And so I returned to Marrakech once more, this magical vibrant city has something special which keeps drawing me back. Returning with excitement to discover new places and make new friendships. Touching down in Marrakech for our ninth visit we were met by our transfer driver Yousef in his Mitsubishi. The short 20 minute transfer into the medina to Riad Tizwa, our go to accommodation while in Marrakech.
We discovered Riad Tizwa a few years ago and we have stayed here for our two previous visits to Marrakech. We stumbled across this charming riad having read an article online. We hadn’t stayed in a riad before, so we asked the owners if it was possible to try in for a night while we were staying in a nearby hotel on the Palmeriae. They obliged and we fell in love with the place.
Located on Derb Gueraba #26 Dar el Bacha, Marrakech it is perfectly located and a stones throw to some beautiful restaurants and just an 8 minute walk to the historical main square of Jemaa El Fna and the Koutoubia Mosque. This was a holiday, but we had scheduled a number of things in throughout our seven day stay.
Greeted by Abdo, covering the nightshift, we were taken up to room 2 up on the roof terrace. The roof terrace room is our favourite. The riad has a homely feel and I instantly relaxed into holiday mode. We had a late arrival into Marrakech following a delay at Manchester. We had arranged for some moroccan salads and bread as a snack for our arrival, Eid celebrations the evening before meant that there was lots of lamb going spare, brought in by Mohammed and cooked by his mother. The lamb was a delicious addition to our salads and bread. After a quick shower, we unpacked and went to bed.
Breakfast was a great opportunity to meet other guests staying at Riad Tizwa. We loved the breakfast chats and have made some great friends. We had agreed not to discuss politics or religion. This lasted the whole of 2 minutes before we got into our first ‘BREXIT’ debate. There was a Peruvian living and working in New York, a Belgian living and working in Paris, two ladies from southern England and two northerners it made for an interesting debate over fresh fruit and yogurt. I have to say that we may have made more progress on the issue than both the EU and the British government and what was refreshing was that we could have an adult conversation with people who had quite different political views.
We were often located in internet corner on the roof terrace at Riad Tizwa. Our social media accounts have allowed us to discover new people and places in Marrakech. We have made friends on Instagram and Twitter who we haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet. We had agreed to visit some other riads, as there are over 1300 to choose from. The owners at Riad Palacio De Las Especias invited us to visit their riad for some mint tea. Google maps showed that it was just a short walk from our riad, easy or so we thought… We set off from our riad and although it was just around the corner it wasn’t exactly clear which door we were going to knock at. Some of the medina youngsters were trying to do their usual “we’ll take you” sketch. Luckily we asked a nearby group who were riad bound with the owner of Riad Utopia. He kindly took us to his riad and offered to ring Riad Palacio De Las Especias and advise them where we were. Riad Utopia were very hospitable and gave us some mint tea while we waited.
A beautiful riad and somewhat bigger than the traditional 5/6 bedrooms, Riad Utopia has 9 suites and a spa. It has a large pool at its centre and a roof terrace. The staff were very welcoming and the owner a very charming french fellow, made us feel welcome with some light humour about the English. He made the phone call to Riad Palacio De Las Especias who sent someone to meet us. We swapped business cards at reception and Sam and I agreed to give them Riad Utopia a mention on social media for helping us out.
Embarrassingly the riad we were after was literally 50 metres away. A left and a right turn and we were there…
Riad Palacio De Las Especias a charming place offering 7 bedrooms – Berrima, Ksiba, El Khemish, Debbagh, Doukkala, Agnaou and Er-Raha. The riad has a small restaurant and bar area downstairs as well as a small pool and patio in keeping with the size of the riad. There is a large roof terrace offering a place to relax and catch the sun, including a pet tortoise! The midday sun was so hot the staff offered us an Iced mint tea which was delicious and refreshing.
Our return journey to Riad Tizwa was somewhat easier having now found our bearings. Discussing it on our walk back it was nice to see other riads and how they are set up. What is interesting is how social media now places a huge part in the planning of our trips and you never know were you are going to end up!
The rest of our week at Riad Tizwa was spent exploring some new sights, celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary and my birthday. The ritual of capturing the Marrakech sunset from the roof of Tizwa kept myself and Abdo entertained, how we managed to communicate was a mystery but we did, my broken and somewhat poor french and zero understanding of arabic meant the use of international sign language between myself and Abdo. What is great though is that we became good friends without actually having a full conversation. We both knew this from the man hug at the conclusion of our holiday. I look forward to seeing him when we return in February InShaAllah!