The most beautiful riads in Marrakech: my good addresses
Marrakech is one of Morocco’s top tourist destinations. With its near-permanent sunshine, smiling and helpful locals, Marrakech’s beautiful beaches, cultural and historical sights to see at least once in a lifetime and bargains to be had, it’s impossible not to enjoy a stay there 🙂 By the way, if you don’t know what to do in Marrakech, I invite you to read my full article on the subject. If you want to spend a few days in the Red City, I strongly suggest renting a room in a typical Moroccan accommodation: a riad. In this article, you’ll find a selection of the most beautiful riads in Marrakech, along with their specific features, to help you make your choice.
Why stay in a riad in Marrakech?
Staying in a riad is the best way to get the full Moroccan experience: in a typically traditional house with a patio in the middle, rooms all around and a terrace overlooking the city’s rooftops!
While you are away from the hubbub of the medina, you will not only gain from great comfort but also peace and quiet. And while Moroccan hospitality is well-known throughout the world, picture yourself snoozing in four-poster beds with fairy tale-worthy mattresses in the coziest settings. Not to mention the meals you can have on the property: delectable pastillas, luscious tagines, and the renowned mint tea with its sweet sweets. In short, you’ll be able to return to France with nothing but fond memories!
Still not sure where to stay in Marrakech? Don’t worry, there’s no shortage of choice. There are plenty of riads in Marrakech, especially in the heart of the old town. And to help you plan your stay in Morocco from the comfort of your own home, here’s a list of the most beautiful riads in Marrakech, both inside and outside the medina. All you have to do is choose the one that suits your preferred area, your comfort requirements and, above all, your budget.
Welcome to Marrakech’s medina, the perfect place to stay because it’s so close to all the city’s major tourist attractions, you’re bound to pass through here if you’re on a road Morocco Tours. Enjoy the Place Jemaa el Fna’s crowded streets and vibrant souks, where storytellers, acrobats, snake charmers, and musicians perform.. And let’s not forget the Koutoubia mosque, the Majorelle Garden and the various museums…. In short, an endless list of things to see and do!
You’ll find a whole host of riads in the old town, and most of them are located in unsuspected places, behind little wooden doors. You’ll be amazed at how quiet it is here; whereas outside the noise is almost incessant!
Dar-K riad, a blend of modernity and tradition
Located in the heart of the old town, in one of the oldest districts, the Dar K riad offers an intimate atmosphere. In fact, it feels more like a guest house 🙂 If you’re looking to stay in one of the most beautiful riads in Marrakech, Riad Dar K’s refined, minimalist Berber-style decor is sure to win you over! The warm colors of the walls bring a sense of calm and warmth that invites you to laze around. The riad (which can accommodate up to 15 people) has 3 large suites and 2 double rooms.
The best places to stay in Essaouira
Are you leaving soon for a trip to Morocco or a road trip in Morocco and want to visit Essaouira? Then you’re probably looking for the best place to stay in Essaouira. Good news, in this post you’ll find all the useful info to help you find where to sleep in Essaouira, in which neighborhood and in which type of establishment to stay.
Essaouira is a Moroccan city with a unique charm. Long known as Mogador, it was a major trading port and has been influenced by many cultures over the centuries. With its famous ramparts, lively alleyways, authentic fishing port and long sandy beach, this city on the Atlantic coast has many surprises in store for you.
How to choose accommodation in Essaouira?
In Essaouira, the choice of where to put down your suitcases will depend on what you want to do, the length of your stay, your mobility, but also on the type of establishment you’re looking for.
For a short stay, or if you’re primarily interested in visiting the city’s sights and staying in a riad, the medina is the obvious choice. But for a longer stay, if you want to be able to explore the region a little, or if you’d like to take advantage of the ocean for some water sports, the beach at Essaouira or even some of the small towns nearby could be very good places to stay.
In the rest of this post, I’m going to introduce you to several places in or near Essaouira, and for each of them a few examples of very welcoming establishments. In any case, if you think you’ve found what you’re looking for, don’t wait and book as soon as possible, because if you wait too long, prices may go up and, above all, the most attractive establishments may no longer be available.
The Medina (Chbanat and the Kasbah)
The region has been inhabited by man since antiquity, and Essaouira’s Medina is one of the most famous historical sites in all Morocco. It’s the city’s oldest district and historic center, and during your stay in Essaouira, this is where you’ll discover many of the most charming and authentic places of interest.
The medina is a lively place, where you can enjoy Essaouira’s unique atmosphere. Wandering through the lively little streets, you can meet the locals, visit the souks where you’ll find all kinds of stalls (handicrafts, spices…), and discover many typical little restaurants. From the historic center, you can also easily head out beyond the ramparts to the beaches and harbor.
