This hotel was an absolute idyll. My male partner and I booked through Mr & Mrs Smith, adding a note asking whether they would be comfortable with a gay couple staying. When, by the eve of the trip we hadn't had a response, we contacted Mr&Mrs Smith once more who, whilst they couldn't get an answer from the Riad 72, said it shouldn't be a problem.
The opposite was true. We were made incredibly comfortable. Anything we wanted was provided - a small beautiful hammam with two young Moroccan students who gave us the full hammam wash and scrubdown; breakfast and dinner on the sun terrace; beers and olives in our room before dinner...
Our flight arrived three hours late due to the snow, and we were trepidatious about the transfer. A man was there with a sign saying "Riad 72" - they'd checked and rearranged their schedule to make sure we were met. We were welcomed into the Riad [read the other descriptions on this site - they are true!] by the charming Rashid, a young Morrocan man with a degree in Political Science, and Alexandra, who seemed to run the place in the absence of the Italian landlady. They literally couldn't have done more to make us feel at home. Alexandra is the perfect guide for protocol - frank and incredibly helpful, especially for the first-time traveller to Morocco she's excellent.
We stayed in the Amal suite, which has the biggest bath - perfect for trying out the black soap bought in the souk.
Fatouma is the chef - often she was just cooking for us - who prepares traditional Moroccan fare with a twist. Utterly delicious, she'd decide what we'd have that evening and then we'd sit and wait for the delicious courses to be served. Terrific Moroccan wine and beer available - at a significant markup from the duty free, but that's to be expected. We ate at two extremely high end restaurants - Fouquet's and Dar Moha - and neither compared to Fatouma's cooking, not to mention the simple, comfortable ambience of the riad.
We were discreet both inside and outside the riad, but it was obvious that we were a gay couple, and everyone made us feel totally at home.
If you stand on the sun terrace when the call to prayer begins, you get this extraordinary sound of multiple calls to prayer from the various mosques in the city. Enchanting. Take your earplugs if you're easily woken - the call starts at 5am, though the sound from within the riad was much much quieter.
I'm hesitant to recommend this too highly in case it's difficult for us to book next time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad 72 is a romantic retreat that mixes the best of modern Moroccan craftsmanship with contemporary Moroccan design. It has its own private hammam and, thanks to its lushly planted patio, fountain and water features, songbirds are often found here serenading the guests. The terrace is one of the highest of the medina. It offers incomparable views over the old city and onto the majestic Atlas mountains: ideal for soaking up the sun or a sunset aperitif. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Riad 72 Hotel Marrakech