A walk through the souks and alleys of Marrakech medina can be a breath-taking experience as you share the limited space with fellow travellers, local shoppers and deliverymen balancing teetering loads. And look out for the donkey carts!
Yes, breath-taking. At some stage you’ll reach a point where you need to take a step back and opt out of the street race, allowing yourself some space, peace and quiet. There are several options. Locate a handy bench and take the weight off your feet while still enjoying the scene before you, or retreat to the rear of a café away from the immediate hustle and bustle. Both will work, if only for a limited time, but neither is my favourite.
For that you may have to walk a little further, down a seemingly deserted alleyway which might turn out to be a dead end but then again maybe not, to an attractive wooden door, anonymous apart from a small no. 7 tile to one side.
Knock. And wait. It won’t be long before you hear footsteps on the other side, the rasp of the latch, and the door of the riad swings slowly open. There before you are several steps down beyond which you can just glimpse a small courtyard with graceful arches opening on a pool twinkling in the sunlight, all set off by the sound of birdsong. Your very own enchanted garden!
Walk in to a smiling welcome, and your immediate dilemma is where to sit. Select a shady spot on a cushioned seat beneath one of the arches, nestle into an armchair, perch at the edge of the pool and cool your feet in the water, or seek out the solace of the lounge or library. And that’s just the ground floor!
Heading upstairs there’s a cosy reading room, then up again to there’s a roof terrace where you’ll find several sun loungers laid out by a bubbling fountain, others by a plunge pool, and pavilioned areas with benches covered in patterned silks and strewn with cushions. Lie back, listen to the distant hum of traffic – just enough to remind you where you are, and ponder whether to slake your thirst with freshly-squeezed orange juice or an ice-cold beer…
And that tantalising taste is all I’m giving you! You’ve a few clues there as to the exact location, including some photos, but to be honest, though based on a specific riad (where I had the good fortune to spend last weekend) the description could fit many properties in Marrakech, all offering much-needed rest and relaxation after busy time out exploring. If you fancy a break in Marrakech and think you, too, could benefit from some quality riad time we’ll be only too happy to help you find your ideal match from our wide selection.