Find Your Perfect Riad in Marrakech

Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to spend my birthday in a blissful riad in Marrakech. My entire stay in the Red City was incredible, but it is the magnificent riad I am still dreaming about.

Riad Kheirredine

With a touch of the winter blues kicking in, I have been spending rather a lot of time googling riads in Marrakech planning my next fantasy trip. I have stayed in some pretty boogie places in my time, from zero waste hotels in Cambodia to Thai island wellness retreats, from traditional Venetian Palazzos to urban chic boutiques in Istanbul, but Moroccan riads are waaaaaaaay up there. The interiors and gardens are always exquisite, the hospitality is next level, plunge pools and hammams are standard, and — as a serious bonus — for the level of accommodation you get, they are often surprisingly affordable.


So, What Actually is a Riad?

If you are planning a trip to my favorite North African country (fine, the only North African country I’ve visited), then a stay in one of the riads of Morocco is a must.

A riad (derived from the Arabic word ryad meaning garden) is a traditional Moroccan house with a central courtyard or garden, traditionally with a fountain and full of plants. In Marrakech, a riad was often originally the family home of wealthy citizens, but nowadays, many have been converted into gorgeous boutique hotels and guesthouses. Given the red city’s illustrious history as a trading hotspot, Marrakesch riads are also known for being some of the most palatial, architecturally stunning, and gorgeously decorated in the whole of Morocco.

Where to Stay in Marrakech

Riad Kheirredine

Marrakech undoubtedly has some of the best riads of Morocco, and nearly all of these are located in the medina. The medina is the city’s historical center, and within its walls, you will find all the city’s main sights and have the best souks on your doorstep. With its rambling maze-like streets and incredible energy, staying in the medina is not only convenient but gives you a real taste of this bustling, hectic, culturally extraordinary city.


The Best Marrakech Riads

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After some serious research, I have picked a selection of the best Marrakech riads on offer. They all include at least one meal (breakfast or brunch) per day, and many of them can happily accommodate vegan diets. They also all have air conditioning, which is a must during the year’s hottest months, from June through October.

Riad Kheirredine

inside the riad

I can personally vouch for this award-winning boutique hotel as one of Marrakech’s best riads. Fine, maybe I’m biased because I had the most glorious birthday stay here, but you try and beat this gorgeous plant-filled oasis with mind-blowing suites and rooftop views of the Atlas Mountains. And that’s not to mention the absolutely incredible staff who will take care of your every need (including handing you a mobile phone with their number pre-programmed so they can rescue you if you get lost in the medina), or the amazing in-house restaurant. Many of the riads I have listed are vegan friendly, but Kheirredine was not only amazingly accommodating for me, but the food was unbelievably delicious. Riad Kheirredine is located, like many of the red city’s top riads, in the Marrakech medina.


Riad Chorfa

riad chorfa

This gorgeous riad in the Marrakech medina gives you the perfect mix of culture, vibrancy, and relaxation. Each room is uniquely decorated with bold colors, traditional tiles, and gorgeous textiles. Riad Chorfa is a great option if you are traveling solo or with a family, as they have everything from single rooms to doubles and family rooms — you can even take all your friends and rent out the entire riad! It is the perfect place to seek respite after a busy day exploring Marrakech (and to recoup from the hustle and bustle of the medina). Recharge by lounging on one of the day beds surrounding the pool in the central courtyard or find a shady nook and admire the views from the rooftop.


Riad Al Loune

riad al loune

This is one of the best value riads in the Marrakech medina, as pretty much everything your heart could desire is included in the price. This riad not only has gorgeous, traditional rooms but there is a wellness space where you can book in for massages, a hammam, a central courtyard with a plunge pool, and bonuses such as wifi and airport shuttle included in the price. It also has a highly recommended in-house restaurant, so if you don’t feel like venturing out in the evenings you will be well taken care of.


Dar Zemora

dar zemora

Dar Zemora is the exception to the rule: an amazing riad not in Marrakech medina. If you are looking for an alternative location for a riad in Marrakech, then you can’t go wrong with one of the most exclusive regions of the city, the Palmeraie — named for its extensive palm groves. Dar Zemora is perfect if you want something a little more laid back, a tad more spacious, and a whole lot of luxe. Dar Zemora has just seven rooms (some with a private pool and terrace), set in gorgeously manicured grounds with a kitchen garden whose produce is used by the in-house restaurant. There is even a croquet lawn if that’s your thing! You will enjoy a top-notch spa and hammam and a large pool heated with solar panels (making it perfect for a stay in the cooler months).


