Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech
based on 7 nights
per person for 5 nights, based on 2 people sharing a suite on a bed and breakfast basis and private return airport transfers.
At a Glance
Above all Riad Farnatchi is supremely comfortable. A great deal of effort has gone into ensuring that although everything has Moroccan authenticity, it also reaches the highest standards of convenience and comfort
English owned and run, you can be sure of an exemplary 5 star welcome
Down a side street in the old medina, Riad Farnatchi benefits from being at the edge of the sometimes overwhelming hustle and bustle
Riad Farnatchi is perfectly laid out for the ultimate house party so gather your friends for a long weekend in Marrakech
Riad Farnatchi was once a home and it has retained that laid back vibe
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Weather-wise, the best times to go are spring and autumn, when temperatures are 20°C to 25°C by day and at least 10°C by night, and November to February, with cooler nights but similar daytime temperatures and light rainfall possible. The weather in March and April features sporadic, light rainfall with some sandstorms in April, while June sees dusty siroccos (desert winds) sweep through the city. From mid-June to August temperatures rise into the 30s and occasionally 40s.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Riad Farnatchi or take a look at our itineraries to Marrakech
The luxury Riad Farnatchi is a stylish and contemporary all-suite riad in the heart of Marrakech, with easy access to the bustling Medina. With only ten sumptuous suites and a fabulous spa, it offers the ultimate in boutique comfort and service.
Through an unobtrusive wooden door in the heart of the Medina, Riad Farnatchi is a peaceful, stylish and contemporary riad. This luxury boutique property has been created out of three small riads and has all the features of a traditional Moroccan home, with its large central courtyard and abundance of authentic Moroccan touches.
The ten suites all vary in layout but all have the luxury of having seating areas and all but one has a balcony or private sun terrace. Nearly all the furniture in the riad has been hand made especially for the hotel as the owners believe strongly that everything should look authentic but should also have the added benefit from extreme comfort.
On the ground floor there are plenty of cosy sitting rooms and covered areas of the courtyard where guests can relax, known as B'hous. The style throughout the property is a fusion of traditional Moroccan with modern European design. Included in these communal areas is a candlelit dining room, a roof garden with barbecue and sun loungers and numerous other spots for private dining and relaxing.
There is also a roof terrace with stunning views of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains and this is where you can sip sundowners at dusk soaking in the sounds and smells of the city beneath you. Riad Farnatchi is a true haven from the bustle of Marrakech and offers a hammam with a fantastic range of treatments, as well as a swimming pool in which to relax after your sightseeing and shopping.
Your host will be the owner's son, James Wix, who runs Riad Farnatchi superbly - an amazing source of knowledge on Marrakech. He has also developed an array of experiences such as private lunches in the sahara, 4x4 trips into the Atlas Mountains, scanvenger hunts in the souks, cycle tours, cookery courses, perfume making, photography tours, horse riding and an array of other experiences. Riad Farnatchi is also a superb riad to take over exclusively for a special occasion and we will help plan a memorable selection of events for your whole party.
Riad Farnatchi's 10 suites all vary in style and have the common comforts of hand-made beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, air-conditioning and heating, TV/DVD players, Bose iPod docking stations, WiFi and simply stunning interiors. Every room has at least one sitting area and all but one have a private balcony or sun terrace. Suite 2 is smaller than the others with no outside space but is a duplex suite with heaps of character and plenty of natural light. All vary dramatically in layout but have plenty of space and wonderful individual features making it hard to choose between them. Suite 1 is like a mini riad with its own private patio and fountain, Suite 3 has a large private balcony overlooking the pool, Suite 6 is a duplex suite with large private sun terrace and Suite 9 is the grandest, a magnificent suite with a private courtyard and beautiful hand crafted plaster and metalwork. Suite 10 is the newest at Riad Farnatchi, and offers a private roof terrace.
A mini riad, with its bedroom and b’hou looking onto its own private patio, which has an unusual marble fountain and sunken bath. A contemporary feeling suite with a partially glass roof to let in plenty of light, high ceilings and intricate carving.
A duplex suite, smaller than the others and without a fireplace but with plenty of character. Natural light pours in from the large roof.
A suite with a separate bedroom and living room, large private balcony overlooking the pool with table and chairs. This suites also features a truly amazing art deco style bathroom with a dark granite sunken bath, huge mirror and twin sinks.
A wider than normal suite due to its location in the center of the riad with a rich palette and private sun terrace which looks over both courtyards.
A very large room with a fireside sitting area, approached via its private balcony which also features a table and chairs. Looks out onto the beautiful and peaceful rear courtyard from three aspects. The bed in this room is iron and glass.
A duplex suite, overlooking the pool from its living room and large private sun terrace (great for morning sun) off its bedroom.
A suite with a romantic four poster bed and living area with impressive fireplace and chimney, but a restricted view from the bedroom. Panoramic views over Marrakech from its private sun terrace.
The bedroom overlooks a small private patio with an olive tree and the living room has a balcony overlooking the pool.
The largest and most magnificent suite, located on the ground floor with a private courtyard and is intricately decorated with metal and plasterwork. A light and spacious feel due to the large glass windows onto its courtyard.
The latest addition to Riad Farnatchi, this suite has stylish black and white mosaic floors, and its own private roof terrace which definitely won't disappoint! The suite is on the first floor and has views over an internal courtyard garden.
Everyone is welcome at Riad Farnatchi, including children of all ages. The owners do point out, however, that the house's traditional architecture (such as stone floors, roof terraces and steep steps) mean that children will need to be heavily supervised. There is also no pool attendant. Meals and babysitting can be arranged on request.
