When looking for accommodation, a place to stay in Morocco you will inevitably come across the term Riad (or Ryad). The word means garden, and in this context it describes a traditional Moroccan house built around an inner courtyard or garden. Inspired by the traditional Roman villa with its inner atrium, the Riad was developed during the 9th century AD. Then, just as today, the Riad served two main purposes: providing privacy (in particular for women) and protection from the North African heat.
The centerpiece of a Riad is its inner courtyard. It usually contains lemon or orange trees and a water feature (traditionally a fountain, but nowadays often in the form of jacuzzis or pools). Its design creates an airflow that serves as a natural air conditioner that works remarkably well, even by today’s standards.
From the outside often plain and without large windows, a Riad‘s true beauty is on the inside. Every room opens to the richly decorated atrium, giving the visitor a truly palatial impression with its carefully ornamented walls and galleries. Carefully restored Arabic calligraphy, mosaics, carpets, cool stone floors and traditional furniture await in Riads all over the country, from the big cities to small towns.
Returning to your Riad after a long desert tour or a long sightseeing tour through Marrakech’s Medina means entering another world. Cool and comfortable, beautiful and quiet, it provides you with the fitting environment to dust off and freshen up for an unforgettable night.