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Magical riads in Marrakech

From romantically traditional to cutting-edge current, Marrakech’s traditional riads in Morocco are oases of escapist style. Julia Freemantle sought out the best.

Marrakech in Morocco has long been a haven for creative types, rock stars and designers drawn to the city for its exotic beauty and devotion to craft. And its traditional riads are the best way to experience Moroccan living.

Whether you choose to explore the fashionable newer neighbourhoods or get lost inside the walls of the medina, there is stylish accommodation to be had.

Marrakech Riad L’Atelier

Backward glance: Riad L’Atelier

The passion project of a Spanish couple, Riad L’Atelier is an ode to retro design. The five-suite riad – once a way station for artisans (babouche, or slipper, -makers more specifically) – features uniquely decorated rooms surrounding a petite swimming pool and prettily tiled courtyard. The owners have painstakingly selected one-off vintage pieces, fleamarket finds and custom created items for the space and the result is an eclectic blend of Moorish and midcentury artistry. The food here is something to write home about too – with every meal an event, celebrating local produce with a global twist.

L’Hotel Marrakech

Old-world grandeur: L’Hotel Marrakech

Tastemaker Jasper Conran’s outpost in Marrakech, L’Hotel is located in a 19th-century riad. A five-suite establishment, it’s comprised numerous common areas in proportion to its guests, which makes it feel very private and peaceful. Designed to evoke the grandeur of hotels in the 1930s, the hotel is decorated using a combination of Moroccan craftsmanship and antique furniture, textiles, lighting and art from Conran’s collection, which gives it a homelike feel. Fresh flowers and lots of drapes add ample romance and the number of staff in relation to guests means that no need goes unanswered.

Marrakech Amanjena

Resort season: Amanjena

While not a riad, it would be remiss to exclude Amanjena. The globally renowned Aman group has the midas touch when it comes to creating destinations that people are drawn to. Amanjena, a palatial complex of pavilions and pools, is a terracotta-coloured dreamscape of arches and passages and petal-filled fountains. Its biggest USP is space – with suites that more closely resemble houses than rooms (with their own private walled gardens and pools), and enormous grounds (which include a golf course, three restaurants, a boutique and the list goes on), you might never bump into half the guests staying there – making it the ultimate getaway for those seeking privacy and exclusivity.

Marrakech, Riad Dar-K

Maxed out minimalism: Riad Dar-K

Created by the team that owns insta-famous La Maison Marrakech, Riad Dar-K takes a more minimal approach than its predecessor with an elegant low-key look, accented by local craft. Beautifully simple, the five rooms marry the traditional riad concept with a clean contemporary aesthetic, which adds to the peaceful air. Located in one of the oldest parts of the Medina (old city), its monochrome palette is offset by sculptural potted plants, and up on the roof you can lounge under a Bedouin-style tent, sun yourself on a lounger, or dine in the open.

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