Marrakech has its own version of a hip urban hotel. Imagine the Moroccan version of the Delano in Miami or the Standard in New York and you may just conjure the Bab. Just around the corner from the trendy boutiques that line Rue de la Liberté in the Gueliz area, Bab Hotel was completely redesigned by its French owners, who also own Grand Café de la Poste and Bo & Zin. There’s a small pool tucked behind the check-in desk and the lobby bar, which has massive couches, funky ottomans made of recycled plastic and deep white banquettes that invite lounging. A revolving exhibit of local artists’ work and photography from the owner’s collection add to the groovy gallery atmosphere as do the Fadila el Gadi boutique and library areas which also display modern Moroccan style in the form of fashion and books. All of the 45 guestrooms and suites, which are designed to feel like lofts, have small terraces and are decorated with a black-and-white palette that complements the black-and-white photos on the walls. Among the hotel services are Segway rentals and golf outings in the Palmeraie. The hotel’s hippest feature, though, is the Skybab rooftop lounge, where the city’s young and attractive gather after sunset for mojitos and DJ mixes. Rooms from €114–€130, depending on the size and season.
Another star in Marrakech, Maison MK is boho cool, with its own cinema and small but sweet spa. The atmosphere is organic groovy and it’s great for a gang of friends as well as couples. The curvy-walled design is something different—because who needs straight edges?
Murano Oriental Resort
The younger, southern sister to Paris’ trendy Murano hotel, this property in the Palmeraie feels like a sexy mini-resort with thirty-seven rooms spread amongst five riads. Though Philippe Starck was not involved with the design, there is a distinct Starckian coolness to the public spaces. Blood-red bed-like chaises surround some of the five pools. The bar has jet-black ceilings and matching counter-top in a a room of glossy white walls. This is definitely the hippest place to stay in Marrakech but for those who don’t relish the idea of sharing space with a late-night party crowd, it may be better just to come for dinner and/or drinks. Rooms from $275 per night.
Riad El Fenn
Seriously hip and fun, this riad in the medina is owned by Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa. It’s filled with contemporary art from her sensational collection, including works by Bridget Riley and Fred Pollock, and sits a mere five-minute walk from the Jemme El Fna. The artistic touch continues in interior details—silver buckets bursting with yellow roses, tables covered in swaths of silk and walls painted in cherry, pomegranate and sage. The overall effect is impeccably tasteful yet full of character. You can email wirelessly by the pool, while tortoises munch in the garden; or enjoy the hammam, the screening room or the library. The food is fresh and local, and the bedrooms are glorious giants with big beds, deep baths and wood fires. The Douiria split-level suite has a leather floor and its own roof terrace with a plunge pool.
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