In a Nutshell
Le Farnatchi is located in the heart of the Medina and is unquestionably one of the finest Riads in Marrakesh. It perfectly blends contemporary living with traditional Moroccan architecture.
At a Glance
- A perfect blend of contemporary style and Moroccan architecture
- Just 10 suites, with 21 staff
- Great roof terrace
- Superb spa and restaurant
Le Farnatchi has just 10 suites and certainly has the wow factor. The riad is made up of three smaller riads and is set around a stunning central courtyard. It opened in 2004, and you undoubtedly find a superior level of service and attention to detail. This is largely due to the owner, James Wix, your consummate host and in-house guru on all things Marrakech.
The 10 suites vary in layout and have either a balcony or private sun terrace (except Suite 2). Interiors cleverly designed, blending a contemporary chic style with traditional Moroccan fixtures and fittings. All the mod cons are available, such as Egyptian cotton sheets, air-conditioning and heating, TV, Bose iPhone docking, and Wi-Fi. Some have lovely sunken bathtubs, and some also offer a lovely duplex style. Our favourite? Probably Suite 9, which has a private courtyard coupled with stunning interior plaster and metalwork. In any case, we like to talk through the suites with you and then select the one that makes you smile when you first walk in.
On the ground floor, there are plenty of cosy sitting rooms where you can relax, along with a small plunge pool. There are two candlelit dining rooms and a lovely roof garden where you can enjoy spending a few hours on a sun lounger or tuck into an evening barbecue. Le Farnatchi also has a fine-dining restaurant, Le Trou au Mur, located in a small riad next door. You can opt to dine on the roof terrace or downstairs in their air-conditioned dining room. Do try the amazing mechuoi roasts or their changeable tagine of the day. It’s one of the best restaurants in town.
Le Farnatchi also has one of the best spas in Marrakech. The stylish interiors are quite simply stunning. You find private marble hammams, vaulted ceilings and restful treatment rooms. Prepare to be pampered by world-class therapists using traditional Moroccan spa products.
In short, you will probably weigh up a whole range of riads in Marrakech and having seen them all, we think Le Farnatchi comes out on top.
Millis Potter Insight
Without a doubt, it can be a really daunting prospect choosing a riad in Marrakech. What’s more, there are just so many to choose from – over 600. From the pictures, they look wonderful. The value in using someone like Millis Potter is that we have spent quite a few days seeing most of them. For example, we sometimes see twenty in a day, and some don’t stand out. In short, Le Farnatchi is the exception, and here’s why.
Firstly, it has the air of luxury and stylish finesse. The owner, James Wix, is undoubtedly a seasoned hand at offering exceptional service. They have also got the design right. Some riads have an overly Moroccan design, making them quite dark and just too rich in style and atmosphere. On the other hand, some are overly contemporary, almost like you could be anywhere. At Le Farnatchi, they seem to blend both styles almost perfectly.
Another massive plus point is the fine-dining restaurant next door, Le Trou Mur. Cuisine can be hit or miss at many Riads, and at Le Farnatchi, they get it absolutely right. Another reason to stay at Le Farnatch is the spa. Again, some riads seem to think a dingy Hammam in a basement will suffice. Here, the spa is somewhere where you can spend a day or more. Above all, these are treatments that compare to any of the finest hotels spas in Morocco. It goes without saying, the roof terrace is superb.
The downsides? We would possibly say the pool is more ornamental than actually usable (if you want a good pool, always consider the Palmeraie outside of Marrakech). It is one of the pricier hotels in Marrakech, but they get it totally right to ensure a fabulous stay. In short, having seen all the places to stay in Marrakech, this is where we would stay.