The medina is made up of several districts, including the Kasbah in the southwest. This is truly the historic heart of the city. On the other side of the medina is Chbanat, an equally lively district where you’ll see many craftsmen at work.
As far as accommodation is concerned, there’s quite a lot in this part of town, and above all it’s varied, from the most modest to the most luxurious and from the most modern to the most traditional. You’ll find classic hotels, but this is also the place to look if you want to spend a few nights in a traditional riad.
Where to stay in Essaouira’s Medina?
Riad Maison du Sud is a magnificent riad in a traditional 18th-century residence, 300 meters from the beach. It has a spa, bar and restaurant, and double rooms are available for around €65 a night.
Dar Dayana is a guesthouse located in a quiet street in the heart of the medina, less than 5 minutes’ walk from the beach, port and souks. It boasts a restaurant and a particularly pleasant roof terrace. You’ll find lovely rooms for two, starting at around €50 a night.
Directly south of the medina, you’ll also find well-situated accommodation close to Essaouira’s beach. Although Essaouira is not a seaside resort, as the sea is often too rough for swimming, this very long beach of golden sand bordering the Atlantic to the west of the city is very popular with water sports enthusiasts.
There are few tourist sites here, but as it’s quite quick to get to the Medina, staying near Essaouira beach might be a good idea if you want to enjoy the ocean too during your trip to Morocco. All the most central sites are within a 10 to 20-minute walk. This area is more residential and therefore quieter, but along the beach you’ll still find plenty of tourist attractions, cafés and restaurants.
This part of town is more modern. There are far fewer riads, and the accommodation on offer consists mainly of modern hotels and rentals. Away from the beach, accommodation is fairly affordable, and the closer you get to the sea, the more luxurious the hotels.
Where to stay in Essaouira near the beach?
Résidence Louzani is an aparthotel located around 1 km from the historic center and less than 100 meters from the beach. It offers fully-equipped, comfortable 65 m² apartments that can accommodate two people for around €60 a night.
Hotel Cote océan Mogador is a 4-star oceanfront establishment with its own private beach, swimming pool, spa, bar and restaurant. The hotel is only a few minutes’ walk from the medina, and you’ll find lovely double rooms from €90 a night.
Diabat is a small Berber village located in the province of Essaouira at the mouth of the Oued Ksob, just ten minutes from the city by road. If you’re looking to get away from the city just a little and stay somewhere even more authentic, you might just find the perfect establishment here.
In the 1970s, Diabat was a popular resort for the hippie community. Jimmy Hendrix is said to have stayed here, and was even inspired by the watchtower and palace ruins of Dar Soltane to write his song “Castles Made of Sands”.
From Diabat, you can also reach Essaouira on foot, by bike or even on horseback, via the beach. Today, Diabat is a rather upmarket place. Restaurants and accommodation are fewer, and prices are higher than in town. If you want to stay here, I recommend you book early.
Where to stay in Diabat?
Villa Grenadine is a guest house in a superb villa with a large garden and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, around ten kilometers from Essaouira. The welcome is perfect, and the very comfortable and spacious double rooms start at around €40 a night.
Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa is a 4-star hotel with a beautiful garden, two swimming pools, a wellness center and several bars and restaurants. It is located directly on the Gary Player golf course. Rooms with sea or golf views start at around €110 a night.
Sidi Kaouki is a 25-minute drive from Essaouira. This tiny coastal village will be of interest to travelers who want to spend a few nights close to Essaouira for a number of reasons.
If you’re looking for a beach that’s much prettier and less crowded than Essaouira’s, here you can bask in the sun, swim when the sea is calm, surf or kitesurf, and enjoy beautiful walks along the coastline.
If you continue just a little further south, you can even reach Sidi Kaouki, and Sidi M’Barek, where you can discover superb natural and wild landscapes.
Where to stay in Sidi Kaouki?
The Auberge du Marabout is located on the seafront of Sidi Kaouki, just a stone’s throw from beaches popular with surfers, kitesurfers and windsurfers. The hostel boasts a pleasant garden with a panoramic terrace. Rooms for two start at around €30 per night.
Le Ranch de Sidi kaouki offers homestays just a few hundred meters from the beach and several restaurants. This very quiet ranch is the ideal place to stay close to Essaouira, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and to discover the countryside on beautiful horseback rides. The owners are very welcoming, and rooms for 3 people are available from just €35 per night.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and now know where to stay in Essaouira. If you’re planning to visit the region, you can check out my article on what to do in Marrakech and where to stay in Marrakech!