RIAD LE CLOS DES ARTS, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
Collaboration with Riad Le Clos Des Arts
I just got back from an amazing trip to Marrakech and wow, that really is a city of its own.
For those of you, who have already been, you probably know just what I'm talking about. 😃 And for those who haven't yet, I can definitely recommend you add this city to your travel bucket list - with a few things to bear in mind in terms of do's and don'ts while there, that is. 😊 But more about those in my following post.
First, I'll have to share with you the beautiful riad we stayed at for the first few days of our trip.
So, when in Marrakech, you'll HAVE to spend a night (or more 😍) at one of the city's many beautiful riads. I was soo surprised to find that something this beautiful - and also quiet - could exist in the middle of this extremely lively - and rather chaotic at times 😉 - city that Marrakech is.
The first riad we stayed at was Riad Le Clos Des Arts; an extremely beautiful and well-hidden gem in the middle of the Medina. Medina basically means 'the old part' of any Moroccan city, and are usually surrounded by city walls. The Marrakech city wall is one of the only city walls that's left in Morocco, and with its almost 20 km and 10 meter height all aorund the medina, it's quite an impressive sight.
Upon arriving, we were met by some of the super friendly riad staff, who met us at the nearby parking space or area.
Since cars are not allowed to drive inside the medina, its common for most riads to have luggage carriers with little wagons, who'll help you with your luggage - and you're going to appreciate that soo much, since walking inside the medina can be quite hectic, since both scooters and bicycles are allowed even on the tiniest streets.
We were sat down to wait for our room and enjoy our first Moroccon mint tea. Ok, it wasn't Martin's first Moroccan mint tea - he's probably had more than a hundred for the time he visited Morocco last year - because yes, Moroccans drink a LOT of tea. I was told that in some places you will have 3 glasses BEFORE and AFTER dinner, amounting to quite a lot at the end of the day. I loove tea though, so if anything, I was looking quite forward to that. 😃
After a very nice and thorough introduction to the riad as well as the city itself, we headed for our room. I was soo excited to see the rooms of such riads.
In fact, riads take their name from the Arabic word for garden, and one of the maintain features of a riad is precisely a garden, but a slightly different one; it is located INSIDE the riad and is thus an interior garden, which usually has trees and little fountain in the middle, like you see on the photo above.
A riad generally has two or more floors built around this central garden with balconies overlooking the lower floors.
We stayed in the IVOIRE room on the first floor. And wauw, it was just as beautful and magical, as I had imagined it would be - almost like entering an entirely different world.
When traveling, we normally prefer staying at smaller and more intimate hotels, preferably boutique hotels - or go for the Airbnb option, when we want a very local experience.
For us, staying in a riad was the PERFECT combination of a boutique hotel and the Airbnb option; riads are essentially boutique hotels, only more intimate I would say, as they usually have no more than ten rooms (oftentimes less), which are all individually decorated. Also, with the small amount of rooms in a riad, you almost get the feeling that you're staying in a private home, especially because the owners or hosts of the riad make a great deal about making guests feel comfortable and catered for.
We most certainly felt catered for by both the riad staff but also its owners, Georgina and Massimo, who often came to us to make sure everything was fine. 😊
Our room was spacious and beautifully decorated and basically looked like something taken straight form a movie scene. 😍
// Cozy area of our room overlooking one of the two interior gardens of the riad.
// Bathroom door(s), where two of them proved to be closets. 😃
Regarding hotel room decorations in general, it is usually the room itself that get the most attention, however, that is is different here in Marrakech, where also the design of bathrooms have been given a great deal of attention.
All bathrooms here are individually designed and decorated with the most exotic and colorful tiles you can imagine - and walking into these basically feels like entering into a bohemian oasis... 😍 I might need this at home. I mean, how beautiful is this? 😍
Another common feature of riads is that they are usually equipped with a rooftop terrace, where guest can to enjoy the sun and also cool down in the rooftop pool, when it gets too hot during summer time. The one at Riad Le Clos Des Artswas absolutely amazing; spacious enough to have a pool yet not too big to loose the intimacy, and then it was quiet despite its location inside the Medina, where it can be preeeetty hectic at times.
We really enjoyed being able to retract back to our riad for some quiet time, away from all the hustle and bustle that is constantly going on in Marrakech city - which of course is fun at times, but from which you'll most definitely need a break sooner or later. 😄
We both looove to spend time in the sun, so we obviously spent quite a lot of time on the roof, relaxing and enjoying the sun. ☀
... and went for quick dips in the pool, which btw is not heated, unless you ask for it, so obviously a liiiitle cold. 😃
Another cool feature of staying at the smaller boutique hotels like riads, is that there's more room for individual and personalized service, like choosing when and where you would like your breakfast for instance. 😃
At Riad Le CLos Des Arts we could basically have breakfast when and where we would like it, so we obviously chose to eat in the sun on the rooftop and preferably after our morning activity, which was usually around 12.30pm. 😍
Everyday there was a different selection of specialties to choose from but always with the most basic breakfast foods like eggs, breads, fruits etc. 😍
If you're not a fan of eating in the sun, there are of course covered areas, which also come in pretty handy if you've been in the sun for too long. 🙆
// Outdoor shower. 🐟
If there's one thing Morrocans looove its their tea - all day everyday and preferably BEFORE and AFTER a meal, like I mentioned earlier.
I love tea, but if you're not a big fan of lots of sugar, you'll have to ask for tea WITHOUT sugar (sans sucre 😉), as you otherwise will be served half tea half sugar, which amounts to quite a lot of sugar considering the amount of tea they have per day. 😄
Besides rooftop terraces, another common feature of riads is the relatively large amount of communal areas, where guests can sit an relax, read a book or enjoy a meal. Much like boutique hotels, all areas are differently decorated, offerng a much more intimate and home-like atmosphere compared to bigger hotels.
Generally, boutique hotels are a lot more creative in their interior design and decoration of both communal areas but also the individual rooms as you saw before - one of the things I love about boutique hotels. 😍
Oh yea, another thing you'll find in abundance when in Marrakech is oranges, or basically all kinds of orange fruits like mandarines, clementines etc. 😃 I'm normally not a big orange fan, buuut, I'm telling you that the Moroccan ones do taste different - in a good way. 😍
I hope you enjoyed this post. 😊 If you haven't decided where to stay, I can definitely recommend you check out Riad Le Clos Des Arts.
Safe travels, guys. ✈