At the root of Moroccan history and culture, is Nomadism. In it’s essence, it encapsulates a human existence which is parallel to the existence of all creatures and species. Nomads honour and wholly respect the natural world through their customs and culture; moving and living according to the seasons.
Nomadic groups move freely from place to place as forces of knowledge and creative exchange; remaining open to the teachings of other peoples, and being individually shaped over time, by new cultures, mysticism and the perception of other realms.

The nomadic tribes of the world and across the deserts, become accustomed to the harshest climates known to man; travelling wise men and women, wordsmiths, artists, philosophers of life all remaining true to the intrinsic connection humanity has with nature. Humanism in a raw form, a degree removed from capitalistic tendencies and addiction.

From the 5th-8th of April 2018, in the Merzouga district of the Sahara and amongst the rolling dunes of the Erg Chebbi; the Saharan Association for Tourism and Cultural Development will host the next edition of Merzouga International Festival, with their message “Nomadism is the absence of borders”.

The  association works all year round, with an aim to the living conditions of those in Need in Merzouga. This is executed in the form of activities and projects which respond to social issues and aspects. The program is diverse and includes creative workshops, donations of clothing, medical caravans, promotion of the Merzouga region at international fairs, awareness of nomads and days of cleaning the dunes to maintain the environment.

There is more to Merzouga than the rich saffron coloured sands and group dromedery treks which are plastered onto the front of tourist or excursion pamphlets. This desert plain in nestled into the remains of a major, historically paramount African city, Sijilmassa from the Middle Ages.

The festival itself is divided into a number of activities focusing on different aspects of life in the Sahara; Ecological Day, Conferences & Dialogue, Associative Exhibition, Humanitarian Day, Sports (marathon & football), Cultural Workshops, Tributes, Animation and Culinary Tasting.
Some of these focuses are dedicated to entire days due to their significance in the project. International guests as well as residents are invited to participate in all of these activities, which are all organised in the name of encouraging the preservation of Merzouga’s environment.

Relax, and prepare yourselves for a creative fusion of world music, eclectic fashion, rich aromas and night skies with stars scattered to infinity, appearing so close you could almost touch them.
This educational event promises to enlighten and enrich your soul, with opportunities to spectate, perform, share and discover. It is paramount to the continuation of this event, that all attendees take responsibility for respecting the nature of this incredible site.

FIM 2018, entitled MaMa Africa will host an over all celebration of all that is the continent of Africa. Tickets are available from the event website, and will go live in the very near future.

If you’re flying into Marrakech, why not check out the sights and sounds of town before making your way to the Sahara? Make your reservation with Marrakech Riad today, for a luxurious and relaxed experience.




There’s a new gallery in town. It promises to be a non-profit, independent museum dedicated to showcasing contemporary African art through a variety of mediums, which all touch upon topics that are prominent to the political dialogue within the continent of Africa.

“To familiarize, to transmit, to make discover, to make love art, to the young public in particular, are missions that we gave ourselves and which guide our action. We act with the idea that culture is a common good. It can be a great lever for development.” – Othman Lazraq, Director of the Alliance Foundation & President of MACAAL.

In conjunction with the epic 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, which had it’s Marrakech debut this weekend at La Mamounia; MACAAL launched with their exhibition “Africa Is No Island”. This exhibition brought together in excess of 40 emerging and established photographers, focusing purely on an African perspective.

Africa Is No Island celebrates and showcases Afrique in Visu’s decade long work and research into challenging common perspectives and misconceptions of the continent of Africa. The artists who’s work was showcased in this exhibition have focused on cultural concepts of tradition, spirituality, family and the environment, within the context of modern African experiences and daily life.

The curators  Jeanne Mercier, Baptiste de Ville d’Avray & Madeleine de Colnet,  decided on works which were based on three main themes;  “Je suis ma représentation” (I am my own representation), “Dessiner des géographies” (Drawing Borders) and “Recueillir l’histoire” (Transcribe History).


The launch night was a fantastic event, on an evening where the moon was spectacularly low and orange in the cloudless sky. Skeptical of lunar influence or not, there was an undeniably effervescent energy about the place. Upon arrival, a short walk through a well kept garden took us to the glass fronted gallery entrance. Sat just outside the entrance upon a quilt of red carpets, was a group of indigenous berber women who were chanting their shrill zagareet (ululations). This welcoming and fully-charged sound created a great hype for what was in store.

The entrance opens out into an expansive lobby, with high ceilings and doorless openings which tangent off into other areas of the gallery. For this event, the lobby was dotted with fantastic sculpture  and photography works. Including two particuarly eye-catching wall length photographs by Maïmouna Gueressi an Italian artist who converted to Sufism in 1991; combining mixed media of sculpture, photography, videography and the human form in her works.

The pieces on display at the launch combined sound, light, photographic images and poetry to paint a picture of various elements and topics of discussion upon the motherland, Africa.

A short walk through another beautiful & minimalistic garden, took us to an open hall filled with bright lights and music. A live band played an amalgamation of tracks featuring afrobeat, gnawa and remixes of familiar chart topping tunes. The bar was open and full to the brim, whilst a huge and luxurious buffet spread invited guests to try a variety of traditional Moroccan dishes. As the night went on, various dance performances graced the stage and a live D.J took over the sound system to keep everybody moving.

