Review: Anayela (Riad), A Member of Design Hotels, Marrakech, Morocco

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Review: The Anayela (Riad), a Member of Design Hotels, Marrakech, Morocco


I ended up picking this place as we wanted to stay in an authentic riad while we were in Morocco. A Moroccan Riad is a traditional house with an interior pool or garden. I’d often seen on travel websites that a riad stay is an experience not to be missed so we were keen to give it a try, over some anonymous resort property. The Anayela is a 5 room property and includes return car transfers in the rate. It only has 5 rooms so if you have your eyes set on this property, make sure you book quickly.

Arriving to the Anayela:

We met our driver immediately outside the arrivals area. We transferred our bags to the hotel car which was a Toyota Prado Land Cruiser. After the welcomes, we started off on a 20 minute drive to the Anayela.

The Anayela is located within the walled city of Marrakech. The walled city is about 19 km around. It’s located on the north side of the square. As a result, we had to drive around the walled city for the 20 minutes in order to get there. The drive was civilized African, as we skirted transportation hubs, markets and bus stations on well paved roads amongst reasonably well mannered drivers. We happened to see a lot of colored abbeya’s on our drive in. Our driver commented that Moroccans often had been influenced by Africa, Europe and the Middle East and the values and clothing were quite contemporary.

As we entered the walled city, the streets got quite narrow and single laned. We ended up parking the truck where, in a first for me, our bags were loaded on to a waiting donkey kart and transported the rest of the way for us. We ended up walking the last 400 meters in towards the hotel on foot.

The Anayela Riad:

We arrived to a completely unmarked and unsigned property. We were given an organic milk and some welcome dates in a small tagine while they processed the check in in a seated area around the pool. As with other Design Hotel Properties, there isn’t any official elite recognition. We were also fitted up for some slippers that were worn throughout the property.

“Staying in a Riad is a must when visiting Morocco. The Anayela is a terrific choice with an intimate five room property that is reasonably close to Djemna el Fnaa ”

Our host, gave us a personal tour of the riad, including the roof top deck.

The Room: A Suite

We were then shown to our suite on the second floor, which was very nicely appointed. The suite concept is a bit of a mirage here, it was more of a larger room instead of a room with a detached sitting area. There is no television in the room, which was actually a welcomed feature.

The sleeping area was on an elevated platform. Although it was compact, it was comfortable. The walls contained decorative Arabic scripture.

The couch area was small, but contained some snacks available to us.

The bathroom bathing area was large, although the sink area was disproportionately tiny.

There was a nice view of the riad courtyard from the terrace just outside our room.

Whereas the areas around the courtyard pool were comforting.

The doors to our suite were intricately decorated and refurbished.

Food and Beverage:

Throughout our stay, the hotel provided breakfast. This a feature of being included with the rate and a city that had mostly European travelers that expect breakfast. It was not included as a result of our hotel tier status. Breakfast each day was by the courtyard pool, and contained some pretty tasty granola, croissants, dates, and other local delicacies.

Overall, we enjoyed the stay. One of the more unique experiences was returning to the riad at night. The Anayela was decorated in a beautiful lighting that lit the walls and the courtyard pool.

In summary:

In general, it was a very nice and welcoming stay. It’s always unique to stay at a property with only 5 rooms. If you’re interested in getting in here, make sure you book well in advance.


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