A REAL RIAD IS...

An original Moroccan home with the intrinsic qualities of the past.

Natural temperature regulation, managed by a family, who owned the riad for centuries?

Then you are dealing with one of the (very, very rare) real riads.


WHAT IS HAPPENING TO RIADS?

With the march upwards of tourism, these qualities are often demolished.

  • Guesthouse owners want to live up to the requests of travel agents and start building spa's or swimming pools.
  • In order to create more rooms, walls are taken down, and the clever system of natural temperature regulation disappears.
  • The houses are bought for speculation or investment, and fake Orientalism has
    to bring in easy customers and quick money.



THE RIADS IN THIS SITE WERE SELECTED BECAUSE...

- GENUINE : Genuine authenticity
- PROTECTION: Staying as close as possible to the original qualities of the house.
- HOSPITALITY: Long time experience in hospitality of the owners
- SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION: The social contribution to the neigbourhood and thus the protection and safeguarding of the existence of the art of the craftsmen.

» Who are we?


WHAT IS A RIAD?

A Riad or Ryad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden in the patio – the word Riad comes from the Arabian term for garden.

Since not every family could afford such an immense construction, a Riad often was for those born to privilege.

The riads were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy as well as protection from the hot weather in Morocco, which is the reason why most of them are found in cities inland.

The rooms and suites of the family members all give out onto this patio, which is often a living room, garden, dining room or play ground alike.

Nowadays often looked at in a negative light, the riads owe much to the existence of the harem principle, in which a man was allowed to marry with more than one woman. The names of many riads still lovingly refer to the favourite honey of a grandfather or the woman that made the riad stand out.

Fes alone boasts not less than 12.000 Riads - the whole Medina has been declared Patrimony of Humanity.


A RIAD VERSUS A "DAR"

A riad has an open courtyard, whereas in a dar this courtyard is closed.

This is the reason why you will not find riads in cities at the coast, such as Casablanca or Tangier - the climate does not allow it. Here you find dars.


A good riad is like a good wine

Since 2007 we visited some 200 riad guesthouses.

Some of them have been visited up to 3, 4 or 5 times... because, like a fine wine, the memory of a good riad keeps lingering...

Sometimes you can not put your finger on it why you keep remembering one specific riad... while you sejourned in 10.

And when you feel that "certain je-ne-sais-quoi", then you know you have found good, very good wine.

The photo above is of a door of Riad Porte Royale in Marrakech.

Riad al Mamoune

Lovely houses, lovely hosts

What lifts up a Riad above other types of guesthouses is... its personality.

And that personality is always that specific and unique character of the family that manages the riad.

If you say riad, you say family.

The photo above is of the family of Riad Al Mamoune at the Spice Souk in Marrakech.

 


RIADS NOWADAYS

Nowadays travellers only know a Riad as a typically Moroccan guesthouse. Indeed, many riads have been converted into guesthouses, and the word has almost become a synonym for a traditional Moroccan guesthouse.

This evolution finds its roots in a combination of reasons:

With the evolution towards a ‘tourist industry’ and travelling having become more and more industrialised, many travellers wanting to step out of the here and now, are very much attracted to the love for the tradition that a riad guesthouse can offer.

A stay in a good riad guesthouse can indeed provide the ‘real thing’; a perfect basis for truly knowing the country.

With the houses being such mansions, and the harem system belonging to the past, few are the families that can still afford so much space and maintenance. Keeping the tradition alive by converting their house into a guesthouse is then a logical step.

On the other hand, many are the hoteliers from abroad that thought of the riad as an ideal and original hideaway or getaway for travellers; also they have largely contributed to the revival of those houses that can safely be named patrimony of humanity.