Marrakech, Morocco

Riad 72

Rates from (ex tax)$139.26

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 (EUR130.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Art-school riad

Setting

Alleys of Bab Doukkala

Wrapped around a central courtyard brimming with banana trees, Riad 72 hotel is an art-school version of a traditional Moroccan house in Marrakech's medina district. A communal area with a carved ceiling and the soft lighting of copper lanterns is the place to lounge on oversized plush pillows, while the rooftop terrace is surrounded by decadent day beds.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of red wine on arrival

Facilities

Photos Riad 72 facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Seven, including two suites.

Check–Out

12 noon to 1pm, but flexible if unoccupied.

Rates

Double rooms from $139.26 (€118), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

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 (EUR118.18), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast, afternoon mint tea and pastries.

At the hotel

Hammam, massage (techniques depend on masseur available), roof terrace, Internet access.

Our favourite rooms

The Karma suite is a very big, light room with original carved wooden ceiling and Japanese-style square tadelakt bath. Ammal is a smaller deluxe room, good-value, with an extra-long extra-deep tadelakt bath.

Packing tips

A compass to help you through the labyrinthine souks.

Children

Welcome. The Karma suite can accommodate two extra beds. No charge for under-fours; €30 a night for four–13-year-olds; €50 for 14-plus. Babysitting on request.

Food and Drink

Photos Riad 72 food and drink

Top Table

In summer, on the roof terrace by candlelight; in winter, in the dining room.

Dress Code

As though you’re at home.

Hotel restaurant

Moroccan cuisine, whenever and wherever you choose. Orders must be put in at breakfast for lunch, and by 2pm for dinner, since fresh produce is bought daily from the market.

Hotel bar

No bar as such; you can relax with a drink wherever you choose in the riad.

Room service

24-hour for drinks; food availability limited after kitchen closes at midnight.

Location

Photos Riad 72 location
Address
Riad 72
72 Arset Awsel Dar El Bacha
Marrakech
40000
Morocco

Planes

The nearest airport is Marrakech’s Menara Airport – fly there direct from the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Transfers are available on request and can be arranged as follows: MAD210 for a Hyundai H1 minibus (for up to two guests); MAD280 for a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV (for up to two guests); MAD300 for a Hyundai H1 minibus (for up to six guests); and MAD380 for a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV (for up to four guests). A fast-track immigration service at the airport is offered (MAD1,200 for one guest, MAD1,800 for two, MAD2,400 for three); this service must be requested when booking. Call our Smith24 team to book your flights and any extras.

Trains

The Moroccan state railway, ONCF (www.oncf.ma), runs inexpensive (but limited) services to Marrakech from Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. Look for TCR (Train Climatisé Rapide) trains to guarantee an air-conditioned journey in summer.

Automobiles

Driving in Marrakech can be horn-filled and hectic, but if you insist, our Smith24 team can arrange a hire a car for you to pick up at the airport. To reach the hotel, follow Avenue de la Menara to the city centre. There’s parking at the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

For our insider guide to Marrakech, full of suggestions and great tips on what to do while you're in Morocco, click here.

Reviews

Photos Riad 72 reviews
Nick DeCosemo

Anonymous review

The first thing we notice is the calm. Imagine floating in a big tank of honey as baby seals nuzzle the soles of your feet with their noses. Well, it might be my overactive imagination but that’s how everything feels to me after leaving the kamikaze scooters, wayward smells, exuberant salesmen and general chaos of the Marrakech medina (the labyrinthine old city) and entering Riad 72. Stunning is one obvious superlative for the place. Majestic, sumptuous, opulent… or as my Geordie compatriots might say ‘like, really really really nice’.

‘How long have you worked here?’ I ask Giovanna, the polite Italian lady who has just presented us with rosewater to wash our hands, and some of Morocco’s ultra-sweet mint tea and sugary biscuits. ‘Ever since I built it,’ is her reply. Which was five years ago, in case you're wondering.

72 is laid out in traditional riad style, with a big rectangular central courtyard (complete with banana trees), flanked by rooms on each side. Downstairs is an elegantly decorated communal room containing a huge modern dining table and a tiny, yet fantastic-sounding stereo stocked with the ubiquitous ‘chill’ CDs. I consider asking if any of them feature ‘Rock The Casbah’ by the Clash, but think better of it and reassess my dad-gag humour tendencies. The high ceilings are intricately carved, and gently lit by beautiful copper lanterns. The colours are all deep chocolates, earthy and rich. And the place manages the neat trick of feeling grand and homely at the same time. It’s an Elle Deco dream. (This is helped by the friendly staff pottering around, and the smells produced by the riad’s in-house chef, Fatouma.)

There seems to have been a comfort avalanche, with futons, huge cushions and decadent paddedness everywhere. ‘Where did you get these wonderful fabrics?’ Mrs Smith eagerly asks, no doubt with visions of turning her west London basement flat into Riad 25d. ‘Milan,’ is the reply. Rugs it is, then.

Riad 72 only has four guest rooms. There is also a terrace on the roof with comfy loungers, an inviting salon area, and fantastic views across the city, with the towering Koutoubia mosque dominating the skyline – if you discount the Atlas mountains in the background, that is. You can also see into a number of the local houses (everybody lives on top of one other in the ramshackle medina), in an atmospheric, rather than curtain-twitching way. Later in our stay we notice someone has set a box/stick/string/breadcrumbs trap for the pigeons. Said birds eye the crumbs cautiously, some might say cockily, as Mr Smith begins to regret ordering the pigeon pie at dinner the previous night.

