Have you ever stayed in a riad? Do you know what a riad is? A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. While in Marrakech we stayed in one and it was marvelous! Riad Zaouia 44 was excellent and here are 5 reasons you should stay in a Riad if you have the opportunity.
1. You get a completely different experience than in a hotel
Walking through the beautifully arched corridors that lead to a lovely courtyard or to an immaculate rooftop is cool. There are so many nook and crannies that you constantly discover. Just the serenity of having a courtyard in the middle of the buidling is incredible and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Plus the arches are unbelievable.
2. The Food
Of course you can get good food in a hotel but there is something special when someone prepares your food for you personally. It was like we had a chef taking care of us which was lovely and each breakfast was a treat.
3. You are in local neighborhoods
Once when we walked out of our riad and were waiting for our taxi there was a group of children playing outside. We also saw little boys making bread on the ground. I don’t have any of those images to share with you because many people in Marrakech do not like to have their picture taken so I respected that. But just imagine being able to see children and adults alike going about their daily lives right in front of you. `
4. The personal touches and personal service
One evening my cousin and I were hungry but everything was closed because it was Ramadan and things closed early. When I asked a member of the staff if there was anything to eat she told me no and that because we didn’t request dinner earlier it wasn’t possible to get it. No worries, I understood because I had been told that when we arrived. Fast forward an hour or so and we hear a knock on our door and we were given this tray. I don’t know exactly what it was but it was good, we liked it and it made us happy. We weren’t charged for this, it was just an extra that the riad provided.
5. Personal conversations with the staff
Because we were in almost constant contact with the staff, we felt very comfortable with them. The shy hellos and goodbyes quickly turned into conversations. I was able to ask questions about Ramadan, being Muslim, living in Marrakech and get a personal perspective from Moroccans. That is invaluable, especially in a world climate that paints Muslims as gun wielding maniacs. It was so good to get a different viewpoint and see first hand how loving and kind Muslims are. I don’t think I would have gotten that same interaction had I been in a hotel or an apartment rental.