To find out more about future events at MACAAL, follow the link to their main website.

If you wish to visit Marrakech and discover more of the incredible art and inspiration available to you, why not contact us and book your luxury accommodation today?


The country of Morocco at the westernmost point of Africa, has a diverse and variable climate. Expanding across it’s entirety, you can find a multitude of environments; from the desert plains of the Sahara to lush & rocky regions throughout the Atlas Mountains.
Average temperatures and rain fall are different from region to region, but it is safe to describe the climate as largely tropical. To the North, Morocco meets the mediterranean sea and spans across to meet the Atlantic ocean to the west. Amongst locals, Morocco is often referred to as “the place where Europe and Africa kiss”.

In the Southeast of Morocco lays the Sahara, where the climate becomes more arid and the population less dense. Close to the Algerian borders, the summers are long and hot. The intense heat and lack of rain or moisture are especially present in the lowland areas which lie east of the Atlas mountain range. This is due to the shadow which is cast by the mountains.

It is estimated that 95% of the population live in the Northern and Western regions, preferring the mediterranean and tropical climates (as well as the opportunities for work and study) in the capital cities. The capital city is Rabat, but this is not the largest city. Casablanca is the largest city, and this is due to it’s very active main port; providing plenty of industry. Other densely populated cities include Fes, Meknes, Tangier & Marrakech; with a recorded population of over 500,000 residents.

In the mountainous regions of the Rif, Middle and High Atlas, there exists a multitude of climates and sufficient moisture for the growth of a variety of plant life. In the humid high elevations exists oak trees, moss, junipers and Atlantic fir. In the valleys where there is more rainfall and fertile soils, you can find incredible, lush areas of forestation.
In the arid regions of the Sahara, fertile grounds are rare. The distinct lack of moisture does not allow for much life, but that is not to say it doesn’t exist. Sporadically dotted around the Sahara are many awe inspiring Oases, comprising of beautiful natural palm trees and cactus plants.

The Cactus plant is a wonder in itself. Known locally as “Su’bar”, meaning enduring; the plant lives up to it’s name. Cacti are largely a form of succulent, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. As well as being able to survive with little to no rainfall or precipitation, the cactus can equally survive other variable climates. In the Sahara, the day temperatures can be as much as 60 degrees celsius, dropping significantly in the night to as low as 3 degrees. This changeable environment promotes the versatility of cacti; during photosynthesis, they intake and store CO2 at night when the air is cool and more humid. The plants then close the minute openings in their trunks (stomata) during the day to avoid water loss. In the abundant sunlight of the day, they convert the compound they made in the night into regular sugars. All plants and trees practice this process, but the cactus is different in that this method of transpiration at night dramatically reduces water loss.
A cactus sustains almost all of it’s collected water, even at peak summer temperatures and in fact, the only water which is lost is the water which is converted to plant growth and mass. Of course, cacti does have it’s limitations & any temperature below -10 degrees celsius will be lethal to both young and old plants.

Cacti have an incredible life span, and most will live for 150 to 200 years. Their sharp spines serve them in several ways and are attributed to their survival; they are actually adapted leaves and NOT (as they are commonly mistaken) thorns. The spines not only provide shade and collect moisture from the air when available, but they also defend the cactus plant against predators (herbivores).

Many Cactus plants flower, but this does not happen until late in their life span. Most Cacti will not flower in the Sahara until they are already 50 to 70 years old, but when they flower they continue to do so every year for the rest of their lives. Cactus flowers are pollinated like most plants, by insects, birds and bats. No species of cacti are renowned for being wind-pollinated, but self-pollination does occur in a few species. Bees are the most common pollinator of cacti, and in the Sahara desert this is certainly true. Desert bees and cacti are hugely dependant on one another.

The cultivation of cacti is having a positive impact on the Moroccan economy, thanks to it’s medicinal and cosmetic properties. It is reported that  women in the Sbouya hamlet near Sidi Ifni in the south of Morocco are harvesting the fruit of the prickly pear cactus which is native to these parts. In this previously poverty stricken area, the women have largely missed out on a formal education and in many cases are illiterate; which minimises job prospects. For these women, the harvesting of the cacti provides more wealth that they might have ever imagined obtaining.
It has inspired women in other areas of Morocco to follow suit and many have started to look at the things that grow in abundance (such as argan and saffron) in their local vicinity, to convert the available resources into a profitable business.

Cacti only require a small space, as well as minimal water and human attention. They are extensively cultivated in areas of the world with a hot climate, not only for their rare and vibrant flowers but also for economic purposes. Growing in various, curious forms, cacti can bear tubular or rotate flowers, and also delicious fruit in the form of the prickly pear. They do grow in the wild; but are now also protected in conservatories and nurseries.

In Marrakech, a variety of cactus plants are available for purchase around the area of the Jemaa el Fna. In some cases, you might find an individual trader selling cuttings or unearthed cacti for a minimal fee. These will survive out of the soil for as long as 3 months, and can be re-planted as ornaments in the home.

Contact us to help with you booking today, and join us in the beautifully diverse country of Morocco.



A romantic break is always a winner for anniversaries and it has never been easier to create a magical break in beautiful Marrakech.

With short haul flights from so many UK airports, that dream trip to relax and celebrate with a loved one is simple to arrange.

