A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden.
They used to be the houses of the wealthy Moroccans, hundreds years ago. They are typically found in old medinas in city center behind the city walls. They are 2 story building with usually a terrace at the top for seating, dining and maybe a pool.The open style is really unique and quaint. Riads don't have outside windows as they are typically built connected to the next Riad. Similar to townhouses or brownstones in the US. Each one is unique in its own way, and all typically have colorful glass or tiling with reds and blues and yellows etc...Staying in one is an excellent way to get an authentic feel of Morrocan culture..The smells, sounds and family atmosphere..At my Riad, Riad Lila, found in Old Medina only a few minutes and turns from el Jamaa, you are not given a front door key. There is someone on staff 24 hrs who comes to open the door for you when you ring bell..It's very interesting... And took some getting used to during my stay...Dec 2018. There are also houses called Dars. These are similar to Riads except the garden is more like a courtyard. And there are Kasbah's which are like little cities where kings or leaders lived enclosed behind a defense wall and gated door. These were found outside of the medina and often in the outlying areas. Many are not used for the same function today. I strongly suggest staying in Riad as opposed to a contemporary hotel if you ever visit Morocco. The cultural experience is unparalleled and it is a wonderful way to meet and commune with others in family style dining...And who knows what you might find wandering around inside the streets/ I called them catacombs of the medinas. Just try not to get lost ☺Dec 2018 Marrakesh Morocco