Marrakech is the most popular destination for tourists visiting Morocco but it took until my second visit to Morocco for me to finally make it to the Red City.
We were coming from Tamraght (along the coast) by bus which dropped us off at the train station in Marrakech. Riad Star organised a car to come pick us up from the station and drop us off at the closest medina entrance to them. At our drop off point we were greeted by the amazing Ali who helped us with our luggage and escorted us to Riad Star.
Checking In to Riad Star
Riad star is a luxury riad in Marrakech that used to be the former home of Jazz Age superstar Josephine Baker. Now it is owned by an amazing British couple, Lucie and and Mike, who turned it into a beautiful boutique hotel with just 13 guest rooms.
I had stayed at Riads in Morocco before so I knew what to expect but I was still not prepared for Riad Star. As we walked through the corridor I instantly stopped when entering the courtyard. I needed a moment to take in just how gorgeous the place was.
In true Moroccan style we were welcomed with some Moroccan mint tea and some biscuits. Thankfully we were given the option of adding extra sugar as Moroccan mint tea is a bit too sweet for me.
While we sipped our tea and took in our beautiful new surroundings, we were given a quick introduction to Riad Star and Marrakech. We were given a paper city map and they kindly even gave us a local phone so that we could call if we got lost in the medina. What’s great about Riad Star is they even have their own app that can help you navigate the winding alleys of the medina even if you’re not connected to the internet.
Rainbow Room at Riad Star
After finishing our mint tea, we were taken up to our room. Riad star has 13 rooms available, all with their own unique personality. We were staying in Rainbow Room which celebrates tolerance, diversity and Josephine’s 12 adopted children. Yes she really had that many children!
The room was gorgeous and had an elegant charm to it. I loved the glass window and the bed was so soft and comfortable.
Our en suited room came with all the amenities you would expect from a luxury riad, complimentary toiletries, a hair dryer, air con, a personal safe. Plus we had a few extra amenities you won’t always find in a riad, a flat screen TV, a mini fridge and even a hot water bottle!
The Rooms at Riad Star
Riad Star has 7 superior rooms on offer: Jazz, Rainbow, Chiquita, Peace, Harmony, Grace & Liberty. These rooms will cost you about £140 per night (about $175 or €160) which is a very reasonable price considering what you get.
They also have 4 junior suites: Josephine, Star, Charleston and Paris. These will cost you £180 per night (about $225 or €207) and 2 full suites, Ebony and Ivory, which will cost £220 (about $275 or €265). Even their most expensive suites are still fabulous value for money. Riad Star is certainly luxury at an affordable price.
The Rooftop Terrace
After we had finished unpacking we wanted to check out the rooftop terrace at Riad Star. I think it’s safe to say this was my favourite place to be in Marrakech. The views were simply stunning and the layout and decor was simple but elegant.
We spent our first night in Marrakech staying in so we could watch the sunset from the roof terrace. It was the perfect first night in Marrakech. I could easily spend hours up there curled up with a good book.
Pool and Spa Treatments
Since we were staying during winter we weren’t brave enough to try out the dipping pool but I can only image how refreshing it would be during the summer months. I definitely need to come back in summer to try the pool out!
Riad Star also offer hammam and spa treatments just a few short steps from the comfort of your room. Sadly we didn’t get a chance to try these out during our stay but I highly recommend experiencing a Moroccan Hammam while in Morocco.
Food at Riad Star
This recent trip to Morocco reminded me just how much I loved Moroccan food. Most of the meals I’ve had in Morocco have been a delightful treat for my taste buds and eating at Riad Star was no exception. On our first night we were given a feast good enough for a king.
Please note dinner is not included in the price of the room and needs to be prepared to order
We made a request for the dinner not to be lamb since I don’t eat it. They brought out a beef tagine that we thought would be for both of us but then a lamb tagine came out for Brittany. The meal also came with mushroom rice, bread and moroccan salad. This included my favourite Moroccan food, zaalouk. I had forgotten how generous Moroccan’s are with portion size!
Breakfast is included with the room and served at your requested time. Once again, we felt like royalty when breakfast was served. It was the best way to start the day.
The Staff at Riad Star
The staff at Riad Star went above and beyond to make sure we were taken care of. Everyone at Riad Star welcomed you with a smile and looked after any request we had. When we asked if there was somewhere nearby to do laundry Ali insisted on taking our clothes himself and took care of everything. It made the process very easy! And when we said we wanted to take a visit to the Henna Cafe (see below for more information), he walked with us through the windy walkways to make sure we got there without getting lost.
The Henna Cafe
What’s great about Mike and Lucie is they believe in giving back to the community. They are co-founders of the Henna Cafe and the profits from the cafe go towards funding the education centre. Here locals can come to learn a new language. We actually got to the cafe early and were invited to join their French lesson. It was a great way to meet some of the locals.
Once the cafe was open we said goodbye to our new friends and headed upstairs. Brittany got herself a stunning henna tattoo made from natural ingredients. Sadly for me I’m unable to get henna so I just watched while enjoying some delicious Moroccan tea. After her henna was finished we sat down to a delicious lunch of hummus and falafel. Now I’ve had a lot of falafel in my time and this was seriously the best tasting falafel I have ever had!
Conclusion of Riad Star
I’m sure you can already tell that I loved my stay at Riad Star. The place was simple yet stunning and I had to keep pinching myself that I was really somewhere so beautiful. It was a real pleasure to meet the owners during my stay. They were lovely people and you could see they had a real passion for Marrakech. They actually own 4 properties in the city; Riad Star, Riad Cinnamon, Riad Papillon and Riad Habiba. I know I’ll be returning to Marrakech in the future so I hope to check out these riads too one day.
We also found out while we were there that they offer yoga retreats at Riad Star. Unfortunately we couldn’t stick around for one that was happening just after our stay but I hope to return to Marrakech for their next retreat. Yoga on that roof terrace just sounds like the perfect way to unwind!
Please note that while I was working with Riad Star, the reviews and experiences written about in this post are 100% genuine. I value you guys too much to lie to you. This blog would be nothing without you and your continued support!
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