Once you land in Marrakech we can arrange a stressfree and luxurious break for you to relax and simply enjoy the company of your beloved.

From the moment you step out of the airport we will take care of everything. Air conditioned private transfers, flowers for your room, a luxurious en suite room with all you could need to enjoy your stay, a romantic candlelit evening meal on our stunning roof terrace, concierge service from our attentive English speaking staff, breakfast at whatever time suits you, spas and treatments. We really do have it all covered; leaving you to create wonderful memories of a special break to celebrate your love.

Contact us today to secure your special date!


It’s always helpful to have some local info for your holidays, so here are a few top tips to make your stay in Marrakech simple.
I have been travelling in Morocco for over 16 years, and here are a few very easy things which I always do which make my trip more comfortable.

  1. Bring the name and address of your accommodation in Morocco, you will need to put the details into your immigration form.
  2. Bring a contact number for your accommodation, sometimes transfers get delayed, and your riad will quickly resolve any hold up for you.
  3. Download the free smartphone App the Marrakech Riad Travel Guide before you leave home. It makes getting lost in Marrakech a thing of the past! Plus the extra confidence it gives you to explore will change your experience in so many positive ways
  4. When I arrive in Marrakech I ask for small notes and change at the bureau de change. (There are some in the airport and others around the city). There are lots of tips to give and I like to have change to do this. Also having the right money for taxis etc makes life so much easier!
  5. Ask your riad for a business card, or even better a local mobile phone to use during your stay, so that you can keep in touch with them if you need some help.
  6. Think about shoes! There’s so much that can be explored on foot, and the heat of the day can make your shoes seem smaller and less comfy! I always buy any new shoes for my trips at least one size larger than my normal fitting.
  7. Layers are the best advice for clothes, as the time of day, environment, changes so will what is comfortable to wear. A large scarf or pashmina is perfect if you don’t have one, there are lots of beauties on offer in the souks!
  8. I always carry a lip balm, the desert can be unforgiving, and daily use of a delicious lip balm is great advice, use it everyday to avoid playing moisture catch up later!
  9. A small pack of tissues is another really useful thing to keep, some prefer wet wipes, either is helpful if you need a quick hand wash or sneeze!
  10. Smile!! it seems so simple, but my best advice is to enjoy every minute, and smile at everyone, it will certainly make your day happier and those you meet will enjoy your sunny disposition and treat you with the same happy response.

Have a magical time in Marrakech, I hope that these ten easy steps will make your trip super smooth and relaxed!

Book your next trip in style at one of our fabulous central Medina Riads 

From the red city of Marrakech to the sleepy oasis of Essaouira, one thing you will not miss on your visit to Morocco is the intense presence of ‘Gnawa’ music. From single musicians to  whole troops practice this art form and you will instantly be able to recognise Gnawa in the streets by the distinctive beat of iron rattles or ‘karkabas’.

There is in fact a world of mystery encompassing the exact origin of this revered and celebrated art form. Moroccans agree that it originally crept into the country from the southern reaches of the Sahara deserts however there is much dispute as to how and who originally brought this unique style of music into Morocco.

This Gnawa musicias name is Omar and ever day as I walk from the Riad Dar Habiba down Rue Riad Zitoun el Kdim he is sat just outside the central square of Jemaa al-Fnaa, filling in the air with the steady cadence of Gnawa music through his 3 stringed bass plucked lute, called a ‘hajhuj’.

Although it’s uncertain as to how Gnawa came to arrive in Morocco, what’s important is that it did and that it spread to the four corners of the country like wildfire. Gnawa is so embedded in Morocco that some with a keen ear for this art form can tell the origin of a musician by the slight variations in style and performance in the same was a varying Darija Arabic accent.

Gnawa music is perhaps one of the most remarkable and fascinating arts that I have come into contact with here in Morocco. When you discover Marrakech for yourself you will see how perfectly synchronised this unique sound is with the beat of the red city.

Marrakech Jemaa al Fnaa Map

» Explore the Jemaa el Fnaa Map

We are proud to support the African Space Trust a charity registered in the UK committed to supporting sustainable development in sub saharan africa.

A short break at Riad Papillon will be a star prize at the African Space fund raising Quiz night on Friday 29th June 2012.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are organising a charity event or fund raiser which could benefit from a little Marrakech Magic! We will do our best to help if possible in the context of our other commitments.

To date we have helped to  raise more than £40,000 (Euros 50,000) as part of our ongoing commitment to giving back to our communities.



If one had to think of a city where it would be easy to find slightly more exotic international cuisine then Marrakech is not perhaps one of the places that immediately springs to mind. However such preconception is misplaced as in recent years there is a new breed of Marrakchi or expat restaurant owners who are bringing new flavours and feels to Marrakech. This particular restaurant is one of a very small number of restaurant that serve sushi and Japanese food in general in Marrakech and it does so with great style, the restaurant itself is strikingly decorated and the style of decoration continues with the food presentation, menus and general ambience. These combine to give the restaurant a wonderful atmosphere and one that is certainly different to the average ambience of a restaurant in Marrakech.


