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Riads are traditional Moroccan houses or palaces that feature indoor courtyards/gardens. They are extremely old structures but, now that foreign investment is being welcomed into the country, they’re being purchased and renovated into guesthouses.
Riads are totally where to stay when visiting Morocco to get a rich, unique cultural experience. Not to mention, the riads typically offer amenities you wouldn’t want to miss like free breakfast prepared in-house. Some even have their own hammams (traditional baths/spas).
I found Riad Aya on Airbnb and booked it based on the price, location, and number of positive reviews.
Immediately after booking, the hostess & owner, Sofia, reached out and asked if I wanted to confirm a private airport pickup (15 Euros) and if I wanted lunch or dinner prepared. I suppose this was offered because we would have missed our complimentary breakfast since we wouldn’t arrive until 4PM. Our driver was waiting promptly for us at the Marrakech airport (which is beautiful!) then escorted us to the riad. There’s no way we would have found it otherwise. The streets are not marked and the walkways within the medina are a complete maze. Google Maps is only helpful once you’ve already somewhat acquainted yourself with the landscape.
Anyway, Sofia greeted us at the door. She was welcoming – smiling, warm, inviting, and down to earth! She offered us mint tea (the standard everywhere you go in Morocco, including in shops!). Anyway, she sat us down and oriented us with the medina, showing us on a map all the points to hit, when to go, and giving us tips which was super helpful.
Riad Aya is a treasure! It was three floors – was located inside the medina, so we could easily walk around without having to rely on taxis. It was decorated so nicely – felt traditional, chic, yet modest.
The staff made tasty breakfast everyday, the vibe was cool, and the entire space felt warm and welcoming.