Discovering the perfect Riad in Marrakech – Riad Les Lauriers Blanc
Every year on our wedding anniversary, Ashique and I do a children free long weekend (3 day) Europe trip. It started when he surprised me on our 5th anniversary and whisked me off to Paris. I was woken up at 5am, all dazed and confused, and only learnt about the trip when we got to Kings Cross and printed train tickets! Since then, we have taken turns surprising each other and it’s been great having that time just to ourselves, plus the excitement of one person not knowing where we are headed and taking turns with all the planning. We have always wanted to visit Morocco and thought that it would be perfect for our 10 year wedding anniversary this year!
Due to Shama’s recent surgery, we didn’t want to leave her behind and kept going back and forth between postponing anniversary trip or making it into a family holiday. Our good friend Katrina solved the problem by coming along with us to look after the kids, so we got to have the best of both – family holiday and alone couple time 🙂
We started looking for the perfect accommodation for this special occasion. We wanted to stay in a traditional Riad rather than a Hotel. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. The word riad comes from the Arabian term for garden, “ryad”. We wanted to stay in one that fit all the following criteria – Romantic, Family Friendly, Central, Mid Budget range, heated Pool and had to have amazing reviews. There were so many lovely Riads to choose from! After extensive research and going back and forth we finally decided on Riad Les Lauriers Blanc as it seems to fit ALL the criteria.
Tucked away in a little alleyway corner at the north of the Medina, you wouldn’t think much of it from the outside. But as soon as you walk into this Riad, you immediately start to admire the rich colours, everything in shades of blue and green, with tasteful decorations all around. From the beautiful walls and staircase, to the carpets, to the paintings, there was so much attention given to the little details. There were lovely plants everywhere and the whole place had such a warm welcoming feel to it! We fell in love immediately 🙂
The staff was friendly, although we couldn’t communicate much as they spoke little English and we spoke very little French! They were willing to help though, particularly the Manager Saeeda, who was always smiling & offered us all kinds of information and advice on day tours to the Atlas Mountains, visit to Hammams and just getting around the Medina. She sorted out the tour for us and was always around if you needed to ask any questions.
The Rooftop terrace was great for chilling out and basking in the sun. You could even do a BBQ here although we didn’t get to do it. We spent our mornings having coffee here and it was great to hang out at night after kids had gone to bed. The Riad offered cooking lessons, babysitting and had free WiFi which was a bit fidgety in some of the bedrooms but great reception in the main areas.
The heated jacuzzi pool was a huge success with the kids! They went in during the day and in the evenings and spent lot of time just playing about in the water. The floor had earthen tiles so dried quickly from all their splashing about. The retractable roof was great as it opened up every morning when we had good weather which was 3 out of the 4 days we were there! In the 20s and sunny, it was lovely having breakfast under the open sky 🙂
Food was great here, we had one dinner – 3 course meal with Avocado Salad, Tagine and Chocolate Mousse. A bit pricey but it was nice to have a lovely home cooked meal after being out all day. Breakfasts were included with accommodation and they varied slightly everyday. It was the kids favourite meal!
Besides the main dining area in the central courtyard, there was a tastefully decorated living room/ entertainment area adjacent to it which had Television, Board games, books and a fully stocked Bar. There is also a sitting area on the top floor between the two set of rooms. We hung out here quite a bit in the evenings and in between going in and out during the day.
Upstairs there were 7 bedrooms to choose from, all decorated in different colour themes. We had the Amber and Sapphire, simple rooms but very pretty. They laid out adult kaftans, sweets and flowers on the beds for us. The bathrooms were spotless, the decor simple yet very tasteful. The Staff cleaned thoroughly everyday.
The Riad is owned by a French couple and we had liaised with Katy few weeks before. She was very helpful in organising a taxi to take us from the airport to the Riad (€15 each way). While it’s true we would have found it very difficult to find the place on our own, once we knew where it was, it’s very easy to get back to it as there are some good landmarks to guide us back. It definitely ticked the box for being conveniently located! 15 minutes walk to Djemaa El Fna, Souks, and local Restaurants.
We cannot recommend this Riad highly enough for anyone going to Marrakech! At the moment there is a 40% discount if you book it through Expedia or Trip Advisor that is valid until December 13th 2014. A room which would be normally €95 is now €50. They do add a 4% charge for using cards which was not noted anywhere.
We were given a further media rate reduction but all opinions and review on this beautiful Riad are our own.
The normal rates and information on the Riad are €85-€95 during low season and €140-€160 during high season. It also varies between the different rooms. More details can be found on their website and on Trip Advisor as well.
This post is linked to Our World Tuesday