Morocco is a country that appeals to the imagination. On the one hand it looks very mysterious due to a unique culture, but on the other hand the vibrant colors, delicious smells and hospitable inhabitants ensure that this culture is still accessible to curious visitors like us. To fully experience the Moroccan culture during your trip to Marrakech, I recommend staying in a traditional riad.
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What is traditional riad?
Marrakech is a vibrant city with many accommodation options. These range from youth hostels to the most luxurious hotels. Besides this, you also have a considerable number of riads. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house in the old medina of the city. So you won’t only find them in Marrakech, but in various Moroccan cities.
These houses are usually built around an inner garden. The main purpose of this is for privacy and weather protection. In the past the riads were owned by wealthy families, but nowadays many riads are being transformed into hotels or bed and breakfast.
Why choose for a stay in a traditional riad in Marrakech?
I have already mentioned that a traditional riad is located in the old medina. This a good location for a city trip in Marrakech. If you stay in the old medina, you are always directly in the historical city centre and therefore close to everything.
On the other hand, it can be very busy in the medina of Marrakech. The medina consists of a maze of streets full of local shops where you can buy all kinds of different products and there are usually a lot of people. This creates a lot of impressions. Staying in a riad can provide the perfect getaway from the medina. Even though a riad is in the middle of this hustle and bustle, from the moment you enter you come into an oasis of peace because the way the riad is build. When you close the door to the street and relax in the courtyard, you only hear birds chirping.
And the best thing about staying in a traditional riad in Marrakech is that you can easily immerse yourself in the local culture. You can admire the beautiful traditional Moroccan architecture up close, including the enchanting interior decorated with those typical mosaic floors, colorful carpets and beautiful, atmospheric lanterns.
Moreover, staying in a traditional riad in Marrakech is the ideal way to discover the local hospitality. You are welcomed into their home as if it were yours. That immediately creates a bond. You are also spoiled with delicious tea and snacks. Nothing is too much to ask.
My choice to where to stay in Marrakech was quickly made.
Riad Dar Aman
We chose for a stay in Riad Dar Aman, a smaller traditional riad in the heart of the old medina in Marrakech. The thing that struck me the most was that when you when you enter the courtyard of this riad, coming from the busy, overcrowded Jemaa el Fna and narrow streets in the vibrant medina, you immediately feel peace and quiet. You don’t hear medina salesmen shouting how good their products are or the sound of honking motorcycles, … You hear nothing, except the whistling of the birds that hide in the huge fruit trees in the courtyard. These trees bring a pleasant coolness and delicious smells into the whole riad.
Riad dar Aman has 3 rooms and 1 suite. The proportion of this riad is just perfect, not too small, not too large. It’s creates a peaceful atmosphere and is the ideal setting for escaping the busy medina.
The rooms are decorated in a traditional Moroccan style, but each has its own character. You see that a great deal of attention has been paid to furnishing the rooms. The owners certainly have an eye for detail. Moreover, they all give a warm, cozy and peaceful vibe. I felt at home right away. You see that all the rooms are well cared for. They are cleaned every day.
Two rooms are located on the ground floor coming out on the courtyard. On the first floor there is one more room and a suite. All the rooms have a private bathroom with shower, bathroom supplies and toilet.
We stayed in thet Africa suite. It is perfect if you want a little extra luxury. The suite is quite spacious with a sleeping- and living room area and a bathroom with a gorgeous bathtub and a separate toilet. The suite even has a fireplace to enjoy romantic evenings. A great advantage is that you can turn the fireplace from the bathroom to the living room and reverse it. So you can enjoy the fireplace from both areas.
The manager Mohamed warmly welcomed us. He took his time to receive us with a delicious cup of Moroccan tea. Mohamed speaks fluent French and English. You can always ask his advice for activities in the medina and around Marrakech. He also likes to transmit his knowledge on the history of the riads and is a good guide for architectural visits of the medina.
He introduced us to the family Rkia who has worked for over 18 years in Riad Dar Aman. You immediately see that they take care for this riad with heart and soul. This familial atmosphere makes you immediately feel welcome and at ease.
As I was telling you before Riad Dar Aman is the perfect place to escape the busy medina. You can relax with a cup of fresh homemade tea on the courtyard terrace near the fountain in the shade of the fruit trees, or in one of the traditional decorated outdoor lounges on the ground- or first floor.
In the daytime I especially liked spending my time in the lounge area on the first floor, because there I had an incredible view over the juicy oranges and bananas in the trees.
In the evening I preferred relaxing in the lounge downstairs because the entire courtyard was always so beautifully lit with traditional Moroccan lamps and candles.
There is also a very cozy indoor salon for when the weather is colder.
And when it is really hot you can sunbath on the rooftop sun deck. I enjoyed watching the sunset there with some wine and the best olives I have ever tasted!
Family Rkia serves breakfast every morning in the dining room on the ground floor. They cook exquisite traditional Moroccan dishes especially those little pancakes and pastries are delicious.
In the evening you can also enjoy their cooking skills by reservation. We ate the specialty ‘tajine kefta’. It was so good!
There is wifi available throughout the whole riad.
Don’t forget to watch our video about our experiences in Marrakech and in Riad Dar Aman.
We really enjoyed our stay at Riad Dar Aman and are very happy that we chose to stay in a traditional riad in order to discover Marrakkech.
Do you want more Morocco tips? Read more about the best things to do in Marrakech or about our Marrakech desert trip.
Would you choose to stay in a traditional riad in Marrakech? Let me know in the comments below.