Marrakesh: Casbah Chic
Three new hotels are offering a fresh spin on casbah chic in Morocco’s most fashionable city. In the heart of the medina, the five-room Riad Meriem (97 Derb El Cadi, Azbezt; 212-24/387-731; riadmeriem.com; doubles from $323), envisioned by New York interior designer Thomas Hays, blends Asian and Arabic touches, such as Indonesian silk throws and handcrafted Moroccan lamps. Banyan Tree is importing its Angsana offshoot to Africa with the Angsana Riads Collection (65/6849-5788; angsana.com; doubles from $341), a group of seven preserved Moorish houses scattered throughout the city. On the other side of the design spectrum—and 15 minutes north, in La Palmeraie—the 37-room Murano Oriental Resort (Douar Abiad, La Palmeraie; 212-24/327-000; epoquehotels.com; doubles from $373) has a futuristic white-on-white look. Plasma-screen TV’s in the bar display abstract art, and bedside tables lit from below appear to levitate.