Friday, May 3, 2013 Home

Riad d’Or, Meknes, Morocco

The Riad d’Or provides lovely, comfortable lodging inside the medina in Meknes. The structure itself dates back at least to 1791. It was renovated in 2007, but retains much of the original layout and some of the amazing decorative details. Where original decoration could not be restored, the owners have recreated a look and feel that is true to the structure’s place and time.

Like many historic structures, the building housing the Riad d’Or has been expanded and remodeled over time, leading to a very convoluted layout. There are sitting areas and patios threaded throughout the building; the interactive graphic on the riad’s website shows how the pieces fit together and even links to pictures of many of them.

The Riad d’Or is a good, mid-level lodging option, with interesting traditional features. We were more than satisfied with our (brief) stay and would consider staying here again were we to return to Meknes.

Our Room
We stayed in the Idrisside suite. I’m not sure why it was called a suite, except that it was big and had an in-suite bathroom. Besides a comfortable bed and seating, the room had space to spread out, an adequate number of electric outlets for charging cameras, and a heater. (The heater was especially appreciated given the cool and rainy weather.) It also had windows overlooking one of the courtyard patios -- always a nice feature.

Common Spaces
Like most riads, Riad d’Or has beautiful, elaborate common areas, including the main “patio.”  Originally this space would have been open to the sky, but today it has been covered over with a translucent material that protects the room from the cold and rain. It is a stunning space.        
There are a number of other, smaller but beautifully decorated and furnished common areas throughout the riad. Any of these would provide a comfortable place to relax with a glass of mint tea or do a bit of writing. 
Exterior Terraces and Patios
The riad has been expanded over time, which has resulted in a number of odd exterior spaces. These spaces have been turned into lovely little courtyards, terraces, and patios – one even includes the pool!  
The large rooftop terraces look like comfortable areas to relax and provide expansive views over the city
Unfortunately, we had both very cool weather and a very short stay at the riad, so most of these outdoor sitting areas weren’t ready for use and we didn’t have the time to enjoy them anyway. 
Dining at the Riad
The riad has two separate dining areas.

Breakfast is served in a large sunny room on the upper level of the riad. Although modern in feel, the room is decorated with antique objects and decorative features found within the riad when it was renovated. This room is surrounded by patios (terraces) and breakfast can be taken outdoors when the weather allows. There is also a bar up here, which is open in summer.

Breakfast included a variety of Moroccan breads, cakes and biscuits, including hot-off-the-griddle flatbreads. Although not all of the Moroccan baked goods were to my taste, there was far more than we could eat.
Dinner is served in a cozy street-level room with a fireplace and huge windows that separate it from a small courtyard. There are a limited number of tables, so reservations (even if just a short time in advance) are essential.

As noted, my lamb tagine with almonds, dates, and honey was one of the best meals I had on our entire trip. On the other hand, my husband’s chicken tagine included really good chicken, but horrid overcooked and flavorless vegetables. Prices seemed high compared to other places we ate during our trip.

Wine was available (by the bottle only), so we split a bottle of the Thalvin Cuvée du President Cabernet, which was light (more like a Pinot Noir), but pleasant and worked well with the food.

Lodging in Morocco: The Riad Experience
A Satisfactory End to Hotel Confusion
Morning at the Riad d’Or
 

All Morocco posts

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