- Paula Hardy, Destination expert
Situated on the eastern edge of the medina, Riad Mena is accessible by car. It’s an easy 10-minute walk to the Djemaa el-Fna, the Bahia and Badi palaces, and the Mellah’s spice souqs. Taxis are available at Place Douar Graoua.
Style & character
Riad Mena exhibits the same clever, contemporary, cosmopolitan style as its globetrotting owner Philomena Schurer Merckoll. Working with designer Romain Michel Meniere 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.
In places it channels a Miami-in-Marrakech vibe – signature mid-century modern pieces sit easily on vintage kilims beside embroidered leather pouffes hung with cowrie shells – and the atmosphere is similarly bohemian and unfussy. Talitha Getty and the kaftan crowd of Sixties ‘Kech’ would feel right at home here, and so will you.
Service & facilities
Service focuses on life’s real luxuries: a warm welcome, knowledgeable advice, an excellent selection of books, privacy when you want it and conversation when you’re feeling convivial. Guests are treated like grown-ups with an honesty system for snacks and free non-alcoholic drinks, and a lovely marble-lined hammam is at your disposal free of charge. For the mindful traveller there’s also yoga, massages, Tai Chi, Japanese callisthenics, a detox menu and contemporary art tours.
- Steam room/hammam
The six generous, light-filled rooms with their lofty ceilings, garden-gazing windows and enormous bathrooms are extravagantly luxurious. Where they could have fitted eight rooms, they opted instead for just six sumptuous suites, two with a shared private terrace. Beat generation poets and pioneering modernist designers, such as Eileen Gray, provided inspiration for the décor, while bathrooms come with Philippe Starck furniture and fittings which gleam against the glossy tadelakt walls. The piece de resistance is the Grand Suite, which spans the breadth of the house and comes with a romantic latticework menzeh (window box) where you can while away whole days overlooking the garden.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
Breakfast on the roof terrace with uninterrupted views of the Koutoubia. Then let Fattima know if you want one of her lovely light lunches which consist of imaginative takes on Moroccan classics: mini meatballs, potato salad sprinkled with cumin, succulent chicken wings and Berber omelettes packed with a herby punch. Dinners, which should be requested in advance, are more elaborate, although the light touch remains and after one-too-many tagines in the medina, you’ll be thankful for it.
Value for money
Double rooms from £163 to £260. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Children under 10 years old are only accepted for exclusive riad bookings.