Few places on earth have the mystique of Marrakech with its rose-tinted tabia facades — hence its nickname, the “Rose City” or “Red City.” Morocco’s most dynamic city abounds with beauty, history and a vibrant spirit.
The longtime center of culture and commerce now also enjoys the distinction of being the country’s most popular vacation destination, with millions of travelers flocking there each year. And it’s easy to see why: Marrakech is a study in eclecticism. The fusion of Arabian, African and European influences has created an utterly unique paradise. From the pulsating energy of the souks and the grandeur of the gold-lined palaces to the heady aromas of jasmine and the majestic sunsets over the faded red buildings, the jewel of Morocco seduces with its exotic allure.
This imperial gem is also home to upwards of 800 riads (traditional Moroccan houses with central courtyards) — each one with its own story, told through inspired design. Exquisitely decorated spaces, appointed with glazed ceramic tiles, Berber rugs and hand-woven textiles, hide behind the unassuming doorways and meandering alleys of the medina.
Whether you’re planning your next trip or need some inspiration for your own home, these gorgeous guesthouses capture the magic of Marrakech.
Situated in the ancient Moqf district, was originally conceived as a private residence. Now an intimate six-suite riad, the design is best described as Moroccan maximalism. The guest rooms and common spaces, such as the Moroccan lounge, hall of Arches and fireplace lounge, integrate high ceilings, a courageous use of color, cornices embellished with mother-of-pearl and luxurious furnishings—handcrafted ceramics, silver tea sets and lush velvet textures.
recalls the splendor and artistry of a bygone era. The 18th-century Hotel de Charme has been restored to its former glory, thanks to a comprehensive renovation by 4th-generation owner, renowned antique collector and local historian, Haj Mohamed Bouskri. His devotion to authenticity is apparent throughout. Everything from the hand-embroidered textiles to the chiseled plaster honors the legacy of the fabled city his family has called home for centuries.
The creative duo behind , Cyrielle Rigot and Julien Tang, imagined the space as a gypsy retreat with a retro sensibility.
Cyrielle Rigot and Julien Tang, imagined the space as a gypsy retreat with a retro sensibility. This return to 70s bohemianism is perhaps best represented by the rooftop terrace. Sunbaked walls, an upcycled door-turned-table, antique pottery and cacti fill the light-drenched seating area, creating a free-spirited feel.
is an understated escape from the cacophony and frenzy of the bustling medina. Curated by interior designer and hotelier Romain Michel-Ménière and owner Philomena Schurer Merckoll, the aesthetic is modern and minimal. White tadelakt walls and cut-work metal lanterns share the spotlight with Panton chairs and Saarinen tulip tables.
Conceptualized by Italian art director and architect Umberto Branchini Maria, celebrates the tapestry of cultural influences throughout Morocco's history. The sophisticated design centers around a traditional inner courtyard — distinguished by four Doric columns and a classical fountain. As for the interior, lavish Louis XV-style chairs coupled with Turkish lanterns and Berber art serve as a reminder of the beauty of diversity.
One of the most noteworthy respites in Marrakech is . Owned by Vanessa Branson, the auberge is a union of hip and heritage Moroccan decor. Walls draped in jewel tones and ornate tile floors are paired with an extensive private collection of contemporary art — including a Francis Upritchard chandelier and a series of Antony Gormley ink studies.
Riad de Tarabelis a striking example of the confluence of French and Moroccan design. The 19th-century Arab-Andalusian mansion is furnished with muted Provence-esque tones, vintage Emmanuel rattan chairs and treasured family heirlooms.
Opened by the King of Morocco in 2010, sets the standard for luxury. The spectacular entrance gate, generous marble bathrooms and bespoke brocade sofas hearken back to a time when Marrakech was a byword for opulence. The only difference between then and now? Modern amenities, like a fitness center and nail studio.
Recently reimagined by El Fenn general manager and interior designer Willem Smit, tantalizes the eyes with a brilliant juxtaposition of colonial and pop art touches, and a high-octane dose of color. Bold indigo, mint green and turmeric walls gracefully contrast hand-painted zellige tiles, round brass chandeliers and cedar wood carvings.
Once a spiritual retreat, was soulfully reinvented by Belgian textile designer Valérie Barkowski in 1999. The renewal placed import on serenity and authenticity. A soft color palette, local artisan-made objects and linens from the V.Barkowski collection exude a tranquil energy that complements beauty of the original Saadian architecture.
Originally an upscale restaurant, was acquired by Italian aristocrat Fabrizio Ruspoli in 1994. Over the next three years, he transformed the property into a grand 26-room hotel. Pistachio tadelakt walls, intricately carved plaster and wooden latticework-accented mashrabiya emanate refinement, warmth and elegance befitting of its past guests, which include Jackie Kennedy and Queen Ingrid of Denmark.
marries the ambiance of a boutique hotel with the comfort of private home. Each of the seven individually decorated and named guestrooms look out onto the roofless first floor patio — the undeniable star of the space — replete with a zellige tilework pool, striped sunbeds and verdant foliage.
The passion project of Naples-born Leonardo Giangreco, blends Italian, African and Moroccan influences. Neapolitan artwork, four poster beds, tribal tapestries and art deco fixtures come together to create a chic, romantic atmosphere.
is emblematic of the affluence and hospitality you’d expect to find in a traditional Marrakech townhouse. Round mosaic tile inlays adorn the floors while flower-capped vines cascade down the tadelakt walls of the courtyard. While on the second floor, richly ornamented ceilings, hand-woven rugs and wrought iron railings radiate characteristic “Red City” charm.