An unassuming door on a quiet back street in the northern medina might not look like much, but this city is not a place where a book should be judged by its cover. Insider Lauren Steventon stayed recently at Noir d’Ivoire and reports … Exquisitely furnished with an African vibe inspired by owner Jill Fetchmann’s travels throughout Morocco and Swaziland, the Riad is a serene escape from the dusty streets of Marrakech, yet only 10-15 minutes through the souks to the main square of Jemma al Fna. It can be tricky to find without a guide, so opt for the airport pick up: when the roads become to narrow for the taxi, staff from the Riad will meet you, and Couscous the donkey will take the luggage-cute!
Feels very intimate and private-a perfect romantic retreat. There are just nine rooms: for a real treat try one of the three suites surrounding the pool courtyard (Panther, Zebra and Cheetah). While in the main Riad, my favorite room was ‘Elephant': a cute little balcony looks over another courtyard, and the beaten silver-alloy bath for two is just perfect for lovers. Downstairs you’ll find a small decorative pool, several comfortable and elegant lounges (with fires for the cooler nights), a boutique, small treatment room and hamman and a cocktail bar. There is another courtyard with a swimming pool and a roof terrace upstairs, perfect for a cooling dip, soaking some sun, or seeing a romantic sunset over the city.
Jill and manager Damian are ready and willing to spill about the chicest places to eat drink and shop, and will helpfully mark up a map with the can’t-miss places in the Medina. We enjoyed so much their traditional menu of tagines served in the candle-lit pool courtyard-try to reserve the table in the curtained alcove for extra romance and privacy. Dinner can be adapted to suit any dietary requirements, just make sure you mention them by mid-afternoon so ingredients can be bought fresh. The lamb tagine was one of the best of the stay, but I was disappointed by an over ‘bruleed’ crème brulée and a grainy orange and cinnamon salad. A real draw is nightly jazz played on the baby grand piano-play it again, Sam! Highly recommend it …
Room rates from $265.
Insider tip from Mr & Mrs Smith, one of my trusted resources:
“If you’re in a suite, ask staff to draw and dress your bath; it’ll be surrounded by candles, scented with oils and strewn with rose petals.”
31 Derb Jdid Bab Doukkala | Marrakech Morocco