An insider's guide to the most romantic hotels in Marrakech, featuring the best for authentic style, lavish décor, tranquil courtyards, lush gardens and traditional hammams, in locations close to the Djemaa el-Fna, Koutoubia Mosque and the city's many souks.
Given Thami el’Glaoui’s extravagant tastes and fascination with European culture, this jewel-box mansion combines the very best Moroccan craftsmanship with 1920's Art Deco style. Arabo-Andalucian courtyards zig-zag with black-and-white Carrara marble tiles bordered with thick ribbons of zellij; carved cedarwood ceilings mirror multi-coloured Boujad rugs; and handpainted Zouak doors frame warm butterscotch lounges hung with early 20th-century art and furnished with comfortable club chairs and European sofas.
From £ 78 per night
The Royal Mansour is situated on the eastern edge of the medina between the historic centre and the Ville Nouvelle, although once inside the leafy enclosure both feel miles away. A magnificent hotel conceived as a mini-medina with 53 two-storey villas set in manicured gardens dotted with lily ponds and fountains. Rooms are strewn with suede and silk carpets, velvet brocade sofas and crystal do-dads and chandeliers from Lalique, Baccarat and Venice.
From £ 907 per night
Push through the hotel's brass-studded door and you arrive in a courtyard lined with Moorish arches and cosy bhous (seating nooks). Metre-thick walls block out street noise and couples talk in secret alcoves crowded with busts, books and objet d’art. The look is French Orientalist with acres of luxe fabric creating a soft, sequestered atmosphere. In the evening the effect is even more magical as glowing lanterns reflect off brass ornaments and glittering chandeliers.
From £ 112 per night
Moorish arches frame views of botanist Gary Martin's organic gardens, and shed light on co-owner Meryanne Loum-Martin's extensive contemporary African art collection. Chiselled good looks in cream stucco and dark wood provide glamour without the gilt. Repurposed antiques and fair-trade, artisan-made furnishings set the standard for sustainable African chic. The hotel is a secluded nine-hectare estate in the Palmeraie, the historic palm grove outside Marrakech.
From £ 126 per night
A grand, colonial-style riad with an Old World atmosphere, acres of space spread through four interconnected houses, an eight-metre heated pool, multiple lounges and terraces and 10 handsome and luxurious bedrooms. Like a Delacroix painting there’s a dramatic use of lighting, colour and romance in the décor which combines colonial and Second Empire furnishings to opulent effect. The secondary pool patio is dotted with commodious wicker loungers and features a charming orangery-cum-bar lined with a fabulous Zuber hand-printed mural.
From £ 180 per night
Rates provided by
Mr & Mrs Smith
This elegant riad, with its harmonious proportions, tiered terraces, eight-metre pool and six vast suites set around a mature garden of palm, citrus and banana trees, redefines luxury in the medina. The handsome 19th-century house was nipped and tucked to create an easy sense of flow from the garden courtyard through to the pool patio, then up via multiple staircases to a romantic curtain-screened loggia and a jigsaw of terraces furnished with flowers, sofabeds and sun loungers shaded by jaunty yellow parasols.
From £ 163 per night
Taking its cue from ancient Rome, Greece and the Maghreb, Riad Joya’s grand architecture impresses against a desert palette of sand, taupe and beige. The effect is a cocoon of subtle style where luxury whispers at you from every detail of the bespoke furnishings which are fashioned in cedar, bronze, linen, silk and velvet. Suites are arranged around an inner courtyard off which sits a fine dining room and a library.
From £ 197 per night
Enjoy Moroccan hospitality at its finest in the lavishly restored suites of this historic 200-year-old mansion, owned by one of Marrakech’s most famous antique dealers. Restored by teams of Morocco’s most highly skilled craftsmen, the soaring salons, spacious rooms and tranquil patios make no apology for their decorative excess. On top of this artful canvas, Haj Bouskri’s beautiful antiques, Berber rugs, silk sofas and embroidered curtains add depth and personality, creating the feel of a luxurious Marrakshi home.
From £ 157 per night
The brain child of Bernd Kolb, AnaYela is a special place to stay. Not least for the inspiring love letter that informs the design and spirit of the place. Written by Yela, a 16-year-old girl, on the eve of her wedding it speaks of her love for a local boy and secret trysts in the palace tower. Honouring her happy love story, Kolb had it etched in silver and plaster throughout the house by one of Morocco’s master calligraphers. The effect is magical.
From £ 121 per night