87 Derb Moulay Abdelkader, Dabachi, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Air Conditioning, Banquet Hall, Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Concierge, Dry Cleaning, Family Rooms, Free Breakfast, Kitchenette, Laundry Service, Minibar, Multilingual Staff, Restaurant, Room Service, Spa, Suites, Swimming Pool
Navigating Marrakech's labyrinthine medina is just the beginning: once you've regained your composure in the entrance to the Riyad El...
Navigating Marrakech’s labyrinthine medina is just the beginning: once you’ve regained your composure in the entrance to the Riyad El Cadi, you’ll next need to navigate the complex maze of narrow hallways to find your way to your suite. But it’s a delightful adventure, and a much calmer one at that. Wrong turns through the three interconnected riads will yield multiple tree-shaded courtyards, a plunge pool, numerous salons clad in faded Berber kilims, and wrought-iron balconies galore. The spidery cracks on the original tiles reveal a storied history: a onetime residence of a judge, or cadi in Arabic, the property is at least 300 years old. The hotel hasn’t been sexed-up like other medina riads — the aesthetic here is a carefully maintained aged-chic, incorporating the French owner’s own collection of Berber textiles and antiques alongside the original zellij tiling and wooden beams. Save for the flat-screen TVs in the rooms, Riyad El Cadi feels like it’s from another era.
If you want a truly authentic Moroccan experience, request to arrange a private cooking class beneath a leafy canopy in a courtyard tucked behind the kitchen. With the help of a translator, chef Hassan will guide you through the preparation of zaalouk, salade mkaour, tagine manful, and poulet au citron. Afterward, enjoy you’ll enjoy your feast in the tranquil main courtyard, with just chirping birds for company.
The 14 rooms are uniquely appointed and each has its own charms. The Palmier suite overlooks a different courtyard on each side, and has a bookshelf stocked with everything from leather-bound historical texts on Vietnam to tomes on art to modern-day thrillers — and, mysteriously, a few battered home video cassettes. Another suite has a fountain in its living room, while others come with their own terrace access.
While on the subject of the expansive terrace — it’s just as fun to explore as the rest of the hotel. A narrow flight of stairs leads to a multilevel roof deck, dotted with flowering bougainvillea trees and boasting views across the ancient terra-cotta-colored roofs, many strung with the day’s laundry. It’s a scene seemingly unchanged for centuries — barring the profusion of satellite dishes, that is.
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