Riads in Morocco

Morocco is a country known for its rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its traditional architecture. One of the most significant examples of this architecture is the Moroccan riad.

A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior courtyard, often with a garden, fountain, or pool at its center. The riad’s architectural style is heavily influenced by Islamic art, featuring intricate mosaics, woodwork, and stone carvings.


The riad’s design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. The courtyard layout allows for natural ventilation which is necessary in desert areas. The courtyard also serves as a place for social and family gatherings and a place of privacy and tranquility away from the busy street outside.

The rooms surrounding the courtyard are usually arranged in a hierarchical order, with the most important rooms located on the ground floor. The main entrance leads to a reception area called the zellige, which is decorated with colorful mosaics and leads to the courtyard. The salon, or living room is off the courtyard, and the kitchen and dining rooms are often located on the ground floor as well.

The first floor usually holds the bedrooms and guest rooms that overlook the courtyard. The rooms typically feature ornately carved wooden doors and shutters that open onto a balcony or terrace. The bedrooms typically have a high ceiling, with intricate plasterwork, and are decorated with colorful tiles and fabrics.

The top floor of the riad is often reserved for the family’s private quarters, with a terrace or roof garden offering a view of the city.

Riads were once the homes of wealthy families, but now many of them have been converted into guesthouses or hotels. They provide a unique accommodation experience for visitors to Morocco, allowing them to experience the traditional architecture and design of the country.

In conclusion, the Moroccan riad represents the country’s rich cultural heritage and architectural ingenuity. Its design is both beautiful and practical, providing a comfortable and private oasis in the bustling city. The riad is not simply an architectural style but an embodiment of Moroccan culture and tradition.