Africa,  Morocco

Riad: heaven in a chaotic city!

Hmmm… my taste buds are happy with the warmth of this fresh home-made moroccan bread. All the hassle from last night is forgotten and we are looking forward to exploring the streets, but first we walk around the Riad… Why should you stay in a Riad whilst visiting Marrakech? What’s so magic about it?! …

16 - Breakfast
Riad Dar Eliane

Our first Riad is called Dar Eliane, right in the middle of the souks and near the fruit market. 10 minutes walking distance from the main square Jemaa El-Fna. Despite being difficult to find at first, it has a very central location in the Medina. Our host was lovely Lorena, she is spanish and also speaks french and english.

Marrakech is a city of contradictions, in the streets people often try to touch you and make you buy their goods, the streets are dirty, noisy and chaotic. But when you pass the doorstep of a Riad, it’s like you enter a piece of heaven: the hosts are very hospitable, in a way I have never seen in other countries, so polite and doing everything to make you feel like home. To welcome their guest, moroccan tea is served. The decoration is beautiful to the detail.

26 - Riad Dar Eliane
Riad Dar Eliane
232 - Morocan Tea
Typical Moroccan Tea

A Riad is a typical house in Morocco, built from the inside to the outside. All the windows and doors open to a central courtyard, dressed with tiles which often have a fountain or a little pool to keep the houses fresh in the long summer days.  This way, the privacy of the family is also respected. Riad means garden in arabic and therefor the courtyard is the central focus of the house.

The second Riad we stayed is called Chalymar, even closer from Jemaa El-Fna. We decided to find this Riad during daylight on our first day in Marrakech. We were only going to stay here after we return from the trip to the desert, but then we knew where to go and we weren’t going to get lost again. When you turn to the little alleyway that takes you there, there is no indication up to the very last turn, so a few times we had to guess right or left?. At day time is a nice quiet alleyway, but at night can be a bit scary. However we never found any problems coming back at night and the Riad is so so beautiful!!!

63 - Alleyway
Alleyway to Riad
Alleyway to Riad Chalymar
Riad Chalymar is the first door on the right hand side.
Riad Chalymar
Riad Chalymar

And there is of course the roofs! If it’s good weather, you can ask to have your breakfast served here. I found the roofs of both Riads very quiet spots where you hear the energy of the city in the background. It’s relaxing and great to get some sun.

Rooftop view
Rooftop view

Here is a little compilation of both riads:

I’m sorry the second video is a bit too dark. But the point I want to highlight is how tricky can be to get to the Riad at night. We never had any problems coming back and we would definitely stay here again.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: