Budget Morocco

Hotels and riads in Marrakech, Essaouira and Fez and other locations throughout Morocco are listed by Morocco Gateway, which focuses on helping users to search easily for their Morocco hotels and riads of choice by providing them with information of the highest accuracy and independence.

Budget hotels and riad options in Morocco fall in the €60-90 per room per night bracket, which is competitive in spite of expensive exchange rates. For these prices, travellers can expect a room in a small but clean and well-run riad or hotel, close to the centre of Marrakech, Essaouira and Fez.

Often in this price band, Morocco hotels and riads will have small swimming pools, room service and roof top lounge areas with magnificent views. These services and facilities, when combined with the reliable North African sun, offer a certain value luxury that many travellers are looking for nowadays.

Marrakech hotels and budget riad options include Riad Villa El Arsa, a quiet and peaceful riad offering rooms at €70-80 per night with a roof-top terrace allowing guests to sunbathe and take in a view over the medina and Atlas Mountains. To cool down, there is a plunge pool in the courtyard or two indoor lounges.

In Essaouira, Lalla Mira is Morocco’s first eco hotel, sourcing its under-floor heating from solar-power and growing its own organic fruit and vegetables wherever possible. Meals encompass traditional Moroccan dishes as well as Mediterranean cuisine, and are readily available for guests who are vegetarian. Rooms here fall in the price range of only €38 for a single to €80 for the largest suite.

Also in Essaouira is Chez Rebecca, a self-catering apartment on the third floor of a house in Essaouira’s historically listed medina. The house itself is about 150 years old and was turned into apartments in 2003, renovated in 2008. It is owned by four English friends and managed by Moroccan staff. Its location is central, with food souks on the doorstep, and the beach only a ten minute walk away. Daily rental of Chez Rebecca works out at £55-£80 depending on the season.

For the budget traveller, Morocco also benefits from being served by a number of budget airlines which fly from the UK and Europe to airports in Marrakesh and Fez. Travel onto Essaouira can be easily arranged by taxi and at a reasonable cost.

Magical Marrakech

The city of Marrakech offers a fantastic activities which include spending time in the main square, the Djemaa El Fna, at the heart of the city, with its entertainers, food stalls, shops, cafes and restaurants, or browsing the souks, an amazing labyrinth of stalls selling jewellery, spices, textiles, leather goods, wood and metal works, clothing, rugs and babouches. Other activities include visiting the many famous gardens, palaces and museums of the city.

In the evening Marrakech boast an array of high quality and stylish bars, restaurants and clubs to rival any European city. In the daytime there are also a number of beach clubs, which offer large swimming pools, eating and drinking, and lounging facilities to a backdrop of music from live DJs, al under the North African sun.

For accommodation style seekers, Morocco Gateway offers Maison MK, a chic guesthouse created by fashion photographer Paul Hopkins, AnaYela that seeks to offer a “cultural, sensual and mental” experience and Le Palais Rhoul with its fine Romanesque styling in its lush out-of-town palm-grove location.

For the style-conscious on more of a budget, La Maison Arabe, Riyad el Mezouar, Riyad El Cadi and Riad L’Orangeraie all offer high standards of service, cleanliness, facilities, a central location, and double rooms for under €150 a night. Riyad el Mezouar and La Maison Arabe also offer classes on Moroccan cookery, which are always popular with visitors.

For travellers on a tighter budget, Morocco Gateway offer Riad Villa El Arsa, a quiet and peaceful riad with a roof-top terrace offering rooms at €70-80 per night, Dar Attajmil a peaceful, hidden riad with a beautiful patio courtyard, and its own library which offers room for €90 a night.

A stay in a riad in Marrakech can also be easily combined with a short stay in another of Morocco’s ancient cities of Fez and Meknes, or to the famous Atlas Mountains, to the desert region with its mystical sand dunes or Essaouira hotels on the beaches of the Atlantic coast.

Fez experiences

Many people, late-bookers amongst us in particular, are now looking at their options for summer holidays. With long distance travel and expensive hotels being somewhat out of fashion in 2009, many people are looking at Morocco, which benefits from being a short flight away from the UK and Europe. Morocco also offers a fantastic range of competitively priced high quality riad and hotel accommodation against a wonderful backdrop of the fascinating and exotic Moroccan culture, outdoor activities, and reliable north African sunshine.

Proving popular in 2009 is the city of Fez, Morocco’s second city after Marrakech. Fez is the cultural and intellectual heartland of Morocco with its palaces, gardens, souks, mosques and other buildings of note. It was the capital of the medieval Merinid empire and remains the spiritual heart of Morocco.

Morocco Gateway is offering an exciting range of raid and hotel options in Fez to suit all tastes and budgets. These include Ryad Mabrouka, a guesthouse of 6 suites and 2 rooms, complete with a small swimming pool and restaurant. Renovated and restored in 2000, Riad Mabrouka is ideal for guests looking for a comfortable stay to re-charge their batteries and also for those wanting to explore Fez and its surrounding attractions.

Alternatively Riad Fes is a larger hotel offering twenty-one rooms where guests has the option of room in a modern style or the standard rooms which provide more of a traditional Moroccan authenticity. Riad Fes also serves a complimentary breakfast on the patio outside daily, surrounding the its pool and garden.

Finally, Riad Numero 9, a charmingly traditional three-storey home, built in the eighteenth century by a wealthy merchant. The present owners originally bought the riad as a holiday home but their choice to renovate and open it as a guesthouse in 2007 allows guests to take advantage of a home from home. The riad’s three guestrooms all look over the same courtyard. The standard room is situated on the first floor and is joined by the junior suite on the other side. Ascend another staircase and guests will find the master suite, extending over the whole third floor, spacious and beautifully decorated in French, English and Asian antiques.

The city of Fez is also a good base from which to explore the surrounding region that offers the Atlas Mountains, the spa towns of Moulay Yacoub and Sidi Harazem and the calmer imperial city of Meknes.