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Atlas Ocean Voyages

Better Than Garden Variety

It’s important to find moments of rest when winding your way through adventures. Among the most peaceful lodgings are the famed riads of Marrakesh. The word riad translates to garden in Arabic, and these accommodations truly deliver with some of the most stunning gardens you’ve ever seen. Even if you don’t stay in one of these hotels, simply passing through to witness their grandeur gives you a sumptuous sense of relaxation.

Namaskar palace, luxury hotel and spa of Marrakech, MoroccoHistorically, riads were the dwellings of the wealthier communities, such as tradespeople and courtiers. Built within the medinas of Morocco, the high walls of these accommodations connect and help to create the magnificent labyrinths. The riads’ architectural designs resemble that of Roman villas with inspiration from Andalusian artisans for their decorative features.

Their solid walls with no windows built high made riads more private and secure, as well as better at keeping the home cool. This proves to be especially important during Marrakesh summers, when temperatures can reach up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The coolest spots in the riads remain their resplendent courtyards and roof terraces.

Riads in Fes, MarokkoCreating oases in the middle of Morocco, these riad gardens make for beautiful respites, especially on sultry summer days. The courtyards and rooftop terraces of Marrakesh riads are filled with vibrant blooms, verdant plant life and grand fountains and pools. Mosaic tiles and crafted furniture with geometric designs add layers to the aesthetic of the modern-day riad.

Since most riads were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, they mostly fell into disrepair. But the renewed interest in tourism in Morocco has brought these exquisite structures back to life as luxury hotels, B&B’s, home-shares and other types of accommodations. Hotels like Riad Kasbah, Riad Goloboy and many more provide jaw-dropping designs of splendor to impress any experienced traveler.

Find the dazzling riads of Marrakesh on our “7-Night Tenerife to Lisbon” luxe-adventure voyage aboard World Navigator.

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