” Life in the riad focuses inwards, a design principle favoured in Islamic notions of privacy. The austere exterior hides the family within, the privacy of family life protected from public gaze. The name ‘riad’ comes from the Arabic word for a garden, an important feature of the internal environment, where trees and arcades create a peaceful oasis, lush with plants and cooled by fountains and pools. “
Riad Siwan is the result of three years of planning, finding the finest of traditional artisans and commissioning the best of Marrakech-based artists and furniture makers, who came together to create a delightful and original oasis in the caravanserai of Marrakech life. Other than some antiques and artworks from our own collection, and carefully selected Moroccan carpets, everything in Riad Siwan was specially designed, not just for the Riad itself, but for the proportions of each individual room.
We are in North Africa, and the colours of the salon reflect this: the red of Marrakech, the ‘rose-red city’, the rust and ochre tones of Morocco, and the yellow warmth of the African sun.
Original architectural features are combined with contemporary elements, and wall niches, common in traditional Moroccan homes, display work from local artists. An internal garden with a tinkling fountain scattered with rose petals, and twittering birds, is central to the concept of riad life, and the salon has a direct view onto tall palms and cascading bougainvillea.
For cooler months, a fireplace adds cosiness, while the garden is kept in view through glass doors.
The Dining Room
One of the most delightful artworks in Riad Siwan is to be found in the dining room – four hundred and forty droplets of hand-blown glass that appear to fall from an open roof like glistening raindrops.
The rough horse-shoe arches of the central pillars cast back to the room’s original use as a kitchen and store room, but soft tones of taupe and purple coupled with the burnished lustre of the tadelakt walls give a glow of romanticism to this beautiful room.
The Roof Terrace
Whether for sun bathing, open-air dining, relaxing in the shady lounge area or cooling off in the pool, the spacious roof terrace is one of the places most favoured by guests to while away their days. Specially designed tiles on the sun bathing area make sure you won’t burn your shoe-less feet even at the height of summer, and the tucked-away pool has shady corners to enjoy while still luxuriating in its balmy waters.
Climb the stairs of the tower (described by one guest as the Eye of Marrakech) and you are standing at the highest point in the medina, other than the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, (no building is allowed to be taller). Turn 360º and you view the full aspect of the city, and off to the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas Mountains.
A full drinks and kitchen service means meals can be served on the terrace year-round, and there is always someone to make a glass of mint tea or bring you a cooling drink.