The tranquil Riad Kniza is like a world unto itself—entering it from the heart of Marrakech’s Medina, with its incredible hustle and bustle, could not produce a starker contrast: this lovingly restored Moorish palace with three stunning open-air courtyards is an oasis of calm and beauty, hidden behind a plain façade.
Dating from the 18th century, this 11-room hideaway belongs to a renowned antiques dealer Haj Mohamed Bouskri—who has also served as personal tour guide to international celebrities and heads of state.
In the family for generations, under Haj Mohamed the riad has undergone a three-year restoration, which turned it into a jewelbox of Moorish design.
The restoration was entrusted to the craftsmen who paid a great attention to every detail. They created a gem of Moorish architecture, decorated using hand carved cedar wood, glazed marble tiles, hard chiselled plaster and filled with hand-made antiques.
Tall wooden doors open onto luxurious suites from the delightful courtyards. Each suite is individually decorated with lush fabrics of ruby satins and creamy silver velvets, inlaid mirrors, and hand-painted tables.
Birdsong and rose petals
Riad is full of comfortable spaces to lounge in—from the library, drawing room and sun washed roof terrace with comfortable loungers, to floor cushions and patio garden. At night Moroccan lanterns illuminate the walls with a soft subdued light.
Kniza is one of those unforgettable places that enchant most with its atmosphere, smell and sound. During the day the riad is filled with bird-song, and a rose petal-filled fountain adorns a courtyard, quietly burbling in the hot afternoon.
Spa and dining
The Riad Kniza spa provides a retreat of tranquil serenity and relaxation—a traditional hammam body scrub is the perfect way to end a day of price haggling in the souks or hiking the awesome Atlas mountains.
A true Moroccan experience would not be complete without the country’s excellent cuisine and Riad Kniza boasts one of the finest restaurants in Morocco.
Meals can be served in private dining rooms, but we always picked the roof terrace—with beautiful views of the Atlas Mountains and the old medina it is the perfect setting for a romantic diner or breakfast.
Many a celebrity dined at Kniza, and stayed here: the riad hosted Bill Gates, Brad Pitt, Will Smith and Garry Kasparov among others.