooms are clean (I stayed there a few times and have never been disappointed), comfortable and quiet, ideal after a busy day in the souks! Olivier is available most of the day to give you tips and organise a guided tour of Marrakech if you would like one. I also loved the fact that there is an outdoor jacuzzi on the terrace where you can enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or a mint tea (the berber whisky - yummy!). Breakfast is delicious and served by the smiley and friendly staff who are always there to help and make sure you get the best!
Forgot to mention dinner is also available on request and Souad, the chef, is a gem in terms of cooking! I definitely recommend the riad for any kind of travellers - young, older, married or single you will just have an unforgettable experience at Dar Najat. Thank you again, I'm coming back soon and with friends this time!
No18 Derb Lalla Chacha
Douar Graoua Kennaria
40000 Marrakech Medina Marocwww.dar-najat.com
________________________________________________________________Riad ZolahPosted by KerryS
I have just returned from Marrakesh with two friends. We had gone for my 40th birthday. The Riad was the most relaxing place I have ever stayed in and immaculate. The staff were fantastic and sorted everything for us from one lost suitcase (left at Gatwick), trip to the Atlas Mountains, restaurant bookings and taxis etc. They were very patient and had great humour. I thought that the Riad offered a good price and would definitely like to use it again, all the guests were English and one had gone on the recommendation of another previous guest. For my birthday a beautiful floral arrangement was presented to me whilst having breakfast on the roof terrace! They do wonderful dinners and the staff are a real asset, hotels in the UK could learn heaps from them. If and when we go back when finances permit, I wouldn't even investigate any other Riads. It was in the heart of the medina and just 20 minutes by taxi from the airport (all transfers included) and less than five minutes' walk from the souks and restaurants/bars. You can also buy wine in the Riad which was a bonus! We were given unlimited complimentary mint tea and mineral water. Breakfast is included. There was an iPod docking station in the room, internet access downstairs and free Babouches (moroccan slippers) to use and then take home with us. Definitely worth a visit.www.riadzolah.com
________________________________________________________________Riad AlmaPosted by bks233
Riad Alma is a great Riad situated away from the hustle of the main medina of Marrakesh. The Riad is at the end of a quiet alley in the Kasbah or fortified area of the old town. It has been recently refurbished and is built around two courtyards. Michelline who runs the Riad does a commendable job in ensuring the pleasure of the guests.
Derb Kbala, Kasbah, Marrakeshwww.riadalma.com
________________________________________________________________Riad Dollar des Sables guesthousePosted by veron
Charming and relaxing guesthouse. An authentic Morrocan riad with its courtyard and sunroof terrace.
Ideally based for pedestrians and market lovers due to its central location in the heart of the Medina, just five minutes from the very popular place Djemaa El Fna.
The whole team makes you feel at home: friendly and helpful with good local cuisine.
I particularly enjoyed sauna and massages at the end of day after exploring the city. I am looking forward to going back on October for another break.
Riad Dollar des Sables
13 Derb Deffa Ourbaa
________________________________________________________________Riad BoussaPosted by missparis
An oasis of calm. This riad is centrally located just off the Djemaa el-Fna. Tucked away fom the hustle and bustle, this traditional stylish riad is run by Brigitte and Bruno, wonderfully accommodating hosts.
Very central in the medina, minutes from main square, although you may need a guide when first arriving as it is down a side alley. www.riadboussa.com
For more tips on great riads go here