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What is a Riad?




The History of Moroccan Riads


A riad is a traditional Moroccan house specifically known for unique and beautiful courtyard. Riads are very common in Morocco, historically they were homes of the wealthy and notable. Today, riads all over the Morocco have been converted into maison d'hôtes or luxury guest houses for travels to enjoy a unique and authentic experience. What is a Riad?

A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an indoor garden and courtyard. They are located within the old city “Medina” walls. Typically, the Riad is fully enclosed inside, insulated with high-strength, neutral walls and with minimal vents to keep out heat and street noise… Riads are also known for their open-ceiling structure. Usually, the indoor courtyard of these charming buildings is decorated with colored traditional mosaics called “ Zellij” and emphasized with marble fountains in the center with plants, trees and flowers all around. The exquisite hotel rooms are often located on the second floor, while the common areas and dining rooms are located on the ground floor. Another Riads’ particularity is the vast rooftop terraces with panoramic views on the Medina.

The origins of Riad's architecture

The word “ Riad ” or “ Ryad” is derived from the Arabic word “رياض”which stands for “garden”. The origin of the Riad structure dates back to ancient civilizations, and is a perfect mix of different architectures. Even though houses that are built around central courtyards have always existed throughout the ancient Greek-Roman world, nowadays, they’re particularly distinguished in the Moroccan-Andalusian architecture. The courtyard is also an ancient feature of Middle Eastern residential architecture, and the arranged gardens of Islamic architecture are dating back to Iranian civilization. In Morocco, the ancient Roman city of Volubilis made a reference to the beginnings of the Riad architecture during the Idrisid dynasty. When they invaded Spain in the eleventh century, the Idrisids sent Muslim and Jewish artisans from Spain to Morocco to showcase their knowledge in arts and craftsmanship.


Book your Riad experience


Le Medina Privilége Riad & Spa is a luxury riad in the heart of the medina offering an authentic and traditional experience to travelers around the world. You can expect to be immersed in the culture and be swept away as you enjoy the magical moments and ambiance of the riad. Relax in the courtyard and enjoy our signature green Moroccan zillj plunge pool, have lunch or dinner on our terrace overlooking the courtyard surrounded by historical and original walls of Marrakech. In the evening, enjoy a beverage and shisha, the ultimate Arabian night experience. Our staff is at your disposal for anything you need during your stay. At Le Medina Privilége Riad & Spa, every guest is treated as royalty!



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