Riad Kniza is very easy to find just inside the walls of Marrakech's old medina, with an excellent location close to most of its top attractions. This five-star palace has welcomed guests including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt, and is truly the epitome of luxury. The “Hotel de Charme” has been in the family for two centuries, completely restored by Haj Mohamed Bouskri using traditional materials and artisans to recreate c this gem of Moorish architecture, in which guests can capture an authentic Moroccan experience from days gone by.
Riad Kniza also offers eleven tastefully decorated rooms and suites, but the building and grounds are much larger. Amenities also include a beautiful and serene pool, with adjacent massage suite, sauna and Hamman bath. Four lounging salons with traditional Moroccan furnishings are delightful places to relax or take dinner; there are also three open air courtyards and a spacious rooftop terrace with sitting areas and sun beds, with beautiful views of the Atlas Mountains and the old Medina. The riad also provides modern amenities such as wi-fi service and complimentary use of a laptop.
Experiencing a hamman bath service and a meal at Riad Kniza are not to be missed. The staff often arrange exquisite evenings of gastronomy and entertainment, beginning with traditional Gnawa musicians next to an open bar in the salon, at which guests mingle and trade stories. From there an incredible four or five course meal is served in the dining room, accompanied by wine. The food is hardly to be described – everything was delicious, but my favorite during the stay was the “salad,” which was several small dishes that could present a meal in itself.
Riad Kniza is an excellent point of departure from which to explore the city. Haj Mohamed, aside from being one of the most renowned antique dealers in Marrakech, has been a professional guide for the past 34 years and has shown the best of Marrakech to many VIPs and celebrities. Various city tours, shopping expeditions (with a pro!) and excursions outside Marrakech can easily be arranged. One of my favorite things about Riad Kniza, however, is the family’s dedication to social causes. For each new booking reserved through ther website, Riad Kniza donates 5 Euros to one of three aid organizations that the guest may choose. Causes supported include disadvantaged children, education, support of rural women, disabled people and health care.
Rates at Riad Kniza range from 176 to 450 Euros, and the entire riad can also be rented. If you can spring for one of the suites, I highly recommend it. I enjoyed the privilege of a stay in the Royal Suite Bahia, and it was perhaps the single most beautiful, incredible room I have stayed anywhere in my life. However, even the standard rooms are exquisite, far exceeding those of most boutique hotels.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This perfectly located 18th-century riad has been in the Bouskri family for almost 200 years and offers the complete package of traditional architecture, authentic furnishings, exquisite cuisine and, above all, overwhelmingly hospitable service. The owner, Mohamed Bouskri, having been a guide for the rich and famous for 34 years (Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, former US presidents and others) is a mine of information and is always glad to share his knowledge and passion of Marrakech. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Kniza Marrakech
- Riad Kniza Hotel Marrakech