Luxury Hotel Review: Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco #MuchMorocco @riadstarlucie

By Jonathan Howe March 2nd, 2016 Posted in Africa Travel Blog, Destination, Luxury Hotel Review 21 Comments

As one of the top destinations of choice, the classic traveler’s dream of exploring this ancient, vibrant city with an authentic Moroccan Riad as your base is fulfilled beyond expectation at Riad Star. One of the newest and most unique Riad hotels in the Red City, its story will charm and inspire visitors as much as its incredible setting, previously having been home to dancing icon and pioneer of civil rights, Josephine Baker.Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1

Riad Stars’ British owners Lucie and Mike Wood have lovingly restored the home to accommodate guests in its 7 thoughtfully presented rooms, and throughout the communal areas featuring a classic courtyard with dipping pool, open living room and private roof terrace. Finally, the ultimate luxury of a hammam and massage suite is the perfect remedy to revitalize tired guests, overwhelmed by the colors, smells, sights and sounds of the nearby souks.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

On the 16th of February at around 10:30 PM, we finally arrived in Marrakech, Morocco after a long and stressful journey from Tbilisi, Georgia (via Istanbul and Frankfurt!). Thankfully we had 3 nights of our 11 day Morocco trip to enjoy the city and we couldn’t have been more relieved to arrive in Medina, the old city where we were being hosted.

When we arrived we were welcomed with the incredible hospitality of Marrakech Riad Star, the former home of Josephine Baker and now a beautiful boutique hotel. As well as their boutique chain in Marrakesh, they have a travel app that you can use to explore the Old Town of Marrakesh – Marrakech Riad.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

I’ve stayed in a lot of properties before with a Moroccan theme but finally here was another dream come true, staying in a Moroccan house turned riad (boutique hotel) in Marrakesh!

You can check details and latest rates on Booking.com, or Agoda or visit their website directly.

Don’t just take our word for it though, check out their reviews on TripAdvisor

 

ACCOMMODATION

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

Riad Star has such a personal atmosphere, throughout all seven of its uniquely decorated rooms the personality and history of their purposes have been maintained perfectly. We loved our colorful and comfy room here, which used to be Josephine Baker’s Rainbow room for some of her twelve adopted children! The luxurious furnishings and huge bed made me feel like a princess especially with its incredibly sleek en-suite bathroom featuring glossy black tiles and open shower.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

All of the rooms here can be altered to suit guests’ specific needs, so can be double, twin and triple in most cases making it a great option for families or groups of friends. The whole house can actually be booked for special occasions giving you and your group exclusive use of the idyllic roof terrace, dining room/dance space and dipping pool.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

Room Options: Jazz room, Rainbow room, Chiquita room cost £140 per night (about $215 or Euro 160); the Josephine room, star room, Charleston room and Paris room are £180 per night (about $275 or Euro 207).

Room features: Air conditioning, ensuite facilities, mini fridge, room safe, hairdryer, flat screen TV, luxurious pure silk duvets and complimentary toiletries.

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AREA GUIDE

With just three days to explore the labyrinth that is Medina, the medieval walled city of Marrakech, Riad Star was perfectly situated to show us the key attractions such as the Marrakech Museum (close to the hotel) and only 12 minutes’ walk through a myriad of shops is the UNESCO world heritage site of Jemma Al Fnaa square.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

Much of our time was spent exploring the souks and their huge range of crafts, spices, and metalwork, so be sure to save up for souvenir shopping before your trip! Being able to stroll back to our little oasis amongst the chaos of the market made the experience so calm and easy.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 9Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

With more time we would have loved to see more of the nearby palaces, museums and galleries and ancient monuments or even travel further afield on any of the below excursions that can be arranged by the team at Riad Star:

  • A Caleche (horse and carriage) tour of the ramparts, palaces, and gardens of Marrakech.
  • A day-trip to the Atlas mountains and the waterfalls Setti Fettma.
  • The quaint fishing port of Essaouira
  • The awe-inspiring Ouzoud waterfalls (the highest in North Africa) where it’s possible to see wild Barbary apes. This trip requires a three-hour drive

TIPS

Get into the twenties spirit by raiding the dressing-up cupboard which is full of authentic costumes from Josephine Bakers golden days in Paris, this made a very memorable dinner for us!

