As-Salaam-Alaikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Zamzam progress

Well yes we are progressing. Marcus is now constantly walking around and discussing finishes, pushing the builders to get things straight. I have been told that wonky riads means they are full of character. Well Zamzam has got more character than you can shake a stick at. I love the shape of this tadelakt door way into the Harem Suite. The Harem Suite and bathroom are all tadelakt and i just love to stand in that continuous shape, it's very organic and earthy. I dream (literally) of living in a mud house with sand floors and by that i mean like a beach. I always have, i wonder what that is about. I adore the mud villages we ride through, i love the earthy energy of it. Imagine living in a house made only of mud!
Moving on - there is alot of Bejmat in the riad. Hand made clay tiles that are then fired, you get a gorgeous mixture of shades and they feel lovely to walk on in bare feet. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
These are the pretty hand made taps in the massage room, together with the soft takelakt sink.
A modern addition of taps in the riad, but we love the modern Moroccan mix with the striking Moroccan marble.
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Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!