Morocco is known for its riads - big houses with rooms overlooking a central courtyard or garden. And they are amazing! Forget hotels, hostels, etc... If you make it all the way to Morocco, stay in a riad! Amidst the craziness of the city, you'll be glad for a bit of peace and quiet, and of course, luxury. Once you enter your riad, you can hardly hear the noisy streets and if they're all like the ones we stayed in, you'll have your fill of mint tea and almond biscuits!
For the first two nights, we stayed at Riad Sidi Ayoub, a really authentic and rustic refuge from the city. The place was so well laid out and decorated. Each area had its own atmosphere and style and its obvious that the owners have paid attention to every detail! The rooftop views were incredible. I got to watch the sunset on my first evening there; it was so pretty! And our bedroom was so much bigger that we expected. The bathroom was designed in the Moroccan style and the bed was so comfy and big!
The breakfasts at the riad were interesting but a bit basic; although the pancakes were really tasty! We were served freshly squeezed orange juice every morning too, which was such a treat! We had dinner at the riad one night. Calling it a dinner is a bit unfair though, it was more like a feast! The starter was a kind of chopped salad full of the freshest ingredients - beetroot, tomato, aunergine and so much more. For our main dishes, we had two tagines that were cooked to perfection. Mine was apricot, date and lamb, and those three ingredients resulted in the most delicious tagine I've ever had!
Our second riad was Riad Dar Silsila, a more modern hotel-like riad, which was kitted out to the highest degree. This riad was fairly huge, with a large courtyard and swimming pool in front and a smaller one in the back. I liked that it had so many different places to sit, read and relax, where we wouldn't be disturbed by the other guests. We were much closer to the city at this riad and the view of the Koutoubia Mosque was really lovely! The room was small enough but it still had everything we needed during our stay.
We spent a lot of time at this riad, reading in the sun, swimming in the pool and just relaxing. It really was luxurious! The breakfasts were lovely too, with freshly squeezed orange juice, pain au chocolat and delicious homemade yogurt, which went really well with honey!
I hope you've all enjoyed reading about our Moroccan holiday. It really was amazing!
Riad Sidi Ayoub