Riad El Mezouar
Riad El Mezouar is one of the typically delightful and stylish riads in Marrakach, near the Ben Youssef Medersa it is the creation of young French architects/designers Jérôme Vermelin and Michel Durand-Meyrier. Riad El Mezouar used to be an 18th-century palace, ‘Mezouar’ being the official title bestowed upon the branch of the Alaoui royal family who used to own it. The present owners have worked hard to maintain something of its original feel, especially around the courtyard, which has a traditional-style pool, aromatic garden with jasmine, myrtle, laurel and white roses, plus Arabo-Andalucian arcades and galleries. There are five rooms, which are designed to emphasize the natural spaces and contours of the building: rather than cramming them full of features, the owners have settled on a policy of quality over quantity. Their own designs feature here and there (there’s a boutique upstairs) among imported Chinese, Byzantine and Tibetan ornamentation. Food (French and Moroccan) is available on the premises – 200dh lunch, 400dh dinner – made by an excellent local chef, and can be taken in the Moorish alcoves, the grand salons, the courtyard or the terrace. Wifi access and satellite TV are also available.