What is a Riad in Morocco?

What is a Riad in Morocco

A typical riad will provide you an up up and personal glimpse of Moroccan culture if you want to experience a true sense of Moroccan culture. You will be able to experience firsthand some of Morocco’s greatest meals, heritage, and warmth. “But what is a riad?” you may question, “and what is the difference between a riad and a hotel?”

These are crucial things to ask when you plan your Morocco vacation!
A riad is a typical Moroccan residence built within a historic medina (walled city) and built around a central courtyard and/or garden.

When you enter a riad, you will enter a corridor that does not yet allow you to see into the center of the residence. This layered look of walls, doors, and halls is both a historical privacy element for the house’s tenants (allowing the exterior entrance to be open to the public while providing protection for those within) and a sound barrier against street noise.

The courtyard is the center of the home, and it connects all of the rooms and stairwells. Most riads leave the courtyard open to the sky, allowing for fresh air and sunlight to penetrate. Some riad courtyards are filled with orange, lemon, or olive trees, as well as a variety of flora, and others are centered on a tiered, tiled fountain surrounded by potted plants. Small swimming ponds may be seen in the courtyards of some of the bigger riads.

Traditional riads are being restored utilizing traditional techniques and design. Traditional zellij tiles cover the floor and walls. Zellij is made up of little colored tiles that are hand-cut and put together to make a complex geometric pattern or design. As it is installed on the walls, the intricate white plasterwork is produced by hand.

In addition to the spacious central courtyards and welcoming communal spaces, most riads provide six to eight traditional-style bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. Each bedroom has a different size and form, with individual characteristics. Often, the rooms are designed in their own way, giving each one a particular personality that makes your stay unique.
Riads are designed and built in such a way that the rooms are positioned to highlight the stunning central courtyard. Instead of facing the outer streets, the apartments are clustered around the Riad’s center, opening up to the courtyard, allowing for light and serenity.

However, although some riad guestrooms open into or overlook the central courtyard, those on upper levels may have views of the city, and some may have access to the riad’s rooftop terrace. Moroccan riads are well-known for their narrow, twisting stairs that lead from the riad’s courtyard and communal spaces to the bedrooms on upper stories.

The riad personnel will provide you with attentive, individualized service during your stay. Because most riads are local, the hospitality is personal. It is not uncommon for the owner or management of the riad to meet you upon arrival. It’s also customary for the staff to greet you with a drink of mint tea and, on occasion, some typical Moroccan biscuits.

Riad styles differ since each riad is designed to the owner’s liking. The majority of Moroccan riads now combine zellij (tile work), plasterwork, and cedar features with Art Deco or more modern accents. Some riads have more contemporary facilities than others. The larger and more affluent riads will often contain a traditional Moroccan spa or “hammam,” with possibilities for facials, massages, and more! 

Riads are some of Morocco’s best-hidden treasures. Staying in a riad is a unique experience that you will not find anywhere else. Because they have grown in popularity in recent years, we recommend booking your vacations early, long enough in advance to guarantee your first or second choice of accommodations.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our professional crew has years of experience organizing wonderful vacations in Morocco! Check out our trips and contact us if you would like to experience a memorable Morocco holiday and a magical desert excursion.

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