The food itself is delicious and very reasonably prices, it is easily possible for two people to eat for under 300 dirhams, the one downside is that they do not serve alcohol, but in a way this just serves to add to the atmosphere as it contributes to the restaurants clean feel. The restaurant offers a selection of Japanese dishes, ranging from numerous types of shushi and sashimi to teryaki style skewers and tempura. For value for money and general depth of experience a sushi platter is thoroughly recommended as one is able to try a wide variety of sushi at a generally competitive price, the food not only tastes good but is also very aesthetically pleasing, in keeping with the restaurant’s general stylish aura. The restaurant also has an interesting supply of drinks with iced chai tea being particularly good along with the lemon and ginger juice. The position of Ocha sushi on the rue Yugoslavie means it is easily accessible from central Gueliz or by a 15 minute walk/ 3 minute taxi ride from Jemaa el Fna. Our Riads are wonderfully placed in the Medina for easy access to this restaurant and indeed the majority of the finest things that Marrakech has to offer. Book a room now and you can experience all the wonders of Marrakech from a luxurious and wonderfully situated Riad in the heart of the historic Medina.



If you’re looking for a more historical perspective on Marrakech and Morocco or indeed just looking for a tranquil and interesting place to visit between the hustle and bustle of the markets and the souks then Marrakech Museum is what you’re looking for.  The museum itself is a classic example of the local architecture meaning that is a pleasure simply to look at, never mind being inside,  however once you do enter you can see why the museum is such a well known cultural spot within the city. The museum contains a number of historical items from Moroccan history, such as ancient swords or embroidery. These are all well presented and accompanied by informative descriptions which are all in clear and concise language. The collection of Moroccan cultural items  is indeed impressive, with items ranging from the 14th to the 20th century all collated together for the culture hungry visitor to observe. The museum itself presents an excellent setting within which to situate these items, the central room with is three fountains and Islamic tiles particularly being a sight to behold, the tranquil tinkling of the fountains certainly adding to the already excellent atmosphere which is to be found within the museum.


The museum is not however only home to items from Morocco’s past it also has a modern art exhibition, which at time of writing plays host to work from distinguished French artist Yvan Gervais. His collection of impressionist-esque sceneries are truly a joy to behold and certainly add a modern twist to what otherwise would be a fairly traditional museum. The museum is also fairly cheap as one can buy a combined ticket for the museum, the local religious school and majorelle gardens for only 60 dirhams. This coupled with the museums location in the heart of the old town medina make it a must for any discerning visitor to Marrakech.

Opening Times: Every day from 9h to 18h
Entrance fee: 40dh
You can purchase a joint ticket to visit both the Musee De Marrakech and the Ben Youssef Medersa

Our Riads are situated less than 3 minutes walk from this essential site in the Marrakech Medina. There has never been a better time to book a stay, so reserve your room at one of our Riads now to avoid disappointment.

For a window into Islamic culture in the Mahgreb and the religious institutions that greatly influenced its development. One can do a lot worse than to visit the Ben Youssef Madrassa. Originally founded during the 14th Century during the Marinid Period by Sultan Abu al-Hassan, the building was first brought to great prominence by its reconstruction and overhaul from 1564-65 by the Sultan Abdul al- Hassan.
Since that point it was the largest Madrassa in the whole of Morocco, bringing the city great prestige and cultural influence. The Ben Youssef was no ordinary school however, it was more akin to a self contained educational community. With 132 rooms and hundreds of students living and learning within its magnificent walls. This combined with its location in the Medina in the historic old town, just a few minutes walk from the Central square Djemaa el Fna makes it one of Marrakech’s primary cultural destinations. Once you enter the building you immediately see why it is such a famous place in the Islamic world. The architecture and decoration proudly displays many of the facets and aspects of Islamic building and design that has made them so renowned for their beauty and aesthetic appeal. Inside the Madrassa is a myriad of tesselated colours, blues and greens beautifully contrasting with browns and white. The courtyard which is adjacent to the prayer room is truly a beautiful place one in which it is very difficult to not have a feeling of great tranquillity even in the famed Moroccan heat. One can also not fail to notice the intricate inscriptions which abound all over the complex. It is not merely the incredible shaped which these inscriptions take but the incredible detail which the inscriptions take, one can scarcely fail to be amazed by the delicacy and fantastical patterns in the form of the writing . It is however not merely your average tourists who have come to appreciate the wonders of this place but indeed it has become a favoured place to visit for passing royals as in recent years the Madrassa has been visited both by the King and Queen of the Netherlands and the Queen of Spain, surely a ringing endorsement from European royalty.  All these things coupled with the Madrassa’s prime location and relative ease of access make it a must for any culture or history buffs visiting Marrakech.

Opening Times: Every day from 9h30 to 18pm
Entrance fee: 50 dh for the Adult and 30 dh for children
You can purchase a joint ticket to visit both the Medersa and the Musee De Marrakech

Our Riad Cinnamon  is located an easy 5 minutes stroll away meaning that a stay with us leaves you fully capable of taking full advantages of such a fantastic base in the heart of Marrakech’s historical and cultural heart and one the undoubted advantages of staying in such a fantastic location. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the markets, soak in the vibrant culture of the surrounding museums and historic sites, then retreat to the luxury of  Riad Cinnamon before once more plunging back into the immersive experience that is Marrakech old town. Make a booking today.

The Hibiscus is on flower on the roof terrace at Marrakech Riad Cinnamon. What better way to start the day than breakfast among the spring blossoms.

Reserve Riad accommodation today!

Marrakech Riad will be exhibiting on stand LA13 at Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show.

