Monday, May 1, 2017

Our 25 Euros a night Riad in Marrakech

I've been to Morocco for work around 5 years ago, and while I thought Casablanca sounded way more romantic than reality, I had very fond memories of weekend trips to Tangier and Marrakech, remembering that I told myself I wanted to go back again, and stay in one of the quaint Riads, which is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard, in the Medina, the walled part of North African cities with narrow maze-like streets where the souks or shops are.

What I totally forgot though was when we did the weekend in Marrakech, everything was planned for by the company, so I totally forgot who poor the place was, and how intimidating it can be if you plan to navigate the Medina by yourself. Another thing I overlooked when we decided to visit Marrakech (which came up due to it's proximity to Spain and the availability of cheap flights) was the weather. I never imagined it would be so hot in April (like mid 30degrees hot), which brings me to how thankful I am that we absolutely loved our stay at Ryad Laârouss

It was a total steal for around €25, it was basic, but small and cozy, with a nice location (after you get over being overwhelmed - my parents never did! good thing they stayed elsewhere, hahaha) with free bread for breakfast that comes with really good freshly squeezed orange juice and a swimming pool in the courtyard which Sofia absolutely loved.

We had a very hectic journey to Marrakech (because of bad planning due to circumstances that have changed). We flew in from Barcelona where we were supposed to be based for our holiday, but we ended up coming from Segovia so it was an 18-hour journey for us by land and air. We arrived close to midnight but it was hassle free since we pre-booked our airport transfers through the Riad.
Welcome to Morocco! Casablanca transit.

Touchdown Marrakech. Finally! They have a very new
modern looking airport.

Ryad Laârouss
Our room was basic but cozy, with a lot of little details
that I loved.
The only catch is our air condition was snuffy (as in
Mr. Snuffleupagus) and there was a loud speaker outside
our window announcing prayers... but Auntie Celit and
Ady's room beside us was totally fine. 
They even had a window that opened out to the courtyard.

All our days in Marrakech started the same. We would wake up at 9:30am to grab some free breakfast that was available till 10am (mostly just bread, juice, coffee and mint tea) but we always brought our own cheese to augment it. Then Sof would swim and enjoy the hotel until we got hungry and we would drag ourselves out for a late lunch (and some exploring when it wasn't too hot anymore) before we came back to rest before dinner.
No matter how hot it was in Morocco, I couldn't resist
the fresh mint tea. Best without added sugar.

Sofia loved the plunge pool they have in the courtyard.

They also have a rooftop terrace with a Jacuzzi which we tried out, but since it was covered and the water was ice cold too, Sof preferred the bigger indoor pool.


Another great thing about where we stayed is it's proximity to the Souks. We were less than 10 minutes away from the end of one, and it's all connected, so you don't know where one ends and another one starts. It's totally easy to get lost, but Google maps makes it easy to follow the dot on small streets with no names so once we got comfortable, we just needed to make sure we could retrace our way back. I'll do a separate post on the souks.

We normally walk as far as Djemaa El Fna square, the main square in Marrakech, which is so full of locals you'll know what I mean when I say the place is overwhelming, then we opt to take a taxi back to the riad.

We had a good four days break in Marrakech. You just have to remember you're visiting Africa when you go, so the poverty doesn't take you by surprise, and you have to come with loads of patience, because airport queues are exceptionally long since they don't have any processes in place to make the simplest immigration and security procedures efficient. You'll know what I mean when you get there.

Yes. You have to walk to board the plane. No buses here to shuttle you.
Hey, it's Africa. just saying.

Up soon, are the souks and where to eat... and yes, I will also be posting about the beautiful places to visit. just saying.

Ryad Laârouss
46 Angle Derb El Gueza Et Derb Jamaa، 
Marrakesh 40000, Morocco

Riad Laârouss is an area, so there are a few riads that share the same name - look for this one: link

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