With the largest Medina in North Africa, lively souks with a rich scent of spices, wonderfully secluded oriental gardens, trendy restaurants and the beautiful Palmeraie set against the magnificence of the sweeping Atlas Mountains, the kaleidoscopic charms of Marrakech are unmatched. Our selection of luxury riads and villas, including many villas with house staff, can be found in the most sought-after areas of Marrakech.
Villanovo's founders, David and Geraldine, spent a great deal of their lives raising a family in Marrakech. It is through their extensive knowledge and experience of the city that we have been able to put together a carefully curated selection of the finest luxury villas and riads in Marrakech, for you to enjoy. These beautiful properties provide everything you could need for an unforgettable family holiday in Marrakech. From fresh, leafy patios to elegant swimming pools and lush, palm-lined gardens, these delightful villas offer a tranquil oasis to return to after a day spent exploring the lively souks, snazzy restaurants and boutique artisanal shops of the medina. Beyond the gorgeous architecture, our selection also benefits from stylish décor, sun-lit, shared living areas, a fully equipped kitchen, hammams and much more.
We have handpicked a selection of luxury riads and villas around the most sought-after regions of Marrakech. Whether you're looking for something near Jemaa el Fna in the heart of the Medina, surrounded by the leafy palm groves of the Palmeraie, in the trendy neighbourhoods of Gueliz and Hivernage or something further afield, our exclusive collection will have something to match your needs.
Our villas and riads come with house staff, including private chefs, on hand to prepare some of the fragrant and colourful local delicacies that are sure to tickle your senses and leave your tastebuds in raptures.
With our years of experience, local knowledge and contacts, our dedicated concierge service is an interesting optional extra for those looking to take the stress and guesswork out of planning a perfect holiday experience in Morocco. We can assist you in preparing everything from airport transfer and kitchen stocking prior to your arrival to car, bike or boat hire, tips on the best restaurants and boutiques to visit or finest rooftops from which to sip a cocktail and watch the sun set over the city. For those looking to indulge in something extra special, we can even organise a balloon ride over the surrounding landscape, a stay in a desert camp and many other once-in-a-lifetime experiences guaranteed to create lasting memories of an exquisite family holiday.
Set against the splendour of the nearby Atlas Mountains, the stunning city of Marrakech dazzles with its heady blend of culture and cuisine, art and architecture, delightful local traditions and one-in-a-life time outdoor activities. Among our favourite things to do in Marrakech you can find:
Spend a day immersing yourself in the history and beauty of Marrakech's old city, the Medina. Enclosed by 19 kilometres of stunning pink walls built in 1122, the Medina invites you to explore its myriad of sights, sounds, and scents. To begin your journey, enter via the enchanting Dar el Bacha (Sidi Abdelaziz street), which offers a unique blend of tradition, imagination, and modernity. Continue onward to the Place des Épices, letting your senses relish the vast array of exotic smells.
Before diving into the area's remarkable shops, take a moment to enjoy a coffee or brunch at the elegant Bacha Coffee. Overlooking the magnificent patio of a Belle Epoque palace, this charming establishment boasts over 200 varieties of 100% Arabica coffee sourced from 33 exotic countries.
As you explore the Medina's shops, be sure to visit Corinne Bensimon, Topolina, and Chabichic (see our shopping travel guide for more addresses). Yet, to truly appreciate the Medina, we suggest that you also allow yourself to "get lost" amidst countless alleys and visit the traditional craftsmen's shops that still thrive there.
For those who want to cool off in the splendour of a traditional riad, head to Le Jardin Secret, where you'll find a lush green oasis, complete with fragrant flower beds, a kiosk, and pavilions topped with green tiles.
When lunchtime arrives, treat yourself to a meal at the much-loved Nomad restaurant or Le Jardin. Both establishments offer delectable dishes, with the former boasting an incredible rooftop view and the latter providing a delightful courtyard in which to enjoy its exquisite cuisine.
After your meal, delve deeper into the trendy new addresses and treasures of the Medina, exploring the 100% made-in-Morocco crockery at Chabi Chic, the fragrant soaps at L'Art du bain and the decorative objects at Sissi Morocco. For those in search of a truly original boutique, there is Max & Jan, a vibrant boutique, specialising in contemporary women’s wear made in Morocco, using typical ethnic textiles and prints.
Another must-visit is, of course, Medersa Ben Youssef, the most important and largest Koranic school in Morocco. Finally, finish your tour across the Medina at the House of Photography or “Maison de la Photographie”, which aims to show the extraordinary diversity of Morocco through photographs, from the earliest days of photography until the modern period, 1879-1960. After the visit, take a break and relax with a mint tea on the roof terrace, while enjoying the view of the rooftops of the Medina as the monumental Atlas Mountains tower in the background.
Follow in the footsteps of Yves Saint Laurent with a visit to the enchanting Jardin Majorelle, open daily from 9 am to 6 pm. Experience this unparalleled botanical garden, founded by orientalist painter Jacques Majorelle in the early 20th century. Yves Saint Laurent had long drawn inspiration from the gardens, before having a hand in its renovation. Stroll through the captivating environs, marvelling at the exotic plants and cactus gardens wrapped around its iconic Art Deco blue villa.
When you're on holiday there's always time for a break, and we recommend opting for a refreshing mint tea at the garden café and exploring the selection of books on Morocco at the garden bookstore. Upon exiting, visit 33 Rue Majorelle, where you'll find designs inspired by Saint Laurent's work at Maroc'n Roll for hand-painted bags, and Heritage Berbère for oriental fragrances.
