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, October 19, 2017

Tuareg Mats - Moroccan Berber Carpets

I'm pretty obsessed with these Tuareg Mats, they are so earthy and powerful.  Any area or room is instantly transformed into a chic strong statement.  Photos below are from Fredieric Fekkai's holiday home the famous hairdresser and beauty stylist from France.  They give you an idea of how these mats just about go with anything.

They are made from palm fronds and camel or goat skin.  Some of the women's weavings are incredibly intricate in design.  Many have ancient symbols woven into them.


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Made by the Tuaregs of Mauritania and Sahara leading down to Niger and Nigeria.  These mats are  traditionally made by the nomads for their tents (some even have a lovely smoky smell).  They are very durable and roll easy for the caravans when moving on.  The Tuaregs are often called the blue men because of the Indigo they wear.  The indigo acts as a sun screen and insect repellant.

At our Camp in the Sahara Desert we work with the nomads and their way of life, when deciding to visit us in our stunning dunes you can have the opportunity of learning about their culture and desert life.







Below you can see a close up of the leather weaving and small knots made.



At Moroccan Berber Carpets we have a new stock with a range of beautiful pieces - this is rare because they are now becoming hard to find, especially the vintage ones which are beautifully worn.  These Tuarge mats just get better with age.






Send us an email if you would like a list of our current stock or enquire with size specifications


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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!