e have written about the work of Hamid Khantour previously. We now have a mini-exhibition of his paintings in the small courtyard of our riad, Riad Sapphire and Spa in Marrakech. They may be purchased by our clients – he will come and roll up the paintings for transport home.
You may have already visited Marrakech and are thinking to come back but want something a little different. Or you may be a foodie, always interested in foreign cuisine.
We have the tour for you. It’s Marrakech Food Tours – a personally-guided tour around Marrakech to discover the food that Marrakchis eat.
The creative idea of a Marrakchi/American couple who went from the simple premise of discovering the best places to eat in Marrakech – not the fanciest venues but the most authentic. You wander the Marrakech souqs, learning about the different food artisans, food culture, and history of the area. A moving feast with culture as added spice.
They are happy to accommodate special requests and diets.
The first Café Clock opened in Fez, Morocco and now there is one in Marrakech. A great place for cultural exchanges as well as a cup of coffee and a place to rest.
Cafés are spring up all over the medina of Marrakech – and a welcome addition they are too.
There is local artwork on the walls alongside vintage items, street art and a program set up for cultural exchanges and the promotion of aspiring artists. Every Wednesday there are jam sessions for musicians – anyone can bring along their instrument. There is traditional Marrakchi storytelling with an English translator on Thursday nights. Saturday nights offer live concerts. You can also find classes for yoga, darija, oud, calligraphy and oriental dancing …
More than your average café. In the Kasbah area of the old city.
Café littéraire is one of the oldest renovated riads in Marrakech.
Dar Cherifa is an ancient residence in the old city that has been restored by a well-known figure in Marrakech, Abellatif Aït Ben Abdallah, whose mission is to restore the ancient architecture of Marrakech so they can be enjoyed and appreciated by all travellers with a love of architecture.
Passionate about the architecture of this ancient city, classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, he set about restoring riads in Marrakech at a time when Marrakchis were more interested in moving out to the new areas. Ancient walls could crumble with no-one paying attention to the loss of historical monuments. He began restoring one riad, the first in a long series, and so began a work of patience dominated by one single idea: to share his love for these ancient residences and to preserve the historical architecture of Marrakech.
Modern travellers can drop by for some Moroccan mint tea or order a meal.
Baghrir (or beghrir) are delicious Moroccan pancakes – best described by the French words for it – mille trous – a thousand holes. We often serve them in our riad in Marrakesh–Riad Sapphire and Spa, luxury boutique hotel in the medina of Marrakesh.
The lovely folks at Dubai Eye Radio – one of the best radio stations in the Middle East – asked us to tell them what it’s like running a riad in the heart of Marrakech. Before we knew it, we were on-air being broadcast around the region and beyond.
Our story was on a particular show called ‘The Road Less Travelled’ which is all about exploring other cultures and authentic travel. The Travel Show is presented by Lucy Taylor and Mark Lloyd who, every week, help their listeners ‘stay up to date and learn to navigate potential pitfalls with practical travel tips and on the ground advice from the experts in the know.’
The Travel Show covers all elements of travel, tourism, hospitality, leisure and lifestyle – looking at everything from local UAE escapes and entertainment to international vacation options and attractions.
You can listen to our own interview here, care of this podcast:
There was no space for boring, cookie-cutter style rooms in our new riad. Each suite has been lovingly designed with the guest’s comfort in mind every step of the way. You’ll see that we have a gemstone theme, which is apparent in the colour scheme and energy of each suite. Here we explain in just one sentence what makes each of the suites so special:
Sapphire suite –A bright junior suite on the ground floor with arched windows and French doors opening onto our beautifully kept petite courtyard.
Amethyst suite – Opening onto our grand courtyard, this double/triple suite comes with latticed windows and hand-woven curtains evoking romantic Arabian nights.
Peridot suite – Imperially positioned on the upper floor and decorated in peridot green shades, this double suite makes for a sensory treat.
Cinnabar suite – Located on the upper floor and decorated in a warm red palette – this suite is a supremely comfortable home away from home with its own working fireplace.
Ebony suite – A double/triple suite on the upper floor complete with beautiful menzeh – a traditional Moroccan balcony covered with latticed woodwork for privacy.
Amber superior suite –A family-friendly suite on the upper floor complete with lovely pyramid skylight giving masses of light and romantic four-poster queen-sized bed with floaty drapes.
Topaz superior suite – Choc-a-bloc with charms, this double/triple/quadruple suite on the upper floor boasts a fabulous domed ceiling with inset stars and romantic four-poster queen-sized bed.
Citrine suite – Perched on the upper floor, a soft, relaxing lemon palette makes this double/triple suite cool and comforting.
We have worked day and night to make sure that our brand new, all-suite riad stands out in the crowd. We believe what we have created is unique that it interprets a vivid and modern take on classic Moorish architecture, complemented by clean lines and restrained décor.
From top to bottom, our local artisans have crafted unique and fetching furnishings that give a sense of place and comfort.
For example, our lampshades were custom-ordered, the woodwork was all handmade (look out for the handsome lattice screen, locally called a ‘menzeh’), a leather-covered ceiling fan. There are lime plaster tadelakt walls, marble flooring in the courtyards and the fabrics were predominately hand-woven. A modern spin has been put on classic design, so while you’ll recognise the traditional etching typically found on a Moroccan railing, you’ll notice that we have had it rendered in modern glass.
In between welcoming visitors old and new, we’re busy toasting all the wonderful artisans who have helped us to create one of the most stylish places to stay in North Africa. We hope to have you with us very soon.