Spending a Night in Traditional Morocco Accommodation
Morocco is an incredible exotic destination with a great assortment of accommodation ranging from luxury hotels, family hotels, resorts, private guesthouses, villas and traditional styled properties. It is culturally and historically rich, flavored by the resilient Bedouin community that have known Morocco as home for centuries yet retain their nomadic lifestyle despite Morocco’s rise as a touristic destination.
To spend a night in a traditional Moroccan accommodation gives you an intimate experience with its exotic culture from hospitality to furnishings and local traditional dishes. Moroccan traditional accommodations range from Berber camps known as Haimas to authentic boutique hotels and from riads in old medinas to magnificent Kasbahs away from the cities.
Riads are traditional Moroccan houses located in the old town (Medina). During the 18th century, wealthy families abandoned most of these properties and moved to the more modern cities such as Casablanca and Rabat. Most Riads started to come alive in the 70s, and have been restored and open to public as guesthouses or some kind of hotel, only that they only have a few rooms, offering a quiet friendly environment where privacy and tranquility prevail.
A Riad is more than just a holiday accommodation, spending a night in a Riad enchants you with its authentic Moroccan architecture and gives you an insight to tradition, artisanship and culture of Moroccans. Riads architecture is inward looking with an interior garden or courtyard, which allows privacy and intimacy to its residents in a bustling medina. A typical Riad is organized around a garden or courtyard, often decorated with tiles, painted wood, sculpted plaster or marble or generally with a fountain with orange or lemon trees giving a profusion of scents and the rippling of running water. Moroccan style sofas with hand-decorated cushions, paintings with typical scenes and candlelights compliment the interiors.
Most or all windows face the central courtyard, which is usually surrounded by an arched colonnade giving access to the living rooms and kitchen. Above the courtyard is an open space that allows fresh air to easily flow and cool the place especially during the hot summer months. The rooftop terrace may have an awning or pergola to protect against the heat and to offer comfortable resting areas for guests while having breakfast or dinner. The sleeping rooms generally located on the upper floors creating a covered arcade around the patio with balustrades running around each storey. Riads have thick walls to protect guests from the heat, cold and mostly from the noise from the bustling city. Riads are popular accommodations for tourists seeking an impression of living the true Moroccan life.
There is a wide range of riads from small and private ones with only a few rooms, over the ones turned into hostels for laid back travelers to the luxury ones where everything caters for the most comfortable and hedonistic stay. You can often enjoy the company of fellow travelers, gathered in the central atrium space sharing experiences, enjoying mint tea or shisha and listening to playing instruments.
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