Friday, May 9, 2008

Riad Fever

Riad Najma in Marrakesh, picture courtesy of Eleanor Bird

Sanj and I are planning our trip to Morocco and have become obsessed with the amazing Riads we’ve been researching. Riads are traditional Moroccan abodes with open air central courtyards and traditional Islamic architectural design that have become a cornerstone for authentic lodging. Hidden in the maze of winding lanes and back alleys, behind relatively unassuming doors like the one pictured above, Riads are usually found in the Medina, close to the souks and market centers.

There are so many amazing spaces, it's been really hard to narrow down our selection. We admittedly cannot afford many of the places, so that's helped. We're also so grateful to have Trip Advisor to help us weed out the losers.

I would consider spending a day just Riad hopping to visit all the inspiring spaces we've seen in pictures. Here are a few of my favorite outdoor spaces, photos courtesy of each riad's website.

Courtyard at Night
An opulent haven in the middle of the medina, the Riad Al Moussika in Marrakesh is one of the more expensive places to stay ($350-$500).

Courtyard During the Day
I must have contacted Dar Cordoba in Fes at least 5 times asking them in different ways if they had availability. The inner (well, not so inner) child in me just didn't want to take "no" for an answer because this place is so beautiful and affordable. Alas, it wasn't meant to be!

Another Stunning CourtyardI picture myself sitting here having a cup of mint tea, do you think they would notice that I'm not a guest there? I love this tranquil space at Riad El Borj in Marrakesh. It's so ornate and detailed but subtle and calming at the same time, I wish I could transport it to my backyard.

We've been trying to figure out what to do with our upstairs patio and the all the beautiful terrasses we've seen are so inspiring. The space at Riyad el Cadi in Marrakesh is not as ornate or complicated as some of the others we've seen, but that's what makes it within our reach. We've been trying to figure out a nice simple way to gain some privacy and shelter from the sun and this tent is a winner! Thanks to Maryam in Marrakesh for pointing this place out to us.

Another Terrasse

While I really like the tent from the last Riad, I like the more traditional seating and lush greenery of Terrasse des Olivier in Marrakesh. This is truly an oasis in the city and one I hope to create the same lush and relaxing space at home.

There are so many more outdoor spaces that inspired me, it would take me days to go through them all! I am so, so, so excited to get out there and touch the tiles, smell the flowers, trace my fingers along the carved wood doors, accidentally leave behind an OM home pillow in our room...

As some of you already know, we've had a tough few months and we're really looking forward to spending some time away. Sanj has been so wonderful and supportive the last few months, it's amazing how tough times can bring a couple closer together. Of course, it's much less stressful and equally amazing how fun times can bring a couple closer together as well! We deserve this trip and I cannot WAIT!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous shots! I love riads.