Ryad Dyor is a high-end boutique riad that epitomizes the spirit of contemporary Marrakech, blending Moroccan architecture and style with European design.
Moroccan riads are traditional townhouses, built and arranged around open courtyards, with often elaborate architecture and design on the inside, but nondescript on the outside. They are often the best accommodation for a stay in the densely packed medieval medina (or the walled part of many North African cites).
We stayed at quite a few in our trips to Morocco, over the years, and this time the first one we checked into was Ryad Dyor.
Ryad Dyor in the Medina
Finding a particular address in the maze of the narrow passageways and meandering streets of the Medina can be quite a task, but we had help. We were picked up from the airport by the Ryad Dyor staff and led to the entrance upon arrival. Once inside, our experience of the hotel started with welcome tea and cookies in one of the courtyards.
Ryad Dyor is made up of three traditional riads, with a courtyard at the center of each. The centerpiece of the first one is a picturesque plunge pool, the second has old palm trees and a fountain, and the third, the smallest, has various seating arrangements, serving as a lounge to the biggest luxury suite of the hotel.
Our suite was located on the ground level, with windows and the door looking out to the second courtyard, where the reception was also situated. This was probably the busiest part of the hotel, but the place did not feel crowded, and we often had this place all to ourselves—it was a tranquil spot to retreat to after a day exploring the dusty Marrakech.
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Our room was designed to feel like a haven from the heat and noise if the day. Dark by design, with the interior subtly referencing Moroccan patterns and decor, blending old-world traditions and new world luxury.
But not all rooms are dark at Ryad Dyor. Quite the opposite: most are filled with light. Indeed, we named this boutique hotel “the house of light” in our feature in the T+S Magazine.
Each room and suite feels different. Individually decorated and often filled with eclectic Moroccan décor, textiles or architectural details, the accommodation options skillfully combine the local stylistic vernacular with European influences, with added chic contemporary comforts, such as furniture sourced from Bali and Italy.
From copper lanterns to ornate mirrors and from egg-smooth bathtubs to wooden carved ceilings and brass door details, the balance of these different styles and sources make the interiors sophisticated and luxurious.
Breakfast with a view
Nevertheless, where we loved to hang out the most was the beautiful rooftop terrace. This is where the hotel serves complimentary breakfast and other meals, as well as cocktails or mint tea.
The breakfasts were simple but delicious, with honey and jams, a selection of different kinds of warm Moroccan bread, excellent coffee, and fresh juice.
We would also wrap up our days here, with a bottle of wine, listening to the Muezzin calls and looking over the panoramic views of the old city of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains in the distance, as they catch the last rays of the sun.