The Red City of Marrakech is growing in popularity. Each year new hotels go up and evermore tourists are seen to be exploring the dusty streets of the Medina or the open plains of the Atlas Mountains.

The most recent addition to Marrakech is Dar Assiya, an Italian run boutique hotel in the heart of the Medina. This is the first project overseas for Italian proprietors, Valeria Corteggiani and Bianca Federici, who manage a string of hotels in their home town, Rome.

Dar Assiya is a converted riad, the name given for historic homes and palaces situated in the Medina. This riad dates back to the 14th century, when the home belonged to a noble Moroccan family. Chosen for its rich history and location in the cultural quarter of the Medina (it is adjacent to La Maison de la Photographie and near both the Souk and the Korean School), Valeria and Bianca went about creating a hotel that had a strong cultural thread that could educate and inspire guests during their stay.

Ultimate Library was asked to curate a bespoke collection for this five bedroom riad that could cater to the many nationalities known to venture into this North African country: Italian, French, German and English. Each book was hand picked for the property and no one bedroom has the same collection of titles.

Books have come to represent the primary source of cultural education and therefore are the very best of classic and contemporary writings on Morocco.


Here are our favourite reads from the Marrakech collection:

Morocco: From Empire to Independence

By C. R. Pennell

An accessible account of Morocco’s history by a well-known Professor of Middle Eastern History.

In Arabian Nights

By Tahir Shah

Travel based fiction by contemporary writer and Moroccan national, Tahir Shah.


By J. M. G. Le Clézio

A Moroccan classic and international bestseller by Noble Prize Winner, Le Clézio



The Moro Cookbook

By Samantha and Samuel Clark

A cookbook from the owners of London based restaurant, Moro, which creatively puts together North African, Spanish and Eastern Mediterranean recipes

The Voices of Marrakesh

by Elias Canetti

A perceptive first hand account of travelling through the Red City during the 1950s