Last month my friend and I packed up our swimsuits and best outfits and took ourselves away from the city for a little vacation…
And so, off we went to Morocco, leaving a cold and gray day in Paris to arrive in sunshiney Marrakech.
I was beholding the beautiful sight of the city of Medina, struggling to take in all of the sights and sounds, when the car pulled up to the front of Hotel Riad Palacio de las Escpecias.
This boutique hotel impressed us even before we left France, with their very quick responses to questions and requests. Palacio de las Escpecias isn’t the easiest to find, however, some local guys guided us through places that were not on the map. We walked our way deep into the medina, through a labyrinth of streets and up a blind alley. At the end of this narrow street stood a door into the Riad. The sight of our temporary residence was the harbinger of feeling as though this place was going to stay with me for the rest of my life.
When we entered the Riad, a typical Moroccan guesthouse, we felt completely safe. We were warmly welcomed into the beautiful oasis with mint tea and cookies. We immediately felt at home and comfortable thanks to the down-to-earth hospitality of the manager.
After being invited to check into our room early, we were immediately impressed with the size and luxury of the facilities; an antique king sized bed with rose petals sprinkled on the bedspread made a lasting impression.
Our room was located on the first floor. It was spacious, beautifully decorated and its windows opened onto the central patio. Great air conditioning and luxury touches such as a charming Rajasthani-style tea corner of finely carved wood made our stay extra special. One of the best conveniences worth mentioning is the large bathroom that had tadelakt coating and a wonderful traditional hammam Arab bath.
It bears repeating that the staff at Hotel Riad were excellent, proving to be a mine of information and always going out of their way to ensure our comfort and safety. We placed ourselves in their hands, took their advice and allowed them to organize all of our transfers, trips, etc.. Everything was provided at excellent value and beat other offers.
We found ourselves regularly enjoying the courtyard; it was the perfect location for lunch, dining outside and overlooking the swimming pool. Lazing by the pool, chatting happily with other guests, being served lovely drinks and eating delicious meals was perfect for us—exactly what we needed.
Breakfast was included, which we happily received each morning. Again, it was just mouth-wateringly good. It seems to be the standard Moroccan fare: fresh orange juice, yogurt, and various bread and pastries, accompanied by jam, honey, and coffee. Needless to say, we didn’t go hungry.
During our stay, I always made a point of spending enough time on the rooftop terrace to do justice to the beauty that Marrakech has to offer. It was like one of those places where you have a cup of coffee and reminisce about life, a place with immense peace—the kind of peace that cannot be found anywhere else. These are very rare sentiments that I share with very few hotels, but I guess this hotel made quite an impression on me. The whole view remains etched in my mind and sparks a sense of serenity in my current-day life whenever I bring it to mind.
The hotel is the heart of Medina, not just characteristically, but also geographically; it connects you to all the tourist attractions in the vicinity. During our stay we had plenty of time to discover the city, whilst using the time we would’ve spent travelling to and fro to really get the most enjoyment out of our accommodation. At the Riad, time passed in a different and soothing way.
All in all, I don’t really have the vocabulary to do the Riad justice. This is quite simply the best hotel that I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at.
If you’re looking for an option on the higher luxury end of the scale, look no further. Hotel Riad Palacio de las Especias is simply beautiful. It’s in a perfect location to easily explore the main sites, and easy to find off a main taxi stop in the medina. The hospitality, warmth, and friendliness are of the highest standard, and you’ll receive top-quality service while being treated and cared for like family.
Don’t be shy to follow your dreams!
Your Darya Yakovleva