When you navigate the narrow passages of the Medina between the high red adobe walls, you can only imagine what lies behind those intriguing doorways. So it was such a thrill to be able to go through one and find ourselves in such a beautiful, light, tranquil sanctuary , such a contrast to the buzz of Marrakech. You would never guess that the Riad has been virtually rebuilt from scratch, as such care and attention to detail has been taken, using materials and techniques that have been around for hundreds of years. From the antique cedarwood doors to the intricate plaster stucco work all cut out by hand in situ, the end result is exquisite. Michelle, one half of the enterprising team responsible, was there to greet the four of us with mint tea and Marrakechi nibbles before surprising us with welcome news of upgrades to suites. Hicham then kindly contacted the restaurant we were to due to dine at and delayed our reservation for us so that we had enough time to freshen up and enjoy a drink up on the roof terrace whilst watching the sun set over the medina rooftops and the storks flying in to roost for the night…just a magical start to our holiday. Hakim then walked with us to show us the way to the restaurant. Our rooms opened out onto the first floor gallery from which you look down into the central courtyard, complete with plunge pool and exotic plants & trees all open to the sky. Our suites, like the rest of the Riad, were stunning. Polished natural plaster walls, luxurious cactus silk drapes and lamps crafted just a short walk away in the metal workers Souk. Gorgeous spacious bathroom, with twin handmade, hammered metal basins and taps, spacious, powerful shower and modern loo. Filtered water, fruit and flowers were always available in the room. We had our leisurely breakfasts in the central courtyard, this consisted of teas or coffee, fresh orange juice, a variety of freshly baked Moroccan pastries and breads with jams and honey and a choice of egg dish or pancakes, fruit or cereal. We had booked a (mainly walking) city tour, via our travel company Audley for our first full day. Our lovely guide, Mr Habib, a retired lecturer, was excellent and gave us a fascinating insight into the history and culture of Marrakech. Second night we had booked dinner in the Riad under the stars. We enjoyed a traditional Moroccan feast with,a selection of briouats or pastilla to start, followed by tagines of lamb and prunes or chicken and apricots, followed by fresh oranges with cinnamon or almond tart to finish…delish. Third day, Noelle had booked a taxi for us to Les Jardins Majorelle, beautiful retreat of the late Yves Saint Laurent. The Berber Museum which now occupies his former home, although small was crammed with artifacts, all well worth a visit. We had arranged for our taxi to drop us off in the medina so that we could meet up with Michelle. My friend and I had mentioned to Michelle that we would like to buy a lamp, but were overwhelmed with the choice on offer. Michelle having used several lamp makers, has now weedled out the best for quality and value and kindly took us to meet Haj and his team of craftsmen at their workshops deep in the Souk. This also got us out of having to do the haggling bit which I’m uncomfortable with, as Haj just gave us a fair price to start, about a third of what we had been asked for elsewhere. Result... two happy new lamp owners and a happy lamp maker. Unfortunately, on the morning of departure to our next destination, one of our party had developed a tooth abscess. Michelle kindly asked our driver to call at a pharmacy where we could buy the necessary antibiotics. The feature that stood out most for us at Riad Assakina is the kindness, time and personal care given to their guests by Michelle and her team. Well done and thank you! You deserve every success.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Assakina is a beautiful, light and spacious riad, ideally situated in the historic Mellah: the ancient Jewish quarter of Marrakech's Medina. It directly overlooks the famous Bahia Palace; and is within an easy stroll of the city's other famous attractions. It is also well placed for enjoying some of Marrakech's finest restaurants and bars. The Riad subtly blends the best of local tradition and craftsmanship with all the refinements of a bespoke private residence. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Assakina Marrakech
- Riad Assakina Hotel Marrakech