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.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cooking and Retreat in Marrakech - Yoga and Reiki at Zamzam

Hi sorry I haven't posted for a while I have been in the Uk with my daughter for the Easter Holidays. She was doing a ski course at the ski dome in Hemel so that when we shoot up those Atlas Mountains she will have a head start. She can now get a lift and stop in a snow plough so I rekon thats enough to get going. On our travels we stayed with Brenda the tortoise and Mrs Pickles dog with big attitude. I don't know how old Brenda is but she is big!
I also randomly wanted to share a gorgeous Beni Ourain I have for sale at Zamzam it is soft cream wool with a short pile and in an unusual grey wool pattern. Email me for more information - zamzamriad@gmail.com Did you see Jamie Oliver in Marrakech last night it was very bizarre watching it in Marrakech kinda surreal. He was a bit out of his depth in the Jemma with those cheeky blokes but a good bit of advertising for our wonderful red city and don't forget we at Zamzam do stunning cooking courses if you want more of authentic Moroccan cooking. A cooking group has just taken the whole riad for 6 nights so we are about to start a cook a thon and I am busy typing up the recipes with Amina our chef for the folders. There's nothing like traditional Moroccan cooking in an ancient riad.

Lastly the Yoga and Reiki Retreat is filling up nicely for June 25-30. Come and join us for fun in the sun, yoga, reiki, walking in the Atlas, cooking, spa and sunbathing not to forget shopping in the Medina. Again email me for full information. Blue skies, 30 degrees, everything in full bloom doesn't get much better than this!
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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!