Travel I 23.07.18 I by

5 spectacular Marrakech riads and villas to rent

Tranquil havens for exploring the city and Atlas Mountains

African, European and Middle Eastern traditions mix in Marrakech – a vibrant city that has long been a haven for artists and fashion designers. Known for its rich craftsmanship heritage, bustling souks, ornate palaces and verdant gardens, it offers an assault on the senses.

‘This city taught me colour,’ Yves Saint Laurent once declared.

Whether you want to stay in the heart of the 11th-century medina, the more peaceful Palmeraie oasis, or the foothills of the Atlas mountains, here are the best Marrakech riads and villas to rent.

Villa Atlas

Holiday home of the week: Atlas Villa
Via Welcome Beyond

5 bedrooms; €1,250 per night via Welcome Beyond
Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech’s architects Studio KO are responsible for this linear villa, named for its striking mountain views and bold geometry. The Moroccan holiday home is in the Tagadert Berber village and comprises two guest houses, both of which have a clay-clad exterior that beds into the arid terrain and references local building traditions. Their sliding glass doors open onto shady terraces and a 30-metre-long infinity pool for cooling off in the midday sun. Take a look inside.

Dar Cheref

Marrakech villa Dar Cheref for rent
Via Villa Novo

3 bedrooms; from €190 per Villa Novo
The courtyard of the Marrakech riad – for rent in the Lakour quarter of the medina – is a leafy oasis with a plunge pool, palm trees and climbing vines. White walls are offset by blue wooden doors, while rooms feature cool floor tiles and geometric Moroccan fabrics. Its crowning jewel is the rooftop terrace, with views towards the Pasha’s palace, and Jamaa el Fna, which is just 10 minutes walk away.

Villa Alkhozama

Villa Alkhozama
Via Ezzahra Morocco

2 bedrooms; POA via Ezzahra Morocco
Sitting in the exclusive Palmeraie enclave, surrounded by ancient olive groves, Villa Alkhozama was designed by Moroccan architect Karim el Achak from Agence Architecture Associati of Marrakech. The two-bedroom hideaway is set around a sunken 12-metre-long pool and sun terrace. Colefax and Fowler’s design director, Philip Hooper curated the villa’s interiors, selecting furniture and bespoke lighting for the secluded home. Worth noting is its lofty living room, with its painted ceiling and large open fireplace for chilly nights, and the separate dining area which has a dramatic domed ceiling.

Villa Agaves

Holiday home in Morocco
Via Le Collectionist

4 bedrooms; from €940 per night via Le Collectionist
It’s all about the outdoor spaces at Villa Agaves, which has a verdant courtyard at its heart and sits in the middle of an old olive grove. Belgian architect Quentin Wilbaux designed the contemporary property, which borrows from traditional Moroccan architecture.

Holiday home in Morocco
Via Le Collectionist

Rooms have tall, slender glass windows and doors which maintain sight-lines to the property’s palm tree-laden gardens and swimming pool. Interiors are the handiwork of Corinne Bensimon, who’s borrowed a bold Modernist palette from Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier.

Villa Mauresque

Villa Mauresque via Villa Novo
Via Villa Novo

4 bedrooms; from £345 per night, via Villa Novo
Moroccan design gets an English twist inside Villa Mauresque, which belongs to Trudi Ballard of interior design practice Sybil Colefax and John Fowler. The Marrakech holiday home is located down a dirt track a 20-minute drive from the city and is surrounded by gardens. A towering hallway leads into a traditionally tiled courtyard, and branches off to bedrooms decked in earthy Moroccan tones and furnished with English furniture and textiles.

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