An insider's guide to the best cheap hotels and riads in Marrakech, including the top affordable places to stay for rooftop terraces, courtyard pools and romantic bedrooms, in locations close to the souks, the Djemaa el-Fna square and the Dar el Bacha palace.
The large, handsome house comes with a flower-filled courtyard, wraparound balconies draped in romantic curtains, and six generous rooms with comfortable, unfussy furniture. Service is highly personal, but unobtrusive. One of the best features of this riad is the cracking roof terrace with its far-reaching medina views. It’s a grand spot for the breakfast banquet of homemade yoghurt, fruit, pastries, semi-leavened Moroccan bread, pancakes and eggs. It's superbly located steps from the Dar el Bacha palace (a great place to pick up taxis) and only five to 10 minutes' walk to the souks, the Medersa Ben Youssef and the Djemaa el-Fna.
Double rooms from £45
Read the full review: Riad Tizwa
The home of artist Jean-Luc Lemée, Riad Malika is one of the oldest and most characterful riads in the medina. The creative vibe and cross-cultural influence is energising, and the four living rooms are packed to the rafters with design brilliance. There’s also a small hammam near the unheated pool and a massage room just off the main courtyard. Beside the pool there’s a covered portico with a bar. Each of the nine rooms is large and riotously decorated with vintage and modernist pieces. Breakfast is served on the terrace, lunch by the pool, and the three-course dinner in the candlelit garden.
Double rooms from £72
Read the full review: Riad Malika
Set snugly in a kink on Rue Laksour, this cosy, four-room riad offers an instant immersion course in Moroccan medina living, from the convivial communal atmosphere, to impromptu music concerts in the courtyard, to souk shopping trips and relaxed cookery courses with the house dada (cook). The four bijou guestrooms are compact in size but are thoughtfully kitted out and stylishly decorated in soft earthy colours. This dar gets high praise for its beautifully executed home-cooked meals, which vary between traditional Moroccan offerings and Italian classics.
Double rooms from £65
Read the full review: Dar Attajmil
A super, 17th-century riad with a lush Islamic garden and five light-filled, minimalist rooms showcasing the period craftsmanship and design of the house. Like the décor, service here is warmly authentic, low key and personal. Manager Ingrid is a mine of information and has an enviable address book filled with contacts for top hairdressers, yoga instructors and local musicians. All of the five rooms have handsome proportions, low-level platform beds, soaring ceilings, dressing rooms and tadelakt bathrooms. Food here is traditional, fresh and tasty. A Moroccan breakfast of fruit and pancakes is served on the roof terrace.
Double rooms from £60
Read the full review: Riad Berbère
The holiday home of Norwegian architect Knut Hovland, P’tit Habibi has an eccentric, intimate character and staying there feels like holidaying with friends. Moroccan music drifts out of the Scandinavian-chic lounge and across the marble courtyard with its climbing creeper, where Fatima, the dada (home cook) often sits grilling kebabs over a charcoal fire. The four-person staff are friendly and unaffected. Nothing is too much trouble. There are five rooms, all individually decorated with an eclectic mix of painted wooden furniture, flea market finds and photographs of Morocco in the 1960s.
Rooms from £78
Read the full review: P’tit Habibi
When owner and interior designer Anke van der Pluijm got the chance to buy a riad she shamelessly decorated it in a memorable, multi-layered fashion, filling it with interesting craftwork, kitsch furnishings and upcycled fittings. The house has a large patio garden, a small bar, and a plant-lined roof terrace with a shower. Anke is a wonderful hostess brimming with excellent suggestions for souk shopping, and runs an equally successful online craft shop. The food here is smart like the décor, mixing hearty, three-course Moroccan dinners with long, lazy buffet breakfasts, light lunches and tapas.
Rooms from £62
Read the full review: Chambres d'Amis
Riad Le J
The Moroccan home of two Italian furniture designers, Riad Le J is tucked behind the Mouassine mosque and combines smart interior design with local craftsmanship. Whichever room you choose from the four themed options – Mint, Saffron, Pepper and Cinnamon – you can lie back and gaze at ancient painted ceilings. They were rescued from the Bab el Khemis market and restored so their careful geometry appears like colourful starbursts above wonderfully comfortable beds. Breakfasts are sensational, consisting of fresh, stoneground bread, fluffy pancakes, and wild-flower mountain honey.
Rooms from £75
Read the full review: Riad Le J
Dar al Assad
Push through the hotel's brass-studded door and you arrive in a courtyard lined with Moorish arches and cosy bhous (seating nooks). Couples talk in secret alcoves crowded with busts, books and objet d’art. As most of the team has been at the house for nearly two decades things work like a well-oiled machine. Expect generous-sized rooms and modern, marble-clad bathrooms. Breakfast is a feast of baghrir pancakes, butter-fried eggs, homemade yoghurt and fresh, flaking pain au chocolat. Dinner is a serious affair with cocktails on the roof terrace, then fine dining in the courtyard.
Double rooms from £95
Read the full review: Dar al Assad
With no unnecessary fuss or frills, Riad Matham serves up a simple, authentic, pared-back experience of medina living in a 16th-century house, right next to the souks. Staff are attentive and happy to make excellent medina recommendations, organise excursions and even plan birthday parties. Aside from the wonderful roof terrace and plunge pool, there’s a small hammam. The six air-conditioned rooms retain their traditional character with high, painted ceilings, grand ‘rtaj’ doors and stucco detailing. Breakfast on the roof terrace is a real highlight.
Double rooms from £44
Read the full review: Riad Matham
Located in the bustling Kennaria, Riad UP is a quiet medina haven with a cosy living room, and a courtyard pool. The home of Mallorcan designer Elsa Bauza, it combines a minimalist modern style with earthy Moroccan textures. You can be sure of super personalised service here. The house is organised in two wings, which ensures that bedrooms are private and quiet. Their décor is simple, contemporary and masculine. Breakfast on the terrace is a parade of wholesome goodies from mountain honey and Moroccan pancakes to homemade yoghurt.
Rooms from £67
Read the full review: Riad UP
All prices cited are starting rates for double rooms, based on two people sharing, in low season. These prices are subject to change in high season and during popular holidays and events.