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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Beni Ouarain made to measure traditional Moroccan carpets

I have a few designers, architects and people with large spaces wanting a made to measure new Beni Ouarain.  These carpets are simply stunning and you can the exact size you want.  They take about 6 weeks to make and your design will be carefully drawn to scale by the wonderful Marcus our resident Engineer.  Below I've photographed some samples of patterns.  Before the colour match was always difficult so natural cream backgrounds were the main design made with natural wools.  These always have the most natural soul of the wool and weaver but now more colours are coming into the souk with a deep purple i saw recently.  Perfect for a reiki tent i thought - check our our new retreat programmes for 2014 at

Beni Ouarain, Berber Carpets - Zamzam Boutique Marrakech

Its time to get blogging, its been a while.  I have been so busy with Morocco Retreats.  2014 brings 8 retreats to the programme each one set in a special place in Morocco.  As well as being retreats they take you on a magical journey to the most amazing places.

Secondly an exciting new website is being done for the Zamzam Boutique and we will be sharing even more goodies with you for sale.  I have been sourcing wonderful Moroccan textiles and vintage Berber Carpets in preparation and wanted to share with you some of the pieces that will be in the shop.

The most exciting piece I have found is this Beni Ouarain blanket with wonderful hand embroidery over 3 meters of it.  In 8 years of living here i have never seen one, its really beautiful.

I also found some nice little Azilals this is just one of them.  These are made in the high Atlas and are more light weight than the Beni Ouarain carpets.

This Ancient Beni is hugely exciting for me not only is it very old and almost like velvet but I love the unusual design in dark chocolate and the pretty kilim ends - its about 3 x 2m

A small but very lush Beni Ouarain with super soft wool.

The Boucherouite rag rugs are suddenly so popular and we have a few very pretty ones coming online as well as some stunning Handira or Berber wedding blankets.

For any information email me Emma at

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!