The Venue is the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London

Opening hours:

Thursday 3rd  10.00 am to 8.30 pm

Friday 4th  10.00 am to 5.30 pm

Satruday 5th  10.00 am to 5.30pm

Sunday 6th  10.00 am to 5.30 pm

Reserve Accommodation at the show or on through our website. Your Marrakech holiday can’t come soon enough!

Ryanair operate a convenient service between Dusseldorf Weeze in Nordrhien Westfalen  Germany and Marrakech, Morocco. Return flights operate on three days each week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The scheduled arrival time in Marrakech of 17.45 is perfect for our Marrakech Riad team to arrange to have you collected at the airport and brought to one of our luxurious boutique hotels in the medina in time for a delicious Moroccan dinner.

A Riad in the old town is the perfect base from which to explore Marrkaech. With Ryanair’s famously low fares and our special offers a Moroccan City Break has never been more affordable. Make contact today to reserve accommodation for your preferred travel dates!

Individual suites at Riad Cinnamon:
Fez EssaouiraChefchaouen | CasablancaMeknes

Luxurious en suite rooms at Riad Papillion:

Cactus fruits also known as prickly pears are in season in Marrakech in the late summer.  In the countryside cactuses are plentiful, sometimes planted as hedging plants around farms, at this time of year all over the old town street sellers are offering juicy cactus fruits peeled on the spot and ready to eat.  The usual price is one dirham each, that is about 7 or 8 English pence or around 10 Euro cents.

Our traditional Moroccan Riads offer the perfect base from which to explore Marrakech. Make your reservation today!

Onward travel?

As of September 2010 Ryanair were operating a convenient service from Barcelona to Marrakech five days a week. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday they use Barcelona Girona airport and on Sunday and Wednesday they use Reus.

On arrival in the Red City what could be better than to be met by our taxi and escorted to your personal Oasis! One of our boutique Riad hotels. With the budget airlines low fares and our special offers Marrakech has never been more affordable or more convenient! Reserve accommodation today.

Ryanair fly from Brussels Charleroi to Marrakech a fantastic three times a week each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Your flight will land just before five in the afternoon in perfect time to be met by one of our drivers and whisked away to a magnificent Riad in the Medina where dinner will be waiting for you.

There is no better base to explore Marrakech than one of our Riad boutique hotels. Reserve accommodation today!

The Cafe Ben Youssef, Marrakech, Morocco opened in February 2010. Pictured to the right is the traditonal gift of warm milk and dates shared  with friends and neighbours on the day of the opening. Look out for the colourful and impressive reclaimed entrance door.

The cafe is conveniently located near the Ben Youssef Mosque in the Central Medina just around the corner from Marrakech Riad Cinnamon. The cafe is open for lunch and throughout the afternoon serving tea, juices, and a variety of delicious simple foods including an ingenious ‘panini’ made with Marrakech medina bread and served hot from the grill.

As of June 2011 the Cafe was closed, we hope to see it reopen for the Autumn season.

Our Marrakech Riad hotels are centrally located in the Medina, the Souks and the best of Marrakech are on your doorstep. Reserve Accommodation today! If you have enjoyed Cafe Ben Youssef post a comment below and share your experience with others.

Tuurda is a home cooked Marrakechi dish based on dried bread served with pulses onions and other vegetables as available and a tomato based sauce. This delicious dish is a kind of Moroccan bubble and squeek. Guests in our Marrakech Riads can enjoy freshly prepared Tuurda as a light lunch, best enjoyed with a mint tea.

Explore our home cooked cuisine and dining options or contact Marrakech Riad to reserve accommodation!

Hibiscus (Riad Papillon Room)

If you are unsure where to stay in Marrakech just take a look at our Hibiscus room. The Hibiscus Room is located on the first floor at Riad Papillon overlooking the patio below and with easy access to the first floor open fronted sitting room and Menzeh balcony.
Relax in the Hibiscus room and enjoy luxurious 300 count Egyptian cotton bed-linen, sumptuous big marshmallow squishy pillows, quality cotton white bathrobes and soft fluffy towels. For your convenience there is a mini fridge and a room safe, wifi and in room satellite tv.
The floor of this elegant room is traditonal bajmat tiles inset with decorative black Zellige de Fes. The walls are tastefully finished in natural tadelakt with photographs of Marrakech Medina street scenes and a hand sewn Berber wall hanging.

Fully air conditioned the Hibiscus room has a beautiful en suite shower room. Contact us now to make your reservation.

Like the other rooms at Riad Papillon the Hibiscus Room can be made up as a Queen sized double or a generous twin. With comforts like this Riad Papillon is your home from home in Marrakech! The Hibiscus room costs £100 or Euros 120 per night including our Moroccan breakfast for two served whenever you want. With internet reservation rate the Hibiscus room is fantastic value at just £80 or around Euros 96. Make your reservation today!

There are five luxury rooms at Riad Papillon: Bougainvillea | Geranium | Hibiscus | Jasmine | Rose

Reserve Accommodation

We respond personally to all information and availability requests. Within our office hours ( 8am to 8pm London time, seven days a week) we normally reply in less than 20 minutes, or you are welcome to call our UK based reservations team on +44 20 7570 0336 or call 1-800-845-0810 if you are calling from USA.

