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.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Handira Gems - Zamzam Boutique

Since a year ago when I posted the gorgeous orange handira on my website which flew out the Boutique, I have many of you emailing me if I have any more or if I can find such pieces like that. The answer so far has been no, until this morning when I got a call. "I have 3 pieces, really good ones, shall I come to your riad?" Yes please do come now I said getting all excited. 30 minutes later the door bell rang and in entered The 3 Wise Handira, Red, Green and Black, all vintage, all gorgeous. I thought I had forgotten to take my asthma puffer but remembered I had. I must calm down I thought, chill out! but the literally took my breath away. I'll take them all I said, thank you so much and off he went. Immediately one of the writers staying with us for the AiM festival came out. "what are they he said, can I have one?" he was nearly as flustered as me, he had no idea what they were but he was intoxicated. Red or green, red or green, ok i'm having the green. Although I'm happy he bought it and was so thrilled with his treasure I would have liked to play with it a little longer!
Anyhow, this is the red one!!
I was wearing it, I told Fatiya if the king ever invites me to tea this is what I will wear, she knows I'm mad.
Thousands of sequins it looks like a fish the way it shimmers. Drop me an email. Zamzam Boutique - there are lots of gorgeous classic ones in my collection too go and have a look.
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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!