Riad Yasmine: The hippest dip in Marrakech

With its stunning palm-fringed plunge pool, this lovingly restored riad in the heart of the Moroccan capital has become Instagram’s lushest new star.

Riad Yasmine
In the courtyard, the striking custom-made daybeds offset the green tones of the intricately tiled plunge pool. The cactus mural behind them was specially commissioned for the riad and is a favourite backdrop for Instagramers. Image: Armelle Habib

Taking the plunge to move to another country, renovate a building and start a new business, all within the space of a year, takes courage. But when this Moroccan riad came up for sale in 2015, communications manager Alice Tassery and photographer Gabriel Paris saw it as a golden opportunity. ‘We were looking for a new direction to take and when Gabriel’s dad, who owned the riad, decided to sell, it provided us with the perfect passion project,’ says Alice.

Riad Yasmine
Alice and her cat Bowie on the riad’s rooftop. ‘We often enjoy a quiet moment here before our next guests arrive,’ she says. Image: Armelle Habib

The couple soon found themselves relocating from France to the bustling city of Marrakech to transform the property into the home – and guesthouse – of their dreams. 

Riad Yasmine
The rooftop garden offers guests a magnificent view of the Marrakech skyline and the old Medina. For similar encaustic tiles, visit bertandmay.com. Image: Armelle Habib

Alice and Gabriel wanted to create a stylish, comfortable space with a friendly vibe while remaining true to the riad’s heritage. ‘It had been in Gabriel’s family for years,’ says Alice, ‘and we wanted to do justice to the culture and history of the city. Marrakech is a place that marches to the beat of its own drum and it was important for our guesthouse to reflect that.’ 

Riad Yasmine
The relaxing communal lounge is popular among guests as a quiet place to read while sipping traditional Moroccan mint tea. The cushions are antique finds. For a similar Berber rug, try olliella.com. Image: Armelle Habib

With this in mind the couple embarked on the renovation project, embracing the colours and traditions of Morocco. Each room was painstakingly redesigned and no two are the same. The green-tiled pool quickly became an Instagram sensation (@leriadyasmine) when the eight-bedroom guesthouse opened for business. 

Riad Yasmine
A beautiful tiled floor in one of the master bedrooms. For similar mosaic tiles, try firedearth.com; westelm.co.uk sells flat weave rugs. The fringed slides are from irnce.com. Image: Armelle Habib

‘We never dreamed the riad would become so Insta-famous,’ says Alice. ‘In fact, around 80 per cent of our guests visit because of social media.’ On the floor of the pool, picked out in black tiles, is the Berber yaz symbol, which means free man. ‘It’s become the ethos of riad,’ says Alice.

Riad Yasmine
This is one of Alice and Gabriel’s favourite rooms. Inlaid tiles and cascading curtains add to the sense of calm in this soothing space. For a similar rattan pendant lamp, visit habitat.co.uk. Image: Armelle Habib

And the guests keep coming. But despite the demand for a stay at this heavenly haven, the couple still manage to find quiet moments when they, too, can relax by the pool. 


Marrakech refresh

Shop the look with these boho beauties

Pendant lamp, £85, roseandgrey.co.uk

Tile, £5.20, ottotiles.co.uk

Mirror, £195, grahamandgreen.co.uk

Throw, £90, dassieartisan.com

Pots (this divides into three), £53.49, trouva.com

Rug, £1,050, yonderliving.com

Bamboo stool, £105, outthereinteriors.com

Plant pot, £65, trouva.com

Cushion cover, £54, oka.com

Planter, £38, amara.com

Pouffe, £130, designvintage.co.uk

Report by Julia Green. Shopping edit: Charlotte Page.