Inns & Outs (of Town) :: Marrakech,Morocco. Part 1.

After my relaxed week in Fez, I was ready to tackle the hustle of Marrakech. (Compares to traveling from San Francisco to New York.) But I couldn’t decide if I wanted to stay right in the medina, the pulsing heart of Marrakech, or in the plush rarified atmosphere of the Palms area, so little piggy that I am I opted for both, which turned out to be the perfect solution.

My in-town pick was Riad Kniza “An Oasis in the heart of the Medina.”
You can spend hours on the internet researching the long list of Riads, a Riad is a traditional Moroccan home or Palace with an interior garden, trying to choose the best one, or you can take my word for if-STAY AT RIAD KNIZA!

From the moment I entered this exquisitely appointed, jewel-box sized Riad and was graciously welcomed by Kamal, the charming owner, my stay was sheer perfection. Somehow, even though it is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the famous action-packed square Djemma El Fna, which makes Times Square seem sedate by comparison, once you walk through Kniza’s massive hand-carved ceder-wood doors, you enter a world of peaceful calm.

Riad Kniza is built around two open sky patios with water fountains surrounded by two lounges with magnificent fire places, tastefully decorated by the owners, renowned antique dealers. Fine art adorns the walls and the rooms are luxuriously furnished in traditional Moorish style, interwoven with every modern convenience- from air conditioning, satellite T.V. and internet access.

My large suite opened onto a patio, where I could dine al fresco or if I preferred, I could be served in the privacy of my own room in front of the roaring fireplace.This was the only tough decision I had to make, since I chose to place myself in the Kamal’s capable hands who many arranged my sightseeing. He even personally drove me to the see the Jardin Majorelle, patiently waiting while I strolled through the garden.

My only complaint was that during our email transactions Kamal had not adequately described the beauty and serenity of his Riad, because otherwise,I would have reserved it for two more nights!

Tip: Be sure and visit Al Badi, the museum-quality antique store owned by the same family.

Riad Kniza – 34 Derb l’Hotel, Bab Doukala – Marrakech – Médina, Maroc
Tel : +212 24 37 69 42 – Fax : +212 24 37 83 65
E-mail :

Posted by Janice Nieder on December 25, 2007 in Travel

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