If you encounter any problems with the contact form below please drop us a direct email using

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Riad Papillon

15 Derb Tizougarine Dar el Basha District Marrakech Medina

T: To call our UK based reservations team: +44 (0) 20 7570 0336

From the USA: 1-800-845-0810

E: contact@

Riad Spice

2 Derb Ahansal Barouidine Ben Youseff District Marrakech Medina

T: To call our UK based reservations team: +44 (0) 20 7570 0336

From the USA: 1-800-845-0810

E: contact@

Riad Cinnamon

9 Derb el Hajra El Baroudiyine District Marrakech Medina

T: To call our UK based reservations team: +44 (0) 20 7570 0336

From the USA: 1-800-845-0810

E: contact@

Riad Star

31 Derb Alilich Kaat Bennahid District Marrakech Medina

T: To call our UK based reservations team: +44 (0) 20 7570 0336

From the USA: 1-800-845-0810

E: contact@


Our new Marrakech Riad Cookbook brings our signature welcoming Moroccan hospitality and delicious, wholesome cuisine to the kitchens of home cooks everywhere. Representing a selection of favourite, home-cooked dishes regularly enjoyed by guests at our riads and taught in the Marrakech Riad cookery school, this book invites readers to relish recipes passed down through generations of Moroccan families. Each creation is inspired by fresh seasonal produce from the local souks and designed to be shared with family and friends, in the Moroccan way. “There is a wonderful flexibility about this cuisine, most dishes are remarkably simple to prepare and readily adaptable,” says co-author Mike Wood. “The cookbook has been a while in the making and we’re delighted to be able to share our love of the traditional, regional food cooked by our team with a wider audience.” From breads to tagine cooking, tasty dips and salads, the book covers all the essentials for savouring a taste of Marrakech home cooking without having to leave the country. Available from Amazon UK or simply use the button below to get your copy and pay with PayPal:   UK£7.50  Euros 8.00  US$10.00.  Contact us for more information.

Buy now 

Dont forget to check out our Cookery School and Marrakech Foodie Break.


Come and join us on our magical journey to the elegant Riad Star, located in the beautiful World Heritage city of Marrakech. Our carefully created retreat will allow you to deeply relax, have fun and learn about living mindfully over four rejuvenating nights in the heart of Marrakech. Attached to the old Pasha’s palace which is now the Museum of Marrakech, our venue is situated on the doorstep of the vibrant souks, an historic labyrinth renowned for its diverse crafts, authentic tastes and ancient culture.

This White Owl Retreat has been created for people who want to renew, refocus and rediscover themselves in a luxurious setting with like-minded souls.

2020 dates:

Marrakech Retreats-Mindfulness & Yoga: 1st to 5th June   and 4th to 8th December.

UK Rejuvenation Days: contact us for current dates.


What’s included in your 4 day White Owl Retreat?

Getting there…
– Airport transfers to and from your beautiful Riad hotel in Marrakech as well as the services of a ‘baggagiste’ to carry your bags safely to your room.
– All transfer tips are included so there is no need for you to think about this as you glide happily to your riad.

Having a relaxing sleep….
-You will stay at a luxurious riad hotel in the centre of the Marrakech Medina for 4 relaxing nights. It is completely up to you if you choose to share with a friend or two or we can allocate a sharing partner (same sex) for you. If you prefer to have a double room to yourself then there is a single supplement for this (see below).

Nourishing your body…
– 3 delicious vegetarian meals every day
– 3 Nutritional cooking workshops

– Choice of massage or hammam

Renewing Yourself…

– Daily mindfulness meditation

-2 Yoga Dance classes

-Journaling and group mindfulness activities
– Daily Yoga classes


Exploring the ‘red’ city of Marrakech…
– Trip to YSL museum and gardens.
– Trip to the labyrinth of souks that are renowned for their diverse crafts from dyers, carpets and spices to leather goods, lanterns and hand-crafted accessories.

-Plenty of time to explore on your own or with new friends. We are located in the heart of Marrakech and many of the most visited attractions are on your doorstep.


Single Occupancy Room (with meditation pod)
Early Bird Offer £899

Single Occupancy Room
Early Bird Offer £799

Shared Occupancy Room (2 people)
Early Bird Offer £599

Shared Occupancy Room ( 3-5 people)
Early Bird Offer £499

Contact us today!


Privacy policy

This privacy policy applies between you, the User of this Website and LTD, the owner and provider of this Website. LTD takes the privacy of your information very seriously. This privacy policy applies to our use of any and all Data collected by us or provided by you in relation to your use of the Website.

This privacy policy should be read alongside, and in addition to, our Terms and Conditions, which can be found at:

Please read this privacy policy carefully.

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the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679; LTD, or us LTD, a company incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 5584448 whose registered office is at Unit F Whiteacres, Whetstone, Leicester, England, LE8 6ZG;

UK and EU Cookie Law

the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 as amended by the Privacy and Electronxic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011;

User or you

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Data collected

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How we collect Data

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in each case, in accordance with this privacy policy.

Data that is received from third parties

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Our use of Data

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Who we share Data with

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in each case, in accordance with this privacy policy.

