Morocco Riads: A Guide to Riads in Morocco

Riads are the entire craze in Morocco Holiday accommodation scene these days. It first started in Marrakech, took off and it was only a matter of time before the craze spread to Fez and Essaouira.

Today, every single Moroccan town with tourists has riads. You can even find riads in the High Atlas Mountains and Saharan oases, thanks to their popularity as a favoured accommodation for tourists.

What is a Riad?

Strictly speaking, in Moroccan lingo, a riad refers to a patio garden built around a house. However, the tourist industry uses the term to refer to the house itself, also called a “maison d’hôte” – guest house – in French.

So, a riad is simply a residential house built up to rent out to tourists. You usually rent by the room but you can equally rent the whole house.

Riads have a standard interior design look, which reflects traditional Moroccan artisan richness and patrimony. They are done with in carved stucco and zellij tilework, with a multitude of finely decorated or carved designs.

You enter the riad through a residential pathway, with long walls raising either side, into a central courtyard.

The courtyard is typically sprinkled with flowers and trees to provide shade. There is also a fountain and a wash basin, finely decorated with mosaic designs, to serve as a small swimming pool.

The courtyard is the centre of the riad, with the living structure surrounding it. The four faces are a few stores high, and are looking inwards – meaning the windows open on the patio courtyard. The columns supporting the roof offer a collection of open galleries that open into the central patio.

The communal salon and living area is usually found on the ground floor, with principal bedrooms in the second floor. A rooftop terrace is usually always present and is used as a second salon.

Our Morocco Riad Selection

Here, at Morocco Holidays Guide, we feature Riads within our accommodation section for every Moroccan destination. We will offer you images of some of the best riads in your favourite tourist destination, with our review of the design and comfort level on offer.