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Riad Laawachra

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About Riad Laawachra

This stunning 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom traditional Riad, with a touch of BoHo chic, is arranged over 3 floors (including roof terrace) in Ben Salah (Azbezt District) in the heart of Marrakech’s Medina. Can accommodate up to 6 people.

On the ground floor you will find a patio, a fully equipped kitchen, a small TV lounge, a separate toilet by the front door and an air-conditioned twin bedroom (the 2 single beds can be put together upon request – prior to your arrival to make a large bed). 

On the 1st floor, a beautiful gallery serving 2 air-conditioned bedrooms (one en-suite) and 2 bathrooms.

On the roof terrace: a small laundry room for the washing machine.

The Riad is rented exclusively with the service of a housekeeper in the morning, wifi, air conditioning, bath and bed linen. Meals and breakfasts available as an extra. You will have access to the whole house except the ground floor storage room and the hammam.

All bedding, bath towels and WiFi is included as part of your stay.  Information about the WiFi instructions (and the location of the router box) are located in the Guest Book (black folder) in the central living area. The Guest Book contains a plethora of information – this should help you manage your stay more efficiently. 

Upon arrival, you will meet and get to know Maida, the housekeeper. Maida will be on hand to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. She will give you your key to the house, and also go over certain legal obligations with you in relation to your stay at the Riad. If you wish, Maida can arrange for a taxi to take you to the Riad on arrival, and to the airport on your departure. Her contact details are below, and she will let you know the cost.

If you are arranging your own transportation to the Riad – ask the taxi driver to take you to the of area of Ben Salah within the Medina. You must  specifically ask to be dropped off at Ben Salah mosque, as cars cannot drive beyond that point to our Riad’s front door. You can only get from the mosque to the Riad on foot (only 2 mins away!).

The medina is Marrakech’s old city. It’s enclosed by 19 kilometres of pink walls built around 1122. Until just over 100 years ago, the whole city lived within these walls. From above, the Marrakech medina resembles a human honeycomb;  it’s packed with square Riads, traditional houses with peaceful inner courtyards. These Riads are home to about 200,000 people, a fifth of the city’s population. They also seem to host the same number of tourists!

The hive’s epicentre is Jemaa-el-Fnaa, referred to by Marrekchi’s as “the Big Square”, is only a 10 minute walk from Riad Laawachra. The legendary square buzzes at night with food stalls and entertainers. Emanating from it are the souks, Morocco’s largest, where you can buy handmade crafts, spices, and cheap souvenirs.

3 Bedrooms

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2 Bathrooms

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Riad Availability

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3 Living Areas

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1 Fully-equipped Kitchen

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International Flights

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Bedroom 1 Gallery

Bedroom 2 Gallery

Bedroom 3 Gallery

Central Living Area Gallery

TV Room Gallery

Kitchen Gallery

Bathrooms Gallery

Roof Terrace Gallery

Things to do in Marrakech

Marrakech is a former imperial city and one of the most popular cities for tourists in the Maghreb. It is home to beautiful mosques, palaces and gardens, as well as the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square and souk market. With plenty of things to do and see in both the medieval and modern parts of town, Marrakech is a captivating city.

Our list explores the can’t-miss attractions every traveler needs to do in Marrakech.

Jardin Marjorelle

One of the most popular locations in Morocco, the Jardin Majorelle is the creation of French painter Jacques Majorelle, who spent 40 years injecting his passion and creativity into this magical garden. Complete with enchanting little lanes, tranquil streams and over 300 species of stunning plants, Jardin Majorelle is perfect for those who need a break from the busy city.

Rue Yves Saint-Laurent, Marrakech, Morocco
Mon – Sun: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Saadia Tombs

These tombs were created to stand as the final resting place for the many rulers and members of the Saadi dynasty. Rich in history, the Saadian tombs were rediscovered in 1917 after being sealed for centuries. Magnificently decorated with bright tiles, Arabic calligraphy, and intricate carvings, Saadian Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour Eddahbi certainly spared no expense on his tomb, making for a beautiful site for tourists. Located just outside of Marrakech, the tombs are easy to reach, and a fantastic alternative to the bustling city. Carefully restored and well preserved, they now stand as one of the most popular things to see in Morocco.

