When we were planning a trip to Morocco, I started scouring travel sites and forums to get an idea of where to stay in Marrakech (as this was our preferred city).
And truth be told, I quickly started feeling a little overwhelmed.
With hundreds of riads, hotels, villas and guesthouses to choose from, it’s certainly not easy to pick one, especially since they all look amazing!
So if you find yourself in the same boat, you’ll want to keep reading/scanning…
…because this guide reveals 5 handy tips to make the process of selecting the best place to stay in Marrakech, a lot easier for you.
With that said, let’s dive in…
1. What Type Of Accommodation Are You Looking For?
First off, decide on the type of place you want to book.
Do you prefer a riad, a hotel or a villa?
I’d pick a riad.
In case you didn’t know, a riad is a large, traditional Moroccan house built around an interior courtyard or garden.
And there are an abundance of them all offering varying levels of comfort and luxury.
Apart from the opportunity to try out authentic local cuisine food (I talk about this further in the article), you get pretty good personalized service thanks to the small number of rooms (which means less guests) in a riad.
A complimentary breakfast is usually included as well.
2. Location – Old Or New?
Marrakech can be split into two parts – the area inside the medina and the one outside of it.
The former is considered the historic older section of the city and is full of crowded streets, incredible souks and long, winding alleyways.
Around every bend are plenty of local eateries, charming cafes and traditional riads. One of the city’s most famous attractions – Jemaa El-Fnaa (the main square) is also located here.
And while life inside the medina is often quite chaotic (it can definitely be overwhelming at times), once you enter your accommodation, you’ll find the atmosphere inside the complete opposite – it’s usually very serene and relaxing and worlds away from the noise on the outside!
Outside of the medina walls towards the north is the fairly newer, more European part of Marrakech.
The trendy districts of Hivernage and Gueliz are especially popular among visitors interested in checking out the city’s most stylish stores and swankiest restaurants and bars.
You’ll find an abundance of luxury villas and apartments here and the hotels are also more spacious, with many of them having lovely swimming pools.
Towards the south of the medina is Chrifia – a quiet and fairly modern neighborhood that’s home to several family-friendly attractions, outdoor activities and golf courses.
Now you’re probably wondering…
So Where Is The Best Place To Stay In Marrakech?
Which location should you opt for?
>> If You Fancy A Truly Authentic Marrakech Experience…
…it’s a good idea to book a riad inside the medina.
After all, it’s where all the action takes place!
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to go souk shopping and sample delicious Moroccan street food in the square as well as local cuisine from many of the eateries nearby.
>> If You’re After A Relaxing Vacation…
…away from all of the hustle and bustle…
…you may want to consider staying in a riad/villa/hotel that’s outside of the medina.
There are two fantastic accommodations you can book with.
1. Hotel Almas
This place combines modern design with the more traditional Moroccan style and offers a terrace with splendid views of the Gueliz district. Guests can also indulge in a hearty buffet breakfast every morning.
Btw, Gueliz is also the preferred destination for folks looking to enjoy a night out in town, so if you’d like to explore the city’s nightlife, this is the place to be.
What else can you see and do here?
2. Dar Rhizlane
Located right outside the medina walls, this former palace is a top choice among holiday makers seeking a stress-free stay in Marrakech.
For starters, it’s surrounded by a large garden with a fabulous outdoor pool (large enough to have a swim in) and balustraded terraces filled with lush plants and lovely wicker furniture.
Dar Rhizlane also has a spa in addition to an in-house restaurant that serves some of the finest Moroccan cuisine using organic produce from their own farm.
Furthermore, the bright lights and sounds of the Jemaa El-Fnaa are only a stroll away, so you can pop in and out as you please.
This place is situated in Hivernage – an area known for its trendy bars, sophisticated restaurants and top-class hotels. You’ll also find numerous sidewalk cafes, shopping malls and art galleries here.
On the other hand…
>> If You’re Traveling With Kids…
…and want to know the best place to stay in Marrakech Morocco…
…I’d recommend opting for Chrifia.
Not only is it within driveable distance from the medina, it’s also well connected via public transport and is a great family-friendly neighborhood.
Two quality accommodations in this area are:
- Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa
A fantastic 4-star hotel that’s situated in neighboring Agdal, but is a short walk to Chrifia and all of the main attractions nearby.
It actually serves as a great base for touring Marrakech with your children.
- Mogador Kasbah
This place too is located in Agdal and is another great option to consider.
Spacious and contemporary, the hotel has an on-site playground, a pool for kids as well as a shopping mall!
3. Alright, Let’s Talk Rooms
If you’re single or traveling as a couple, a standard (double) room will be fine.
If you have kids on the other hand, you’ll want to go for the larger (triple) family rooms.
Btw, another thing to keep in mind when it comes to riads is to request a room on the first floor or above.
Rooms on the ground floor are generally a tad more noisy (the entrance to the hotel + front desk staff are located nearby so you’ll often hear people check in and check out at different hours, chat with staff members or catch up with fellow guests).
4. Food In Marrakech
Several riads also offer a limited in-house menu for lunch and dinner.
Of course, you can skip this if you plan on having your meals outside.
But I would recommend booking at least one meal at your riad/villa. Mostly because they usually have ladies who cook your food just like they do at their own homes.
This way, you get to feast on REAL Morocccan cuisine and trust me, there’s a huge difference between food served at a fancy restaurant and food prepared home-cooked style.
The latter is always so much tastier. 🙂
5. How Much Does It Cost?
When talking accommodation costs, we can pretty much divide it into 3 categories:
Budget, mid-range and luxury.
Prices at each place tend to fluctuate depending on what season it is.
Now obviously, it’s more economical to travel to Morocco during off peak months. But what if you’re unable to do so and can only make the trip during peak season?
Well, you needn’t worry about finding cheap places to stay in Marrakech because there are PLENTY of great deals available that you can easily take advantage of!
In fact, you can expect to pay $75 and less, with many riads in particular, offering excellent rooms at $50 or less each night (including a hearty breakfast).
Rates in this category start from around $150 per night and you can expect to enjoy a boutique-like experience.
If you’re interested in going with a mid-range option, I’d recommend checking out Riad Quara.
The ambience here is wonderful and the food delicious!
And with only a handful of rooms available, you’re pretty much guaranteed great service.
In the mood to really splurge?
Well, here are some of the best luxury riads in Marrakech you may want to check out:
Les Jardins De La Koutoubia, La Villa des Orangers, Riad Kheirredine, Riad Kniza, Riad Zam Zam and Dar Rhizlane are just some of the options in the city for high flying travelers.
They are all well known for their amazing food, great atmosphere and excellent service.
And their prices, while on the higher end, aren’t super exorbitant, so you can have a good time here without breaking the bank.
Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Marrakech
It’s easy to see why Marrakech is a favorite tourist destination in Morocco.
It’s strange, dusty and chaotic, but also beautiful, exciting and exotic.
And whether you’re a foodie, adventure seeker, lover of history and architecture or someone simply looking for a relaxing vacation, this city has something for everyone.
More importantly, armed with this guide, you can now go ahead and confidently choose the best place to stay in Marrakech Morocco based on your tastes and budget.