What’s a Riad?
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house, often offered as a guest house, with an interior garden or courtyard. The word “Riad” is Arabic for “garden”. This garden or courtyard can include a small fountain or even a swimming pool. As water was and still is very important to survive in Morocco, the fountain or swimming pool is always placed in the center of the house. In this way in the old days all family members had same access to the valuable water.
Furthermore, the water itself has a cooling effect for the house. The Riad itself has an open roof. From there the warm can enter into the Riad. It’s passing the fountain or swimming pool at the center of the Riad and cools down. It’s a natural air conditioning system which is very successful and powerful. In case you are visiting Morocco from April to October, you will notice this natural air-conditioning.
The photo below shows the swimming pool and fountain of Equity Point Marrakech. The Roof is open for air-conditioning reasons, and the architecture kept in a typical Moroccan style.
Many Riads, typical Moroccan houses, are nowadays open and used as hotels or hostels. It depends on each property individually if the house is used more like a hostel than a hotel or the other way around. It’s very common that all properties are offering a lounge and common area for their travelers, but it may depend on the atmosphere as well.
Stay at a Riad in Marrakech
Those old, traditional guest houses can be highly authentic. They are often managed by local people which are happy to help you with your whole travel experience in Morocco. Watch out that you pick a Riad in Marrakesh which is not highly focused on tourists or economic interests.
You can stay for a fair price in a beautiful Riad in Marrakech having a great hostel experience. Read our post about “Comfortable stay in Marrakesh” here.