Fresh Moroccan cuisine, purchased daily from the market can be served for dinner in the location of your choice as long as your meal is ordered earlier in the day. Riad Farnatchi has a white marble hammam and wonderful gommage, massage and beauty treatments are given by trained therapists. The 7m swimming pool has an underwater jet stream for swimming and is heated in the cooler months. There is also a beautiful pool and garden outside the medina where guests can go and spend the day.
Marrakech has plenty of activities to occupy visitors including museums, palaces, plenty of shopping and wonderful cafes and restaurants. Guides can be arranged for any outings within the city and also for excursions for trekking, mountain biking, quad biking, horse riding and even hot air balloons. One can also venture out to Riad Farnatchi's gardens and swimming pool located outside the medina for an afternoon or day as an alternative to the riad's pool and the bustle of the city's ancient center.
James Ferguson (Staff)
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 small property of just nine lovingly designed and attractively decorated luxury suites. The propertys 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 before him who 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 citys finest places to stay. Its 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 dont have to go through the 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 medina.
James and his team also benefit from an encyclopaedic knowledge of the city and its surroundings and have 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.
Daniel Smith (Staff)
I have now been fortunate enough to visit Marrakech some five or six times and seen most of the riads in Marrakech in all shapes and sizes. I can quite honestly say that Riad Farnatchi is my favorite and I will tell you why. Firstly, it is run by James Wix who seems to know what you want before you have thought about it, he is simply the perfect host. Secondly, the riad perfectly blends the traditional Moroccan architecture and design with bang up to date modern touches. Some riads seem to be overly 'modern' and 'chic' so you end up not realising you are in Morocco, and some are just too Moroccan, dark and imposing - Farnatchi gets the balance absolutely spot on. Thirdly, the food and breakfasts here are lovely - especially from your own roof terrace or balcony. James is also a master at creating unique experiences - from simple days in the souks, to helicopters into the heart of the Sahara. I must also point out it is a superb place for an exclusive house-party (James Wix used to work in events) - think of having all of this to yourself and your friends and family? Add all this together, and your humble riad inspector must say that this is the place Scott Dunn staff want to stay at - because we have seen them all and find Farnatchi almost perfect. You will not be disappointed!
Kerry Willmer (Staff)
Excellent service with a smile, which makes this hotel so welcoming and warming.
The rooms are very spacious and each one has been individually designed.
There are lovely courtyards that have pretty fountains and the overall ambiance is calming and homely.
A day in the life of Berbers
Get to know Morocco's unique Berber culture by spending time in one of the authentic Berber villages. You'll have the opportunity to explore the Moroccan countryside and understand this traditional way of life.
Camel trek in the Agafay desert
Enjoy a peaceful trek with the desert's most iconic animal. Arabian camels, known as dromedaries, differ to other species featuring a single hump rather than two. Your Berber guide will lead you away from the camp to enjoy breathtaking sunset views.
Cooking lesson in Marrakech
La Maison Arabe has a well established restaurant that opened in 1940 and its experienced chefs host cooking workshops. Have a go at making your own lemon chicken tagine and learn about traditional cooking methods using authentic Moroccan spices.
Day trip to Cascades d'Ouzoud
Escape the bustling streets of Marrakech and head towards Demnat and the Cascades d'Ouzoud, a beautiful cascading waterfall. Stop for a picturesque Berber lunch near the waterfalls and visit a traditional water mill.
Day trip to Imlil - Jebal Toubkal
Visit Imlil, a small Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains and located at the base of the highest mountain in Northern Africa, Jebel Toubkal. Explore the local area on foot or by mule including other Berber villages and their working co-operatives.
Dressage Experience at The Selman
Enjoy a private class on horseback with an expert equestrian artist.
Hidden Marrakech by Side Car
What better way to explore the narrow, winding streets of Marrakech then with a thrilling side car experience? Along with a local guide you’ll be take off-the-beaten track to find some of the hidden treasures of Marrakech.
Historical highlights of Marrakech
Discover the exotic city of Marrakech with a tour of the Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, El Bahia Palace and the famous Souks. This guided history tour is the perfect introduction to the city, it’s fascinating culture and wonderful architecture.
Historical Tour of Marrakech
Spend the day exploring the winding streets and spice-scented souks of Marrakech with your expert private guide.
Hot Air Balloon across Moroccan landscape
Drift gently over the incredible desert landscape of Morocco, appreciate the silence and views of Berber villages and snow-capped Atlas mountains on this trip of a lifetime.
Private Berber cooking class
Your private cooking class takes place amongst hectares of olive groves and vegetable gardens in the Berber countryside in the verdant Amezmize Valley. Learn the techniques to make traditional Moroccan dishes as you prepare a delicious two-course meal.
Souks and spices treasure hunt
Embark on a tour of Marrakech's winding maze of souks in search of the perfect spices and ingredients. A food expert will help you source the freshest spices in this aromatic treasure hunt, before cooking in traditional furnaces.
Street food tasting tour
Along with a local food expert, take a journey through the culinary delights of Morocco visiting shops and stalls, seeking out local produce, fragrant spices and unique local dishes. Enjoy tasters along the way followed by a delicious dinner.
Street food tasting trail
Get to know Morocco's fascinating culture first-hand through its delicious street food! With local foodies as your guide, head off the beaten track to sample delicacies that most visitors don't get to try.
Visit the Majorelle gardens
Take a leisurely stroll around the eccentric Jardin Majorelle. An oasis of calm in the midst of the chaotic city, the gardens house an impressive collection of Islamic art alongside beautiful plants, cacti and lily ponds.
Location & directions
Riad Farnatchi is very centrally located in the Medina, around the corner from the Medersa Ben Youssef museum.
How to get there
3-hour 30-minute direct flight to Marrakech Menara Airport. The 20-minute transfer from the airport to the hotel.