Where to stay in Marrakech

Riad Assakina: A Luxurious Haven in Marrakech

We’ve stayed in a huge variety of accommodation during our travels around the world, from budget backpacker dorms in Australia to villas with our own private pool in Kerala, glamping while on safari in Zambia to cabins in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, but there are only a select few places that I have found truly stunning and that I would go back to again and again.

Our stay at Riad Assakina in Marrakech definitely comes under this category and I’m already longing to go back even though we’ve only been home a few days.

The riad is in the perfect location in the Medina, just around the corner from the Bahia Palace and only a short walk to the souks and most of the city’s other sights. No matter how noisy and chaotic I had been told Marrakech’s Medina was, this is where we wanted to stay. It’s the heart and soul of the city and we always prefer to experience something traditional and atmospheric over something standard and modern.

Where to stay in Marrakech

There are so many riads to choose from but as soon as I found Riad Assakina it was like love at first sight. This was where we had to stay; it was gorgeous, it was perfect, it was everything I had imagined a Moroccan riad to be. It was traditional but with a luxurious feel and as soon as we arrived I was so pleased to see that it looked just as wonderful as the photos online had made out.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Grant and Michele, the lovely owners of the riad, made us feel at home straight away offering us some mint tea, finding out what our plans were, booking taxis and arranging hamman appointments, giving us tips, recommendations and helpful maps. The maps are essential as Marrakech is a huge maze full of narrow alleys that you’re bound to get lost in. We did – several times – but that’s all part of the adventure!

Where to stay in Marrakech

We stayed in the Kiad Suite and, even though I always want to head straight out of the room and start exploring whenever we visit a new destination, I could easily have stayed in our suite all day! It was gorgeous and so spacious with a raised platform for our huge bed at one end and a sitting area with comfy chairs and a dressing table at the other end.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Where to stay in Marrakech

The room was adorned with African style decorations from huge vases and ornate chests to pretty flowers and Moroccan slippers.  There were little details and Moroccan touches all around the riad even as far as the keys colour coordinating with the curtains for their respective rooms.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Our bathroom was a traditional Tadelakt style with dual sinks and Mr Ayla was very politely told to keep to his own.

Where to stay in Marrakech

We even had our own djellaba robes to wear which, if I do say so myself, we looked super cool in. We can totally pull off the traditional Moroccan style of dress right?

Where to stay in Marrakech

Every morning a feast of fresh bread, pastries, fruit, pancakes, orange juice and mint tea greeted us in the courtyard by the pool along with a selection of deliciously sweet extras to fill us up until lunch time. Actually it would have filled us up until long after lunch but obviously I wasn’t going to miss out on trying as much Moroccan food as I could!

Where to stay in Marrakech

I didn’t care how sugary sweet the French toast was – this stuff was amazing! Although I can now see why so many Moroccan people seem to loose their teeth!

Where to stay in Marrakech

After lots of wandering around the city, through the bustling souks and along the hot dusty roads, it was like entering a different world when we returned to the haven of the riad. The noise of roaring motorbikes, beeping horns and bustling people was left behind. It was an oasis of calm; the trickling pool surrounded with plants and bird of paradise flowers, Zak the cat sleeping peacefully on his chair, and Naoual ready to greet us with complimentary afternoon tea.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Where to stay in Marrakech

We loved spending the afternoon relaxing on the sun loungers on the rooftop and soaking up the last bit of sunshine we were likely to see for a good few months before going back to cold rainy London.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Mr Ayla sunbathing with Zak the cat

Then later on, while Mr Ayla was napping from all the walking I’d made him do, I’d pop up to the rooftop again to watch the gorgeous sunset over the city while the call to prayer could be heard in the distance. Yep, this is a pretty magical place.

Where to stay in Marrakech

We ate dinner in the riad’s dining room one evening where our table set up for two with the staff waiting on us and no one else around made it feel like the most romantic way to spend an evening. The food is amazing but I warn you that Moroccan dishes come in big sizes so I found myself full after just my starter of salads! Neither of us had room for dessert but we made up for it the next day with more afternoon tea.

Where to stay in Marrakech

I have been worrying lately that I’m becoming harder to please – my expectations are always so high that I’ve found myself disappointed a few times when it comes to travelling. And before this trip to Marrakech my expectations were extremely high. But I can honestly say that those expectations were met – actually no, they were exceeded – in every single way. There was not a single thing about our stay here that I didn’t love. We felt so at home from the moment we arrived and it was wonderful to enjoy a relaxing break chilling out in the sunshine, dipping our feet in the splash pool and playing games in the courtyard when we weren’t out exploring the city.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Where to stay in Marrakech

All the staff felt like friends we’d known for years whether it was chatting to Grant and Michele about their lives in Marrakech or Hicham telling us about the city’s history and kindly getting me medicine when I felt ill. Neither of us wanted to leave and we’re already planning our next trip back.

Where to stay in Marrakech

Have you stayed in a traditional Moroccan riad or would you like to? Let me know in the comments below or at:

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A huge thank you to Grant, Michele and all the staff at Riad Assakina for a wonderful stay. Can we come back please?!

28 thoughts on “Riad Assakina: A Luxurious Haven in Marrakech

    • Ayla says:

      Our bathroom was awesome even if Mr Ayla didn’t keep to his own sink the whole time! 😉 It was so lovely Shikha. The perfect place to stay in Marrakech 🙂

  1. James Scott says:

    Awesome post, I’m going to Marrakech in Feb with some work colleagues. For some reason, a few of them are worried about going! Front my point of view it’s safe . Any advice 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      Thanks James. No, you don’t need to be worried at all. We didn’t have a single problem and despite what some people say about the souks and centre of Marrakech being crazy, we didn’t ever feel intimidated or pressured into buying anything. The locals were so friendly and as long as you’re friendly back they’ll have a laugh and a joke with you. You’ll have a fab time but pop me an email if you have any other questions or if your colleagues are worried about anything else 🙂

      • James Scott says:

        Hey ayla. Yes I will do, I’m going to out together some info for them prior to going so they know what to expect. To be honest I think they’ve just been influenced by the media to much and need to be open minded. Thanks for your reply 🙂

  2. Follow Your Sunshine says:

    This is so gorgeous Ayla!! I love the traditional feel to absolutely everything in the riad (particularly those robes you got to wear, twit twoo!!!). I think it completely makes a holiday when the hosts are as friendly and hospitable as yours were too. The dream 🙂

    Polly xx

    • Ayla says:

      We look so stylish right?! 😉 The accommodation and hosts really do make a difference and this place just made our trip such a wonderful one 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      You’ll have an amazing time Christina. We absolutely loved it! I’ll be writing some more posts about our trip soon so keep an eye out if you’d like some more tips and recommendations 🙂

  3. Suzanne Jones says:

    This is so authentic – I’ve stayed in Marrakech before but in a big hotel not in a Riad like this. Think I might need to go back and stay in a little oasis of gorgeousness like Riad Assakina…

    • Ayla says:

      The riads are so much more traditional and personal than the big hotels. I’d definitely say you should make a return trip to try one out Suzanne. I’ll come with you! 😉

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