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House & Garden Hotels By Design
april 2008
Hotels By Design—A guide to the most beautifully designed hotels in the world.

The small and opulent Riad Meriem in the heart of Marrakech's medina is the perfect base for a long weekend in Morocco. Riad Meriem is a recent creation by New York interior designer Thomas Hays, whose 20-year love affair with Marrakech has culminated in a little boutique hotel, buried in the earth walls of the medieval medina. The result reflects both the discipline of a high-end, Manhattan interior-design company and the idiosyncrasies of an established photographer and art collector. Although the style prevailing among the riad hotels of Marrakech tends to lush extravagance, here Thomas has opted for carefully controlled, design-led opulence, an approach intended to remain true to the Moroccan aesthetic while avoiding its fussier overtones.