Horses pull carts full of handmade goods, motorbikes wiz by, pedestrians scurry out of the way, the heady aroma of spices wafts through the air, a cacophony of the sounds of daily life in the medina hit your eardrums. But once inside the grand cedar doors of Riad Jardin Secret, the chaos of the outside world becomes a distant memory. Owned and operated by Cyrielle Rigot and Julien Tang, a creative duo from Paris with a deep sense of appreciation for Marrakech, this artfully designed respite is a resplendent example of a traditional Moroccan home turned guesthouse that captures the soulfulness of its surroundings and welcomes visitors with genuine hospitality.
The seven-key Riad Jardin Secret eschews the urge to modernize, instead relying on the quirks, charms, and character of the original house to guide the design ethos. Everything is conscious and thoughtfully curated to inspire creativity and relaxation.
The ground-floor common areas are cozy and inviting. Furnishings crafted using traditional techniques passed down through generations, intricate tile work, ornamental mirrors, and ceramics act as an extension of the enchanting architecture. Artwork from the artist residency program speaks to the property’s expressive soul. Potted plants fill empty corners, creating a lush oasis. Fireplaces, pendant lights, and hand-loomed carpets add warmth. Zellige, detailed wood carvings, and sunken sofas decorate the courtyard-facing open corridors upstairs.
Bedrooms are modest (read: no televisions or air conditioning) yet magical with a palpable sense of serenity and embellishments — such as artfully painted ceilings hung with mood-setting fixtures and tile accents — that reflect the rich history of Marrakech. Bathrooms feature tubs and local products.
Sun-faded desert hues, comfy seating areas, and inspiring views all the way to Atlas Mountains make the rooftop one of the most atmospheric and photogenic spots in the city. It’s a space that’s meant for leisure. That looks like enjoying a breakfast plated on stunning ceramics at one of the wood tables, reading a book on the yellow loungers, sipping Moroccan mint tea under the shaded pergolas as an afternoon ritual and mellow reprieve from sightseeing, and watching the sun fade over the tile-roofed skyline from the crow’s nest in the evening.
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
The Vibe: An intimate and intriguing refuge in the heart of vibrant Marrakech.
Food + Drink: A bountiful, homemade vegetarian breakfast of pastries, jam, oatmeal, scrambles, avocado toast, fresh fruit, and more is served to guests on the sun-warmed rooftop.
Amenities: Breakfast, Lounge Areas, Rooftop, Art Residency
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The rooftop that’s adorned with rugs and cushions we had a hard time not stashing in our bags.
5 Nearby Attractions: Medina of Marrakech, Jemaa el-Fnaa, Jardin Majorelle, Ibn Youssef School, Koutoubia
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Browse the souks selling Berber rugs, lanterns, and slippers. Stop to smell the fragrant spices. Buy a few bottles of rosewater to combat the toll such an arid climate can take on skin and sample the most delicious dates you will ever taste.
Rooms: Five rooms and two suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $163/night
Closest Airport: Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK)
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