In a nod to the Airbnb generation, WGSN City by City rounds up the top five private riads available to rent in the otherworldly Moroccan city of Marrakech.
Marrakech: It’s the perfect place to be inspired or simply enjoy the city loved by fashion’s favourite Yves Saint Laurent. Home to the ever-popular Instagram destination of Jardin Majorelle and the location for the imminent opening of the Laurent museum in 2017, there are endless excuses to visit Marrakech. The hammam spas are luxurious, the tagines are a treat for your tastebuds and the riads – traditional Moroccan homes – are real Aladdin’s caves.
Swap the usual strictly-scheduled breakfast and substantial late check-out fee for something a little more authentic: enter an inconspicuous doorway somewhere in the hot labyrinth of the Medina to discover the greenery of your own open-air courtyard, surrounded by opulent bedrooms. Believe it or not, the riads we’re recommending below can be rented on Airbnb, meaning you’re just a scroll and a click away from sipping mint tea on a floor cushion, enjoy!
Price per night: from £106
Nestled in the oldest district of the Medina, a short walk from the breathtaking Ben Youssef Madrasa, is Valerie’s riad. Explore the quirky building’s crooks and crannies, decorated with colourful Moroccan knickknacks, until you find yourself on the roof terrace soaking up the sun.
Price per night: from £220
Host: Julien & Michelle
Whether your trip to Marrakech is a mid-summer 40° affair or a killer of the January blues, Riad Kerdouss will accommodate you either season, with both a rooftop pool and a roaring fireplace. An astonishing 14 guests can stay in this riad; the perfect excuse for that long-awaited group trip.
Price per night: from £134
Once owned by the King’s court jester, Riad Bayou is an enchanting 17th-century house, decorated in an Islamic minimalist style. Surrounded by citrus trees, the master suite showcases a traditional painted ceiling dating back hundreds of years; and the housekeeper, Manar, provides a breakfast of Moroccan pancakes and fresh fruit.
Price per night: from £105
Host: Julien & Michelle
This five-bedroom paradise features every type of extravagant interior design that Morocco is renowned for: ornate geometric tiling, embellished wall hangings, traditional Berber rugs and curved doorways in the Islamic keyhole design. Pops of the instantly-recognisable colour of Majorelle blue make this riad fit for Yves himself.
Price per night: from £159
Riad Laklak can be found in the historical Mellah, a stone’s throw from the vibrant Kashbah neighbourhood that houses the Royal Palace. The magical bathrooms feature Tadelakt, a colourful Moroccan wall painting technique, and intricate shadows cast by an abundance of mosaic lanterns. After spending the week living like royalty, you may find it difficult to settle back into your one-bed urban flat.
Be sure to check Airbnb for each riad’s availability and seasonal prices.