A truly well run riad hotel in the heart of the medina.
Doing what it says on the French-named tin, this once-royal riad-hotel dates back to the 19th century and offers a leafy oasis deep inside the cacophony of Marrakech’s old town. High walls guard a lush garden of orange, olive and jacaranda trees, and hammocks surround a spacious, heated pool that gets the sun all day. The Jemaa-el-Fna square, Marrakech’s iconic epicentre with its unique brand of brouhaha, is a pleasant 20-minute walk – or bargain-priced petit taxi ride – away.
Scattered around the main courtyard, the 36 spacious bedrooms are decorated in light colours and soft fabrics, plus attractive bathrooms with traditional zilij (mosaic) finishes. The Solarium Rooms have the additional boon of their own rooftop sun terraces, and Superior Rooms boast floral balconies where breakfast can be taken. For families, the large ground-floor Sultanes Rooms are best.
One of the few riads with a full-sized pool. Les Jardins’ spa is excellent, with a variety of relaxing treatments and massage options. There’s also a fine restaurant serving traditional Moroccan dishes with an eastern twist, and a cookery school teaching those same meals. The rooftop offers soaring views of the Atlas Mountains – or of the Royal Palace, which is handily located next-door.
Les Jardins’ cleverest trick is to affect a riad-like quietude while simultaneously delivering modernity more typical of a boutique hotel. Happily, the very reasonable prices remain more riad, less boutique hotel. Proud member of Châteaux & Hôtels Collection.