We had 3 wonderful days in this excellent Riad. We were welcomed by James, son of the British owner, who personally showed us around and then to our suite, one of only 9 in the Riad. Ours, Suite 5, was on the first floor, overlooking the quiet second courtyard. In fact, we had three sides of that courtyard, one taken up by our balcony on the way into the main room (taking up another side of the courtyard) and the bathroom taking out a third side.
The room itself elicited a response of ‘Wow’. It is huge, with wonderful high ceilings and a sitting area (3 sofa/chairs) in the main room. There was a TV but we didn’t use that (or the films apparently available for free on demand). The bathroom includes a separate shower with a domed ceiling in the centre of which is the shower head - excellent design. There was a selection of Molton Brown products in there too (but sensibly these are refillable bottles, rather than ones that guests might take home). What you can take home is the slippers and robes provided for everyone - and we also managed to get different sizes of slippers from a quick call to the reception.
Staff were very friendly and helpful. Breakfast is served within 5 minutes of a phone call saying where you’d like it, and we were told we could have it any time of the day we wanted. Certainly there was no problem with our 11am dining.
We had dinner at the Riad on our first night, which was excellent, and accompanied by a wine list (with a down-to-earth guide in the room to explain what was worth trying). Whilst you need to order food earlier in the day, and officially the first people to chose effectively determine what will be available to everyone else, flexibility was shown to us, and even though someone else had ordered, we were still given the full range of the menu to chose from. The Moroccan salads and lamb tagine that we had were very good - better we thought that at the well-known Al Fassia in the Nouvelle Ville, though the Riad’s were not perhaps as enormous as their portions.
Taxis were arranged for us, with an excellent driver (we had Samir) who drops you off at the door - this is quite impressive when you see how narrow some of the streets are, and you wonder how you get round some of the bends without the car getting scratched. When a parked car prevented us getting to the Riad door on the last night, the taxi driver escorted us on foot to ensure we got back without incident.
The Riad is well-placed near the Ben Yousef Madersa, which is a helpful landmark to find your way back through the chaos of Marrakech. We were left with the dilemma of whether we should stay in the Riad and enjoy its facilities, or get out and see the city. A bit of both was ultimately what was necessary!
The Riad has one courtyard with a swimming pool (but we were there in November when it was a little cool for that), another courtyard with lemon and other trees growing in it, with alcoves and rooms off these in which you could have a meal or just sit and read, enjoying the free tea and coffee on demand. Other little freebie nice touches included pastries, fruit and bottled water replenished in your room each day.
If quibbling, I would question what is meant by ‘free use of the hammam’. Unsurprisingly, you do have to pay for this (430 Dirhams per person), and it is also something that you need to request in advance so that the room can be warmed up properly. The price of the dinner was something that we could not see stated anywhere in the room literature, though no doubt you could ask and be informed.
Overall, an excellent place to stay - if we go back to Marrakech, we won’t want to try anywhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Farnatchi has been written up as "The City's Most Luxurious Riad" - Food and Travel Magazine 2013, "The Ultimate Hideaway" - Harpers Bazaar January 2012 and "Best Luxury Riad" - Conde Nast Traveller 2011. Riad Farnatchi been created out of five small Riads in the heart of the oldest part of Marrakech, some of our walls go back over 400 years. Riad Farnatchi with just nine suites has the feel of a beautiful, highly individual, private house, but the facilities and service of a world class 5 star "boutique" hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Farnatchi Marrakech
- Riad Farnatchi Hotel Marrakech