Riad Star, the former home of Josephine Baker is a charming, intimate oasis hidden deep inside the maze that is the Medina. It is marked simply with a single star on the front door, discreet and hidden, which only adds to it’s tranquil vibe. From the moment you step inside that star marked door you will suddenly feel at home in this beautiful place. You will forget any difficulties you had locating it (a common occurrence in the labyrinth that is the Medina) as you are welcomed into the open arms of the warm, friendly staff.
The owners of Riad Star have a love of renovating old Riad homes into beautiful luxury boutique hotels. Riad Star is one of their four incredible Riads and is a Riad that is steeped in history. Upon learning they had purchased the home of Josephine Baker they decided to renovate and decorate her house, preserving it’s Art Deco features and beautifully celebrating Josephine’s incredible story, bringing her spirit to life within her former home.
Now for those of you unsure of who Josephine Baker was… she was a very interesting, multifaceted and versatile woman! Throughout her lifetime she was a singer, actress, WW2 spy, dancer and civil rights activist. Josephine loved Marrakech and was very popular in the neighbourhood where she lived as the guest (and lover) of the Pasha of Marrakech. Riad Star beautifully celebrates the life of this wonderful woman in each of it’s rooms through the decor, theme and carefully chosen furnishings and in the hundreds of books located throughout the Riad, dedicated to Josephine. I adored reading a number of books and discovering more about Josephine Bakers escapades, struggles and accomplishment throughout her lifetime.
There are only 7 rooms in Riad Star with each room reflecting a different aspect of Josephine’s eventful and exciting life. The rooms are titled; Chiquita, Jazz, Paris, Rainbow, Star, Charlestown and the Josephine Baker room. We stayed in the Rainbow room, a delightful room overlooking the courtyard and dipping pool below. The rainbow room remembers and celebrates the 13 children Josephine adopted from all corners of the world, her ‘Rainbow Tribe’ as she liked to call them. Josephine’s mission was to show the world that children of all races could grow up together free from racism. The room was spacious, luxurious and decorated beautifully. Every one of our needs was met from the stunning ensuite, to mini fridge and safe, toiletries, flat screen TV and air conditioning (which we were most thankful for in the Moroccan summer heat!)! The Classic Moroccan arch that the bed sits in and the beautiful antique coloured glass windows provide the perfect finishing to your luxury room. The time and effort spent researching and showcasing Josephine’s life is evident in both the largest and smallest details of the Riad.
The roof terrace is the perfect place to spend your days or evenings! It has ample day beds and lounges, beautiful trees, herbs and flowers and even Riad Star sombreros! At night the terrace comes to life with candles, lamps and fairy lights, creating a beautiful, romantic atmosphere. The Hammam and massage rooms are also located on the roof terrace and are a must do on your visit to Morocco. I guarantee you will leave the Hammam feeling like a goddess and float back to your room!
The main courtyard has a wonderfully refreshing dipping pool and fountain, perfect to cool down in after spending your days exploring the Medina. The courtyard allows the wonderful option of a clever rolling roof which allows all areas inside the Riad to be enjoyed in all weather conditions. The courtyard has tables, lounges, countless books and cushions and opens to the dining room which contains an incredible open fireplace. One of the perfect things about Riad Star is that you can always find somewhere to relax whether inside or outside! The dining room also contains costumes, memorabilia and loads of dress ups for you to try on! These outfits and costumes are from Josephine’s Bakers era and were worn on stage all over the world! Make sure you take the time to try on these fun outfits, we certainly did!
Dining at Riad Star is an experience in itself! You really do receive star service and star quality food! Riad Star was unfortunately the end of our Moroccan adventure (for now) however the meals we were served at Riad Star have left us with the fondest memories of Moroccan food. Dinner at Riad a Star was a candle-lit, romantic affair with food to die for, set amongst the glitz and glamour of the dining room. From the soup and entrees to the delicious fruit and pastries for dessert and not forgetting the star of the show, the lamb Tagine – the meal was beyond perfection (we still talk about it now)! Breakfast is served poolside and again, was delicious, plentiful and one of the best breakfasts we had in Morocco.
I fell in love with the personality, history and delightful intimacy of Riad Star. Whether you are looking for a Riad for a romantic getaway or a group booking I highly recommend Riad Star.
020 7193 7357
The Aussie Flashpacker was welcomed to Riad Star as a guest.
Our opinions are as always, our own.