Marrakech is intoxicating. The colorful, bustling city is known for its sweet-smelling souks, endless spices, beautiful leather, Sufi music, Gnaoua dancers, and awe-inspiring snake charmers. Modern-day trappings include expansive traditional riads, contemporary villas, boutique hotels, endless cafés, blissful Moroccan hammams, fascinating art galleries, and museums. Whatever your fancy, you’ll be caught up in magical whorls of color and the heady sights and sounds of Africa.
Marrakech is world-famous for its medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of significant importance. It has welcomed Berber merchants and lethargic travelers since the 11th century. Various monumental ramparts and gates, the Koutoubia Mosque, Bab Agnaou, and pretty gardens form rich historical adventures from yesteryear for today’s carefree travelers. Jemaa el-Fna is the wildly enchanting central square that bustles with life throughout the day and into the night. As the sun begins to set over the city, you’ll enjoy exotic cuisine from street vendors serving boiled snails, grilled meats, sweet mint tea, and freshly squeezed oranges plucked from their groves earlier that day.
As night begins to fall, the energy increases, and musicians, snake charmers, and fortune tellers appear from the maze of narrow cobbled alleyways. Wander these historic streets that form the market and haggle for handwoven carpets, bags of colorful spices, and beautifully crafted leatherware. It appears that very little has changed since the early medieval period. Beyond the old city, Ville Nouevelle is fast becoming the center for young couples and families that prefer contemporary luxury shops, chic cafés, bars, and restaurants. Its up-and-coming artistic appeal puts the new neighborhood firmly on the modern cultural map.
Marrakech is the gateway to the impressive Atlas Mountains, and the vast Sahara desert scapes beyond the city limits. Choose to explore the labyrinthian lanes or sip cocktails in a modern roof-top bar as the red-hot sun sets over the horizon. Marrakech juxtaposes old and new, making it an exciting city to explore with your family and friends.
Should You Rent Riads Or Villas For Your Family?
The calming contemporary villa is on the peaceful outskirts of bustling Marrakesh in the Morrocan countryside. Modern architecture and light-filled rooms are decorated in cooling pale colors with subtle Moroccan details. The well-tended gardens surround a turquoise swimming pool lined with boho parasols and comfortable sun loungers for soaking up the sun. Villa Jardin Bleu is a mere 30-minutes from the heart of the historic city if you and your family seek excitement and adventure in the warrens of narrow streets and souks. The villa has a seamless blend of Scandinavian-inspired and traditional Moroccan furniture in the sitting room and a spectacular central fireplace for cozy evenings. The dining room and breakfast bar lead directly into the kitchen for at-home entertaining. Each of the modern bedrooms has a king-size bed and an ensuite bathroom.
Villa Jardin Bleu, +61 7 3103 3139, email@example.com, https://www.ministryofvillas.com/villas/villa-jardin-bleu/
Just moments from downtown Marrakech, Villa Domoliv exudes the exotic feel of Morocco with its ornate interiors and lavish outdoor areas. The traditionally-styled villa exudes authentic modern décor with arched doorways, plush cushions, and vibrant pops of Moroccan color. The bedrooms are spacious and have king-size or twin beds; two rooms have ensuite bathrooms, while the kids share a family bathroom. Villa Domliv is the perfect choice for sporty families, with a good-sized pool, a tennis court, and a small gymnasium. The hideaway is cozy on chilly winter evenings, with a fireplace in the main sitting room. Another sitting room is colorfully furnished with plump cushions and has direct access to the pool. Choose from the indoor and outdoor dining areas depending on your mood.
Villa Domoliv, +61 7 3103 3139, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.ministryofvillas.com/villas/villa-domoliv/
Perfect for families, walled Villa Akhdar 18 is on the city's outskirts in a private luxury villa complex surrounded by beautiful gardens with access to a spa and tennis court. Reminiscent of a Provencial chateau with eclectic Moroccan-inspired mosaic tiles and vibrant textiles, the beautiful villa has three bedrooms with a swimming pool and expansive landscaped grounds. Next to the swimming pool is an outdoor lounge with a comfy settee, brightly colored cushions, and a row of sun loungers. Villa Akhdar 18 has various living spaces, including one with a large television and the other with a wood-burning fireplace. Dining is alfresco with a table that can seat six with pretty views of the gardens; there's another table inside for cozy evenings.
Villa Akhdar 18, +61 7 3103 3139, email@example.com, https://www.ministryofvillas.com/villas/villa-akhdar-18/
Set in huge grounds, the four-bedroom Villa Yenmoz is a stunning Moroccan retreat in expansive grounds just ten minutes from downtown Marrakech. The villa is a perfect blend of Moroccan décor with contemporary comfort. The state-of-the-art kitchen is fully fitted with modern appliances. The sitting room has ornate carpets, well-considered art and curios, an open fire, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens. A large dining table can accommodate eight guests for entertaining. A roof-top lounge overlooks the large swimming pool, and white sun loungers, parasols, and palm trees pepper the landscape with plenty of spots for languid days in the sun.
