Riad Malika

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Address: 29 Arset Aouzal, Quartier Dar el Bacha, Marrakech, 40030, Morocco

Star rating:
4 star hotel

4.9

The coolest riad in the medina.

It’s rare that a building moves me, but my first tour of Riad Malika was a genuinely emotional experience - so special and so lovingly crafted a place is this. From the moment you walk through the door, you’re in the spell of its passionate, creative vibe. Unlike with so many riads in Marrakech, this is the owner’s home – Jean-Luc Lumee has lived here for 35 years, allowing plenty of time for his unique and uncompromising taste to stamp its mark organically on the place.

Riad Malika is actually two riads, out of which Lumee has carved two prestige suites, two junior suites, and five standard rooms – not to mention a beautiful courtyard garden, stunning roof terrace and the funkiest plunge pool in Marrakech. Packed to the rafters with design brilliance, the Malika’s marble walls, antique carved plaster and gold leaf ceilings offer a dramatic backdrop to a stunning collection of furnishings and art, which includes everything from Art Deco tallboys to Verner Panton sofas, Joe Columbo chairs and a fantastic Chafik drinks cabinet…everywhere you turn there’s a fantastic example of 20th-century design.

Location
4.7
90%
Eating/drinking
4.5
90%
Leisure facilities
4.4
90%
Service
4.6
90%
Value for money
4.8
90%
Bedrooms
4.8
90%
Public areas
4.9
90%

Location

Riad Malika is in a lovely quiet street off Rue de Bab Doukkala, near the Dar el Bacha – about 15 minutes’ walk through the souks to the Place Jemaa el Fna.

Bedrooms

The five standard rooms are all just as uniquely furnished and decorated as you would expect in this fantasia of a hotel…the junior suites are around 50 square metres, have windows onto the garden or terrace and feature TVs, CD players and WiFi, with the prestige suites similarly well-equipped but around twice the size.

Public areas

The Malika’s comfortable public rooms, including the downstairs salon, dining areas and computer room, continue the riad’s tasteful, colonial vibe. The mature gardens, filled with palms, banana, papaya, orange, jacaranda, bougainvillea, fuchsia and jasmine, create the perfect visual and aromatic foil to the fixtures and fittings of this magical home – and the terraces feel spacious and yet with enough intimate spaces to ensure private relaxation time.

Eating and drinking

As one would expect, the food in the Malika is prepared with care, and combines the comfort of traditional Moroccan cooking with the delicacy and style of French cuisine. Many guests describe their meal at the riad as the best they had all holiday. Breakfast is served on the terrace, lunch by the pool and dinner in the candlelit garden.

Leisure facilities

There’s a small hammam room near the pool, and a massage room just off the main courtyard.

Service

Jean-Luc is an affable host, although he is not a big English speaker; his wife has good English, as do many of his excellent and well-trained staff.

Who stays there

Couples, families and groups of friends; there's no anti-children policy or vibe, but if you have toddlers you might want to save this one for a getaway without them!

Price advice

Prices don’t include local taxes.

Amenities

  • High-Speed Internet
  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Honeymooners
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Relaxation
  • Trendiness
  • No fuss
  • Art
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Good quality food
  • Quiet, convenient location
  • Packed with character
  • It's vintage, not perfectionist
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