Keeping Data secure

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Transfers outside the European Economic Area

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  • We will only transfer Data outside the EEA where it is compliant with data protection legislation and the means of transfer provides adequate safeguards in relation to your data, eg by way of data transfer agreement, incorporating the current standard contractual clauses adopted by the European Commission, or by signing up to the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework, in the event that the organisation in receipt of the Data is based in the United States of America.
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Changes of business ownership and control

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These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

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  • You may not transfer any of your rights under this privacy policy to any other person. We may transfer our rights under this privacy policy where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
  • If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this privacy policy (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision will, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this privacy policy will not be affected.
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Changes to this privacy policy

  • LTD reserves the right to change this privacy policy as we may deem necessary from time to time or as may be required by law. Any changes will be immediately posted on the Website and you are deemed to have accepted the terms of the privacy policy on your first use of the Website following the alterations.You may contact LTD by email at .


  • This privacy policy was created using a document from Rocket Lawyer

25 May 2018


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The word “Caleche” may not be familiar to you, if you’ve never spent a week or two in Morocco before. The word itself is a french, feminine noun which found it’s way to Morocco during the French Colonisation in the 1950’s.  The term Caleche is now a commonly used name for what is formally known by most as a Barouche, or horse-drawn cart.

A caleche is a type of horse-drawn carriage with a retractable cover for sun-protection. These fanciful modes of transport became popularised in 19th century France, and were mostly used for leisurely journeys in the summer.
The Caleches of Marrakech are light carriages with small wheels at the front, and two larger wheels at the rear, with inside seats for four to six passengers. The carriages are usually drawn by two medium-large horses of equal height.

In Marrakech you can take a tour of the city by Caleche, which can last from 20 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the time you have designated. There are several main pick-up points within the medina and the New City; which you can find by using our free Marrakech Riad Travel Guide App. This is a great way to explore the city if you are tired from walking, as the caleches can often reach areas of town which are not accessible by car. The open top of the carriage, and the slow moving nature of the caleche ride allows for some brilliant photo opportunities of major landmarks and historical features.

In previous years, the horses used to draw Caleches in Morocco, were not well kept. Often malnourished and dehydrated, they were thin, lame and in constant pain from untreated harness wounds; which caused an uproar amongst animal activists. Thankfully, attention around this issue caused a charitable organisation called SPANA to step in and take action.
SPANA is an international charity which supports working animals around the world, and their Morocco branch based in Doudiat is a literal life-saver for so many animals in Marrakech. SPANA’s Caleche Horse Programme has influenced major improvement in the overall care, health and wellbeing of the working horses in Marrakech. By teaming up with local authorities, SPANA created a licensing scheme whereby horses must be regularly inspected on various health factors, for their owners to be able to continue using them for work. They must be well fed, well cared for and have access to farriery, dentistry and veterinary care before the owners can obtain or maintain their Caleche license.
You might notice that many horses have a blue “SPANA” tag around their ankle, which indicates that they have been micro-chipped and are being thoroughly monitored. The charity have also installed several free-to-use water troughs around the city, to combat animal dehydration.
Bravo to SPANA for all their hard work in improving the lives of working animals around the world.

So, next time you visit Marrakech why not try out a Caleche tour for yourselves?
Contact us today to book your accommodation.



Whilst exploring all that Marrakech has to offer, it’s highly likely that you will come across the works of world renowned artist Hassan Hajjaj. His creations can be found gracing the walls of numerous venues in the red city, but his work branches out much further than Marrakech,

Hassan Hajjaj is a Moroccan born, contemporary artist – better known as “The Andy Warhol of Morocco”. Branching out from his roots, Hajjaj (born Larache), now works between the cities of Marrakech, London and New York; making a name for himself on both the underground and mainstream art worlds.

His contemporary works come in the format of film & photography, as well as a combination of mixed media pieces in a vibrant “pop art” genre. Hassan Hajjaj spoke in an interview with ArtNet News about his influences, and although naturally inspired by a range of photographers who’s images have appeared in various magazine spreads; the majority of his influence comes from music and his presence in the underground music scene over the years of his life. His photographs and films take on an aspect of story telling, documenting the present moment, or taking a look into the potential of the future, always giving the viewer an impression of the human characters involved.

As Hajjaj’s career has taken off, he has made many notable achievements as an artist. In 2009, Hajjaj was shortlisted for Victoria & Albert Museum’s Jameel prize, and in 2011, he was awarded the Sovereign Middle East and African Art Prize. In 2013, Rose Issa Projects published a monograph of the artist exploring his upbringing in Morocco and London, focusing particularly on the significance of his experiences in fashion, interior design, the music scene and his highly-acclaimed photographic creations.  Recently he shot the front cover for New York magazine, featuring music artist Cardi B. He describes this type of commissioned work as being much more about meeting the brief of the client, than exploring his own creative intuition; however he remains true to his very distinctive styling, namely brightly coloured motifs and borders which pay tribute to his African, or more specifically Moroccan heritage. In fact, these pop-art style borders and motifs, particularly mimic the traditional Mosaic which is seen repeatedly in Moroccan architecture; but have evolved to often also have a similarity to the bold patterns of West African prints.

As his art career progresses, Hajjaj remains connected to Morocco and the influences which inspired him from the beginning. Largely, his personal creations (which are not commissioned by other clients) still feature characters and attributes of the Maghreb.

