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RIAD MAJI Set around a tranquil orange tree—shaded courtyard, this tiny guesthouse is the best deal in town. British writer-photographer couple Maggie and Clay Perry have restored a former Moorish mansion. The six unpretentious guest rooms have carved plaster ceilings, billowy white window treatments, and some of the most comfortable beds in Marrakesh. 79 Derb Moulay Abdul Kader, Derb Dabachi; phone and fax 212-44/426-688; doubles from $70, including breakfast.

RIAD NOGA A turquoise-tiled swimming pool surrounded by a two-story colonnade of deep red arches forms the centerpiece of this handsome riad deep in the medina (you didn't read it here, but rumor has it the place was once a brothel). Run by a garrulous former economist from Germany, Noga has a staff of nine to attend to seven guest rooms. Although the rooms are relatively small, this is one of the few riads with satellite television; nooks and terraces offer private space for reading and relaxing. 78 Derb Jdid at Douar Graoua; 212-44/377-670, fax 212-44/389-046; www.riadnoga.com; doubles from $139.


CARAVAN SERAI In the village of Ouled Ben Rahman, five miles north of Marrakesh, Caravan Serai was designed by the acclaimed Morocco-based architects Charles and Mathieu Boccara. Austere mud walls conceal 17 rustic-chic rooms; the swimming pool is set in a dramatic arcaded courtyard that has the look of a postmodern Elizabethan theater. A shuttle takes guests into town, but many prefer to luxuriate in the traditional hammam or go horseback riding. Ouled Ben Rahman; 212-44/300-302, fax 212-44/300-262; www.caravanseraimarrakesh.com; doubles from $136, including breakfast.

JNANE TAMSNA Meryanne Loum-Martin helped make Marrakesh a must for fashionable travelers back in 1990 when she started renting out Dar Tamsna, two fabulous villas in exclusive La Palmeraie, a neighborhood just north of the city. Now, for wanderers in search of a villa experience (but who don't want to take over an entire house), Loum-Martin has unveiled this nearby riad, built around two Zen-like courtyards. The 10 spacious bedrooms have fireplaces, custom-designed iron beds, and antiques galore (bone-inlaid chaises, studded chests, North African photos). Douar Abiad, La Palmeraie; 212-61/242-717, fax 212-44/329-133; doubles from $347, including breakfast.

KASBAH AGAFAY Ten miles beyond the Marrakesh airport, overlooking green fields and golden desert foothills, British-based Moroccan entrepreneur Abel Damoussi has restored a 150-year-old Berber casbah, or fortress. The main building encompasses six courtyards, 14 guest rooms, and salons and dining areas of all shapes and sizes. Outside the casbah walls, there's a pool, clay tennis court, open-air spa, and four over-the-top private guest tents, with air-conditioning, tiled baths, and canopy beds draped in antique textiles. Rte. de Guemassa, km 20; 212-44/420-960, fax 212-44/420-970; www.kasbahagafay.com; doubles from $400, including breakfast.

TIGMI Blending seamlessly into the village of Tagadert, 15 miles south of Marrakesh, this eco-resort lets travelers experience an unspoiled Berber community. Created by Max Lawrence, an Englishman who has lived and worked in Morocco for almost a decade, the mud-walled Tigmi was built with the enthusiastic help of 250 villagers. Everything is wonderfully simple, from the L-shaped pool in the front garden to the eight suites with their unfinished country furniture. Numerous terraces offer dreamy views of the Atlas Mountains. Tagadert; 44-1380/828-533, fax 44-1380/828-630; doubles from $267, including all meals.


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