Amidst the swirling chaos and outrageous carnival of Marrakech, hides a serene refuge where travellers can rest their feet, recharge their souls and melt into relaxation on plush rooftop beds.
Marrakech is one of those places that is exhilarating and oh-so exhausting all at the same time. The hustling and bargaining, the colours and the smells, the talking and the bartering and the tasting are an outright assault on the body, mind and senses. It is wonderful, magical, beautiful Marrakech, but a quiet place to step back from the madness is a necessary need in this raucous city.
Introducing Riad Abracadabra, a peaceful place of calm hidden behind a heavy door in the busy medina. One second you’re squashed against the city walls by donkeys, scooters and carts of pastries trying to get by, the next you’re bursting into a shower of sunshine pouring into a walled courtyard, awash with huge swaying leaves, thick textures and that gorgeous Moroccan smell of mint tea and sugar.
Shimmering lanterns cascade from the rooftop, and candle light seeps from every corner, calming every bone in your hastened body.
On entering the Riad our bags were instantly taken away from us and taken to our room, while we were ushered to sofas around a fire to sip on tea and gear ourselves up for an afternoon in the souks.
Our room was gorgeous, complete with pastries to snack on, slippers to take home and a huge shower covered in gorgeous Moroccan tiles that could fit the whole family in if you so wanted. The bed, weighted down by a down duvet, was the place of dreams – one night snuggled into it was just not enough!
Now, breakfast is the icing on this already well-decorated cake. There is nowhere better to be early in the morning in Marrakech than on a rooftop above the wakening city, with the call to prayer bellowing out over your heads from every angle.
Fresh fruit, just baked breads and pastries and made-to-order omelettes were served to us with sweet coffee and squeezed orange juice in the early morning sunlight. The perfect send-off for a journey back to Devon.
How to get there
Once landed Marrakech, grab a taxi to the Jemaa el Fna. This shouldn’t cost you more than 30 dirham – remember that haggling is a part of life here, so the initial rate you are offered will be wildly inflated.
Airport taxis are around 50 dirham, so if you want to save, walk out of the airport and hail a taxi down on the road.
Once at the Jemaa el Fna, head towards Cafe France, take a right and walk down the souk. Riad Abracadabra is the 3rd right and then on the left. It’s worth noting that after many years of not working here, Google Maps has got Marrakech spot on, so there’s no need to get lost with your bags. If you don’t fancy nav’ing the mayhem alone, the Riad offers a pickup service for €21.
You can book online at www.riadabracadabra.com. Rates range from €150 to €190 per night. Breakfast included.