For the grand thirtieth birthday celebrations I decided to organise a girls trip to the vibrant city of Marrakech.
I had visited two years previously where I stayed in different types of accommodation, from a resort in the new Palmeraie district, to a hut up in the Atlas Mountain waterfalls and the beautiful Riad Noir D’Ivoire which I wrote about here.
After setting about researching somewhere that would suit eight people of varying tastes and budgets I was led to Riad Meriem by a glowing review from AGirlAStyle.
Riad Meriem was created by New York interior designer Thomas Hayes and is home to five uniquely decorated rooms set around a central courtyard within the medina walls.
From the moment the large wooden door opened and we were greeted with freshly poured mint tea, I was relieved to know I had made the right choice.
We were each shown to our rooms, where we promptly dashed around like children in school dormitories, seeing what our neighbour’s rooms were like and bragging about our own.
My room was the ‘Red’ room and one of the largest in the riad with a comfy king size bed and a plush window seating area, perfect for afternoon lounging. Decorated in authentic style with sumptuous fabrics and deep colours, the room was homely, if a little dark. The bathroom was my favourite part of the room with a huge circular bath and rain shower, which proved a great method of relaxation after a chaotic day at the souks.
The itinerary I had planned was fairly packed, and before we knew it the riad’s doorbell was rung and a guide had come to walk us to our first activity. The riad is located within the medina which can prove a little tricky to navigate so the riad had kindly organised someone to walk us around until we were comfortable with the surroundings.
After we returned from our Hamman treatments the other side of the medina, we were treated to a banquet of traditional Moroccan food in the cosy candlelit dining room. An incredibly tender lamb tagine with apricots, fresh bread and a multitude of vegetable salads and tagines were served in plentiful portions until a birthday cake arranged by the riad was presented with candle and vocal accompaniment!
We had hired the riad exclusively for my birthday trip, however normally you would be able to enjoy the company and anecdotes of your fellow guests at meal times if you wish. For a change of scene there is also a roof terrace for relaxation and dining, however the weather was not that warm and sunny in January so we were unfortunately unable to enjoy this.
Breakfast was always a more subdued affair with our early start times and slightly painful heads following too many cocktails at La Comptoir and a certain ‘pumping Gangnam Style on repeat through the riad sound system’ incident (Don’t ask) but coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice was always ready and waiting for us. You could ask for whatever you wanted with a bit of notice, however we stuck to the Moroccan pancakes, Msemen, with homemade preserves for a quick and easy breakfast.
Our four days in Marrakech flew by too quickly and we were all sad to leave the bustling city and gorgeous Riad Meriem.
As well as the stunning surroundings and tranquil atmosphere that you discover as you step through the riad doors, the service you receive is absolutely second to none. Our hosts Cyrus, Hassan and Abdul could not do any more for us as they arranged everything down to the last detail; even walking us to dinner and back themselves one evening so we didn’t get lost.
If the purpose of your holiday is sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture of Morocco then I would insist on staying at a riad, as the experience can’t be beaten due to their prime locations and quaint hospitality.
Visit the Riad Meriem website for more details.