Typical of many hotels in Marrakech’s medina (old city), Riad Joya is an old mansion that has been converted to a boutique hotel. However, Riad Joya is not typical. Extra care has been taken in almost every aspect of service and the design of the hotel.
I’m driven from the airport to the edge of the medina, and then walk through the twisting alleyways to Riad Joya. Upon arrival, I’m served delicious mint tea and tiers of Moroccan sweets. Upon returning from a stroll and enjoying golden hour on the rooftop terrace, more mint tea and cookies arrive.
As is traditional, the riad’s seven rooms look out onto an inner courtyard with a fountain. The area is surprisingly quiet and the only sounds the water can’t mask are the birds singing on the roof.
Each of Riad Joya’s rooms is different, but all have unique handmade furniture and fixtures and beautiful stone or copper sinks. Bathrooms feature separate shower areas, and one room has a spectacular claw-footed tub made out of a shiny golden copper. Moroccan potions like beldi black soap await to beautify your skin. If you’d like further pampering, Riad Joya has a small hammam and massage room which you can book.
Rooms are spacious with very high ceilings, a divan or couch, a table area and a closet area (no television, if that is important to you, but the wifi is excellent). Windows are glassed, providing good sound protection. Decor is elegant. Lighting sets the mood, but the large handmade mirrors and white marble everywhere brighten.
The service at Road Joya is excellent. Almost every time I leave my room someone tends to it in my absence, neatening my towels, replenishing my water, lighting candles, or replacing the banana I snacked on. Everyone is kind and helpful, ensuring that I have everything I need. At dinner, there’s no menu. You simply tell the chef what you’d like to eat, and he spends the afternoon shopping and preparing it for you.
Riad Joya is extremely popular with western guests. Book early to avoid disappointment!