Inside Our $32/Night Moroccan Paradise


Sometimes the clock will strike 9pm and we “accidentally” flip to E! to check if the Kardashians are on. It’s a guilty pleasure, but one that we don’t even feel guilty for watching. The white sheets weigh heavy, and the fake candle lights cast strange, yet comforting blue and green lights onto the high ceilings. I’m reading a book about Paris, while Jo reads about LA. We’re in our hotel room in Morocco.
An actual guilty pleasure of mine is spending countless hours on AirBNB creating wishlists of what could be the perfect home to complement our trip to Morocco. Any trip, for that matter. Here, the choices are all riads – or hotels centered a fancy fountain and lavish courtyard, an architectural design that helps natural cooling of a building (apparently). To the Morocco virgin, you’ll choose your riad based on the swimming pool, but stop right there. It’s not so much a swimming pool as it is a large fancy fountain you would feel bad about even throwing a penny in for good luck. We made this mistake too, packing our most respectable swim suits.
The real luxury comes through in your bathroom. Just look at this grotto shower.

Grotto shower | Moroccan Riad Marrakech
Rose pedals on the bed | Moroccan Riad Marrakech

Our riad claimed it had WiFi. And it did. In the lobby only. We knew that by asking to move to a room near the WiFi, we’d come across as high-maintenance Americans, but wanting WiFi in 2017 is not something we’re ever ashamed of. How are we supposed to research Marrakech? Cuz you know we barely do research beforehand. How are we supposed to contact our families? Cuz you know they barely know where we are half the time.

But you’re from America, you on vacation. You no need WiFi!

Our host said. If we were always on vacation, we wouldn’t have the means to be here creating travel videos. He didn’t move us.
We felt a little salty when we had to spend a few hours of our time in Morocco in a coworking space to upload a YouTube video and respond to emails, just to come back and deal with more salty vibes when our AirBNB host shaded us for spending our time in Morocco in a coworking space. It took every ounce of decency to hold us back from saying “Had there been WiFi, we could have done this from our beds last night.” I wrote this in the AirBNB review.
The riad itself was beautiful. Anything that could be designed, was. The windows were stained yellow and red. There were colored rugs, blue-and-white tiled floors, and intricately designed ceramics – one of which I knocked over on the last day with my backpack. I paid the front desk $7, the last of my dirham – which worked out in my benefit since Moroccan currency can only be traded within the country itself.

Rooftop view | Moroccan Riad Marrakech
Rooftop terrace | Moroccan Riad Marrakech
Stained glass jacuzzi | Moroccan Riad Marrakech
Classic Moroccan tile | Moroccan Riad Marrakech
Typical "street" in Marrakech | Moroccan Riad

Upon arrival to your riad, you may be a bit confused as you walk through the brown, stucco-faced alley, passing random boys on the street asking if you need help finding the square (Jemaa-al-fna). You’ll wonder if you’re in the right place, and you are. Your taxi driver will most likely walk you to an unassuming metal door, knock twice, and once the door opens you’ll see you have arrived. Moroccan culture is the least bit flashy on the outside, but the most bling bling on the inside. But that was something I found both interesting and sad – that, when lounging on the top floor terrace, you can’t help but notice the disparity of wealth (and beauty). Even in the cheapest property we could find, there is a massive difference from the rest of the surrounding buildings – or at least what we could see from our terrace.

Marrakech rooftops | Moroccan Riad Marrakech
Postcards from Marrakech | Moroccan Riad Marrakech

Even the most basic days in Morocco are adventures for foreigners. Do you see why, at the end of the day, all you want to do is “accidentally” flip to E! to check if the Kardashians are on?

Here’s a $40 travel credit on AirBNB

Here’s the Moroccan Riad we stayed in

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