Villa Yenmoz, +61 7 3103 3139, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.ministryofvillas.com/villas/villa-yenmoz/
Contemporary Villa Belya is set in expansive, manicured Moroccan-style gardens with a swimming pool a short drive from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The photogenic villa features modern interiors, playful pop art, and rich textiles throughout the living spaces and bedrooms. Huge windows give a sense of biophilic living and access to the grounds. The subtle monochrome living room has comfy settees and floor pillows facing the fireplace for cozy family evenings. Funky art and detailing decorate the bright white dining room that can easily seat 12 people. If you prefer, you can serve more casual meals at the breakfast bar in the kitchen or outside on the shaded terrace overlooking the swimming pool. The media room will be a hit with the family, where you can watch your favorite movies or TV series. With over a hectare of land, the kids will love exploring or swimming in the sparkling blue pool.
Villa Belya, +61 7 3103 3139, email@example.com, https://www.ministryofvillas.com/villas/villa-belya/
Slightly eccentric and wildly imaginative, Dar el Sadaka is the creation of much-acclaimed French visual artist Jean-François Fourtou. The nine-bedroom villa is just a 20 minute drive from the bustling medina streets. Each bedroom has a different animal theme, such as the donkey, camel, and geese suites. Carefully placed artwork, beautiful furnishings, and life-size animals accompany you throughout your stay, whether it's a giraffe in the dining room, a camel in your bedroom, or monkeys playing on swings in the sitting room; you'll never feel alone. The fully catered and staffed villa considers your every request. They can prepare Moroccan classics or favorite home dishes throughout the day. The considerable villa has a library, cinema room, gym, massage rooms, a hammam, and ping-pong table. Baby cots and children's beds are available in parent's rooms, and babysitting is bookable on request.
Dar El Sadaka, https://www.mrandmrssmith.com/villas/dar-el-sadaka
Located in the center of the bustling old town and a two-minute walk from the main square, the gorgeous villa has a sense of peace and serenity amidst the madness. The riad has been tastefully restored to its former glory with traditional details and Moroccan décor. The nine bedrooms and suites can accommodate large groups of up to 24 people. The attractive patios are home to a swimming pool and covered seating areas. You’ll find various lounge areas throughout the riad where you can sip on sweet Moroccan mint tea and try tasty pastries. You’ll have a housekeeper and private chef to ensure everything is taken care of. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice each day.
Riad Farah, +212 672-387255, http://www.private-riad-marrakech.com/
Dar 118 was once a traditional house in the Sidi Mimoune district, close to the medina in Marrakech. In 2010, Ludovic Petit transformed the riad into an exclusive retreat boasting unobstructed views from the roof-top pool terrace of Mamounia Palace. Gorgeous Beldi-inspired minimalist interiors feature exposed brick, plaster walls, inset shelving, and many glass features. A stunning spiral staircase accesses the upper-floor bedrooms and the roof terrace. The courtyard is open during the summer and covered during the cooler winter months. Large Moroccan prints line the walls, and traditional fabrics cover the well-placed furniture. The living room has a modernistic fireplace and a dining area, and the kitchen is equipped with the expected mod cons and an Espresso machine. The riad also has a Hamman and massage room with a masseuse and beautician bookable on request.
Dar 118, +212 6 61 26 10 20, https://www.villanovo.com/villa-rentals/africa/morocco/marrakech/marrakech-medina/dar-118
Leave the hectic souks behind and relax in the distinctive and beautifully designed Dar Mauresque villa, just 30 minutes from the medina in Ourika Valley. Recently featured in House & Gardens, the expansive villa is breathtaking. Set in substantial mature gardens, you can dine in the shade of ancient indigenous olive trees and pick sun-warmed oranges straight from the branches. Large shuttered windows, cleverly designed spaces, and spacious living areas make this ideal for families and friends. Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, a fireplace for chilly winter nights, and enclosed terraces. The roof-top terrace has incredible views of the Atlas Mountains and is the ideal place to relax with a sunset cocktail or two. A separate dining room can comfortably accommodate eight guests. Outside is a large swimming pool with shaded seating, petanque, and a pretty patio with a central fountain.
Dar Mauresque, +212 6 61 26 10 20, https://www.villanovo.com/villa-rentals/africa/morocco/marrakech/ourika/villa-mauresque
Originally designed as a small country villa by the famous Moroccan architect Elie Mouyal, Dar Batma has six bedrooms and suites. The villa stands in the heart of beautifully tended gardens and a palm grove just 15 minutes from downtown Marrakech. The heavenly interiors offer warming exposed plaster and brick walls, domed ceilings, fireplaces, comfortable settees, and reading chairs. They are decorated with luxury crafts, oriental paintings, and local crafts. Nooks throughout the home and grounds give you peaceful places to escape to read a book. There are several courtyards, gardens, and terraces for entertaining your friends and family. A seguia languidly runs through the garden providing water for endless blooms and trees bursting with color. Dar Batma has two swimming pools, one for the family and the other next to a covered terrace for those seeking refuge and peace.
Dar Batma, +212 6 61 26 10 20, https://www.villanovo.com/villa-rentals/africa/morocco/marrakech/palmeraie-and-nearby/dar-batma