Finding Paradise at Riad Camilia in Marakkesh
The first time you go to Morocco, and step into the medina, can make you feel like Alice in Wonderland who has slipped down the rabbit hole. Just the five-minute walk from where the taxi dropped me off to the Riad was an experience of disorientation and unreality.
There was activity everywhere. The donkey cart carrying my luggage managed to squeeze past other carts full of bread, fruits and nuts, and even one with a mattress. Already vendors were trying to sell me rugs, spices, and argan oil. Fabrics every color of the rainbow swirled above me, scooters honked for me to get out-of-the-way (but where?) and catcalls of every sort and in every language followed me down the street.
What a treat it was to walk into the doors of the Riad Camilia, which was an oasis of tranquility from the hectic world outside. Riad Camilia is one of the nicest places that I’ve ever stayed in. There is no detail that is overlooked, nothing that I was left wanting during my stay there. Riad Camilia is beautifully decorated with statues, artwork from all over the world, and gorgeous details that made me want to take a thousand pictures. It is located in a quieter area of the medina, too, so it was great to be away from all the noise.
I loved the three pools for cooling off in from the hot days. Seeing the sunset from the roof was one of my favorite experiences in Morocco. In fact, the view from the roof of Riad Camilia offered one of the best views in Marrakesh. You can see the high Atlas mountains, views of tall palm trees, and it really is just stunning.
I stayed in Room #5, the suite, and it was huge! The room was absolutely luxurious. Fresh pastries were left in a tagine for me to snack on. I had my own private outdoor table, and my own stairway to the rooftop!
But what impressed me the most was the shower. I have never seen a bigger one. It was absolutely glorious. The riad also had herbal toiletries which smelled so fragrant. Really, they turned bathing into an art with this bathroom. A towel warmer even kept the fluffy towels warm for me while I showered. If I could have, I would have moved in.
The hotel even has its own hammam for bathing, and I also recommend you to use the transportation service they offer, as haggling with the taxi drivers at the airport is not a fun experience.
I ate dinner at the riad one night, and the three-course meal was scrumptious. Fatima is an amazing cook, and I could have just stayed at the riad and eaten her cooking the whole time. Do yourself a favor and eat dinner there at least once, if not every night. Try some of the grey wine, too. It’s fantastic.
Nicolas was an absolutely wonderful host. He gave me such good advice about some of the hidden spots that tourists don’t know about in Marrakesh. (Ask about the local tea shop). Finding these spots made my trip so much more enjoyable. He is well-traveled and even gave me advice on not just Morocco, but advice on several of my upcoming trips as well. I have never felt such a level of attentiveness from a hotel anywhere, and it was nice to feel so cared for.
If you want to stay in what will be one of the best places you will probably stay at in your entire life, then do yourself a favor, and book a room at Riad Camilia.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay at Riad Camilia, but all opinions are my own.