Review of Riad Villa el Arsa Marrakech

Riad Villa el Arsa is a small, but stunning riad at the heart of the Medina. Only a few minutes from the buzzing central square of Jemaa el Fna, this is an oasis of peace and tranquillity that has been lovingly restored to retain all its quirky features and offer a luxury and modern space.

You enter the riad by its large, ancient wooden door to discover a guesthouse with a very authentic feel and a warm, laid-back ambience. The riad is built around a cheerful courtyard, complete with tangled greenery and enormous terracotta pots. The original oriental bathhouse framed by pointy arches adds to the feeling of understated luxury and traditional Moroccan comfort of the place. Opening directly onto the courtyard is the living room, cheerfully decorated in warm reds, oranges and yellows and enriched by beautiful wood carvings. For a more intimate ambience, use the winter living room with open fire on the other side of the courtyard. The dining room in the first floor provides the perfect setting for a romantic retreat or candlelit-dinner.

Accommodation space at Riad Villa el Arsa is comprised of four bedrooms beautifully decorated in traditional style and warm tones to bring out the best from the architecture. All come with bathrooms decorated in tadelakt (polished limewash), heating and air-conditioning. There is a great roof-top terrace with sun loungers, a shaded area and a fireplace with fine views over Marrakech.

Meals at Villa Dar el Arsa are prepared by Simo and Nazleh, both excellent Moroccan cooks. You can either leave it up to them or suggest your own meals. Note that breakfast (fresh orange juice, coffee, tea, bread/croissants/pancakes and a variety of fruits) is included, served on the roof-terrace, balcony or courtyard.

For outings and activities, owners David and Susie Scott are on hand to arrange overnight trekking in the High Atlas and desert excursions with experienced and reliable English-speaking guides.