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, January 12, 2014

Terres D'Amanar - Family Holiday Activities in Marrakech - Accro Park

We often come to Terre D'Amanar on the weekend because the children love the activities and we get to have lunch in the sun looking at stunning scenery and being in fresh air.  This time however friends on holiday told us they had booked in to the Lodge at Terre D'Amanar after staying at Zamzam Riad.  They wanted us to go up and spend a night with them in the Lodge.  I thought it would be quite rustic and basic, but what a shock i got - lovely huge suites with bedrooms separate for children, a sun terrace with private loungers, a stunning bathroom, tastefully decorated and lovely and warm.  The buffet dinner was excellent as was the breakfast.

It was superb being up and out in the park early as with 7 children and a baby we could book all our activities and get organised for the day.  Contact details are as follows for all reservations.
(+212) 524 438 103

These guys are only 3 years old but they can start on a baby zip line which is brilliant, they loved it.  There is also a wooden tree house park for them to play in.

The older 3 children who are 9 enjoyed the bigger zip lines and staying in the lodge meant they could go round many times.

One of the tree houses in the woods - my daughter had her birthday tea here last year it was superb.

Afternoon donkey riding.  There are so many activities - trekking, mountain biking, games, pottery - have a look at the website to discover everything in the park.

The highlight for me was the professional stables there.  Being an experienced rider not only were the stables clean and the tack and equipment but the riding trail was excellent and the terrain meaning that we could have a wonderful gallop in the mountains.  This is the best riding I have done in Morocco.

Check out their website for more information, its excellent combined with a city stay in the Medina with Zamzam Riad & Spa
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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!