A Guide to Morocco’s Most Charming Hotels and Riads

Morocco was nothing short of a dream, and I’m still reeling from all the wonderful experiences I had with some very amazing people. It all started with a week of pre-tours, as part of the Trablin travel conference. Then, I had a few days on my own before co-leading my very first writing + Yoga retreat. Somehow, I squeezed in the energy for a mini solo trip to Fes Chefchaouen before heading home to the States.

Throughout my month in Morocco, I stayed at several hotels, riads and even a luxury desert camp. To help you plan your own dream getaway to Marrakech and beyond, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite spots and what makes them so memorable.

A Guide to Morocco's Most Charming Hotels and Riads

The ultimate city break

After some major flight issues that resulted in me arriving a full day after I intended, I can’t express how happy I was to get pampered at the Mövenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech.

Located in the newer part of the city (but still a short drive to the Medina), the 5-star property was like an actual oasis. From a chic restaurant combining Moroccan and Catalan cuisine and vibrant murals on the walls, to a lobby that smelled like perfection and a spacious pool area, I was beyond content to spend what little free time I had here.

They also hosted the Trablin conference where I was leading a masterclass, so I got some extra time to experience other areas of the grounds.

What I loved most: Besides the super helpful and attentive staff, I loved having a choice of two outdoor pools as well as a spa (complete with a small pool to relax). There is also Yoga offered, so there are many opportunities to really rest, relax and rejuvenate away from the Medina.

 

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In the heart of the action

The aptly named Riad Karmela Princesse really had me feeling like royalty as soon as I stepped through the door. Despite being somewhat tricky to find—the Medina streets are notoriously tricky—the riad is quiet and peaceful without any street noise.

The weather wasn’t great during my stay, so I didn’t get to enjoy the rooftop lounge area and bar as much as I had hoped. Instead, I go cozy by the fireplace in their lobby, which proved the perfect little nook to catch up on work emails.

What I loved most: There was something so magical about Riad Karmela Princessa. Besides the ideal location, I loved the modern and colorful decor dispersed throughout. My room had a decidedly red theme, and the art on the walls really transformed the space and made it ‘its own.’

 

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Indoor, outdoor living

Before transforming into the boutique riad it is today, Riad Star was once the Marrakech home of jazz superstar, Josephine Baker. As such, there are nods to the artistic talent throughout the 13 guest rooms as well as the common areas.

I felt that Riad Star was more suitable to my demographic—late twenties, early thirties—and it had a fun, friendly vibe. The staff were amazing and I never tired of afternoon tea on the terrace.

What I loved most: Riad Star had one of the best terraces I saw during my stay in Morocco. As it’s a boutique riad property, it always had a cozy feel to it. There were little areas set up with comfy couches, tables for hot tea to be served, a fireplace, and even outlets to charge my laptop!

 

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Decor that tells a story

Located in the ancient city of Fes, Riad Fès – Relais & Châteaux literally feels like a palace. Traditional architecture is combined with a baroque style, going for an overall contemporary feel. The decor is super intricate—in the lobby alone, you’ll find that every single marble making up the tall pillars was installed piece by piece.

Breakfast is served indoor or out—I prefer outdoors, as it overlooks a small plunge pool and white statues. There is also a spa and restaurant, although I didn’t experience either during my stay.

What I loved most: It’s a tie between the intricate and ornate decor featured in the lobby and the spacious rooftop offering stunning views of Fes. I watched sunset my first night and it was really special to see the city lights turn on as the sun set over the buildings.

 

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A luxury desert experience

I have nothing by happy memories from my 48 hours in the desert—the idyllic sand dunes of Erg Chebbi to be exact. Despite a 12-hour journey there and back, getting to the camp was worth every minute in the car. Plus, I got to travel with some pretty amazing people.

From the freshly served food, live musical entertainment and humble but comfortable (and heated) tents, this was the bucket-list experience I never knew I needed. My favorite part was doing a sand dune driving tour and spending an hour with a local nomad family.

What I loved most: The people working at Merzouga Luxury Desert Camps are as kind as they are talented. That’s right, the same man who cooked our dinners was the lead drummer in the band that accompanied our meal. I felt so at home here, from the cozy rooms, the 5-star service, and the overall thoughtfulness of each member of staff.

 

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Have you ever stayed in a riad? What was your experience like. 

This post is in collaboration with the properties featured in this post. All opinions are my own. 

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Hi! I’m Megan,

a Scorpio sun and Libra moon who left her job in the music industry to travel and write full-time. Since then, i´ve explored more than 60 countries in the hopes that you will, too.

The world is made of magic and so are you!

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