Magic, multi-faceted – if when it comes to holidays you attach great value to individuality and inspiration you should treat yourself with Marrakech. Hardly any other million-strong metropolis has such a sensual effect on body and soul like the adopted country of many European creative minds.
„I often dream about these colours…” – When Yves Saint Laurent first came to Marrakech in 1967 he was under the charm of the opulence and the vitality of this special place. Together with his partner Pierre Bergé, the Parisian transferred his second home to the Medina first, to add in 1980 the Blue House, located in the beautiful Jardin Majorelle which is home to wondrous trees, cactuses and succulents from the five continents of the world.
This is one of the most romantic spots you can find in Marrakesh!
It’s here, in the southwest of Morocco, where lies the place of longing of stressed city dwellers and, of course, of many creatives, who bought the one or the other Riad with the obligatory patio to renovate it with much love and attention to detail – always searching for the ultimate inspiration. Because they can find it here, as well as original and hand-made products that can only be found at this place but nowhere else – despite the globalization and mass products, which unfortunately have also reached the Medina’s crooked lanes.
Here, in the old city Medina stays the privately owned Riad Anayela. AnaYela is a small, 300-year-old city palace which is literally translates as “I am Yela” and the architecture tells the story of a girl called Yela who once lived in this riad. This charming boutique hotel combines delicious food, great comfort and service whilst capturing the magic of tales about the Flying Carpet.
The small tower on the terrace plays an important role in the Story of Yela. It is here where Yela found her love – on one of the highest points of the city. This is one of the most romantic spots you can find in Marrakesh. Breakfast or private romantic dinner with a fantastic panorama becomes an unforgettable experience… and he who knows the magic formula can fly himself over the roofs of the red city.
The restoration of the riad took months and was carried out using only traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, for which Marrakesh is famous throughout the world. A renowned calligrapher hammered the story in silver on the vast doors through the house, like pages of a book. Every single piece of furniture, every lamp, all the decorations, are individually handmade by Moroccan artisans. As a result the house as a whole is a spectacular piece of art in itself. Here all one’s senses are beguiled and inspirational energies and emotions are awoken and set free in this unique atmosphere.
The gastronomic experience of Riad Anayela takes you on a culinary journey back to the roots of authentic Moroccan cuisine with local recipes coexisting with the best of modern specialties.
At the centre of the culinary culture of Morocco is the tagine. Those served at Riad Anayela are prepared in the traditional way, cooked slowly in earthenware pots, bringing out naturally bright flavours and delicate aromas. This method of slow cooking results in cuisine of great succulence and depth of flavour. Among the many types of tagines prepared at Anayela is chicken with prunes and almonds. The chicken is marinated in cumin which imparts warmth and richness. The dish is then gently spiced with ginger and cinnamon. Prunes and almonds are added to create a subtle sweetness that plays against the savoury and slightly bitter golden hued turmeric.
A wonderful array of fresh herbs, aromatics and spices, such as the legendary ‘Ras el Hanout’ blend found in Marrakech, impart their special and unique flavours upon the dishes prepared by the chef Kahdija. Other key ingredients in the kitchen’s larder are preserved lemons, with their unique taste, texture and aroma and locally sourced olives in every flavour, colour and size, cured and treated in many ways with an array of seasonings. An abundance of seasonal well-known local vegetables, sun-drenched tomatoes and lesser known varieties such as cardoons enable the kitchen to create delicious vegetarian dishes. One of the most famous being couscous with ‘Sept Legumes.’ Traditionally, courgettes, potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, turnips, cabbage and onions are used. The couscous is flavoured with fresh coriander, parsley, spiced with turmeric and cinnamon. Finally, an infusion of saffron gently perfumes this classic Moroccan dish which is served with the hot aromatic paste, harissa.
Every day they prepare a surprise set menu with 3 courses. All the ingredients bought fresh on the day – so it’s always better to let them know in advance in case you want to lunch or dine in house.
For special occasions, intimate dinners and parties you can also order 4- or 5-course menus or buffet style lunch and dinner. The riad is the perfect retreat for a group of friends, family or a honeymoon. The Anayela is the ideal place if you wish to enjoy a large private home without the responsibilities of ownership. It is available for a private hire!
Whether reading in the shade by the pool, soaking up the sun on the roof terrace enjoying the array of fine food on offer or venturing into the city and its souks, everyone can enjoy something different here.