The hot, marigold sun diffused softly through the glass lanterns hanging in the storefront windows. A warm wind rippled through, drying the freshly-dyed linen scarves draped on ropes above the courtyard. Large baskets of mustard, magenta, and royal blue spools of cashmere and wool beg to be felt and admired. The smell of exotic spices and sweet fruits waft from the carts, haphazardly drawn throughout the square. The sound of Arabic music crackles through an old Panasonic radio, somehow matching the rhythm of a skinny horses hooves against the broken cobblestone. This overwhelming play on the senses is just another day at high noon in the markets and souks of Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakech.
After a considerable amount of time navigating my way through the labyrinth of alleyways, I finally came to a mystical, Tiffany-blue door. This beautifully bright and inviting entrance may have seemed out of place in the dusty back alleys of the medina, but I knew that just beyond it sat the oasis I would call home for the next few days.
Stepping into the Ryad Dyor, a harmonious blend of fresh mint and warm argan oil infused the air, welcoming my tired feet and calming my busy mind. I felt as though I was escaping to a familiar hideaway, as I casually nibbled on dates and sipped tea from a beautiful silver pot. I listened as the host explained the intricacies and nuances of my new home away from home. While the riad itself sits in the heart of the medina, it is able to maintain it’s own ambiance of serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the market streets just outside the door.
As an authentic Moroccan “riad”, the Ryad Dyor provides its guests with an intimate and private living experience that is as refined as it is comfortable. The name “riad” itself comes from the Arabic word for “garden”, which the Dyor takes pride in with its wide breezy windows and verandas that look out into an open-air sanctuary. After a long day haggling for goods at the market, I would slip into the plunge pool with a glass of rose and allow my tension to slip away.
Each of the seven guest rooms and suites provide individual havens for anyone looking to retreat into an uninterrupted peace of mind. The rooms themselves are clad in toasted colors that are supplemented by soft stone, wood accents, and french moroccan textiles. Reserve a home-cooked dinner of tagine in the garden, and be sure to take your breakfast in the morning on the beautiful rooftop deck under the shade of the palm trees.
Remember to book these riads ahead of time as they tend to sell out due to small nature of the bed and breakfasts. Marrakech is a magical, wondrous place full of hidden treasures and the Ryad Dyor is absolutely no exception.