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Riad Farnatchi, Marrakesh in Morocco

Hotel Review: Riad Farnatchi, Marrakesh in Morocco

By Georgie Bentley-Buckle on 25th May 2016

My recent trip to Marrakech with a close girlfriend of mine resulted in a friendly dinner in one of the most romantic dinner settings I’d ever encountered. Fresh, powder pink roses, fine wine and the water trickling fountain beside us; it was a setting with sparkling diamond romance. Despite only being on a friendly holiday, Farnatchi struck an instant romantic chord; a catalyst of sophistication hidden within the medina of Marrakech.

With a new spa and restaurant on the cards later this year, Riad Farnatchi is far from lying dormant. The first spa to offer the ila Gold Cellular Age Restore Range collection outside the UK, the riad’s spa recently opened its engraved, cream coloured doors in March this year. With two luxury hammams, four treatment rooms and a roof terrace with a light lunch menu, this new spa raises the bar for high end offerings within the medina. Professional, polite and serving us the best Moroccan tea of our trip, The Farnatchi Spa with high ceilings and white washed walls and glass roof above, was a pearly white sanctuary just a step or two from the dusty, orange street.

Riad Farnatchi is an elegant riad in the Medina of Marrakech, just 10 minutes' walk from Jemaâ El Fna Square
Riad Farnatchi is an elegant riad in the Medina of Marrakech, just 10 minutes’ walk from Jemaâ El Fna Square

A friend who also happens to be a trained masseuse recently informed me that the knots in my back needed some attention, with this in mind, from the lengthy spa menu I chose their deep tissue, Tonic massage which incorporated hot stones and slightly more pressure to the muscles than the aromatherapy massage my friend selected. Both agreeing how suitably ‘zen’ we both felt afterwards, I cannot recommend this spa enough; it was just a shame we didn’t have enough time to indulge further.

Opening this October, Riad Farnatchi’s new restaurant Le Trou au Mur promises to be a cornerstone of the gourmet offerings of Marrakech. To be located opposite the riad, and long regarded as one of the most refined addresses in the city, the restaurant, they say, will add to the style and sophistication we experienced at dinner and within the spa. Laid back and intimate design is the focus of Le Trou au Mur, but above all, is their dedication to food. Endeavouring to pioneer and dish up plates which represent the exciting, exotic flavours of Morocco’s fast vanishing past, their menu promises to list traditional and mostly untouched copies passed down the ages together with a very few carefully chosen and classic modern British dishes; exclusive for ‘those in the know’.

Riad Farnatchi Spa, Marrakech. Photo by Alan Keohane www.still-images.net
Riad Farnatchi Spa, Marrakech. Photo by Alan Keohane www.still-images.net

Impressively larger than you would initially expect this new and I imagine, locally highly anticipated restaurant will span an entire three levels. With year-round Moroccan fine dining, and dependant on the temperature, guests will be able to choose to eat in the open air on the roof garden or in the elegant main restaurant (air-conditioned) with its inviting, warming log fire in the cooler months. This exciting expansion will give guests, visitors to Marrakesh and local residents a taste for the heritage of this culinary dynamic country with the opportunity to sample a taste of ‘forgotten Morocco’ with ‘a sprinkling of Farnatchi magic.’ It is a shame this exciting establishment was not yet open on our visit; although the obvious time and love that is being implemented it is one to note down for another visit.

Since visiting, but sadly not staying, I’ve only heard great things surrounding this humble gem. Up on the roof terrace we came back and spent our last few hours of sunshine on their well positioned roof terrace, which graced a view over the city and to the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains beyond. Riad Farnatchi has the romance for a honeymoon, the intimacy and facilities for a getaway with friends and the convenience and comfort for solo travellers. Until 1st June Spa Farnatchi is offering four for the price of three with 10% off all spa treatments over one hour, although aside from this there are so many reasons why this property will remain on my ‘riad radar’.

Address: Derb el Farnatchi, Rue Souk el Fassis, Marrakesh, Morocco, +212 5243-84910, riadfarnatchi.com