Situated in the heart of the old medina, not far from the King's
Palace and the main shopping souks and squares stands the
tranquil oasis of Riad El Arsat. It is also known as "Riad
Kabbaj" which means 'garden' and denotes a summer house and a
winter house at each end of an oblong rectangle with a garden in
between with fountains and an orchard. The property is exactly
like this. With seven luxury bedrooms, all with en-suite
bathrooms, Riad El Arsat is the perfect place to stay, unwind
and explore the incomparable city of Marrakech.
The summer house was developed first, creating en filade, a
dining room, salon and main bedroom with vaulted Moroccan "tadlakt"
bathroom. These rooms are all in oriental style with very high
vaulted ceilings decorated with carved wood, sculpted
plasterwork, polished Moroccan stucco (tadlakt) and mosaic tiles
(zellige). They give onto a long Andalusian colonnade gallery
opening onto the garden and pool and furnished for eating,
drinking and lounging. A large Suite with bedroom, a 30s style
bathroom and a study/living room with cedar-wood fittings was
built on the huge roof terrace of this building and another
pavilion with a bedroom and bathroom suite was built,
freestanding, in the garden.
Eight years ago, a large tiled swimming pool was constructed in
the garden. The rest of this half of the property consists of an
orange and lemon orchard with bamboo, figs, jasmine, honeysuckle
and bougainvillea everywhere. There is also a white marble
fountain. There are thus now five entirely separate bedrooms,
each with a bathroom and double bed, scattered across this side
of the riad.
The"summer" house with its bedrooms, garden and pool, is
available for rental by a group of up to 10 adults.
The"winter" house, in the other half of the garden, has been
undergoing restoration and provides an immense stucco, painted
wood and tiled salon in late nineteenth century high bourgeois
Moroccan traditional style. Near it is a bathroom and a
staircase to the upper floor with a huge roof terrace with 3
bedrooms and 2 bathrooms off it. These enjoy views of the medina
of Marrakech and the snowy Atlas Mountains in the distance.
The kitchen is situated in the garden adjoining the tiny house
of the resident caretaker. This might seem inconvenient, but all
cooking and serving is done by Fatima, her second and the
The garden is fully developed with pond, fountain and Berber
tent. There is lots of sought after shade given by large old
trees and the orange grove.
It should be noted that the property is not centrally heated,
although there are some open fireplaces and the rooms are
supplied with small heaters. The climate in Marrakech in winter
months, November to March, is unreliable, ranging from cold and
rainy to brilliant sunny days hot enough to sunbathe and eat
The property was built by the Kabbaj family at the end of XIX
century but fell into multi-occupancy and decadence in the 1960s
after the death of its owner. It has been renovated mixing the
European style and Andalusian art-deco by Mme Nicole Arbousset
with the utmost respect for its architectural integrity and
furnished with Moroccan rugs and artifacts as well as art deco
style furniture and ornaments.
Le riad logé au coeur de la médina, se situe à quelques pas de la
célèbre place Jamaa El Fnaa et à quelques mètres du palais Moulay
Idriss. Ancienne demeure familiale des Kabbaj, la propriétaire
actuelle en a fait un oasis pour les voyageurs distingués à la
Toutes les chambres ont équipées de tout le confort moderne et des
terrasses on peut admirer les sommets enneigés de l'Atlas et le
soleil couchant sur la médina.
Un merveilleux jardin garni de bougainvilliers, palmiers, orangers
et cactus s'étend à l'infini, coupé de fontaines ou les oiseaux
Pour son originalité, il a été choisi par des gens du cinéma, de
la mode, de la musique et de l'art pour des tournages et des
séjours. Il a été sélectionné par plusieurs magazines et reconnu
comme un lieu exceptionnel avec son immense jardin, havre de paix
pour amoureux et pour couples en lune de miel.