What is a Moroccan Riad?

What is a riad in morocco


 I've been asked many times before

In simple terms, it's a type of house in Morocco that usually features a few rooms, an inner courtyard with a wonderful garden, and an open roof.

Originating from the Arab word ‘ryad’ (‘garden’). Riads usually have wonderful small but lush gardens in the inner courtyard and a fountain located centrally in the courtyard.


What is the difference between a Riad and a hotel?

The main differences between a riad and a hotel are outlined above. Most riads only consist of a few rooms from say 5 up to 15. Most hotels usually are built with a bigger room count ranging from 20 up to 100’s.


Standard Hotel?

Riads are a lot more unique VS a hotel as they generally are never built to be identical to one another and there are usually a lot of wonderful colorful artistic elements to be found in a riad.


Look at that Mosaic tiling…..!!!!

I'm a massive fan of riads, they ooze art, creativeness, and a tranquil feeling whenever i visit one. One day i plan to own my very own riad in Morocco and run it as a guest house for visiting tourists.

I first had the pleasure to visit a riad in Marrakech. A good friend Aziz who at the time was our tour guide for the day invited my wife Imane and I back to a riad he was managing on behalf of a British couple who owned it.

Arriving at the riad, it didn't seem too awesome from the outside, but once you stepped inside it was a whole different ball game!

The way the interior had been decorated was unreal and a blend of modern with history and the use of traditional materials and mosaics.

What does Riad mean in English?

Translated from Arabic “Ryad” into English i would say it translates to a particular type of house built around an inner courtyard and garden.

Are riads safe?

Absolutely, Riads are built very well and solidly by expert craftsmen and women. You will find intricate detailing and plaster work in riads matched with colorful and vibrant mosaic tiling.


Some riads feature a small splash pool which is always nice at the end of a walk around the souks or tool cool down in after a day outside.


In terms of security, Morocco has very tight security everywhere and police are very much around in all the tourist places and are there to support the citizens and tourists who frequent Morocco.

I've stayed in many riads in morocco both in Marrakech, Fes, and Rabat, and never had any issues. In fact, i prefer staying in a riad than i do a normal hotel as i love the art and decor you find in a riad vs a standard hotel.

In Summary

If you are planning to visit Morocco anytime soon, i highly recommend you try staying in a riad, the character and charm of these buildings is something you cannot put into words.

The pictures above will help but without you having the first-hand stay experience i had had i wouldn’t be doing it justice when i say they are a must-do when in Morocco!

check my articles about how to choose a Riad in Marrakech

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