Rue de La Kasbah, Marrakech, Morocco
Mon – Sun: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Ben Youssef Madrasa

Madrasas, translating to ‘schools’, now stand all around Morocco as historical representations of the education of the past. This particular Quranic school, once the largest in North Africa, was dedicated to the teaching of Islamic law, and has stood since the 14th century. Guests can explore more than 100 tiny, windowless student chambers and admire the stunning architecture, from the great courtyard to the richly decorated prayer halls. After almost six centuries, this medieval madrasa stands as one of the key tourist attractions of the city.

Rue Assouel, Marrakech, Morocco

Tanneries

Situated in the northeast of the medina, the tanneries cannot be missed. With an overwhelming smell and many invitations from people in the streets, you’ll easily find your way there. Everything from bags to dresses are found here, and it’s wonderful to watch just how all the treasures are made. Visitors can watch workers as they hand dye material in preparation for trade in the city. Offering up an alternative to modern factories, the tanneries are an intriguing feast for all the senses.

Museums

Marrakech is full of delightful museums, including the Dar si Said, which displays fantastic Moroccan architecture and objects. The Marrakech Museum, house in the Dar Menebhi Palace, boasts embroidery, weapons and contemporary art. For historical imagery of the city, visit the Maison de la Photgraphie. In the new part of town, visitors can find many contemporary art galleries displaying work from local talent.

Koutoubia Mosque

Given the importance of mosques in Moroccan culture, the Koutoubia Mosque is a must-see for those in the area. The largest mosque in Marrakech, the Koutoubia is not only a spiritual centre but a point of reference for international architecture. Setting the trend for buildings in Spain and Rabat, the beautiful 12th-century minaret is an example of ornamental expertise, with characterful arches and rigid proportions, it’s an admirable piece of architecture. Enjoy the call to prayer coming from the top of the minaret five times a day and appreciate the architecture of this important building.

Visit a Hammam

A visit to a hammam (local bath house) will usually involve stripping down and immersing yourself in experiences such as a visit to the sauna, an exfoliating massage and a dip in an ice-cold pool. There are a number of bath houses throughout Marrakech, and a typical price for tourists is between 50 and 100 dirhams. Don’t forget to bring your own towel just in case!

Hammam de la Rose

130, Dar El Bacha, Medina, Marrakech
Tel: +212 (0) 5 24 44 47 69

Farnatchi Spa

60 Souk El Fassi, Kaat Bennahid, Medina, Marrakech
Tel: +212 (0) 5 24 38 49 14

Royal Mansour

Arsat Gestion, Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, Medina, Marrakech
Tel: + 212 (0) 5 29 80 80 80

Opening times: Usually 9am-9pm or 10pm

Souks - Marrakech Medina

When locals refer to the souks, they mean the maze of market streets that stretch north from the Djemaa el-Fna. The main thoroughfare are Souq Semmarine and Souq el-Kebir, originally dedicated to leather work, they now sell all manner of things and trinkets.

Bear in mind, given the high price of real estate here, prices are at their highest and many of the products can be found cheaper in the specialist quissariat (covered markets) further north.

Particularly worth a visit is Rahba Kehdima, the apothecaries square, which is ringed with multi-coloured spice stalls. Also of interest is the Creiee Berbere, once the slave market, and now the main Carpet Souk. Souq Haddadine is where you’ll find the blacksmiths at work and close by Place Ben Youssef is the Leatherworkers Souk.

Soufiane

In a city full of carpet dealers, one stands head-and-shoulders above the rest, and that’s Soufiane Zarib. In the business for three generations, the Soufiane brothers not only source and sell the best Berber Beni Ouirain rugs, but also make to measure beautiful bespoke pieces. Don’t be put off by the gaudy entrance to the shop which is hung with sequined Handira wedding blankets, inside is a vast Saadian-era riad which showcases their incredible stock of over 6,000 pieces. Many have a super modernist feel sporting bold colour combinations and geometric patterns.

Address: 13 Souk de Tapis, Rahba Kehdima, Medina

Contact: 00 212 615 285 690;

facebook.com/soufiane.zarib

Opening times: by appointment

Hammam de la Rose:

If you’re wondering what constitutes Medina streetwear then head to Maktoub, where Belgian Jan Pauwels and Casablancan Maximilien Scharl turn out soft, drape dresses, slouchy pants and velveteen bomber jackets. The look is understated and cool, with graphic prints and subtle embroidered detailing. Dress it up with statement jewellery from Joykech or smartly wrapped print turban.

