Marrakesh: Angsana Riads
Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.
Angsana, the Singapore-based sister brand of Banyan Tree hotels, has made a major foray into Morocco with the launch of a terrific family of riads. Run by impeccably trained young hotel professionals (many Moroccan riads have been opened by newcomers to the hotel business), this group of six properties, all located in the medina, have wonderful spa menus that blend indigenous hammam culture with first-rate Thai, Ayurvedic, and Javanese massages. Among the six riads, three are standouts: The seven-room Riad Si Said is a beautifully restored aristocratic residence with a stunning courtyard of antique zelig (mosaics) and a plunge pool. Riad Bab Firdaus, also with seven rooms, houses a small but superb spa; and the intimate five-room Riad Tiwaline was renovated by noted local architect Nesereddine Njima, who has coined a hip new idiom for contemporary Moroccan architecture; all rooms here also have wood-burning fireplaces. Riad Bab Firdaus serves delicious traditional Moroccan dishes as well as excellent Thai and international food.
When to go: Since summer in Marrakesh is scorching, the best months are April through May and September through October.
Which room to book: Majorelle or the Bahia Suite in Riad Si Said; Tinghir or Tiznit in Riad Bab Firdaus; or Dakhla in Riad Tiwaline.