Marrakech, Morocco

Ksar Fawz & Spa

Price per night from$102.01

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR95.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Boho bolthole

Setting

Funky cold medina

Ksar Fawz – a boutique bolthole in the oldest part of Marrakech – is where the bright young things flock for poolside lounging, rooftop dining and heavenly hammams. The decor is laidback and the food is home-made: Layla, the excellent chef, is famous for her fluffy pancakes, fresh juices and traditional tagines. Marrakech’s most famous monuments are just steps away or, if you feel like venturing farther, Ksar Fawz can organise all manner of day trips to the desert, mountains or Berber villages. And rest assured: Marrakech can be an assault on the senses, but relaxation reigns behind Ksar Fawz's discreet wooden doors.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A one-way airport transfer; stays over three nights will get return transfers

Facilities

Photos Ksar Fawz & Spa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

11, including five suites.

Check–Out

Check in is 11am and check out is 2pm. Both can be flexible, subject to availability.

Prices

Double rooms from £96.36 (€114), including tax at 20 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually include chef Layla’s home-made breakfasts of pancakes, avocado toast and freshly squeezed juices.

Also

No need to pack a sunhat: Ksar Fawz has their own embroidered straw hats for guests to use (and ‘gram).

At the hotel

Rooftop terrace, hammam, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: air-conditioning, free bottled water, black-out curtains and organic bath products by local brand the Moroccans.

Our favourite rooms

We love the Agafay Suite with its sunny yellow details, trad Tuareg rug and free-standing bath tub. The Toubkal Suite has a fireplace and a black-tiled bathroom for added drama.

Poolside

The heated courtyard pool is prettily tiled, dotted with sun loungers and tropical plants. Though perhaps not big enough for serious laps, it’s perfect for cooling off after a dusty day in the souks.

Spa

The rooftop spa has two treatment cabins and a traditional hammam. Treatments include black-soap body scrubs, deep-tissue massages, reflexology and cleansing clay facials. All treatments use natural products with native ingredients like argan oil and rhassoul clay, and there are manicures and pedicures for prettifying, too.

Packing tips

Bring something floaty and ethereal, for afternoons by the pool and golden hour on the rooftop.

Children

Little Smiths aged 6-and-over are welcome. The two-bedroom Majorelle Room is perfect for a family of four but an extra bed can be made up in any of the suites.

Sustainability efforts

Ksar Fawz keeps its footprint small by using solar energy, sourcing all its food from local markets and stocking organic bath products from Les Marocains.

Food and Drink

Photos Ksar Fawz & Spa food and drink

Top Table

Pull up a pouf on the rooftop for spectacular North African sunsets.

Dress Code

Come as you are: Ksar Fawz is a thoroughly relaxed riad.

Hotel restaurant

Breakfast at Ksar Fawz is a roving affair: you can post up poolside or relax on the rooftop. Chef Layla’s Moroccan crepes, fluffy muffins and fresh juices are all divine, though she also has healthy, western dishes in her repertoire, like homemade granola with yoghurt or avocado on toast. At lunch and dinner, which are served on the pool patio, traditional Moroccan cuisine is the order of the day so expect roasted aubergine and tantalising tagines.

Hotel bar

There’s no dedicated bar, but you can order freshly made juices and Moroccan mint tea by the pool or up to the roof terrace. We particularly like the green detox concoction of refreshing cucumber, kiwi and mint.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10.30am; the poolside restaurant serves lunch, snacks and dinner from noon to 9.30pm.

Location

Photos Ksar Fawz & Spa location
Address
Ksar Fawz & Spa
Derb Sbaia 2
Marrakech
40000
Morocco

Finding Ksar Fawz feels like keeping a secret spy rendezvous: it’s down a winding side street of the ancient Kasbah district, behind a discreet wooden door.

Planes

Fly into Marrakech’s Menara airport, just 15 minutes from Ksar Fawz by car. The hotel is happy to organise private airport transfers – they’re about £18 each way.

Trains

Marrakech train station is the closest, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Direct services arrive from major Moroccan cities, including Fez, Casablanca and Rabat.

Automobiles

Ksar Fawz is in the heart of Marrakech’s ancient and winding old city, where exploring is best done on foot.

Worth getting out of bed for

Strut like a sultan through the grounds of the Bahia and El Badi Palaces while marvelling at the intricate craftsmanship and pretty pavilions. It would be wise to buy a second suitcase before hitting the Chabi Chic boutique because you’re going to want every piece of hand-painted heaven in this homeware mecca. Get up early to beat the crowds at the legendary YSL museum and the Jardin Majorelle. Ksar Fawz can organise excursions to Essaouira, the Atlas Mountains and the Agafay Desert as well as sidecar tours, hot-air balloon flights and quad biking.

Local restaurants

Book ahead at Nomad, in the heart of the medina, for killer views from the terrace and perfectly seasoned salads (or pop in unannounced for lunch if you’re prepared to wait a while). Seek shade in the garden at La Famille, a quaint Mediterranean-Moroccan spot that’s all a-twinkle in the evenings. There’s live music and all-day dining at La Terrasse des Épices. Hedonists will love louche Le Jardin, which evokes Marrakech’s 1970s heyday.

Local bars

You’ll find expert caipirinhas and vinyl-spinning DJs at jazzy Kechmara.

