Boutique chic in Marrakech... Everybody loves a boutique hotel. Small and stylish (in theory), they are the perfect boltholes from which to explore our favourite cities and nowhere, but nowhere, does boutique chic like Marrakech.

The Moroccan marvel of Marrakech

We at Original Travel love this Moroccan marvel, which is quite simply the most exotic place you can get to in a short flight from the UK. There's culture and shopping galore, but the highlight can also be staying in a riad somewhere in the medina. And, boy, are there some to choose from. The latest estimate puts the number of riads in Marrakech at more than 800. And counting.

Regular visitors

With that amount of choice it can be extremely difficult to know where to start so - at the extreme risk of sounding a bit salesy - we would definitely recommend giving us a ring to find out where we're loving at the moment. Members of the Original Travel team spend a week a year in the red city checking out the latest haunts, and restaurants, cafes and bars besides, so you know you'll be making the most of your precious time away.

We know just the place...

So what should you be looking for? Well, while there are some lovely places to stay in the Palmeraie outside the city walls, the medina with its winding alleyways and bustling atmosphere is the place to be. The ideal riad will be tucked away down some tiny alley with a discreet old wooden door behind which should be a verdant (and quiet) oasis of shady terraces and tinkling fountains. There will be a handful of beautifully decorated rooms and possibly a small restaurant serving nouvelle Moroccan cuisine (not endless tagines). The owner will know all the latest boutiques and where to buy the best quality rugs, and you should be able to savour a cocktail on a small roof terrace watching the nearby Atlas Mountains turn a deeper shade of red as the sun sets. Sounds nice? We know just the places….