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Marrakesh, Morocco: Be in Heart of the Medina with Riyad El Cadi

Marrakesh can sometimes be overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with its vibrant culture and pace of life. The sounds are more intense, the flavors are bolder, and the colors are far more spectacular than in most major cities. Finding a little oasis to retreat to after a full day in the medina is an absolute necessity in Marrakesh; which is why Riyad El Cadi was such a gem.

Tucked behind the winding medina walls, behind the souks and vendors, there is an island of peace and serenity waiting to be discovered. With high ceilings and open spaces for all to enjoy, Riyad El Cadi is particularly good for traveling families, couples, and anyone who wants to be in the middle of it all.

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About Riyad El Cadi

Not to be confusing, but ‘Riyad’ and ‘Riad’ are essentially the same thing; just with different spellings. For the purposes of this blog post, I’ll stick to just ‘riad’ when describing the family home-turned incredible tourist accommodation.

Riyad El Cadi is actually a combination of seven traditional family houses that now form a single riad. It showcases traditional Moroccan riad architecture such as high stone walls and elaborate tiles with gorgeous courtyards.  Within the riad, guests can enjoy:

  • Hammam/Spa
  • Extensive Roof-top terraces with a 360 view of Marrakesh
  • Large communal spaces
  • Incredible breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Cooking classes
  • Hassle-free airport transfers
  • so much more!

Riyad El Cadi is conveniently located in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle. As soon as you step outside, you’re in the middle of the medina, and with only a few minutes of walking, you’re in the middle of the infamous Jemaa el-Fnaa square!

It’s incredibly easy to go back and forth from Riyad El Cadi to the main tourist locations due to its ideal location.  As the African sun beats down on you, you’ll be happy to have this soft spot to land in the late afternoon to refuel with afternoon tea.

a woman standing in a store in Marrakesh

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Girls on Tour

This is my second visit to Marrakesh in particular and it was incredible to be back. It has been a full decade since I was last in Marrakesh and Marrakesh was actually my very first solo female adventure.

Somehow – at the age of 17 – I managed to convince my parents to let me travel to Marrakesh with a youth group on my own. This was my first major adventure internationally without my family and I was eager to spread my wings without mom and dad.

Fast forward 10 years later, I was a whole new woman. I now have a thriving career, a good man, and a new sense of confidence in myself. To celebrate, I managed to convince my mom to join me on a weekend break in Morocco to celebrate how far we both had come in 10 years.

This was my mom’s first trip to Africa – ever.  Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that she would be in Morocco, but some helpful encouragement from her travel-blogger daughter convinced her otherwise.

It was so special to share this experience with my mother because I was able to give her a glimpse into my life, my values, and how I see the world around me.

Our Experience

The start of our adventure in Marrakesh’s medina was rough. We had just finished a cooking class and we had an annoying amount of luggage to haul through the winding streets. 

Furthermore, Google Maps was less than helpful when it came to the tiny streets so we sent out an SOS to Riyad El Cadi to come pick us up. They sent their best guy and he came with this incredible wheelbarrow and transferred all of our luggage into it before happily skipping off.

He was quite strong and spirited so we had to trot a few times to keep pace. His English was amazing and he took the time to explain different facts about Marrakesh and how we can use specific landmarks to navigate later on.

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Once we arrived, we were helped to our room and we were completely blown away by how much space there was in our suite.

We had a large bedroom with a king bed, a long living room that was double the size of my London apartment, and a second recreational room that looked over the courtyard in the middle of the riad. 

We wanted for nothing. The bathroom was incredibly modern with a large cozy tube and stone trimmings. The bed was large and comfortable; an ideal place to overcome jet lag.

What We Loved Most

If you’re going to Marrakesh, be sure to check out my complete guide to Marrakesh. What we loved most about Riyad El Cadi was how inviting and kind everyone was.  Everyone who worked at Riyad El Cadi (front desk, taxi, helpers, chef, etc) was always willing to listen and help with whatever we could have possibly needed.

Such incredible hospitality is a staple in Morocco, but Riyad El Cadi went the extra mile for us each and every time. The food was also DIVINE! We ended up eating most of our meals at the riad because there was just so much variety to choose from every night.

For each meal, they would decorate the table with rose petals and romantic candles… it was a shame I was only with my mom and not my husband! (No offense Mom).

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