Riad Maizie belongs to me, Miranda. I’m a yoga teacher and author of 'Cinnamon City' a best-selling book describing the experience of buying and restoring this 200 year old house in the oldest quarter of the city. (Also see Umbrian Farmhouse airbnb)
The doueria is a self-contained suite with a fourposter bed, an intricate classic Moroccan painted ceiling, and a bathroom with an amazing tadelakt bath. We can make up a banquette as a bed for a child under 10, for whom we charge €10 per night.
It has private access to the roof garden, and a view of orange trees and fountains in the courtyard, complete with dawn and twilight birdsong from nests in the jasmine wreathing the window.
It is one of five rooms in a peaceful Riad - a heavenly retreat after the kaleidoscopic chaos of the souks - five minutes from the nearest taxi and twelve minutes from Djemaa el Fna.
We have internet access.
There is a large suntrap roof garden with a view of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains - the perfect place for breakfast in the sun, or for dining beneath the stars, followed by a spot of relaxation lounging on banquettes amid the heady scent of flowers. There is also a trio of cool roosts in the courtyard under a canopy of orange trees.
The riad is a welcoming and friendly place to stay with a bunch of friends. Make it your HQ and explore the mountains, desert, or the vast golden beaches of Essouira. Lose yourself in the souks, a beady shopper's paradise selling everything from Berber jewellery to shining brass and copper hand-basins. Or make like a sybarite, and go for total relaxation with an Argan oil massage at the riad.
Will, my son, the manager is an exceptional artist and international chef, happy to cook great real food using fresh local ingredients, including delectable vegetarian dishes, which can be hard to come by in Marrakech. Alternatively, Amal, our lovely femme de menage can do an amazing array of traditional Moroccan food.
Christmas - fab and special - from 20th Dec to 6th Jan costs €99 for two, €109 for three per night.
Please make yourself at home - mi casa es su casa.
Will was a very kind and welcoming host. The Riad is beautiful. The owners put a lot of effort in restoring it, and there are corners full of old fashioned character everywhere you look, with a nice contrast provided here and there by Will's contemporary paintings. My room was beautifully decorated, and so was the bathroom. I enjoyed my lazy breakfasts on the terrace, playing with the local cats, and chatting with Will. It's incredibly central, and you're immersed in the chaos of the Medina as soon as you step outside, but it's incredibly peaceful and quiet inside. The riad is slightly more expensive than others in the Medina (but there are a great deal of much more expensive ones too!), and some others offer SPAs, but the relaxed feel, tranquillity, and well kept beauty of this one is well worth the stay (and you can always go to hammams close by if you're looking for a SPA).
Riad Maize has a real bohemian charm and we would recommend it to anyone visiting Marrakech. We were made to feel very welcome by the hosts. The riad is stunning with an amazing roof terrace, and the Doureia suite we stayed in was particularly special.
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Hi I'm Miranda, and I live near Lake Trasimeno. My husband Dan is a painter who gives art lessons and I'm a writer. I've written around 20 books published in maybe ten languages, most of them about crafts and interior decoration. The most recent two were published by Transworld, called 'Getting to Manana' (about our decade in Andalusia) and 'Cinnamon City' (about buying and restoring a riad in Marrakech) respectively. The latter was a Daily Mail Bookclub Choice, December 2005, and is called a best-seller by Transworld. They are now both ebooks, which is v exciting.
I escape from my computer by teaching yoga three times a week - you'd think after doing it for 10 years I'd have the perfect figure, but strangely, it hasn't happened.
We live a somewhat Bohemian life on the Umbria/Tuscany border, in an old converted farmhouse on a huge nature conservancy farming estate, with three rescued cats (one found in a ditch, one in a tree and one flung from the window of a passing car) and a dog, Laika, (whose previous owner wanted to make his fortune as a juggler in Valencia). This is definitely country - with woodland, porcupines, boar, black squirrels, nightingales, badgers, dust, deer, elderly mountain bikes for hire and a fishing lake on the estate.
On foot you can amble to swimming pools, tennis courts, great walks, a grocer, baker, bar, post office, pharmacy and restaurant whose excellent chef used to cook at Eton.
By car you can get to Divin Peccato restaurant (q.v.) in Panicarola, to il Pescatore bar by the lakeside on Trasimeno, take a boat out to eat on Isola Maggiore, eat at Piccola Trattoria Guastini near Montepulciano, and taste wine in a million different places.
My dreams are to 1) Go to the Jaipur Music Festival this autumn or to do resist printing with Natalie Gibson in spring (website hidden) 2) to do another yoga teacher's course on some palm-fringed beach 3) successfully turn my two new books (one about moving to Italy and one is a romantic novel) onto ebooks.
Hosting: informal, chatting, red wine for me. I'll do station pick-ups and returns, take you to bigger supermarkets, the lake and local hill towns if I can think of a good reason to go myself, otherwise I'll charge for petrol. Ditto, you can do washing, log onto the internet.
Carpe diem is my motto. Do it now, whatever it is.