If you visit Morocco, you should stay in a ‘riad’. Thats a no brainer. Its basically the Air BNB of Morocco when Air BNB started out (not like its now, almost a hotels) and a lot more colourful. These are gorgeous spaces. Of course you will find them in all ranges – from super expensive to budget. We managed to stay in three different riads while in Morocco and I just wanted to write a post focusing on this aspect.
So there are some things that I try and make sure I do while on a holiday, one of them being staying in a homestay kind of place. (I used to love Air BNB because of this but I now think even Air BNB has become too corporate and not really a home stay option anymore). I always find that if I am in a hotel I don’t feel as (for lack of a better word) involved. Hotels make me feel like more of an outsider.
Remember I said there are some things I try and ensure I do on a holiday? Apart from a homestay, its using public transport and shopping at a super market in a city. These are small simple things but do make me feel more like I belong rather than an outsider in a foreign country.
Anyway lets get back to the riads.
Most of the riads have the same set up. There is a courtyard around which there are rooms. They are usually 2 floors and rooms along the inward facing balcony. They have seating spaces and lots of plants about. Sitting in the courtyard and reading a book drinking coffee is exactly the holiday I wanted and got.
The Mint Tea:
You cant not love the mint tea in Morocco. And the best tea is the one that is served in the riads. Its lovely because you enter and relax and get a pot of mint tea in tiny glasses to drink while you look around the riad. That definitely beats the normal hotel check in experience. The mint tea in Morocco is mixed with black tea with a lot of sugar added. So we had to specifically ask for tea without sugar. It smells heavenly because of the fresh mint leaves!
And of course, the riad is perfect for a mini photo shoot. 🙂
The pictures you see are of Riad Tizwa in Marrakesh. We would highly recommend it. Its got a great location, great service and a really good breakfast – definitely the best of all the riads we stayed in. The issue is the room was quite small and without a window. Honestly this wasn’t as bad as it sounds since the bathroom is huge with natural light. I know – that sounds odd but it looks lovely. We also kept the door to our room open quite a bit since we were on the ground floor and has access to the courtyard. We mostly used the actual room just to sleep and bathe and lounged with books in the courtyard most of the time we were in the road.
(There are many more pictures of Morocco, the riads and our trip on our Instagram. Make sure you check out our Instagram highlights as well!)
Breakfast was on the terrace or in the courtyard whatever we preferred so we tried both. A leisurely breakfast with coffee and homemade yogurt and bread is 100% recommended.
This was where we stayed while in Essaiora. My main complaint with this place was it was cold. Its an old building made of stone in an extremely windy town so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise but honestly, we were just not comfortable. This is why I wouldn’t recommend this place but I also have a feeling that almost all other riads in Essaiora will be similar.
Like Riad Tizwa the decor is colourful and beautiful. I think the decor was one of the reasons the riads in Morocco fascinated me so much. I felt they were all so far removed from the minimal neutral colours I usually see around me in London, it was an interesting change.
Breakfast on the terrace with the screaming sea gulls was quite an experience!
When we went back to Marrakesh from Essaoira we stayed in this riad. It has a great location as well but was on the other side of a main square so we got to see a different perspective. Of course the one day we stayed here it was cold so we couldn’t use the pool they have on the terrace. Just our luck.
Make sure you see the first post in this series. The aim is to show you Morocco in 7 different dresses – I am almost giddy with how excited I am about these posts! Please come say hi on our Twitter, and like our Facebook page. Till next time!