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Destinations · Africa · morocco · Marrakech · Worth knowing ·

Worth Knowing

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Worth Knowing

- To get closer to discovering the mystery of Marrakech it's better to stay at a riad instead of an ordinary hotel; a riad is a medina (old town) building with a courtyard and a roof terrace from which you will be able to observe the medina roof-life of the neighbourhood and, on clear days, the snowy summits of the nearby Atlas Mountains.
Riads (normally with no more than three to six bedrooms) are a Marrakech phenomenon of the late 20th century. They are mostly owned by Europeans (the French, Belgians, Brits, Italians) who have bought these buildings for peanuts during happier times (the prices are said to have risen significantly in the last five years), renovated and originally used as family vacation homes but later come to realise that this could actually be a lucrative business and transformed into secluded and intimate guesthouses.
The magic of a riad is in that, unlike a typical more or less faceless hotel, each of them carries the impression of its owner's personality. How many riads are there in Marrakech? Who knows, no-one seems to have bothered to count. There is ample choice for travellers with all sizes of budgets: see www.riadsmorocco.com. From traditional Moroccan style to sophisticated modern design, you just have to trust your seventh sense or other travellers' recommendations. Apart from the ones listed in the Where to Spend the Night section, style-gem hunters would do wise to pay attention to Riad El Fenn, Villa des Orangers, Riad el Cadi and Jnane Tamsna. Just keep in mind that the most stylish overnight places are also the most demanded ones, so do book in advance.

As the best source of information for discerning travellers anothertravelguide.com recommends www.morocco-gateway.com. The real insider's guide to the best places to stay in Morocco. Independent and highly detailed reviews - it is just excellent travel companion!

- If you are staying at a riad, it's advisable to memorise some of the nearest landmarks, otherwise even a cabbie won't be able to find the place of your accommodation: he is likely excuse himself by telling you that there are thousands of riads in Marrakech.

- Shopping in Marrakech is simple, as long as you know what you want and are able to settle on anything at all: the market (souk) and Gueliz, the new and relatively European district, are at your disposal.

- Marrakech is a city where you won't feel like walking around just the way you are, in a tatty traveller's T-shirt: you will want to spruce up a bit - not to impress anyone, it's just a feeling, that's all. The very air is an invitation.

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