Listing of the Day
Location: Marrakesh, Morocco
Price: €3.5 million (US$3.77 million)
There’s a lot of history at this property, located just a few minutes walk from a bustling town square, or the medina (the old city) of Marrakesh. More than 200 years’ worth, in fact.
Built in 1812, this elaborate riad—a traditional Moroccan house or palace which features an interior courtyard— has hosted myriad VIPs over the years, including Queen Victoria. In the early 20th century. It was the place of reception for various tribal chiefs during the time of Madani El Glaoui, grand vizier to the sultan Moulay Hafid.
Since 2001, the riad has been used as a guest house, attracting celebrities like Charlotte Rampling and Kate Moss, according to the listing.
Nicole Kidman recently filmed “Queen of the Desert” there, and it has also been a favorite shooting location for fashion photographer Mario Testino.
There are three reception areas, as well as one of the largest courtyards in the area. The outdoor space has a lush garden, full of flowers, orange, olive and cypress trees and even the occasional tortoise poking around the fountain.
The house has 15 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, and is more than 16,000 square feet. The outdoor courtyard has more than 10,000 square feet.
The riad was renovated in 2003, but retains a very traditional feel, according to Alex Peto, a partner at Kensington Luxury Properties Morocco. What the house lacks in modern amenities, it makes up for with its old-world feel. “The charm of the place, plus the location and the garden, is what makes it so special,” he said.
There is also a full-size swimming pool, which Mr. Peto said was rare for the area.
Used as a guesthouse for the last several years, each bedroom has its own bathroom and an open, airy feel. The rooms feature intricately tiled walls and ornate ceilings, with richly patterned rugs and tapestries. There’s also an art collection that includes work from Picasso, Miro and Warhol, plus a collection of Chinese portraits, said Mr. Peto. These, of course, don’t come with the house, but “everything’s negotiable,” he said.
The riad is located on a quiet street, but is just a short walk to Jemaa el Fna square, where you’ll find all the hustle and bustle of the local market and old town.
“There, you are 100% in Africa,” Mr. Peto said. “You’re in a big, bustling square with the tourists and the locals and the smells and everything else about being in Africa.”
Agent: Alex Peto, Kensington Luxury Properties Morocco
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