Checking In: The Selman Marrakech Hotel

Just ten minutes outside of the medina’s walls, the Selman is the perfect spot for some calming privacy amongst the Marrakech chaos. With private riads (traditional Moroccan homes), an 80 meter long pool, sexy dining options and sixteen gorgeous Arabian thoroughbreds roaming the premises, the Selman Marrakech Hotel adds up to one magical getaway.



The Selman opened its doors in 2012 (a baby in comparison to La Mamounia), but the sleek and ornate Moorish design adds some maturity to the boutique hotel, like it has always stood there as some magical castle out of a fairytale.

With large grounds and only 60 rooms, the hotel is intimate and vast. A five minute golf cart ride from reception delivered us straight to our private riad’s door where we were welcomed by our own personal butler, Karim.

Hospitality doesn’t exactly cover the service we experienced at the Selman. Honestly, the warm welcome reminded me much more of staying with an old family friend. Not only was Karim incredibly attentive and sweet, but the hotel’s director also showed above and beyond kindness. When she heard about the photos I planned on taking on the grounds, she let me borrow from the gift shop’s exquisite handmade kaftan collection. Each piece was unique and stunning and it was so hard not to chose them all!

Photo by Alan Keohane


One-room riad — Karim met us with a tray of dates and almond milk, the standard Moroccan welcome! Champagne and desserts awaited us inside (so pretty and delicious the platter was half empty in fifteen minutes). Although we were pretty preoccupied with the sweets, I was immediately drawn to the room’s central fountain, decorated with pink flowers and separated from the room by glass doors. The room itself was decorated with embroidered fabrics — it felt like living in a lavish tent.

The riad’s layout — a private villa with one bedroom, one bath with a jacuzzi-sized stone tub (could easily fit four people), private garden with 16-ft pool (which we found romantically lit at night, after returning from our daily adventures).


The biggest deal at the Selman — the horses. Rightly so, considering the hotel is named after the father of a line of thoroughbreds. The hotel is home to sixteen Arabian horses. They are mainly kept in two stables and five paddocks located on the gardens, all beautifully decorated in an Indian and Andulusian style. I was able to take photos just outside the stables, which I have to admit was a little intimidating at first! The horses are such majestic creatures, I was nervous to get close, but I soon realized they seemed more afraid of me than I was of them!

The horses are trained to perform as well. While dining at one of the hotel’s restaurant, Assyl, we were all invited to step outside for a fifteen minute show — an incredible and unique spin on dinner, especially enjoyable as I sipped on some bubbly champagne.


Assyl — With low tables, dim candle light and a garden view, Assyl really gives off an alluring and sexy vibe. The decor is in the Ottoman style with carved wood and twinkling chandeliers, while the food is traditional Moroccan, coinciding with the live music!

Selman — Although I did not have time to dine here (so much to do with so little time!), the Selman restaurant is Assyl’s trendy, younger sister — with international food, cocktails and electro lounge music.


The Selman was such a relaxing getaway from the Medina’s rapid movement and I loved returning at night to sink into the magic of this gorgeous country estate!

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