In fact, Hajjaj’s studio in Marrakech is open to the public and is found under the name of Riad Yima, located just behind Rahba Lakdima, more commonly known as the Place des Epices (Spice Market). The space is now a dedicated gallery for the vibrant photographic pieces, as well as a tea room and boutique. A must see for all art enthusiasts staying in Marrakech.

During the Marrakech 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, held on the last weekend of February 2018; Riad Yima housed performances by Hassan Hajjaj himself, as well as an exhibition of photographic works by Yassine Aaoui Ismaili, also known as Yoriyas. Yoriyas is an up and coming, Casablanca-based photographer. This particular exhibition focused on showcasing a more honest view of the city of Casablanca, beyond the Colonial impression which was so famously publicised in the 1942 feature length film.

Be sure to visit Riad Yima, and keep your eyes peeled for Hassan Hajjaj’s iconic works on your next visit to Marrakech. Contact us today at Marrakech Riad to plan your trip!

The dyers district covers two sides of the main path, through Souk Sebbaghine. If you choose to take the “needle and thread” walk, then you can use our Marrakech Travel Guide App to help you along your way. The app is free to download to your phone or tablet and functions without internet connection, so you may never need to lose your sense of direction when navigating the labyrinth of the ancient Medina!

You might wish to take a guide with you when you visit the dyers souk, to have somebody who is multilingual and can give you an explanation in your native language, as to the processes taking place here. You should view this as a service, and expect to make some payment for it. Alternatively, any one of the dyers in the souk will be happy to give a demonstration of their work for you.

As you head along the route past the Mouassine fountain, you’ll meet a fork in the road and take the path to your left. Take another left and you’ll be led to the dyers district via several shops selling colourful textiles and tagine pots! Here you have the option to take a hidden path to your left which opens out into the larger of the dying areas, or a hidden path to your right which opens into a tiny nook filled with wool-dying workshops. If you are looking for a calm, hassle-free experience, then you are probably best taking the right hand path, which runs just between the mosque and the row of stores. You will know you are in the right place because the walls are covered with brightly coloured patches of dye & handprints.

In this little opening, you might find artisans sitting enjoying a mint tea on their lunch break or busy activating the large dying pots. You will notice that their hands are stained a dark grey shade, which is created by a combination of the natural dyes they handle as well as the charcoal used to heat the vats of boiling water.

Within each workshop, a different task is undertaken. The largest of the tiny spaces is occupied by the dying apparatus, which includes several large metal pots or vats for dip dying, boiling and setting the colour, as well as a kind of washing machine drum for spinning and draining wool, all hand driven.

Other workshops focus on making sections of felt from the wool, using the black olive soap and a technique of scrubbing wool strands layer upon layer. This method is known as “wet felting” and is used to create a variety of final products such as bags, shoes and decorative pom-poms.

Waiting on the sidelines, you will find merchants with chariots and buckets; bringing raw wool strands and taking away bundles of coloured wool to sell in the market. Apprentices help to carry heavy loads, and bring pots of tea for the artisans.

Of course, it is possible to dye any organic textile in this souk and if you take the left hand route then you will see examples of natural leather being dyed. As the dyes are made with natural colourants, synthetic textiles wont take the colour with the same vibrancy as the organic textiles.

It seems that the small regions within the dyers souk, focus on one specific colour each day. This is because the vats need to be cleaned in between each colour used, as to not let the dyes become muddy or mixed. This makes for great photos of vibrant, rich coloured cotton threads hanging out to dry. The dyers souk transforms every day, as the colour in the pots is changed.

To experience this for yourselves, contact us today and book your trip to Marrakech.

The 1-54 fair is a leading international art event founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013. This dynamic and sustainable art fair celebrates contemporary art from Africa and African artists dispersed from the motherland, and has hosted events in London and New York City.  The next event launches at La Mamounia, Marrakech between the 24th-25th of February 2018 and features 17 iconic galleries from Africa and worldwide. Prepare to have your senses awakened by the works of over 60 international artists in partnership with local galleries and venues.

We are very excited to see this globally recognised event brought to the city of Marrakech for the first time. On the 24th & 25th of the month; viewers are invited to experience an array of fabulous and emotive works from a variety of artists, including performances by Elisabeth Efua Sutherland and photographic works by photographic works by artists such as Ishola Akpo, Joana Choumali, Namsa Leuba, Nicola Lo Calzo, François-Xavier Gbré, Mouna Karray and Lebohang Kganye.

A multi-faceted celebration awaits us, with the international launch of The Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), beginning with a new exhibition “Africa Is No Island” (curated by Afrique in Visu). The exhibition will open on Sunday 25th February and runs until the 24th August 2018. You will find this art venue located in the area of Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Marrakech.

Afrique in Visu is in essence a collective photography project established in 2006, which captures a glimpse of Africa in a light which challenges and aims to shut down the misrepresentations of Africa and life within this vibrant continent. The ‘Africa Is No Island’ exhibition will be featured alongside a presentation of the project’s latest book release ‘Le Métier de Photographe en Afrique 10 ans d’Afrique in Visu’ with a view to encourage international visitors to immerse themselves in the creativity of Africa.

Follow this link to learn more about the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech event.

This is truly an event not to miss, so why not catch your last minute flights to join us in the red city?

Contact us to book your luxury accommodation today. Our stylish riads are placed in the heart of it all, and the perfect tranquil venue to enjoy the exhibitions which will be dotted around us.

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