If you’ve snapped up one of the cheap flights to Marrakech with your sweetheart it’s time to start searching Marrakech hotels. Choosing where to stay in Marrakech is no small feat. With nearly 1000 riads plus even more hotels and Marrakech resorts where do you even begin? For couples planning a Marrakech honeymoon or simply just a nice stay I’ve put together some suggestions that will help you decide where to stay in Marrakech.
There are a few things you need to think about when you start choosing a place to stay. First, it’s the variety of options available. I would suggest taking a read of this post I wrote on whether you should you stay in a hostel, hotel, or riad in Morocco. It will give you an idea of what to expect and how to choose. Some of the choices you have on where to stay include;
- riads – traditional Moroccan homes, similar to a bed and breakfast.
- hotels – ranging from very basic to extra luxurious
- hostels – for those on a budget that don’t mind shared accommodation (some have private rooms).
- all-inclusive hotels/resorts – hotels that include food and sometimes beverages as well as entertainment in room costs.
- apartment rentals – sites like Airbnb have many apartments and private riads available for rent. (If you’ve never used Airbnb you can get a $25 credit on your first stay with this link!)
Where is the best area to stay in Marrakech?
This really depends on the experience you want. I’d even go so far as to say there is no single best area. It may help to understand the major areas of Marrakech when making your choice.
Medina means city in Arabic but in Morocco it’s used to refer to the area of the city within the walls of the old parts of the city. This is a large area. It’s also where most tourists tend to be. Within the medina it is divided into neighborhoods. Most riads are located within the medina. There are thousands of Moroccans that also call the medina home and so it is an area that is a mix of residential homes, commerce, shops, workshops, tourist attractions, restaurants and more. I have often heard from people that they choose to stay outside of the medina because it is so busy. I would encourage you to rethink this. While the outside streets may be busy, once you are inside a riad you will find it to be a completely different experience. Staying in the medina also means you won’t need to use taxis or other transportation to reach the majority of things you may want to do. One of the negatives of staying in the medina is that it is car free so you will need to walk, so if you have mobility issues it can be difficult. Also the streets are very much like a maze so it is likely you’ll get lost a few times.
The “New” City
The neighborhoods of Gueliz and Hivernage are two of the most popular for those wanting to stay outside of the medina but still within the city. In these areas you will find much of Marrakech nightlife happens. There are many large hotels in these areas. You may feel like you are in any other city in the world if you stay here. In Hivernage you’ll find a casino, nightclubs and restaurants. In Gueliz there are many shops with global brands, restaurants and boutique shops. Both of these areas are still relatively close to the medina so you may be able to walk around, though taxis are plentiful if you prefer.
Marrakech was actually built in part because of this natural palm oasis. Today this area is on the edge of the city. Many large resorts, all-inclusive resorts, and a few golf courses can be found here. If you don’t plan to go into the city center often, then it might be a good idea to consider this neighborhood. However, if you do plan to visit the city center look into whether the hotel offers a shuttle or know you will pay about 200 dirham each way to reach the city center and that the trip is between 20-40 minutes depending on traffic.
Numerous resorts and hotels are located outside the city. However many will list that they are “in” Marrakech. This is something you should pay attention to. In the address it will be listed as something like Kilometer 23 route de Ourika, Marrakech – this means the hotel is 23 kilometers outside Marrakech on the road to Ourika. Just like with staying in the Palmeraie this may not be an issue for you, you may even choose it but it’s not a great surprise to discover if you thought you were actually staying IN the city.
This is just a quick breakdown of some of the major areas that people stay in. Hopefully it can help you narrow down the area where you want to stay.
Boutique Hotels in Marrakech
Often times riads are referred to as a boutique hotel. This often means the riad has more rooms than the average. A normal riad has 3-6 rooms. It was once a private family home that has been made into a guest house. A boutique hotel in Marrakech often has 10-15 rooms. Sometimes this can mean it was two riads that were combined to create one space. Here are my suggestions for this type of accommodation.
This riad has been gorgeously restored and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The art deco feel, white decor and plenty of lush greenery immediately sets the tone for secluded hideaway vacation. This riad is in the Dar el Bacha neighborhood and very easy to access.
This is the smallest five star hotel in Marrakech and a lovely boutique hotel with 28 rooms and suites onsite. You’ll relax in complete comfort with king size beds and a stocked mini fridge. The swimming pool is heated and a full spa can help you relax. La Sultana is in the kasbah neighborhood of Marrakech.
This Marrakech boutique hotel has 37 rooms or suites along with 8 private pools and a large heated swimming pool that is open to all guests. It’s the largest boutique hotel on the list and I’m including it because of it’s lovely gardens, hidden location and and great amenities. If you want to run away with your sweetheart it’s a good place to run! Les Deux Tours is in the Palmeraie area of Marrakech.
This small hotel has been open since 1946 and has a great reputation in the city. There are 26 rooms and suites with private entrances as well as 3 onsite restaurants. The cooking school is one of the best in the city. Located in the medina neighborhood you can spend time relaxing onsite or easily venture out and be right in the middle of the action.
Outside the city you’ll find Ksar Char-Bagh. You won’t just find hotel rooms here, each room or suite is spacious – an apartment to yourself, with multiple sizes and amenities available. It has won several awards and you’re sure to feel like royalty if you decide to stay here. This hotel is in the Palmeraie neighborhood of Marrakech.
Luxury Riads in Marrakech
You want the riad experience but luxury too. These five luxury Marrakech riads will give you just that!