All this and I haven’t yet mentioned our room. (That’s the great thing about Marrakech – so many thoughts, so little time.) We are in the cavernous Karma Suite, which, once again, seems both huge and cosy. The ceilings are very high, with carved wooden beams over our massive bed. As we fling ourselves down on our backs we notice a huge ornate skylight, 30 feet or so above us. (Our concerns over how this might prohibit lie-ins are soothed away when we wake up to discover that some clever soul has pulled blinds over the windows of the dome from outside).

Having slept in later than we expected that morning, Mrs Smith thinks that we need to make up for our laziness and shake a leg later in the day. She decides that at 6pm on a Saturday evening. In Marrakech. As the crow flies, there’s a park about 500 metres from the riad. It takes us an hour to find it, through some of the most hectic, chaotic streets I’ve ever encountered. I am dressed in a white sweat top and shorts and feel just a little out of context. Mrs Smith has pulled up the material on her slick running top over her face. ‘Zorro!’ shouts a passing youth. A sense of humour is not something the locals lack.

To compensate for all that attempt at virtue, we go for an evening of too much alcohol at Bô Zin, an upscale joint in the new town. Having rechristened it 'Boozin' (with the customary bottle of bubbly of course), and we head to the White Room for a nightcap. (It may have been the cocktails, or the jog through diesel fumes earlier but I swear we saw a sixth-form band, singing a cover of Puffy's ‘I'll Be Missing You’ there.)

We finish off the night with a bit of late-night squabble back at the riad that neither of us can remember the cause of. Although I'm sure it had something to do with Mrs Smith mistaking the neighbouring Dar El Bacha palace for our hotel, and attempting to force entry.

We wake with headaches and smiles, laughing at our silliness the previous night and looking forward to a day of relaxing on the roof. Then we hear how the hushed tones of the staff even echo around the whole riad, and realise that if they sound that loud... What kind of racket did we make the night before? Oops. Luckily for us there were no such other inconsiderate guests to disturb the rest of our stay, and we are able to recharge our batteries in peace.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Riad 72’s Guestbook below.

We loved

We loved Riad 72. From the moment we arrived we were looked after by the wonderful friendly staff, nothing was to much trouble. We were welcomed by the Manager, Stefania, and introduced to the traditional Moroccan mint tea, which was delightful. The Riad was a quiet oasis, and a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of the Medina. The food was excellent, and our room was clean and comfortable, with a complimentary bottle of water supplied each day. There were some nice touches, especially the small mobile phone we were given to take with us when we went out, just in case we had a problem, with the direct numbers to the manager and the hotel already installed. We didn't need to use it, but it was comforting to have with us. We took a trip into the Atlas mountains, booked through Mr & Mrs Smith, and our driver and guide, Ali, was very attentive and made the trip very comfortable, and took us high into the mountains, where the normal tourist would not venture. The views were spectacular. A wonderful location to explore an interesting and historic city from. The El Badi Palace and the Bahia Palace are worth visiting, and also the Yves Saint Laurent museum and the Majorelle Gardens. The Dar Marjana Restaurant was wonderful, the food was excellent, a fanatstic Riad setting, and with traditional entertainment each night.

Don’t expect

Don't expect to take a picture of the snake charmers in the main square and try to get away without a donation. You will get lost in the Souks, but there are plenty of locals to help you find your way out, some will require a tip for doing so.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Feb 2018

We loved

Everything!

Rating

Stayed on 19 May 2017

We loved

The beautiful house, the amazing food and the absolute care-taking of the host.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Apr 2017

We loved

From the moment we arrived we experienced excellent service and wonderful attention to detail, mint tea and pastries, choosing our own soap and individual time spent with Stephania who explained all about the Riad, local areas, and offered her assistance with anything we could possibly think of. We chose to have breakfast on the peaceful roof terrace, and there was variety each morning and with a local twist. We sampled the tasting menu in the dining room and we were not disappointed, delicious traditional Morrocan fare with excellent service. Our suite was extremely spacious and well appointed and the unusual cupola was definitely a feature. We decided to have a Hammam and a massage which was a novel experience and felt wonderful afterwards. The whole Riad offered serenity within the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The level of service from all staff could not have been better always there with a smile to help you with anything! We would recommend, La Villa des Orangers, Maison Arabe for dinner. Cafe de la Poste for lunch and Bo-Zin for good food and a fun night out.

Don’t expect

Loud party nights.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jul 2016

We loved

How we were utterly looked after, we felt like proper guests, the staff couldn't do enough for us, amazing place! Jemma el fnaa square is a must see!

Don’t expect

A swimming pool! This is the only reason I couldn't give it 10 stars...it really needs a pool!

Rating

Stayed on 5 Jun 2016

We loved

Friendly and very helpful staff; Great location and beautiful rooms.

Don’t expect

Everything was fabulous and I can't find fault with the level of service we received.

Rating

Stayed on 27 May 2016

We loved

The Cuisine, the staff, the room. We booked the room with its own private balcony. Very good position to get to the Medina and lovely Riad to retreat back to for some peace and quiet.

Don’t expect

Lively nights.

Rating

Stayed on 24 May 2016