- Paula Hardy, Destination expert
In the medina in the authentic neighbourhood of Bab Doukkala, where you’ll find a busy food souk. From here it’s a 15-minute walk southeast to the Djemaa el-Fnaa and a hot, 20-minute walk to the Jardin Majorelle. Taxis are available at nearby Bab Doukkala.
Style & character
Charming owners Michael and Michel have designed this riad as if it were their own home. The result is a thoughtful, modern rendition of traditional concepts and a serious commitment to sustainability. The heart of the handsome house is undoubtedly the sun-dappled patio with its turquoise plunge pool and shaded loggia. A high-ceilinged dining room and elegant salon surround it, while all the bedrooms benefit from the privacy of their first-floor location. Throughout, Michel has decorated with a sophisticated magpie selection of antiques, retro furnishings and primitive art. The finish is first class and compares comfortably with upscale boutique hotels.
Service & facilities
The riad has a plunge pool, a cosy in-house hammam, a massage room and an extensive library. In addition, in 2015, Riad al Massarah earned the internationally-accredited Travelife Gold Award signifying not only the property’s adherence to the highest environmental standards, but also an exceptional commitment to employee welfare and positive social action. As a result, you can expect a stimulating and socially responsible range of tours and courses, and a team of staff who deliver truly excellent service with a friendly smile.
- Steam room/hammam
Each of the rooms is distinct and tastefully furnished. Five of them are found on the first floor with the final suite, Jade, located on the roof terrace. Some rooms are narrower than others, but all are large by Marrakech standards. Baby-soft bathrobes, rainfall showers and Naturom bath products all come as standard, and five of the rooms (all except Saffron) have a cosy fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Food & drink
Breakfast on the roof terrace, amid the blooming oleanders, on an exotic coupe of fresh fruit dressed in orange blossom water followed by impeccably crisp croissants and homemade pancakes. Light lunches and three-course dinners should be booked ahead and are served in the low-lit dining room with the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald drifing across the patio. Chefs Khaddouj and Naima strive to bring Moroccan classics up to date, with dishes such as slow-cooked lamb tangia served with cinnamon-sprinkled sfah (fine, steamed pasta) followed by saffron panna cotta with honeyed figs.
Value for money
Double rooms from £90 in low season; rising to £145 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi (patchy in some of the bedrooms).
Access for guests with disabilities?
None; all guestrooms are upstairs.
Children under 12 are only accepted for whole riad bookings. No cots.