Translated to “House of the Storks” Dar Les Cigognes is conveniently located near the Badi Palace and Mellah. Relax in your room and enjoy a hammam or massage onsite. Eleven rooms and suites are available with different amenities. You can also participate in their very well-known private cooking classes.
Ten suites make up Riad Farnatchi, each with handmade beds and Egyptian cotton linens. Relax in the common areas or enjoy a meal in one of the dining rooms. It also boasts what might be considered one of the best spas in Marrakech. You can visit Le Trou au Mur, part of the Farnatchi family and conveniently located just across the street.
With only five rooms but plenty of space you’ll feel like you’ve got the place to yourself. This riad has been tastefully decorated with some elements that were acquired from the collections of famous Marrakech based designers Bill Willis and Yves St. Laurent. This riad is truly luxurious and would be a special experience for anyone visiting.
Here you’ll experience a mix of Moroccan design and Italian style. Seven rooms make up Riad Joya each with a different style and aesthetic. An onsite butler will ensure that all of your needs are catered for and can assist with booking anything you would require outside of the riad.
Affordable Luxury Riads
These five riads might be some of the best riads in Marrakech if you are seeking luxury and comfort but are on a bit more of a budget. You’ll have a personal, relaxed and romantic experience at a price that won’t leave you crying when you get home!
If you want to spend your time in Marrakech in the heart of the medina this is the place to stay. With just six rooms you’ll feel relaxed and get all the personal attention you want. Take a cooking class together or enjoy a meal on the rooftop, they’ll help arrange what your heart desires.
Light and airy are the words to best describe Riad Adore. It’s tastefully decorated ten bedrooms are luxurious and welcoming. Antique kaftans (traditional Moroccan women’s dresses) are used in each of the rooms as decorative pieces. For book lovers spending time in their beautiful library must be added to your to-do list.
With four rooms, Dar Zaman is a cozy hideaway for couples honeymooning or simply looking to getaway. Depending on the season enjoy their plunge pool or open fireplaces! Each room has unique decor with a combination of Moroccan and West African inspiration. Make sure to enjoy their lovely breakfast on the rooftop (weather permitting.)
A hidden oasis in the streets of the medina. This small riad is tastefully decorated and calming after a long day exploring Marrakech. Enjoy the roof terrace and plunge pool. Daily breakfast is included and you can also order lunch or dinner to be served in the riad (highly recommended as the cook is excellent!)
Amazigh (Berber) for “Land of God” is what Mur Akush means. Inside the doors you’ll find this 300+ year old home has been restored with attention paid to reviving the traditional Moroccan details. Six luxury suites are available in different configurations, two of which include fireplaces.
I purposely left off some of the more well-known luxury hotels like La Mamounia or The Royal Mansour as they’re on everyone’s radar. Instead I’ve chosen five others to show you the best luxury hotels in Marrakech.
Here you’ll find five star luxury amenities at a still affordable price. The property is surrounded by palm and olive trees giving it the feel of seclusion just outside the city. Every room has a balcony overlooking the gardens. For guests that have reduced mobility there are accessible rooms and amenities available.
I included this globally known brand because it’s Marrakech location is truly lovely. Book into one of their villas where you’ll have complete privacy including your own swimming pool. You can also use any of their onsite amenities. Eat at least one meal at signature restaurant Mes’lalla to enjoy traditional Moroccan flavors in a modern way.
Most 5-star luxury hotels in Marrakech are located outside the city – not this one! You’ll be situated right in the heart of the city but with lush gardens and relais et châteaux status you’ll feel like you’re miles away. Gorgeous rooms and suites have a modern feel with traditional Moroccan elements.
One of the most unique features of this five star property is the stable of thoroughbred Arabian horses that could be considered the mascots of the hotel. Each room is deliciously decorated, and the signature experiences offered will make any guest feel like a VIP.
All-Inclusive Marrakech Hotels
For those travelers who would rather everything taken care of for them, there’s the option of all-inclusive resorts in Marrakech. These resorts are outside the city center but many have transportation options. While you can book in as a private guest, many are also part of the networks of traveler operators such as TUI vacations.
This property is large, with over 200 rooms in various categories and configurations. Guests have complimentary access to the waterpark and for an additional fee the 1600 sqm spa. The buffet restaurants are available with the all inclusive plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as complimentary drinks and snacks at the onsite bars.
Twenty minutes from the center of Marrakech you’ll find Club Marmara. The 432 rooms are spread amongst the 10 hectares of gardens and pools. One main buffet restaurant and two ala carte restaurants are available. There’s also live entertainment and activities planned throughout the days.
Of the all-inclusive options this one is one of my favorites. Two hundred and fifty deluxe rooms are complete with modern amenities and a hotel feel. Each room has a balcony and all inclusive guests have access to onsite restaurants and bars throughout their stay. A shuttle bus will get you to and from the city center – just a very short drive away.
While many all-inclusives cater to families, this hotel is an adults only property. It’s also located in the heart of the city so you won’t need to worry about getting around. Wander the gardens or swim in the pool. Choose from eating onsite or find the city at your fingertips just by stepping outside the doors.
This property is big, with 500+ rooms but there is plenty to do so that you won’t feel like you’re in a crowded amusement park. Multiple restaurants, pools and plenty of entertainment and activities will keep you busy. Guests have free access to the waterpark and shuttle to the city center of Marrakech.
Romantic Things to Do in Marrakech
Once you’ve booked your stay what will you plan to do next? I’ve put together a list of romantic things couples can do on any budget. Pick and choose a few options to complete your stay!
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