The hustling, bustling streets of Marrakech bring with them chaos, unfamiliar smells and adventure. Getting lost in the medina (market) and visiting the famous sights of this incredible city can be overwhelming and exhausting. After a day out in the sun and walking the windy streets somewhere nice to relax in the evening is all you really want.
Image from Morocco Gateway
Morocco is famous for their traditional houses called ‘Riads’. The term actually stems from the Arabian word for garden, ryad, and describes the layout of these houses being designed around a central courtyard garden. Stepping through gigantic wooden doors and into a riad is a transitional experience from which you can instantly feel the serenity these buildings bring.
Image from Conde Nast Traveler.
Besides their beauty, there are two logical reasons this Moroccan architecture exists – privacy and protection. Privacy for the home is a large part of Islamic beliefs, especially for women, so having the house face inward to a courtyard removes the need for large exterior windows to the street and surrounding buildings. The second is protection from the harsh summer climate of Morocco. The courtyard usually consisted of four fruit trees and some sort of water feature or pool, all serving the purpose of creating a natural air conditioner. The trees would create shade from the sun and the water would cool the warm air passing through the open atrium before being circulated around the house.
Image from Kay McGowan.
These days, many of the old riads are being brought back to life and either being transformed into hotels and restaurants, or homes for the high society. The designs are contemporary and chic with many being inspired by the Arabian era. Persian rug covered floors, hand-made and painted ceramic tiles and grand French doors are some of the details we love and that together make these riads so special.
Image from Luxury Riads.
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Marrakech, then we recommend staying at Riad Djebel. It’s a small b&b style Riad right in the heart of the old town with simple rooms but with all the beautiful design details.
Image from Hotels.com