Palais Des Princesses & Spa

riad palais des princesses et spa

A great, affordable spa riad in the Marrakech medina. The spa and wellness center with an indoor swimming pool, hammam, a hot tub, and a massage area alone makes this one of the best riads in Marrakech. But with a gorgeous flower-filled courtyard and plenty of space on the roof terrace to relax, as well as very comfy beds, you will leave this riad feeling thoroughly rested and renewed.


Demeures d’Orient Riad & Spa

demeures d'orient riad et spa

If money is no issue, then Demeures d’Orient Riad and Spa is an excellent choice. Known as one of the top-end luxury riads in Marrakech, expect spacious rooms (including suites with some seriously boogie bathrooms), impeccable service, and high-quality amenities. And of course — as the name implies — excellent spa facilities, including a hammam, and plenty of massage options available. There is also a large central swimming pool, which is free for guests, but if you are staying elsewhere in the medina and desperate for a dip (and curious about how the other half lives), you can pay for access.


Riad Aguaviva

riad aguaviva

Located in the quieter northern part of the medina, this small-scale boutique riad is a great choice if sustainable travel is important to you. Their food is locally sourced, they focus on more sustainable energy choices, and they have eliminated a majority of single-use plastic. With lots of comfy nooks and crannies to relax in, a plunge pool and a lovely light-filled courtyard, you won’t be disappointed with this riad.


La Maison Arabe Hotel, Spa & Cooking Workshops

la maison arabe hotel marrakech

This heritage riad first opened up its doors in 1946 and has remained a stalwart on Marrakech’s luxury hotel scene ever since. It has a range of lovely rooms and suites (some with the sort of private bathroom that are designed to make you feel like you have died and gone to heaven) and lots of great modern comforts like LCD televisions in the rooms and a fitness suite. Oh, and don’t get me started on the grounds with two swimming pools, the hammam and spa, and complimentary afternoon tea with every booking. Good food is taken seriously here, and if you want a piece of the action, you can even sign up for a cooking class!


Riad L’Hotel Marrakech

riad l'hotel marrakech

Recently, when I feel stressed, I look up images of Riad L’Hotel Marrakech, and all my troubles melt away. This multi-award-winning riad owned by Jasper Conran is, in a word, breathtaking. Thoughtfully designed (I expect no less with Conran at the helm) to channel a modern interpretation of 1930s elegance, the five suites, shared spaces, and expansive plant-filled courtyard with a swimming pool promise you the most relaxing stay in understated luxury surrounds.


Riad Dar-K

riad dar-k

If you are after the uber instagrammable stay, then Riad Dar-K is for you. Minimalist neutrals, natural textures, and earthy tones meet traditional Berber touches with a whole lot of plants. This super chic yet easygoing aesthetic has been designed, I suspect, for the social media-loving among us. But it’s definitely not style-over-substance! The rooms are spacious and full of thoughtful touches, the lovely shaded patio with a plunge pool is the perfect place to hide from the midday heat, and the dreamy roof terrace with shaded squishy sectionals and floor cushions makes the perfect nap spot. If you have any dietary requirements, this is also the ideal place; their seasonally aligned menus can be made vegan, gluten-free, and allergen friendly.


Dar Assiya

dar assiya

Located in the heart of the red city, this traditionally decorated riad melds culture with luxury. Featuring a beautiful central courtyard with a swimming pool, which the five double rooms and larger suites open onto, a stunning roof terrace with sunbeds and a canopied shaded seating area, and lots of corners throughout the riad with seating areas to relax in. This riad takes comfort seriously and is perfect for unwinding after a busy day exploring.


So hopefully, you have found a Marrakech riad to tickle your fancy! There really is something for everyone, whether you are just looking for something affordable with the basics like air conditioning, something scenic with room or rooftop views of the Atlas mountains, or the full spa experience complete with pools, hammam, and hot tub — I got you covered. Oh, and if you are looking for something with a wellness edge, check out my guide to Morocco’s best yoga retreats.