Five Riads are better than one
I’m planning on using the word ‘nook’ a lot today. Firstly because I like it and secondly there were a lot of them at a hotel I visited this week. La Sultana Marrakech in Morocco.
This place passed one of the toughest Melissa tests for a small hotel: I got lost in it. Not an “OMG PANIC!!!” lost, more of a “wonderful, I’ve not seen this room before,” or “Ooh, I think I’ll read my book in this new nook.” Here I felt lost for hours at a time. But the last thing I wanted was directions. (Although I did ask for directions once after an hour spent in an outdoor massage cabin when even walking in a straight line and keeping my eyes open at the same time felt like a personal Everest).
I love getting lost and to be able to do it in a place that has less than 30 rooms is a rare treat. I think it’s because I grew up in a house with lots of little hiding places and cubby holes that made for an unrivalled game of hide and seek.
A nook makes one feel like there’s a small part of a hotel that’s yours. Because if there are enough of them it’s quite likely you could have one to yourself for a day.
Riads like La Sultana act as an extraordinarily chilled and effective buffer from some of the most hustley and bustley (no I don’t think they are real words sadly) streets you’ll see. One second you’re dodging mopeds, bicycles and horse-drawn carts while haggling over the price of some shoes and a scarf and the next (and I mean literally the next) you are on a beautiful, calm rooftop with 360 degree views of the city with a cold drink in hand and light breeze upon your face.
The advantage La Sultana has over many of the other riads is that it has service levels and facilities that just wouldn’t be practical or possible without 5 being combined. It’s also (and I realise how dull this sounds) accessible by taxi. Which might not sound like a plus point worth shouting about but many of them aren’t which can cause problems if you decide to explore the desert or the mountains for a day and want to get back. The medina is a maze and a delightfully complex and badly signposted one at that so after your taxi gives up the walk can be challenging!
I haven’t used ‘nook’ in a while have I. But sadly I am out of time. So I’ll see you next week and if you want to know more about La Sultana or Marrakech just ask below. I’ll be especially happy to give you some shopping tips!