Oyster knows what travelers look for in their hotels. When we visit properties around the world, we evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants. So if you’re planning a posh trip and need a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our top luxury hotel picks in Marrakech, and get inspired!
The King of Morocco spared no expense when he commissioned the Royal Mansour to be built on the edge of the historic Medina, resulting in a sprawling, gilded palace that truly earns its royal title. At this luxury property, each tile mosaic and carved wooden ceiling was crafted by an army of skilled artisans; the exquisite spa is rife with latticework; and an outdoor pool is encased in a beautiful glass pavilion. Three restaurants cover French, Moroccan, and Mediterranean cuisine respectively, and are helmed by a three-Michelin star chef. Even the most basic of the 53 rooms here is a two-story private riad with its own plunge pool; some have full kitchens, rooftop terraces, and even hammams. This is the most expensive hotel in Morocco, with the most extravagant rooms costing up to $20K per night. It's a tourist destination in itself, a historic sight in the making, and made for those to whom price is irrelevant.
With a rich history, a long list of celebrity and noble guests, and over-the-top design and architecture, La Mamounia is Marrakech's grandest and most famous hotel. Built in 1923, the 207-room luxury property is a blend of Moroccan and Art Deco style with intricate zellige tile work, carved and painted cedar wood, stretches of marble, and a carefully curated collection of antique furnishings. It's close to the chaotic markets in the Medina, yet when behind the hotel's walls, the atmosphere is all about serenity, especially when strolling through the 200-year-old gardens. For a resort experience actually in the Medina, only the pricier Royal Mansour is more luxurious.
Located in Marrakech's historic Medina, the elegant Riad Noir d'Ivoire is a luxury boutique hotel masquerading behind a traditional riad's walls. The entire riad has been restored with rich modern furnishings with both Berber and more typically Marrakeshi artwork, textiles, and accents, and the sprawling courtyard is home to two swimming pools. The kitchen serves exceptional Moroccan and French food throughout the day -- in addition to the free continental breakfast -- to wherever on the grounds guests would like to eat. The nine spacious, sumptuous rooms have flat-screen TVs and the rare-for-Morocco alcoholic minibar; the five suites have private balconies. The riad also has a hammam, small gym, lounge bar, boutique, and library. Wi-Fi is included.
The eight-room boutique Dar Ayniwen Villa has the feel of a luxury guesthouse with top-notch amenities. The architecture and decor are dramatic, with spectacular museum-quality antiques in common areas and guest rooms, each of which is unique and individually-designed. The hotel sits amid acres of lushly landscaped gardens and an exotic aviary; the restaurant serves fine Moroccan cuisine in a lovely dining room or spectacular winter tent. The romance factor is high (as are the prices). This is a special location with a one-of-a-kind Moroccan feel.
The lovingly restored 18th-century Riad Kniza is a luxurious 11-room hideout in the heart of Marrakech's old city. The hotel's serene atmosphere and authentic Moroccan decor attract well-seasoned travelers who prefer to explore the sites of the old city and then return to a plush, quiet retreat. The rooms are spacious with fireplaces and lots of Moorish detail and there are several courtyards and gorgeously decorated salons in which to enjoy a leisurely Moroccan meal. It's one of the top boutique options in the Medina, but if it's booked, travelers can also consider the comparable (if slightly larger) La Maison Arabe or La Sultana.
La Maison Aribe is a luxurious boutique hotel built around an interior courtyard with 12 guest rooms and 14 suites, all decorated in unique and color-saturated Moroccan style. Located in the heart of Marakech's old city, the hotel is close to the Jemaa el Fna marketplace and many other must-see sights. Other highlights include cooking classes, two restaurants, a piano bar, an intimate spa, and two pools, one on site and another at the property's country club.
Maison MK is luxury riad in the heart of the medina, finished with sophisticated design. It's within a five-minute walk of Djemaa el Fna square, with its fire eaters, jugglers, snake charmers, and nighttime food stalls. With only six rooms, Maison MK is certainly boutique in size as well as vibe. Each room comes with preloaded iPods, iPads, and free cell phones -- not to mention royalty-endorsed beds -- but as in almost all riads, rooms do not have TVs or phones. Spa services, which include the traditional hammam, are administered by a full-time beauty staff. Featuring one of the most renowned restaurants in the city and a panoramic rooftop terrace, it provides stiff competition for the neighboring El Fenn, which has equally high rates. Be aware that Maison MK does not accept children under 12, unless guests reserve the entire riad.