Complete your journey by taking in the Yves Saint Laurent museum, located next to the Jardin Majorelle, where you can find his designs and collections from 1962 to 2002. The museum, designed by the renowned French architectural firm Studio KO, showcases the epitome of luxurious couture with exteriors adorned with patterned bricks resembling threads of fabric, and an interior as bright, velvety, and smooth as the lining of a couture jacket.
Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the Agafay Desert with camel rides, buggy excursions, or, for the thrill-seekers, quad rides, and much more. Our concierge is on-hand to help organise a tailor-made experience for you and your family, with options catering to adrenaline-seekers, culture vultures or families in search of a blend of adventure and comfort.
Experience the serene, quiet majesty of the desert aboard a dromedary camel, where the gentle thump of its hooves is the only sound to accompany you through breathtaking surroundings, before dismounting and indulging in an exquisite lunch arranged by our concierge at one of three idyllic locations: Scarabeo, La Pause, or Terre des Etoiles. Speak to us today to see how we can make your family holiday one-of-a-kind.
For those looking to discover the landscapes surrounding Marrakech, while avoiding the more popular Ourika Valley, consider the less-trodden paths of Imlil and Amizmiz valleys being our top recommendations.
Imlil, the gateway to Toubkal National Park, allows hikers to explore various trails, including those to climb Mount Toubkal. Accompanied by an experienced guide, these hikes will traverse Berber villages and pastures to showcase a truly authentic Berber lifestyle. Moreover, our concierge can arrange a delightful picnic for you, set among the tranquil environs of the olive groves.
Just an hour away from Marrakech, the town of Amizmiz rests at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, with a plethora of trails suitable for all ages. Our concierge can once again organise walks with trusted local guides, ensuring a wonderful experience destined to live long in the memory.
For a truly unique excursion, venture to Kasbah Beldi – a charming, authentic 15-hectare site just 45 minutes from Marrakech, nestled between the picturesque Atlas Mountains and the serene Llala Takerkoust Lake. Once an olive, grape and vegetable farm, it now boasts two large pools, a traditional hammam and delicious meals served beneath a centenarian pistachio tree. Furthermore, Kasbah Beldi can organise horse-rides lasting two or three hours through the beautiful surrounding landscapes, with Mustafa as your trusty guide.
Immerse yourself with a rejuvenating trip to a hammam for a spa and massage, an indulgent tradition and unmissable feature of the Marrakech experience. Derived from the Roman baths before evolving under the influence of Arab conquerors, the Turkish baths, or "Moorish baths," are scattered throughout the city. Combining warmth and steam, the hammam envelops visitors in a balmy embrace (albeit not quite as sweltering as a sauna), cleansing the pores and releasing toxins and dead skin with nearly 100% humidity before a refreshing black soap shower and scrub.
For the ultimate experience, consider one of the city's finest traditional hammams:
- Marrakech's famed Baths, tucked away in Bab Agnaou, requiring advanced booking
- The Spa de la Sultana, offering a sanctuary within the hotel's intimate confines
- The chic Beldi Country Club spa, a picturesque 20-minute journey from the city centre, specialising in relaxation and beauty with a skilled team, two hammams, and a serene relaxation room
- The palatial 2,500 m² Royal Mansour Spa, exuding Moroccan "art de vivre" and oriental opulence
Alternatively, our discerning concierge can arrange in-house massages within the resplendent comforts of your riad or villa upon request.
Allow Villanovo to arrange bespoke cookery lessons in an exquisite Marrakech riad, where you shall uncover the secrets of traditional Moroccan cuisine, acquaint yourself with its aromatic flavours, and learn to discern between various spices.
Within the Beldi Country Club, a traditional pottery studio awaits, offering both adults and children the opportunity to fashion plates, bowls, and clay figurines under the amicable guidance of Rachid or Mohamed.
Oriental Dance Lessons
Invite an oriental dance instructor to your villa for an enchanting introduction to this captivating art, as the mesmerising sway of her hips transports you to a world of rhythm and grace.
Soar Above Marrakech Aboard an Exhilarating Hot Air Balloon Excursion
This unparalleled adventure grants you a fresh perspective from which to appreciate the ochre hues of Marrakech and the beauty of the Moroccan landscape.
Though departing at dawn may demand an early rise, witnessing the breathtaking sunrise from the skies makes the sacrifice wholly worthwhile - a magical moment to cherish for eternity. As you journey through the heavens, marvel at the contrasting panoramas below: immense deserts, snowy peaks, the vibrant heart of Marrakech, as well as the quaint villages on the city's periphery.
With tours lasting approximately 4 to 5 hours, you may be enticed to reserve additional onboard luxuries, such as a curated selection of teas and breakfast offerings to savour throughout your flight.
Speak to our local concierge for assistance in making the arrangements.
Although this is very much a question of personal taste, with the summers being a little too hot for some, the best time to visit is often the spring or autumn. However, for those wishing to beat the winter blues, the blue skies of Marrakech in January and February also offer a welcome escape at just the right time. Whenever you choose to visit Marrakech, you are sure to find a wonderfully memorable experience in one of the world's most celebrated cities.
The ladies who cooked at the riad really spoiled us… truly beautiful food, and amazing service.
We dined out at Al Fassia Aguedal, Mamounia in the Medina & La Pause in the Agafay desert. All totally magnificent!!!