After about 8 riads/hotels, I give Riad Safir my top vote. And it will be extraordinarily hard to beat.
The riad comprises two adjacent houses which have been connected. The original house is decorated in more traditional Moroccan style with deep hues of red, ocre, and yellow. The more recent renovation is in cool shades of lime green, grey, and white. Throughout, the taste applied is, in my view, impeccable.
The rooms, all inward facing and so quiet and cool, are very well equipped, clean, and with everything functioning as it should. The water is hot, the beds comfortable, and the reverse cycle airconditioning works exactly as it should.
The ensuite bathrooms are equipped with modern fixtures and show touches of real care by French owners who live close by and can maintain constant attention to detail.
The owner I met, Chantal, is totally charming, dedicated to the riad and her guests and a real lover of Meknes. You know a proprietor who cares when they suggest a first evening walk through the medina just to acquaint you,and this involves visiting the artisan workshops of several of the people who helped her renovate (and with no sales in view at all - simply to transmit the character of Meknes as effectively as possible).
The other staff are all of long standing and totally charming - offering tea (mint or unconventionally chilled), dates, coffee through the day. The breakfast is at a good Moroccan level on the terrace if it is warm, where there is a real Arabian Nights feel. And as a bonus, an elevated balcony with views to die for over Meknes and its walls.
The riad location is very close to the large square in the medina and very easy to reach. Reflecting the thoughtfulness of the owners, the website provides detailed directions to reach the riad.
Finally, Meknes has none of the tourist hussle of Marrakesh, nor the rather staid formality of Fez. But the medina has local life and an absence of interest in tourists which is at once both refreshing and captivating.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our guest house is located at the entrance to the medina of Meknes, 150 m from the famous Bab Mansour. We welcome you in a frame or the zen is the slogan of the owners and staff. The panoramic terraces allow you to enjoy an exceptional overview of the medina, take your breakfast and relax you at any time of the day after your individual visits to our beautiful city and its surroundings. 6 rooms, all air conditioned and equipped with a private bathroom will be your cocoon during your stay. 2 interior patios, indoor pool, massage room reflect the oriental wellness. Dinner, our cook will cook you elaborate meals with fresh ingredients bought on the same day and can make you share his passion spices. Our more: we are not a restaurant, only our residents can share these moments of conviviality. Riad Safir is classified charming house in Morocco. ... more less
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