Selecting accommodation for a stay in Morocco can be a little confusing if it is your first time - you can feel overwhelmed by a choice of riads, ryads, hotels, maisons d'hote, kasbhas... and a few other categories as well! Here is a quick summary of the different type of accommodation to help.
The other main category of hotels in Morocco really covers all other type of accommodation than riads, from large modern hotel chains to smaller private hotels. On our website you will however only find a selection of privately owned hotels, those which we believes offers an authentic experience, high standards and value for money. And we believe we have listed a choice of hotels for all budgets and tastes of our users.
Riads (also ryads) are former private houses of the wealthy that have been converted into small hotels with some very specific and attractive common features. Indeed, the abundance of riads in Morocco goes some way to explaining the popularity of Morocco as a destination for culture, relaxation and style.
Firstly, riads are small in scale (Riads typically have between 4 and 10 rooms) and are built around a central internal garden or courtyard, which provides a shady refuge from the sun and a place to enjoy nature, and peace from the outside world. Peace and quiet is important to the design of riads as many are located in the central, ancient part of the cities, particularly the medinas.Perfect for guests wanting to relax but be walk able to the main sites. Riads also offer guests a highly authentic and intimate Moroccan experience, and without all the usual facilities, hurry, and 24/7 services of hotels. Instead they are usually run by a small house-keeping team under the supervision of a manager or the owner, who together will provide guidance and service whenever they can, as well as a friendly familiar face to return to after a day exploring the city.
It is also worth adding that the trend towards boutique hotels in the UK and Europe has had a clear impact on many riads in Morocco who have reinvented themselves (often very successfully) to offer an experience which combines their tradition with a more luxury and design led style. Many of these are listed on Morocco Gateway.
A Kasbah is a fortress or medina that was used as a secure location to withdraw to when the main town was under siege. They would often be located on high ground for better defense and view – this of course makes them spectacular locations for hotels .
Luxurious detached country houses complete with large gardens and a good-sized pool.
Auberge (Guest House) meaning Inn or lodge, these are small rural, simple hotels sometimes referred to as a Gite.
imple village dwellings inhabited by Berber families, mainly in the Atlas Mountains. They are often used for overnight stays during a walking, mule or horse trek. The resident Berber families will be your hosts, supplying your shelter and the evening meal.
Mainly in the desert, these camps usually have traditional Berber or Nomadic Bedouin tents or ‘bivouacs‘ , made from hand woven wool.
Some have fixed walls with tented ceilings. All have at least shared toilet facilities, but many are en-suite. They are usually used for an overnight stay after a camel trek, but some can be reached by 4×4 vehicle for those not wanting to ride a camel first.