With cheap flight fares and a vibrant culture, it’s no wonder almost 700,000 Brits are visiting Morocco each year.
One of Morocco’s biggest cities, Marrakech, has seen a large spike in tourist numbers from the UK thanks to its souks, proximity to the Atlas mountains and number of luxe riads on offer.
Most of the riads (defined by being a home built around a central courtyard) in the Medina were once large family homes, now transformed into hotels for wide-eyed tourists.
During a recent trip to the vibrant city, we visited Villa de Orangers which combines all the beauty of a riad with the sprawl of a hotel.
Where is it?
Hidden in the Medina, Villa de Orangers is just a 10-minute walk to the main Jemaa el-Fna square and the surrounding souks.
From here it’s easy to discover local eateries and major tourist attractions like the Le Jardin Majorelle, all of which are just a short walk or taxi ride away.
The only marker of the hotel is the two ornate doors that appear on the side of an otherwise busy street. Yet, as soon as you walk in the welcoming scent of gardenia hits you and you know you’ve found somewhere special.
Beyond the reception, the main courtyard is centred on a fountain lined with peach-coloured roses and is surrounded by trees brimming with ripe oranges. Look up and you’ll see the opulent carvings etched into the trimmings, a serene finish fitting for a hotel that somehow manages to block the noise of the busy streets around.
Deeper into the hotel, you’ll find a lengthy pool in the second courtyard, lined with daybeds and with a foliage covered wall at the end – your very own hidden oasis.
Rooms offer ample space, as antiquated decor combines with modern amenities creating an old-timey feel – something that only adds to its charm. Natural light is limited, which means the rooms can feel a bit dark in the middle of the day but this also helps to keep them cool in the striking Moroccan heat. The antidote to the dim light, however, can be found by walking upstairs where you can access your private rooftop – something many of the rooms offer (some also offer access to a private rooftop pool).
Bathrooms are spacious with lush, deep soak bath tubs, rainfall showers and a calming beige palette. The own-brand toiletries are citrus scented and smell divine.
Food & Drink
Home to one of the best fine-dining restaurants in Marrakech, if you want an evening of luxury, this is the perfect place to experience it. Tables are laid out by the pool, with romantic lights that twinkle as dusk turns to night or you can also choose to sit inside the stunning dining room.
Wild mushrooms from the Atlas mountains and scallop’s carpaccio make for a tasty starter, with sea bream, beef and lamb lining the main menu. The French-inspired desserts will satisfy any sweet tooth, with macaroons, stuffed pastry and chocolate pie all making an appearance.
In the morning, breakfast can either be eaten in your room (or your rooftop terrace, just be sure to fill out the breakfast form the night before) or down by the pool. The menu is filled with delicacies, including classic cold and hot breakfast items along with local delights like Moroccan pastries. Lunch is also complimentary when you book your stay directly with the hotel.
Built in the authentic Moroccan bath style, the Nuxe Spa is stunning hammam filled with the soft scent of rose petals and orange blossoms. Inside you’ll find an extensive treatment menu filled with everything from ‘Moroccan Tonic’ massages to facials, treatments using flowers and precious plants and a number of hammam experiences. The ideal escape after a busy day wandering the streets of Marrakech.
Any of the rooms with access to a private rooftop are a good bet, but try to request the room with the rooftop pool for an ultimate luxury escape.
Couples and families with teenagers or adult kids.
Rooms from £268 per night, villadesorangers.com/