I got my first taste of a Moroccan riad this past October during my first trip to Marrakech, and I have to say, I was blown away! Riads are the traditional Moroccan homes located inside old city districts (the medina). They have an interesting history, as most were abandoned by rich families centuries ago when these families wanted to move to the major Moroccan cities like Casablanca and Rabat. They began to gain life again as they were purchased by rich Europeans and foreign investors in the 1970s and turned into private guest houses. Most of the riads in Marrakech today are private hotels, and some of the most charming I’ve ever seen!
The term riad comes from the Arabian word for garden, “ryad”. This makes perfect sense, because as you walk into a riad, one of the first things you see is the open-air courtyard or garden in the middle of the structure. I absolutely love this design concept, so inviting and interesting. Each riad is slightly different based on the owners style, but most have beautiful tile and mosaic work and intricate wood carvings. Each courtyard is slightly different, some have beautiful tropical plants or orange trees and others have small pools to cool off in during the heat of the day. Seeing these beautiful homes has given me a whole new appreciation and love for interior design, and I love discovering new riads whenever I can. I can’t wait to incorporate some of this design inspiration into my own home!
Here are a few of the beautiful riads I have visited in Marrakech thus far.
Riad Jardin Secret