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.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zamzam Revamp

Well I am now truly getting on with the re-upholstery of the antiques I bought over from France for Zamzam Riad. It has been really difficult trying to find different fabrics for the rooms, something Moroccan but not too kitch. After all if you are staying in a Riad in the Medina of Marrakech you don't want to feel like you are in the UK, the whole Riad experience is also about everything in the Riad. I feel better now I've started as I've got something to work off now, whereas before it was a bit like the blind leading the blind, painting once you've chosen fabrics. It's bound to be somewhat eccentric it always is with me, but then I think Riads given their age and origin are excentric characters. I just can't wait for it to be finished now, the renovations of the Riad seem to be taking forever. Yesterday however the salon was finished with the mighty striped fireplace, and the sockets and switches are going into the rooms, the only one really holding us up is the carpenter. I can't even go there on that subject as I might be arrested. Just to let you know we are no longer friends!!
My expensive white chairs outside the upholsterers kiosk waiting for me to buy their fabric. Rose Suite, Berber Suite ............. I can't decide which rooms the pieces should go in.

The tapis mood board, carefully put up in his kiosk to let people know that he's the man. The only problem is these aren't photos of his work they are cut out of a magazine!! Well he's brilliant and works at 10 times the speed of the others. Hurrah for the tapis!
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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!