Morocco : Types of Accommodation
Guest accommodation varies in Morocco, from five star hotels to small authentic bed and breakfasts. The type of accommodation chosen will affect your impression of Morocco. We will be happy to discuss the options with you and in the meantime here is a quick summary:
Almost every town and city has a good selection of quality hotels, however they do become less frequent the further south you go. The larger hotels tend to be situated on the periphery of the major towns but within reach of the attractions, and yet with their own on-site facilities; hammams, restaurants, swimming pools and nightclubs. Although hotels are larger than many other accommodation options, they are not as authentic but do accommodate those who wish to 'get away from it all' at the end of the day.
A Riad is a town house, often found within the Medina walls. Riads have remained unchanged for centuries and are typical urban Islamic homes of the Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean. They are based around a central courtyard with a symmetrical layout, there are few if any exterior windows and usually a huge heavy door marks the entrance. Generally Riads have between six and 20 bedrooms and are authentically designed and decorated and despite being in the centre of the medina they are calm and tranquil places where you can relax after a day in the souks, walking in mountains or exploring the coast. These are personal recommendations and, although many do not have swimming pools and may not suit everyone, they offer the most authentic accommodation. The best Riads to stay at are found in Essaouira, Fes and Marrakesh.
Kasbahs are found predominantly in the south and are based on a Saharan architecture, originally they were built as key structures in the area to protect a local garrison. Smaller than their city cousins (the fortresses), these kasbahs are either protected ruins or renovated as guest accommodation and tend to be slightly larger than the town riads. They are a regular sight south of the High Atlas Mountains and the Dades valley has been referred to as the 'Valley of a thousand kasbahs'. They are constructed of pise and often have spacious roof terraces but no exterior windows. Your stay in a kasbah will be as authentic as it comes, very few have swimming pools or room service, but there will be no false pretences, all your home comforts are catered for, the food will be traditional and delicious and the staff's local knowledge invaluable.