Nestled within the vibrant streets of Marrakech lies a veritable oasis of serenity, elegance, and extravagance – the exquisite Riad Elisa. This stunning retreat beckons guests to indulge in a blissful massage at its sumptuous spa, luxuriate in its opulent accommodations, and savour delectable fare at its chic rooftop restaurant, offering breathtaking views of the city's iconic Koutoubia Mosque. CSP Times' contributor Fatimah Malik checks in:
As I set out on my quest to explore the famed Spice Market of Marrakech, I found myself strolling down a tranquil lane devoid of the usual cacophony of whizzing motorbikes, giddy tourists, and locals pushing laden carts of produce or lumber. Lining the path were a myriad of small boutiques, with merchants enticing passersby to peruse their colourful leather bags and traditional footwear.
Yet, amidst the dusty red walls of the lane stood a majestic set of doors, adorned with intricate carvings and painted in a deep, lustrous umber hue. A discreet sign hung alongside, bearing the words "ROOFTOP: Riad Elisa," accompanied by a captivating image of a modern, stylish rooftop restaurant overlooking a breathtaking sunset in shades of yellow and blue. A tantalising menu of tantalizing entrees, plats, and desserts completed the picture.
Driven by my curiosity, I pushed open the towering doors and descended a few steps that lay concealed in their shadow.
What greeted me was a stunning courtyard basking in the warm, golden rays of the sun. The soft murmur of a fountain filled my ears as I beheld pristine white beds abounding with clusters of fragrant white jasmine and verdant tropical plants that adorned every corner. The courtyard's footpath was paved in cool, smooth marble, leading to a stunning domed structure at its center, which arched over a fountain whose glistening waters flowed into shallow marble pools. A gleaming silver Moroccan lantern hung beneath the dome, casting a soft, inviting glow.
To one side of the courtyard, a lounge area beckoned, resplendent with inviting cream-colored pillows that invited guests to relax and unwind. A traditional red carpet lent a cosy touch to the crystal-clear floor. The idea of sinking into the soft cushions and sipping on a steaming cup of fresh mint tea as I watched the sun dip below the horizon, leaving behind a dreamy palette of pink, yellow, and blue, filled me with a sense of tranquility.
On the second floor of the riad, a series of bold umber doors and windows adorned with intricately designed balconies offered a tantalising glimpse of the stunning vistas that lay beyond. I could only imagine waking up to the melodic chirping of birds.
Beneath the surface of Riad Elisa lies a treasure trove of tranquillity, luxury, and pampering: the stunning spa. Vaulted ceilings and a warm, enveloping darkness invite you to recline on plush lounge chairs, drifting off to the soothing sound of your own breath. Glimmering gold-tiled steps lead you down to a heated pool, where you can swim in the velvety waves and bask in the glow of gently-lit lanterns. The traditional Hammam and exclusive treatment rooms await, bathed in the flickering light of orange candles.
Eager to experience the spa's delights, I booked an appointment for the following day. It was the perfect way to cap off my journey through the enchanting, sandy land of Morocco. The next morning, I arrived early, greeted by smiling staff who led me to the changing rooms. Donning a cozy brown robe and slippers, I was led to the Hammam, a beloved ritual of cleansing and massaging dating back to ancient Roman times.
Soaked and scrubbed with traditional black soap, I was showered with orange-scented shampoo, all while enjoying the warmth and steam of the Hammam. After 45 blissful minutes, I emerged feeling rejuvenated and relaxed, sipping fresh mint tea on a lounge chair.
Next, I was led to one of the spa's exclusive treatment rooms, where I received a full body massage with soothing argan oil. The room was bathed in the soft glow of candles, and a fruity aroma filled the air.
Leaving the spa and the riad behind, I felt utterly pampered and cared for, my skin glowing and refreshed. The Riad Elisa spa provided two hours of pure indulgence and luxury, and I couldn't have been happier.
But the spa is just one aspect of Riad Elisa's allure. From the enchanting restaurant and lounge to the rooftop dining with stunning views of Marrakech, this Riad promises an unforgettable stay. The friendly staff, luxurious rooms, and hidden location on a quiet road leading to the bustling Medina make Riad Elisa the perfect retreat in Morocco's magical city.
All imagery courtesy of Riad Elisa.