Juliet Kinsman: When I was told our second show would…
Luscious lodgings? Check. Rooftop plunge pool? Check. Glorious views stretching to the Atlas Mountains? Check check check. Riad Siwan is the quintessential bolthole in the heart of Marrakech’s Medina.
Style: Regal and rooftop-enhanced
Setting: Just by Djemaa El Fna
Why this week? Marrakech needn’t be all about wafting about in kaftans and indulging in tagines, dahling. Riad Siwan grows its own organic produce so it’s the perfect place to kick off your summer detox. It also supports Education For All, a project to help rural schoolgirls get access to education. They’re raising funds to build boarding houses so the girls can continue their secondary education – and with the first batch of baccalaureates expected this summer, there’s no better time to support them.
Our favourite bits Riad Siwan is as ravishing as Moroccan buildings get: loyal to its North African roots, yet with stylish contemporary furnishings at every turn. Try Sidi Ifni or Qamar if you love a good roll-top bath, or curl up by the fireplace in Sidi Walata or Ifrane. After a long day in the souk you’ll want to rest your weary toes on the spacious terrace: with a plunge pool, inviting sun loungers and sweeping views over crenellated rooftops and minarets, it’s the perfect place to watch the Medina bustle in the dusk.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘Our eyes widened as the nondescript door in the dark alley opened way to the lush, bright core that is Riad Siwan. Dramatic art, intricate lattices and coolly assembled tropical plants – from our first step inside, the seven-room riad has us stunned. And within seconds, we were getting the grand tour from jovial owner Cees Van den Berg. Cees and his wife Maryk bought the riad as a crumbling hovel filled with dirt and exposed to the elements. The couple painstakingly restored the entire space to opulence, working with a local husband-and-wife team who tackled the light fixtures and glasswork. The result is an oasis that pays tribute to the traditional patterns and colours of vivid Marrakech, incorporating modern conveniences – hello, rooftop plunge pool! – and dramatic ironwork.’