La Villa des Orangers: The Best Riad in Marrakech

(© Villa des Orangers)

While traveling through the humming Moroccan city of Marrakech, I had the pleasure of staying in a highly authentic establishment right in the heart of the medina: La Villa des Orangers. A member of the famous Relais & Châteaux network, this traditional Moroccan riad is a veritable oasis. It offers 27 prestigious rooms and suites and is well-loved by tourists seeking to discover the Moroccan way of life. It’s impossible not to fall under the spell of this elegant residence, topped off by an ultra-romantic restaurant and a Nuxe spa! 

A Hidden Oasis

As you pass through the heavy wooden entrance gate, it’s hard to imagine that you’re in one of the city’s best establishments. La Villa des Orangers is discreet at first glance. Built in the 1930s for a Marrakech bigwig, this character-filled residence captured the attention of Parisian hotel owners Pascal and Veronique Behérec, who couldn’t help but fall for the estate. After nine months of renovations carried out by the best local artisans, La Villa des Orangers finally opened its doors, an exclusive hotel and veritable oasis of calm that attracts tourists from around the world. 

La Villa des Orangers is an exclusive hotel and veritable oasis of calm that attracts tourists from around the world (© Villa des Orangers)
After nine months of renovations carried out by the best local artisans, La Villa des Orangers finally opened its doors

Peace and Quiet

La Villa des Orangers has a fabulous location right in the center of Marrakech, perfect for exploring the medina ‒ the boisterous Jemaa El Fna square and its bazaars are only ten minutes away on foot. Nevertheless, returning to the riad is pure bliss: the difference between the hustle and bustle of the city and the tranquility of this residence is striking. Two pools, perfect for a dip after visiting the city, are available for guests; one is perched up on the rooftop terrace, while the larger pool (where we opted to swim) is in the garden. Speaking of which, the garden and the verdant courtyards with their superb fountains are absolutely wonderful places to relax at any time of day. During the short Marrakech winter, the residence’s three salons offer guests a cozy, warm environment, complete with fireplaces, leather sofas, and comfy armchairs. 

The difference between the hustle and bustle of the city and the tranquility of this residence is striking
Two pools are available for guests; one is perched up on the rooftop terrace (© Villa des Orangers)
The larger pool in the heart of the garden (© Villa des Orangers)

The Relais & Châteaux Spirit

As a member of the famous Relais & Châteaux catalogue, La Villa des Orangers features its own universe. This unique place is tended to by the concierge (who’s very nice!), allowing the residence to maintain the very best standards, be it in terms of the estate’s beauty ‒ combining Moroccan traditions with elegant décor ‒ or the excellent service on offer. The service here is truly top-notch, which is not always the case in luxury establishments. 

As a member of the famous Relais & Châteaux catalogue, La Villa des Orangers features its own universe (© Villa des Orangers)

My Grande Suite: A Mix of Authenticity and Refinement

The 27 rooms and suites are dispersed around a large garden with three authentic courtyards, surrounded by galleries of carved arcades. Each living space is beautifully decorated with high-quality Moroccan furniture, an authentic style which will immediately transport you to another time and place. For optimal comfort, we booked the Grande Suite with its private terrace. Situated on the riad’s second floor, this suite (between 40 and 50 m²) offers a superb balcony overlooking the medina and the city rooftops, with the Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas mountains in the distance. 

We spent the night in the Grande Suite with its private terrace
The suite is beautifully decorated with high-quality Moroccan furniture
The amazing bathroom (© Villa des Orangers)
Situated on the riad’s second floor, this suite offers a superb balcony overlooking the medina and the city rooftops

The Nuxe Spa

Featuring an understated yet warm décor that combines majestic vaults, mosaics, and large mirrors, the spa at La Villa des Orangers uses products from the Nuxe brand, well-suited to both facial and body treatments. Within the spa’s three massage rooms, guests can indulge in original treatments such as the “Oriental Escapade,” which combines traditional Moroccan hammam with a savon noir scrub, and then enjoy a “Jet Lag” massage using Nuxe’s famous dry oil. 

The traditional Moroccan hammam (© Villa des Orangers)

A Romantic Dinner

The culinary adventure begins first thing in the morning at La Villa des Orangers, with a breakfast that combines Moroccan tradition and international cuisine. Along with different kinds of jam, toast, fruit, and eggs made-to-order, you can enjoy delicious Moroccan pastries! At lunch time, guests are served a light meal alongside the pool or in one of the courtyards, while in the evening, the atmosphere becomes more romantic and subdued. 

Romantic Atmosphere (© Villa des Orangers)

As night fell, we took a seat at a table near the pool, ready to discover our chef’s cuisine with its French, Mediterranean, and Moroccan influences. I began dinner with a scallop carpaccio accompanied by sauce vierge and sundried tomatoes, while my husband enjoyed shrimp ravioli. Next up was a seafood pastilla for him and a sea bass fillet for me. For dessert, it was hard to resist the Paris-Marrakech, a cream puff with chocolate and praline flavors. 

My husband began dinner with shrimp ravioli
My scallop carpaccio accompanied by sauce vierge and sundried tomatoes
Next up was a seafood pastilla for him
The seabass fillet
The red berries charlotte
For dessert, it was hard to resist the Paris-Marrakech

The Verdict

If, like me, you’re a fan of gorgeous, authentic houses, you will absolutely love La Villa des Orangers! Deep in the heart of Marrakech, this exclusive, character-filled riad is the perfect pied-à-terre for visiting the city. The refined Moroccan design in its 27 rooms and suites is sublime, as are the charming green courtyards. In terms of activities, there’s nothing like exploring the medina, then coming back to recharge your batteries alongside one of the two pools. For a romantic evening, stay here for dinner and take advantage of the astonishing setting and elegant, subtle cuisine. This five-star establishment is ideal for a Moroccan getaway for two! 

I loved: 

  • The Relais & Châteaux spirit of this small residence. It’s a great place to experience Marrakech! 
  • The beautiful Grande Suite with its characteristic Moroccan style, not to mention the fantastic terrace. 
  • The ultra-romantic dinner alongside the pool ‒ an exceptional setting! 

I disliked: 

  • The two pools offer only a few deckchairs, which are often reserved in advance by other guests. It’s hard to find a place to sunbathe!

Practical Information

  • More information available on their website
  • Grande Suite with private terrace starting at € 750 per night in May 2019

Thank you La Villa des Orangers for the invitation to explore their establishmentOf course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!

Do you know La Villa des Orangers? Feel free to send me your comments or questions by posting them on social media.

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