Our travel consultant Jeremy has just return from a familiarisation journey to Marrakech in Morocco.
This blog post follows the part 3, where Jeremy was visiting the Ourika Valley.
Saturday 13th September 2014. Abdelghani comes to pick me up at the hotel. Today, we are going to visit some of the Riads of Marrakech. I expect a lot from those visits, as I heard that staying in a Riad is a reason in itself to come to this city.
We are going through one of the gates of the Medina wall, and we park the car. From now on, we will walk. Abdelghani explains me:
“As you noticed, the alleys in the Medina are extremely narrow. It is impossible to reach most of the riads by car, so we have to continue by foot.”
Indeed, I can’t deny that the alleys of the Medina aren’t really “car-friendly”. This would be like trying to bring your 4 wheelers into Merchant’s Arc in Dublin. Hmm, big no-no. Hopefully, most of the riads send their staff to meet you. Usually they even come with a trolley to carry your luggage.
After a very short walk, Abdelghani knocks at one door. On it, it is written “Demeures d’Orient”. A Moroccan lady opens the door and invites us in. I would have never guessed what was hidden behind this door. It is like seeing an oasis in the desert. I discover a traditional Moroccan house with an interior patio where lays a small swimming pool. The feeling is like finding peace and quietness in the middle of a bazaar. From the moment I crossed the door, I felt completely disconnected with the outside. There is also a feeling of intimacy. Like if the place was belonging to us. A perfect place for couple and families.
I start the visit of “Demeures d’Orient”. Each one of the room has a different style and design based on a different theme. One is called “the “Venetian”, another “The Byzantine”, further there is “Poems of the South”. We climb the stairs and we arrive on the rooftop. There, we can admire the view of the whole Medina and the Koutoubia Minaret.
Then, we go back down and we visit the spa with its massage room and its hammam. Some of the riads also have a Jacuzzi, or even an indoor pool.
Back in the Medina. Another door, another Riad, another feeling. This one is called the Riad Nashira. I still find the same traditional architecture with the interior patio and the small swimming pool. Though, the style of the rooms is more “modern” and the design gives a little bit of a “lounge” feeling. Different theme, different expression of art, I really feel like visiting museums rather than regular accommodations.
We continue. Here is the Riad Soundouss. This is a more affordable alternative, familial, and very charming. I really like the unique bathroom of the “Cleopatra” with its bathtub that looks like a mini-hammam in itself. Later, Pascale the manager shows me the “Fouzia Suite”:
“This suite is perfectly adapted for families. There are two connected rooms, and two bathrooms. Look, here, there is even a traditional chimney for the rare chilly days of the year!”
Later, we enter the Riad Kniza. This is luxury. There are fresh rose petals delicately displayed in the fountain. On the wall, some pictures of the owner Mohamed Bouskri with celebrities such as Will Smith, Brad Pitt… The Royal Suite is 140m², this is exclusive.
My journey in Marrakech comes to its end. I fly back to Dublin the following day and once in my flat, I roll out my newly-acquired Berber carpet. The red colour with the geometric motifs actually looks pretty nice in my living room. During the rainy days, I am pretty sure it will bring some sunshine into my apartment!
If you are interested in discovering Marrakech yourself, Orient Travel has put together an amazing Marrakech City Break package, starting from only €450 per person sharing.
It includes return flight from Dublin with Ryanair, 4 nights BB accommodation, return airport-hotel transfers and a private half day city tour. Our package can be completely tailor-made to suit your needs and budget, so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information at 01-207-9650.
Alternatively you can stop by our offices located on the Dundrum Road, open from Monday – Friday 9:30am to 5.30pm.