La Sultana Marrakech is a collection of five riads combined to create a 28-room luxury hotel with an intimate spa, a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of Marrakech, and richly decorated interiors that showcase impeccable Moroccan style and craftsmanship. The hotel is located in the southern section of the Medina, close to palaces, museums, and souks. Guest rooms and suites are unique in their decor, featuring a mélange of decorative Moroccan tile-work, carved wood doors and ceilings, and gilded bathrooms.
The Four Seasons Marrakech is a sprawling 141-room luxury resort with two pools, a modern spa, and quick taxi access to the Medina and Souks. The hotel features chic, contemporary style and a neutral color palette, although this may disappoint those craving the rich colors and textures associated with the Red City. The hotel's low-key vibe is attractive to travelers, families, and brand loyalists who crave the pampered, secluded compound-like atmosphere that's still within reach (it not walking distance) of the city's attractions.
Opened in 2012, Palais Namaskar is a 41-room luxury hotel set on 12 acres of meticulously landscaped property in the upscale La Palmeraie, a quiet enclave tucked between the Atlas Mountains and the Djebilet Hills. It's a 25-minute drive from the chaos of the Medina, but that's also part of the hotel's allure. The vibe is serene and sophisticated with subdued Feng Shui style, opulent restaurants and lounges, and spacious rooms, suites, and palaces designed for luxuriating.
Set in over 570 acres of landscaped gardens, the 134-room Beachcomber Royal Palm is one of Marrakech’s most exclusive resorts. Its traditional Berber design blends seamlessly with the beautiful surroundings, and its interiors are some of the most stylish and elegant around. Large suites are decorated with contemporary handmade furniture, traditional Moroccan accents, and warm tones, and villas feature private heated pools, outdoor living areas, and butler service. The property is known for its beautiful 18-hole golf course, world-class Clarins Spa, and massive outdoor pool, but it also features a lovely kids’ club and a wonderful fitness center with personal trainers and an indoor pool. The hotel’s three restaurants serve excellent food, but some may find prices a little too high.
There's a little bit of everything going on at the all-inclusive, five-pearl Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort and Spa. The resort shines in its activities for children, while adults can chill out in the spa and traditional hammam. Spacious and contemporary rooms include furnished patios or balconies. Large grounds are family-friendly with a big pool, but quiet and relaxing enough for couples or business travelers attending on-site conferences. Thefood is surprisingly good, though service can be slow and inattentive. Guests can opt for room-only rates, but high food and drink prices make the all-inclusive rates a better deal, especially since there's not many places to eat in the area, and the resort is about a 20-minute ride into town.
Originally opened as a Taj Hotel in 2013, the Sahara Palace is a 161-room luxury resort with elegantly grand Indian-Moroccan style. Prior to receiving guests, the hotel served as the film setting for the "Sex in the City 2" and fans will recognize the opulent interiors, which are saturated in bright colors and adorned with floral-patterned coffered ceilings and glittering crystal and glass chandeliers. The resort is located in the upscale La Palmeraie, a quiet enclave with the Atlas Mountains in view, 30 minutes from the bustle of Marrakech’s old city. The hotel's quiet (and sometimes deserted) atmosphere appeals to guests seeking privacy and relaxation.
The 92-room Es Saadi Gardens & Resort - Palace is quite luxurious; an historic property with a famous casino that was once a celebrity playground, with attention still paid to every visual and sensory detail, it mixes modern amenities with exquisite traditional decor and handcrafted furniture. The spa is a high-end destination with gorgeous private hammams and a slow-food restaurant. Rooms are individually decorated with care and exquisite taste, and have private balconies. Some can get noisy, though.
Designed by renowned architect Imaad Rahmouni, Sirayane Boutique Hotel & Spa is a modern marvel of 28 luxury rooms and suites spread across acres of manicured gardens in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, 15 minutes outside of Marrakech's Medina. Guest rooms each have either a private terrace or garden, and some have private pools. Between the sprawling, lounger-lined pool and the indulgent spa with a traditional hammam, there's little tempting guests to leave the scenic grounds -- especially considering the tennis courts, jogging path, gym, two bars, and gourmet restaurant. But the hotel runs a free shuttle to and from the Medina every two hours (six times daily), so even the most independent luxury-lover can have the best of both worlds.
A small boutique hotel in the medina, the Villa Makassar offers quiet, intimate upscale accommodations. The 10 rooms vary in decor but are sleek and modern, with beautiful Art Deco-inspired touches. The Makassar also has a spa and a fine-dining restaurant, although the whirlpool and hammam come with a fee. As with most hotels of its size in the medina, there's no fitness center, and the pool is not large enough to swim laps. Those who prefer extended poolside lounging and more standard hotel amenities may prefer to stay at the Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial, a 10-minute walk from the medina.