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.



Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Wonderful Moroccan Coast

We are now back from 3 days glorious break at the coast. The weather was absolutely sublime, cool at night and in the morning so that you could slowly wake up and take your time over breakfast and then wonderfully hot with a breeze in the afternoon. Although July and August are busy season for the Moroccan holiday makers, there is so much beach that you can always find a spot for yourselves. The English really don't realise what they are missing, 3 hours from the UK into this complete coastal paradise. You don't have to go to crowded Agadir on a package. There are many many coastal villages on the Moroccan coast you can stay at. When you arrive the streets are lined with key shakers offering accommodation and apartments. Being on the Atlantic coast the sea food is also a fantastic bonus. The coast I prefer best is the coast from Rabat to Essaouira, which is rugged and sandy with crashing waves all around. It is perfect for young children as there are many warm rock pools to explore including crabs and sea slugs. My 4 year old daughter spent hours collecting seaweed. I must say some of it was really stunning, I've never seen seaweed flowers!

Just 2 1/2 hours from Marrakech!
Of course no adventure would be complete without buying a carpet. Not my usual low key taste in rugs, but totally stunning. The photos don't do it justice it is a wonderful faded peach colour and would look stunning in a modern home. It is from the desert a region I have yet to research. It makes sense to me that there would be so much colour in this carpet when the weaver is surrounded by sand. I adore the blue camels! I will add the photos to the Zamzam Boutique so you can see more of it. What a find..................... by the way i'm having lots of internet problems if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, I think maybe it's the heat.
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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!