Address: 128 Fontaine Mouassine, Medina

Contact: +212 (0) 5 24 37 55 70;

maxandjan.ma

Opening times: Mon-Sun 10am-7pm

Local laws and Etiquette

Clothing

While Marrakech is one of Morocco’s most liberal cities, a degree of modesty in how you dress will be greatly appreciated by your hosts. Both women and men should avoid revealing clothing and keep knees and shoulders covered.

Greetings and gestures

Marriage in Morocco remains a highly respected institution. For this reason it is not in the least rude to enquire about marital status and new acquaintances are questioned early on in a conversation.

Solo women travellers, in particular, may be prone to questions as to why they would travel unaccompanied. In addition, Moroccan laws still prohibit extra-marital sex, drinking in public and smoking kif (hashish).

Prositution

Prostitution is illegal in Morocco. It is illegal to bring prostitutes back to private dwellings e.g. privately/exclusively rented Riads

Penalties for abuse are extremely severe – while those who abuse this law will inevitably face arrest and possibly imprisonment; the owners of privately rented establishments risk having their operation shut down.

DISCLAIMER: IT IS FORBIDDEN TO BRING
PROSTITUTES BACK TO THIS RIAD!

Mosques

Mosques, zaouias (saint’s shrines) and cemeteries are not open to non-Muslims. Also, the left hand in Muslim society is used for personal hygiene and should not be used to handle food.

Tour Guides

Although Marrakech has largely eliminated the problem of faux guides (false guides) some still linger around the Djemaa el-Fna offering help with directions or recommendations for shops and restaurants (from which they get commission).

Be firm, but polite when declining unsolicited company, and don’t feel embarrassed to ask for directions when lost. In such situations its best to ask the nearest hanout (shop owner) Official guides can be hired through hotels and riads or at the tourist office. The official rates are £12 for half a day and £30 for a full day, but private operators and riads can charge up to £50 for a half-day tour and £90 for a full-day tour.

Taxis

The first thing to know is that there are two types of taxis: The petit taxis are used for short journeys within town and will take a maximum of 3 passengers.

You can flag them down anywhere and they all have meters which should be switched on as soon as you get in the taxi. Don’t be afraid to ask for the meter if it is not, or take a different taxi if he refuses.

The petit taxi drivers will often pick up other passengers along the way if they are going in the same direction as you. The first passenger has priority and everyone pays their full fare – extra passengers do not mean shared fares.

Many taxi drivers tend to know destinations by nearby cafes, restaurants, hotels, or the nearest Medina bab (gate), rather than by road names. It is often worthwhile giving the name of the nearest known cafe and then directing from there. You are also more likely to be picked out as a tourist if you start asking him if he knows where such-and-such a road is and worrying about precise addresses. It’s often handy to have the business card of the address you are visiting, but be aware that many drivers will not be able to read French or English.

When taking a petit taxi to or from the airport, to or from downtown Marrakech, the fare is technically around 50dh, but unless you really want to spend a long time arguing or having taxis refuse to take you, you are more likely to pay around 100 – 150dh.

The grand taxis (big old mercedes) are used for longer journeys out of town and are generally shared taxis. They start from a designated taxi rank for a particular destination then set off when full, or if not full will pick people up along the way.

Generally the front passenger seat is counted as two seats, but you can get it all to yourself by
paying for 2 places. The back seat will take 4 passengers.

Tipping

Tipping in Morocco is customary, so you will be expected to leave a few dirham in a number of places during stay in the country. Although there is no standard amount that you should always leave in different establishments and different circumstances, we’ve tried to cover the most basic rules of thumb to help you out.

Hotels: you should tip bellboys (10-20dh depending on the size and number of suitcases) and cleaning maids (20dh or 100dh per week).

Restaurants: you should always tip your waiters but this will vary according to the style of the restaurant: consider leaving about 5dh in moderate places and 10%-15% in more upmarket establishments.

Museums, monuments and local tourist attractions:it is custom to leave 3-5dh to curators.

Spas: if you indulge in a spa treatment during your holiday, you should consider tipping here as well: it’s customary to leave 20dh to 25dh per person that services you.