The city of Marrakech is the number one honeymoon destination for Moroccans, and a favorite bolt-hole for French dignitaries and celebrities.
After a couple of nights at The Capaldi, 40 minutes from the Marrakech, we were ready to spend a night in the very heart of this busy city.
The Medina is the ancient centre of the city, a maze of tiny alleyways and lanes between souks (markets), riads (small hotels) and intricately carved historical sites. No building can be taller than the main Mosque so from any of the roof top terraces there seems a sense of uniformity above the chaos below. The lanes are too narrow for cars so we finished our journey to the Riad Capaldi with our luggage in a bicycle barrow.
The contrast from the hot dusty lanes to the cool courtyard of the Riad couldn’t be more extreme; a sudden oasis of calm with palm trees and a plunge pool at the centre, with a comfortable lounge, dining room and library leading off the courtyard, and six beautifully decorated guest rooms circling it above. A seventh guest room; the dome room, has its own entrance up a narrow staircase, a glass domed ceiling above its private lounge area and is a perfect honeymoon suite. The roof terrace has areas for relaxing in the sun or the shade, an area for breakfast and a log fire for chilly winter evenings. The hotel is a sister hotel to The Capaldi and Tara’s flair for interior design is apparent throughout, with beautiful Moroccan touches and artifacts at every turn.
The Riad Capaldi is managed by the delightful Marc who quickly found us some refreshing drinks, pointed us towards the bracing plunge pool and sent us on our way with a local guide Youssef, to show us the souks, teach us more about the local culture, and of course to introduce us to a favourite uncle who was very keen to sell us a carpet.
Marc equips guests with a mobile phone in case they get lost and is happy to escort guests to and from the local restaurants after dark, both essential services in a city where even the tour guides admit to getting lost.
Most guests stay in the hustle and chaos of the Medina area for just a night or two, long enough to take in the souks, see the local sites and soak up the unique atmosphere, although in the cooler winter months a longer stay would give you a great opportunity to try more of the excellent restaurants on offer in this fantastic, unique city.