Make sure to download the hotels’ Marrakesh Travel app to get the best out of your stay in Marrakech, it has so much useful information and fascinating history about the area.

Request dinner in advance as the kitchen needs prior notice to prepare and organize this service.

AMENITIES

 Without losing any of the buildings’ charm and authenticity, the hotel is equipped with all the necessary modern comforts, including Wi-Fi, power showers and air-conditioning. Many original features can still be seen such as the Cedar woodwork and hand-carved plaster blending beautifully with the Art Deco and Moroccan Décor.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

Riad Star has its own rooftop hammam and massage room, which can be booked for singles or couples. The traditional hammam treatment is a thorough cleaning and cleansing of the body through scrubbing and washing, which can then be followed by a full body massage for a fully relaxing and invigorating experience. Unlike in countries like Turkey,  the hammam can be experienced together as a couple, with a single female therapist. We both tried the hammam and massage, which was a much more personal and intimate experience, in a small, heated room, with warm stone slabs, followed by a personal massage.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

Other Features:

  • Complimentary Breakfast for most rooms
  • Hammam and massage suite
  • Dipping Pool/coverable to accommodate yoga or dance floor for occasions
  • Private roof terrace with Outdoor Fireplace

FOOD

The complimentary breakfast here could not be bettered anywhere in Morocco! With delicious freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot drinks, and a range of bread, muffins, pancakes served with jam, eggs, yogurt and fresh fruit salad you will leave very well-prepared for a day of exploring.

Two Monkeys Travel - Africa - Morocco - Marrakesh - Riad Star a 1Luxury Hotel Review:  Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco.

The dinner service is available on request which we absolutely recommend you do! We began our stay with a dinner of delicious local cuisine arranged by the awesome staff, the highlight has to be the Lamb Tagine, and make the most of the refreshing complimentary mint tea.

PEOPLE

From the moment you enter this gem hidden in the maze of the Red City, it’s clear to see the care and passion put into up-keeping the Riad by its owners Lucie and Mike Wood. The pride and attention to service extend to all of the staff here with the full concierge service, the porter who will meet you and guide you and your luggage to this hidden retreat and the skillfully prepared dishes tailored to suit the needs of all guests. All of the team here have succeeded in creating a very special and memorable experience for anyone lucky enough to visit.

You can check details and latest rates on Booking.com, or Agoda or visit their website directly.

Don’t just take our word for it though, check out their reviews on TripAdvisor

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Note: This was a sponsored hotel stay with the Riad Star, Marrakech, Morocco and all opinions and text are all mine! Thank you to everyone we met who helped to make this such a special experience.

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21 thoughts on “Luxury Hotel Review: Riad Star – Marrakech, Morocco #MuchMorocco @riadstarlucie

  1. We’ve been to Morocco, but actually we’ve never stayed in Marrakech so it’s very much on my list to return and stay there. This looks and sounds like an amazing Riad.

  2. Marrakech has really never appealed to me, I am not sure why but it hasn’t really been on my radar, so it was interesting to read your post!

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Written by Jonathan Howe

Jon is the Old White Monkey. Born in the south of England, Jon spent much of his early childhood in Kenya and Malawi, before moving to the Lake District in North West England aged 13 where he acquired a northern accent and a love for lakes, mountains, waterfalls, black pudding and gravy! After 14 years of studying and working in various (very various!) jobs, he too felt the need to get out and see the rest of the world. He loves tropical beaches, surfing, hiking, the outdoors, yoga, adventure sports and motorbikes!

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