Tucked away among the winding, all-pink streets of the Medina, lays a hidden gem oasis. First opened 14 years ago, Riad Farnatchi was one of the first luxury riads in Marrakech. While most riads have transformed into hotels, Riad Farnatchi has remained an intimate 10-room house in order to maintain supremely personal service. Their massive, gorgeous suites surrounded by an incredibly tranquil courtyard, complete with a stunning, green-tiled pool and lounge area, makes for the perfect romantic getaway.
Riad Farnatchi is unlike a typical hotel experience with a front desk, concierge, key card, or designated meal times. Rather, this luxury riad appears to be the anti-big hotel. Not only do the on-site staff know your name and preferences, but the owner, James Wix, personally meets with 99% of guests. Wix goes out of his way to find the guest’s rhythm, and hopes that “people feel as though they are staying at their very wealthy friend’s home”. Wix’s easy-going and welcoming personality radiates throughout the riad and through each smiling staff member.
Walk past the emerald-tiled courtyard, through the elegant reading room, and up the stairs to find your jaw-dropping traditional Moroccan suite. Adding to the riad’s authentic Marrakech experience, the ten unique suites are complete with colorful, traditional Moroccan furniture, a huge living space, a balcony with a view of the courtyard, and a beautiful bedroom with tons of natural light. Step into the bathroom and you will find a massive tub and spacious shower, equipped with not one, but six different types of body wash– yet another one of Wix’s personal touches.
The hotel’s restaurant, Le Trou au Mur, melds the old with the new, taking grandma’s traditional Moroccan recipes and giving them a fresh, modern twist. From slow-cooked tangia and lamb couscous to Vietnamese spring rolls and fish and chips, the varied menu combines both Moroccan and international cuisine.
In Arabic, the word farnatchi refers to the fire that heats the hammam. Riad Farnatchi offers an unbelievably relaxing and rejuvenating hammam treatment. More than a spa, going to the hammam is a true Moroccan experience. The hammam staff will make you feel comfortable and at ease while laying naked in stunning, private marble rooms in supremely high heat. After steaming for about 20 minutes to sweat away impurities, the warm and knowledgeable Fatima gently rubs olive-based black soap across your body. After the black soap opens up your pores and detoxifies your skin for about five minutes, Fatima will rinse the body and then scrub each limb vigorously with a keffa glove so that the dead skin and dirt easily glide off. For maximum hydration, a smooth clay mixture is then applied from the toes up to the head. After the clay is rinsed off, a layer of lavender oil is massaged on the body, followed by washing the hair and rubbing the scalp, with a final splash of rose water. Stepping out of the hammam, you will undoubtedly feel a unique sense of relaxation that only Riad Farnatchi can provide.
Riad Farnatchi effortlessly combines an immersive and welcoming Moroccan home experience with phenomenal staff and unparalleled services. Their exceptional spa, spectacular suites, relaxing courtyard, and delicious food makes for a truly remarkable stay. While other luxury hotels may provide great services, these hotels often create a distance from the true experience of the destination, sacrificing authenticity for luxury. Riad Farnatchi beautifully intertwines the comfort and relaxation of a five star hotel with genuine immersion into the culture of Marrakech. If you want to experience the true Marrakech while being treated like a Moroccan sultan, Riad Farnatchi is the place for you.