What is a Riad ? Are they Family-Friendly?

These are 2 questions that come up regularly in conversations I have on Social Media & in Real Life. It’s about time I wrote a post about Riads. So here goes…..

What is a Riad ?

Essentially a Riad is a house with a central courtyard. These courtyards are usually adorned with lush green bananna trees & blooming red hibiscus flowers. Some even have their own plunge pool too. Bedrooms look out onto this courtyard. Stairwells lead you to the upper floors, where more rooms await & at the top may be terrace with a view.

Riads, they’re not the same as villas. They certainly aren’t apartments. And Dars, well they’re not Riads either. Well not always.

Traditionally Riads are found in tucked away, down the winding alleyways of the old town or Medina. Open the door. Await for the 1001 night adventure to begin.

No Two Riads are the Same.

Some are smaller, set over 2 floors, with a couple of bedrooms. Some are larger, converted into luxury boutique hotels, with multiple ensuite bedrooms. Then there are all the Riads that fall somewhere in between.

Are they family-friendly?

Yes & No. Not all Riads will be family-friendly. When the children were very young, we didn’t stay in a Riad because of the steep stairs & the risk of our children wandering off.

Then there was the concern of having all the bedrooms on the same floor, in ear shot of our children. And finally, navigating the alleyways with a pushchair of the old town, the Medina, can be a daunting task between the heat & mopeds whizzing by.

Now here’s why Riads are family-friendly.

You could easily visit Morocco & never connect with the local life or culture. Staying in the heart of the Medina, you can almost imagine what life may have been like in days of old. It is undoubtedly one of the most authentic travel experiences you could give your children. It will be an experience they won’t easily forget.

It’s also a great way to get exploring. The Medina’s are treasure troves of colour, crafts, foods, culture & history. Spend a day exploring & retire back to your Riad. No waiting around for shuttle bus back to the hotel.

TOP TIP 📣Why not combine a few days in a Riad with a few days in a hotel. Get the best of both Worlds.

Find the Best Riad for your Family.

It took some searching but we did manage to find the best Riad for our family last Summer. You can read more about Riad Sofia here >

Marrakesh is not the only place you can enjoy a stay in a Riad. Essaouira is also filled with hidden gems, like the Surf House. A lovely Riad located in the heart of the old town (Medina) of Essaouira, close to all the shops & restaurants. It has 6 double en-suite rooms. It has a light dining area where breakfast is served and cosy lounge. There is a great roof terrace where you can relax and enjoy the afternoon sun. Once a week, the Surf House hosts a BBQ for its guests.

There is baby cot available upon request & three of the rooms can have a child bed added, if required. You can also ask for rooms next to each, although there are no interconnecting rooms at this Riad. Prices start at 70 Euros for a double room per night. For enquiries & bookings, contact Explora Watersports by email : info@explorawatersports.com & why not book one of their Beach Packages for a great adventure holiday >

Do follow the blog or our Facebook page.Coming next will be my top tips on finding the perfect Riad for your family holiday in Morocco. But if you can’t wait till then start your search on Booking.com or on AirBnB or on TripAdvisor for that perfect Riad.