Westerners are enthralled by Morocco all and more and more of them vacationing there have succumbed to its charms. Take writer Miranda Innes, who renovated a large, 200-year-old riad in 2001 and called it Riad Maizie! This is what she says about it...."I did not mean to buy a palace. I was on a routine shopping trip in Marrakech's medina with writer Maggie Perry when we passed the estate agent from which she bought her town house, or riad. I suggested we might just have a look. Once through those heavy wooden doors there was no going back and a serious shopping moment later, I was the stunned owner of a 19th century riad. Well, it was not quite so instantaneous, but it was a definite case of love at first sight." Six months and $94,000 later she proudly opened Riad Maizie! The whole drama filled process is described in her book "Cinnamon City".
My short 3 day stay in Tangiers in the spring of 2008 convinced me that I have to go back for a longer stay and vist more of Morocco. That day cannot come soon enough and when it does come, I want to stay at the Riad Maizie. It is not one of those horrendously outrageously expensive places to stay, its very affordable, but every inch of every surface is embellished - the house is a sampler of traditional Marakchi decoration techniques, with tadelakt, mousharabi, Gibb’s frieze, doors painted in traditional Arabic and Berber style, intricately painted wooden ceilings and zellig fessi. Wherever possible they have retained the quirky hand-made original features – huge double doors with massive bolts, carved wooden shutters and elaborate wrought metal grilles. Prints and paintings adorn the walls, and an array of gorgeous locally-made rugs decorate the cool, tiled floors. The heavy cedar front door opens into a plant-filled courtyard with two fountains prettily carpeted with rose petals.
So if you ever go to Marrakech, this is how you get to Riad Maizie!