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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You can't eat an elephant whole! - Berber Wedding Blankets

WB8 one of my latest editions. I am truly ensconced in buying for Zamzam Riad now which I have to tell you does not come easily to me. I am of the school, choose something really fab - buy it - love it and then buy another piece. I am a woman on pieces. I would rather spend money on a piece than on many odds and sods. So you see, suddenly having to buy alot at the same time is hard for me, not natural. I'm a one thing if I'm lucky buyer, terribly choosy, never buy en mass.

Let me tell you 3 weeks ago it dawned on me like a tidal wave that I needed to get on with this buying thing and that i didn't have time to choose a piece, that 7 bedrooms, a salon and a terrace let alone the rest (I can't even buy a soup bowl unless i adore it) had to be bought and that I had been shallying around for far to long. Don't get me wrong I can buy carpets 3 at a time, but they are my thing and I've found some excellent people who seem to provide more and more amazing ones. It's actually like having a personal genie.

Any how I had 3 weeks to buy 150m of fabric, all different for all those different rooms, yes I chose a hard path, I wanted all the rooms to have different energy I'd already done my feng shui bagua map. I lost the plot, there is only so much staring at fabric you can do, when I remembered........... A long time ago I worked at KPMG. A consultant who I liked very much told me "you can't eat an elephant whole" wearing my African trade beads at the time and being very Eco conscious, I realised it had to be a metaphor. "You have to cut it up into bite sized pieces".
Oh sorry I forgot, WB8 is not only stunning but unusually large, nearly 3m x 2m, visit the Zamzam Boutique if you'd like more info.
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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!