Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marrakech {Where We Stayed}

In Marrakech, we stayed at the lovely Riad Le Clos des Arts. We would recommend it to anyone - this traditional home turned boutique hotel is absolutely beautiful, full of authentic charm, and within the walls of the Medina. The owners, Massimo and Giorgina, and the staff were exceptionally hospitable, helpful, and kind and we felt incredibly well taken care of. The riad is so calm and peaceful and was the perfect place to come back to after a day of exploring the Medina. It was such a wonderful contrast to the constant sights, sounds, and smells that are right outside the door.

Our luggage was carried to the riad in this wheelbarrow - the only way to get it through the narrow streets.

We were greeted with mint tea and cookies. Then the owners gave us maps to keep and went over the different areas of the Medina. This was so thoughtful and incredibly useful.

Our room was right off the courtyard. There are only 6 rooms throughout, each unique.

Lovely little details.

Breakfast was included and was served on the rooftop - fresh fruit, homemade yoghurt, delicious pastries and preserves, eggs made-to-order.

 Refreshing ginger and lime drinks brought to us one afternoon in the courtyard.

The rooftop pool was the perfect place to cool off. Our first afternoon we stayed by the pool until the sun set, sipping mint tea, snacking on dates, listening to the calls to prayer. 

Just as gorgeous at night... 

On our last night, we ate dinner at the riad, on the rooftop. Traditional Moroccan vegetable salads to start. 

Then a special dish made by one of the staff. It was cooked on top of a furnace in a clay pot - just like the one we saw during our guided tour.

 For dessert, pastry with fresh peaches and cream.

 Many times when we travel, we consider our hotel "just a place to sleep" while we explore a city. But in Marrakech having an oasis like the Riad Le Clos des Arts to relax in was such an important part of our experience. Giorgina and Massimo played a key role in organizing transportation from the airport, the guided tour, a cooking class, and providing helpful tips on where to eat, find a cocktail, and how to get around. Also, a huge "thank you" to our friends Dan and Emily for finding this gem. We often visit a city and then feel like we want to return. If we make it back to Marrakech, we know exactly where we will be staying. 

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