Briskly aiming towards Riad 72, we marched down the myriad of alleys from the nearest road. A plain wooden door is knocked on and we are ushered inside. Upon entering, we are greeted by a welcoming and tranquil courtyard. A quiet oasis of banana trees and occasionally chirping birds encourage an immediate calm. This is furthered when Fatima brings us sweet traditional Moroccan tea and biscuits as we check in.
Handmade bricks of soaps are presented for smelling and choosing, as per usual he and I each select something different. Something musky for me, something with verbena for him.
The entrance to the Omnia Suite leads straight from the courtyard to a narrow seating area. The bathroom and walk-in-wardrobe are upstairs on a mezzanine level along with our king size bed with beautiful soft linens. The polished concrete floor flows into the walk-in shower, then curves to create our bath and circular sinks. The lighting is soft and frequent, casting little shadows with a romantic effect.
Breakfast is generally served in the courtyard but the upstairs terrace is happily accommodated. The sofas are comfortable and a fare of pastries, Moroccan pancakes, honey and lebnah is served with rich coffee and fresh fruit salad. We enjoy our breakfast slowly while looking out towards the faint backdrop of the Atlas Mountains and the gardens that surround the King’s palace.
In the evening, Chef Mustapha El Bachna serves 6 tables fragrant tagine and sweet surprises. There is a theatrical moment as the tagine lids are lifted and one’s nostrils are flooded with layers of meat and spices. I dare your mouth not to water instantly. A rather varied selection of local and international wines (some half bottles) are available to accompany your meal.
Downstairs a moody library of red velvet chaises and dark woods has a selection of books to peruse. Perhaps take one to the roof terrace and lie on a deck chair with frequent dips in the cool plunge pool to escape the heat.
Off the central courtyard there is a hammam and massage facilities which can be booked the staff are attentive and very accommodating.
The staff in any accommodation can elevate or ruin and experience. The staff at Riad 72 are a family one feels welcomed into. Nothing is too much trouble to change or organise. They have a way of seamlessly providing one with enough tips and tricks to make the most of their bustling Marrakech. A tribute to Moroccan hospitality.
Remember you are in a Muslim country be respectful. That means, as a woman, covering your shoulders and knees when you leave the riad. You will see other tourists who have not shown the same respect but when you are in a foreign country it is the perfect opportunity to embrace different traditions.
With only five rooms and two suites this intimate yet spacious riad is exactly what I needed from the heart of Marrakech. I try to avoid large commercial hotels because…
I’m Just Not That Way.