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Hotel Highlights

  • The most amazing suite in the medina
  • Hip style in a historic hub
  • Great value for money

Overview

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 pool is surrounded by decadent day beds.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Riad 72 with us:

A bottle of red wine on arrival

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

One suite, two deluxe rooms, one standard.

Check–out

Midday to 1pm, but flexible if unoccupied.

Rates

Double rooms from $148.97 (€111), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

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.

Also

Airport transfer €14 each way. Guide can be arranged.

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 & Drink

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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.

Smith Insider

Dress code

As though you’re at home.

Top table

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

+ Enlarge
Alleys of Bab Doukkala

Riad 72

72 Arset Awsel, Dar El Bacha, Marrakech, 40000

Planes

The nearest airport is Marrakech’s Menara Airport – fly there from the UK and elsewhere in Europe with British Airways (www.ba.com), Royal Air Maroc (www.royalairmaroc.com), EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com).

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, hire a car from the Avis (www.avis.com) desk at the airport. To reach the hotel, follow Avenue de la Menara to the city centre. There’s parking at the hotel.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Nick DeCosemo , Dance-music dynamo

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. Stunnin…
Read more

Riad 72

Anonymous review by Nick DeCosemo, Dance-music dynamo

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

Reviews of Riad 72 from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The breakfast was incredible. The hotel is a peaceful haven away from the bustle of the medina, with a fantastic location.

Don’t expect

We would have liked more information, for example on how to work the safe and wifi.

Rating: 6/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Riad 72 provided an idyllic escape from the intense chaos of the souks of Marrakech, close enough to absolutely feel part of Marrakech whilst once behind the beautifully handcarved doors, and you are able to relax listening to the distant sounds of the souk. The rooftop provided views of the city, a covered space for dinner (dinner was served with rose petals scattered and candles on the table).

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This tranquil riad, just off a residential street, is the perfect setting to escape from the chaos that is Marrakech! The staff service is faultless, they really couldn't do enough for you. The food, cooked to order for guests, in the evening was deliciously authentic.

Don’t expect

I struggle to think of anything that could make this hotel any better.

Rating: 8/10 stars