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Marrakech – Riad all about it!

James from our Morocco team was recently in Marrakech where he stayed at one of the country’s finest city-center riads.

Marrakech is a destination which has always been popular with Scott Dunn guests. It’s so easy to get there and in less than 4 hours’ flying time you can be in a city which seems half a world away, surrounded by bustling souks and stunning ancient Islamic monuments with the snow-capped mountains of the Atlas in the background. During a recent trip to Marrakech I was lucky enough to spend a couple of nights at one of our favorite places to stay in the walled city, the luxurious Riad Farnatchi.

While these days many visitors choose to stay in one of the new luxury resorts opening almost monthly in the palm groves outside the city, in my view the best way to enjoy the city close-up is to stay in a Riad – a traditional set of rooms grouped around a central courtyard open to the skies. And while many of the top riads have lost something of their traditional feel over the last years with ambitious expansions which makes them more like medium sized city hotels, Farnatchi still retains the charm of a small property of just nine lovingly designed and attractively decorated luxury suites. The property’s small size means that each visitor feels like a valued guest in the home of James, the Englishman who owns and runs the property. He (and his father who first acquired the building) have done an excellent job in turning the riad, which enjoys an excellent location close to the souks and monuments of the city, into one of the city’s finest places to stay. It’s clear to the visitor that a great deal of care has gone into the design and furnishings of each of the exquisite and (unusually for this city) extremely spacious suites, each with its own character.

Service at Riad Farnatchi is attentive and unobtrusive. Food and drinks can be served wherever and whenever required: for me a particularly nice touch was the rooftop breakfast – when you wake simply place a call downstairs and breakfast will appear on the table on your private roof terrace, seemingly by magic as staff don’t have to go through the guest rooms to access the top of the building.

There are numerous little corners, indoors and outdoors, where guests can relax between forays into the souks and enjoy a refreshing mint tea while browsing a book or planning their next sortie into the city center.

James and his team also benefit from an encyclopaedic knowledge of the city and its surroundings and the best connections for organising activities and excursions during your stay. The staff will be more than happy to talk you through the relative merits of the different restaurants inside and outside the medina, or help organize days out enjoying the scenery and Berber hospitality of the mid and high Atlas, or exploring the Moorish heritage of the city.

We can even include an early morning hot air balloon safari if you would like a really special experience!

If you’re tempted to try Riad Farnatchi sooner rather than later Scott Dunn are pleased to offer a discount of 25% on room rates for all stays of three nights or more between now and the end of July. Contact the Morocco team on 020 3642 7660 for more details.

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