- Paula Hardy, Destination expert
Located just inside the medina walls in the Bab Doukkala neighbourhood. Cars can drop you literally within a few hundred feet of the riad and from here you can walk to the Jardin Majorelle, the souqs and Jamaa el Fna all within 15 minutes.
Style & character
Recently renovated by the talented Willem Smit (who manages Riad El-Fenn), Riad ‘Blue Eyes’ is garnering appreciative nods all round. Gone is the traditional décor of a typical medina house and in its place is a modern Moroccan look in bright Pop Art colours. Instead of ubiquitous zellige tiling, graphic, handpainted concrete tiles snake around a turquoise pool flanked by Colonial easy chairs.
The smaller Beldi courtyard is styled as an intimate sitting room with deep-seated armchairs and a wall-mounted fireplace as the centrepiece. It’s an absolute triumph. A plethora of alcoves, potted plants and seating nooks generate a deeply intimate and romantic atmosphere.
Service & facilities
With its jigsaw of rooms, courtyards, galleries and roof terraces, the riad offers a range of different experiences and environments from the sleek dining salon, unheated courtyard pool and bijou fire-lit library on the ground floor, to the tented dining area, solarium, plunge pool, hammam and massage room on the roof terrace. Reception is manned 24 hours a day and service is friendly and professional.
- Steam room/hammam
Returning to your richly-decorated room after a day out in the souqs you’ll feel like a wealthy merchant returning home after a hard day’s bargaining. Feel free to collapse on your cloud-like, king-sized bed and contemplate the mint green walls and artwork. The eight double rooms are long and narrow and are all individually styled.
The two ground-floor rooms beside the pool have fireplaces; a further three surround the Beldi patio, and the quietest three nestle in the deep, first-floor loggia overlooking the pool. All of them have glamorous bathrooms featuring walk-in showers or tadelakt plaster tubs. Modesty seekers should note none of the bathrooms have doors.
Food & drink
Not as striking as the décor although taking the traditional breakfast of pancakes and honey on the pretty roof terrace is still a treat. Lunch and dinner are available on request and consist of reliable Moroccan classics such as chicken tagine with preserved lemon and lamb tangia (stew). Tea and coffee are also available free of charge throughout the day.
Value for money
Double rooms from £132 in low season; rising to £156 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
This is a romantic retreat and the rooms don’t lend themselves well to accommodating extra beds. That said, children under two-years-old stay free of charge; otherwise extra beds are charged at £40 per night.