August 9th, 2013

Why Try a Moroccan Riad Holiday?

by Don

Imagine the luxury of a spa resort, the warmth and intimacy of a small inn, the unique style of a boutique hotel, the peace and seclusion of a private villa. Add on a big welcome, attentive service, delicious food and you find yourself transported to a Moroccan Riad. To experience the authentic flavour of Morocco, a Riad is definitely the way to go.

Escape from the daily grind

If you are searching for that elusive bolt-hole in which to recharge your batteries and unwind, are in need of pampering, but not at the expense of style and originality then a Riad is perfect. If you have tired of the anonymity of conventional five star hotels that you can no longer tell apart and long to be whisked away to a world far removed from your daily grind and where comfort and luxury is a given, then look to Morocco. Only three hours flying time from London, or a leisurely 2-3 days by train and boat via Paris and Madrid, Morocco offers absorbing culture, attractive climate and mouth-watering cuisine.

If you seek total relaxation in an out-of-the ordinary environment with a touch of the exotic thrown in then go in search of Riad. An alternative to the luxury hotels Marrakech has to offer, a Riad can be the ideal location for your weekend getaway, a special occasion, a family holiday, or the base for a more active trip.

Each Riad’s atmosphere and decoration reflects the style and tastes of its owner. Having anything from four to ten rooms, a Riad’s scale and size allows for intimacy and privacy. These eighteenth and nineteenth century traditional Moroccan houses, many of which have been saved from decay in the past decade, have now been restored to their former glory and brought back to life to provide unique and attractive holiday accommodation. Take your pick from the opulent to the minimalist, from palatial luxury to simply charming.

An oasis of calm

Often appearing anonymous from the outside and lacking large windows, Riads were designed to look inwards. They have always been valued for their privacy and seclusion, offering respite from the heat and from life beyond the walls. Rooms are arranged around a central atrium from where the light flows in. Expect courtyards planted with orange and lemon trees, ornate tiles, carved wood, cooling plunge or swimming pools, roof terraces on which to enjoy a drink and from where you can gaze over the frenetic city and perhaps to the Atlas Mountains in the distance. Often you will find a hammam in which to de-stress and revive tired limbs with a massage after a day spent exploring. Riads provide an oasis of calm after touring the hubbub of the souk and manoeuvring round donkeys and motorbikes.

Riads are the perfect place to unwind. Choose your destination from cities such as Marrakech, Essaouira or Fez or experience the grandeur of the Atlas Mountains and the desert beyond. The contrast of the world within the Riad and the world without gives you a chance to sample two memorable and unique sides of Moroccan life.

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