With the seemingly endless array of riad hotels in Marrakech, it takes a discerning eye to separate one from another. In the case of Dar Les Cigognes: this is the one with the bridge. Like a few others, this one is made of two courtyard residences joined into a single small hotel; unlike the others, the two houses of Dar Les Cigognes aren’t back to back, but across the road from each other, and connected by an elevated walkway.
So there’s that. There’s also the matter of the style: the Tunisian-born and Morocco-based architect Charles Boccara has brought an insider’s perspective to the designer-riad genre, and the result is a hotel that’s obviously architect-designed, but extremely classical in style. It’s neither unimaginatively minimal, like so many contemporary hotels, or needlessly opulent, as is the riad temptation.
These places are all about atmosphere and Les Cigognes has it in spades. Endless nooks and crannies for lounging surround the courtyards of the two houses, and the rooms themselves border on decadence, most of them with working fireplaces. And at double the size of an ordinary riad it has space to expand its offerings: the library is well-stocked, the spa and hammam well-equipped, and the restaurant, practically a necessity for foreigners visiting the medina, is far more than just serviceable — it’s a highlight of the experience.