In January 2013 my friends and I spent our 5th winter holiday at the Al Massarah Riad in Marrakech. As always, Michael, Michel and staff gave us a warm welcome. The reason we keep returning is partly for the pleasant rooms and public areas, but also the whole ambience of the place. It is an oasis of calm after a day in the vibrant, frenetic city.
As with most riads, the heavy door in a back street gives no indication of the beauty within, but as you step inside and shut the door, you are struck by the stylish elegance of the decor, a mixture of traditional and modern, and the attractiveness of the central courtyard with plunge pool. The sitting room and dining rooms are also comfortable and welcoming with open fires in the winter.
Each of the bedrooms has a different 'feel', with clever use of colour and traditional furnishings. Though not particularly large, they are attractive and well appointed.
The food is excellent. Breakfast consists of home-made yogurt with fresh fruit salad, pancakes and Moroccan breads, different each morning. Eggs are also available. Evening meals can be booked and are of good quality local cuisine.
The icing on the cake is the roof terrace complete with sunbeds, parasols and comfortable sitting/eating areas. We had pleasant light lunches up there while enjoying the luxury of warm sunshine in the middle of January, looking towards the snow-capped High Atlas.