Riad Charai was once owned by the Private Secretary of the Pasha Glaoui and has been renovated to create an opulent, palatial riad in Marrakech. There is a huge, romantic courtyard with a swimming pool (9x4m) and garden (palm, orange, bamboo, lime and jasmine), and plenty of hidden alcoves providing the perfect spot for a candle-lit drink. Riad Charai has three huge standard rooms and four even bigger suites, all with their own sitting rooms and fireplaces. The riad is run like a top-end hotel, with plenty of staff, an in-house spa and restaurant and LCD TVs and minibars throughout. There is also a separate “guest” kitchen in which cookery classes are run. The decor is North-African simple, mostly dark woods, creams and browns, whitewashed walls and Moroccan rugs – the kind of place that doesn’t have to try hard to impress, it just does. Bathrooms (shower only) can be small, but they’re romantic with taledakt walls and rose petals in the shower. Charai is only a 15-20 minute walk from the Jmaa el-Fnaa but there’s a taxi rank a five-minute walk away. Don’t forget to try out the spa, which has a hammam and massage room.