Reviews

Photos Ksar Fawz & Spa reviews
Ella Alexander

Anonymous review

By Ella Alexander, Harper's hedonist

To be Marrakshi is to be a master of dexterity. In a city famed for its narrow corridors, wiggling, mind-bending lanes and crush of people, the locals never bump into you. Even in the scurry and chaos of the souks, where everyone wants to sell you something, there is never any shoulder jarring. The Marrakshis weave their way through crowds whether on foot or on scooter with the litheness of a prima ballerina. The swerving of tuk-tuks, donkey carts and mopeds is enough to test the nerves of the hardiest tourist, but those driving look utterly, bafflingly calm.

This dexterity, this nimbleness, is a running thread of Marrakech. Amid the chaos, noise and intensity, there is an eye for such exacting detail, craftsmanship and beauty that it’s easy to become blithe to it. Intricate stone and wood carvings wrap themselves around buildings, staine- glass windows make riads and restaurants look like ethereal disco balls and meticulously placed, colourful tiles create artworks out of the ordinary. Steps, doorways, halls, ceilings and fireplaces are elevated with such ubiquity you’d think these painstaking pieces had simply been sprayed on.

We arrived in mid-January, when sunshine and warmth is never more appreciated by those visiting from northern countries. It feels terribly British to mention the weather, but it was such a balm for the soul that it feels remiss not to. By day, temperatures reached 24 degrees – we stripped down to shorts and T-shirts. As soon as the sun set, it was a different story, and we would change into coats and trousers before heading out to eat. The other thing that makes Marrakech such an enticing proposition in the winter months is the colour. We left the grey of Gatwick, and in less than four hours, landed to find ourselves surrounded by dusky pinks and sun-faded orange.

It isn’t called the Red City without reason, but the earthy tones are broken up by jolts of primary shades. Of course, there’s the energising cobalt blue of the Majorelle Gardens, created by French painter Jacque Majorelle after finding himself inspired by the intense shade he saw in traditional Moroccan tiles. Sacks of spices come in tones of purple, orange and blue. Palm trees and zellige tiles offer varying shades of green. Vibrant dyed wools and silks hang to dry over the narrow souk lanes. Slippers, ceramics and berber rugs all come in eye-popping hues. This is, of course, the city that taught Yves Saint Laurent colour, after he first visited as a tourist in 1966 and left having bought his first home in the Medina. You could never lose Marrakech in a crowd. 

The real trick to not becoming overwhelmed by Marrakech is finding well-situated accommodation that offers an oasis away from the chaos. Ideally, it would be a riad – a traditional townhouse built around a central courtyard garden. There should be a pool to help you cool down and, if you’re lucky, a rooftop from which to watch the sunset. Enter Ksar Fawz & Spa, a stylish, unpretentious riad in the Medina.

Despite being just minutes from some of the city’s biggest attractions (the Saadian Tombs, Koutoubia Mosque and Bahia Palace included), it occupies a discreet address on a quiet lane in the ancient Jewish Quarter. Mr Smith and I nearly missed the hotel’s subtle signage, which of course makes it feel more of a secret. The city’s accommodation runs the full gamut of being a little too rustic and then overly ostentatious – Ksar Fawz & Spa is the perfect middle ground. It is chic, but relaxed. The staff are attentive but not overbearing. The rooftop views are sublime and best enjoyed with a cold beer or glass of wine from the riad menu.

The food is excellent, and among the best we tried during our trip: fresh, home-made and varied. Don’t skimp on breakfast, which is served on the rooftop terrace. Chef Layla’s fluffy pancakes and fruit bowls are second to none. Sun-loungers come with embroidered straw hats to ensure the intense Moroccan sunshine doesn’t get too much.

The spa is small, but perfectly formed. I left my hammam feeling cleansed, relaxed and ready to spend the evening in one of the riad’s fluffy bathrobes and slippers. Our room was spacious with rattan furnishings, macrame wall hangings and beautiful stained-glass windows that streaked the space in rainbow colours. Photos didn’t do it justice. Even the floors are a solid eyeful, made of beautiful, exotic marble that glints in the sun.

We left the riad to get lost in the souks, gradually acclimatising to the haggling and hustle. We headed towards Jemaa el-Fnaa, the city square a 15-minute walk from Ksar Fawz, which is where you’ll find the bulk of the snake charmers, street performers and henna artists. Don’t hover unless you’re willing to pay for whatever it is you’re looking at. Jemaa is surrounded by restaurants and rooftop cafes, which is where to go for the best views, particularly at sunset.

We spent the afternoon at the Secret Garden – a destination so secret that a queue had formed outside. It’s worth visiting regardless; a beautiful former 19th-century palace with a traditional Islamic garden and cafe perfect for enjoying a quiet beer or spot of lunch. It is also, conveniently, surrounded by some of the more elevated Marrakshi stores, where shopkeepers were less bullish in their selling techniques. We picked up some of the best souvenirs here: embroidered cushions, hand-woven rattan slippers and brightly-painted bowls.

Another highlight came via a recommendation from the Ksar Fawz staff: dinner at Plus61, a laid-back restaurant in  the Gueliz district. Here, produce from local bio-organic farms are used to create simple, modern and delicious dishes well worth the short private transfer outside the Medina. 

There can’t be many places as accessible as Marrakech (from Europe and the UK at least) that feels so completely different: monkeys, camels and donkeys vye for space, the air smells like a mix of spices, smoke and blossom-infused argan oil and the city is soundtracked by scooter engines, tbilat drums and the regular calls to prayer that echo across the rooftops. It’s an intense place, but of all the destinations to miss out on because of trepidation, claustrophobia or squeamishness, don’t let it be Marrakech.

Book now

Price per night from $102.01