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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'Desert Awakenin'g with Lou Rhodes & Lemn Sissay at Camp Adounia Sahara Desert Morocco - 1-8 April 2016


The Adounia Awakening is a very special week in the Moroccan Sahara with two of Britain's most exciting and dynamic artists, Lemn Sissay MBE and Lou Rhodes from Lamb. It's a 7-day Philantrophic Adventure of self discovery that takes you on a journey from Marrakech at Zamzam Riad to Eco Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert.

You'll be lead by two shining stars, who will safely guide you in shedding the heaviness of life through self exploration and reveal something beautiful that was always there. Your own voice. A remembering of life where we all truly belong.

It's an exploration of the ancient wisdom of the culture of Morocco, fused with the creative guidance of superstars Lemn Sissay and Lou Rhodes, to expand your consciousness and support your spirit in a journey of self discovery.


Lou Rhodes and Lemn Sissay at Camp Adounia - Sahara Desert

Your guides to Finding Freedom of Expression through words & melody in the vast expanse of the Saharan desert.

Lou Rhodes is a Mercury nominated singer-songwriter and one half of electronic genre-benders Lamb. She has released 3 critically acclaimed solo albums the first of which, Beloved One (2006), was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. Her fourth solo album theyesandeye will be released in 2016. She has released six albums with Lamb including Backspace Unwind (2014) and regularly collaborates with other musicians, both as a songwriter and vocalist. Lou is also a published author with essays included in Scott Heim’s The First Time I Heard series and her children’s books The Phlunk and The Phlunk’s Worldwide Symphony.

Lemn Sissay MBE is the author of several books of poetry, as well as articles, records, public art, and plays. He was an official poet for the London Olympics. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, in venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. Sissay is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, and inaugural trustee of World Book Night.

For enquiries or to book places on this experience call Emma +212 661215062 or email

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!