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Moroccan Riads - What are they ?

Riad Jona, Marrakech medina

What is a Riad ?

Riads or Ryads are eighteenth or nineteenth century family houses, usually found in the medinas of the major towns and cities in Morocco such as Marrakech, Essaouira and Fez.

Now often converted into boutique hotels or maison d’hôtes, they offer visitors to Morocco the chance to stay in authentic and often luxurious Moroccan accommodation hidden away behind unassuming front doors.

Riads are typically 4-10 bedrooms in size, and conform to a traditional Moroccan architectural style that sets most of the major rooms of the house around a courtyard. The courtyards often contain a garden or small swimming or plunge pool, and gives guests a cool and private inner area within the property. Most also have rooftop terraces providing views across the surrounding town or countryside.

Riads typically include breakfast in the quoted room rates, and many offer an optional lunch and dinner in informal courtyard dining areas or salons.

The vast majority of the properties in our collection have been refurbished or upgraded to provide modern furnishings and ameneties, with owners each developing a unique style based around a modern, old world or tradional theme that delivers a broad diversity of choice.


Dars have a similar is structure to riads, but are often larger and do not necessarily have a courtyard. The term dar is often used interchangeably with riad. Example's can be found at Dar Jameel in Tangier and Dar Ayniwen in the Marrakech Palmeraie.