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Design Notes March 2010 - Ryad Dyor, Marrakech

Marrakech has long been a muse for creatives and visionaries alike. In the 1930s it was considered au courant by Hollywood’s elite. In the 1960s it became a bohemian stomping ground, immortalized by Patrick Lichfield’s rooftop portrait of Talitha Getty (now on display at the National Portrait Gallery). Come the 1980s, Yves St. Laurent was famously splitting his time between Paris and the Red City. Today it continues to mystify and inspire. Wander the souk and you’ll spot a dizzying array of traditional crafts, fashions, furnishings and antiques. Look around the medina and staggering Moorish architecture will stop you in your tracks. From the elaborately painted ceilings of the Bahia Palace, to the ornately carved walls of the Ben Youssef Medersa and the colorful mosaic tiles of the Saadian Tombs, it is pure sensory overload.

As with any design destination, the inspiration need not stop at your hotel’s front door.  Despite appearances, many of Marrakech’s nondescript, back alley doors open up to top-notch riads. One of our favorites is the Ryad Dyor, where 300-year-old architecture and stylish décor create a fabled Moroccan atmosphere. Step foot inside room number four and you’ll see why so many people are embracing the open plan en suite these days. 

 
 

They’ve brilliantly executed the mix of old and new by pairing a minimalist, concrete en suite with original, lavishly decorated ceilings. Where else can you bathe under centuries old painted cedar wood, and intricately carved stucco walls adorned with colorful zellige tiles?  With winter refusing to loosen the reins, do as we did and head to Marrakech where the weather is downright gorgeous at the moment. We promise you’ll return with fresh ideas (and a suitcase full of treasures)!

Photographs © Ryad Dyor

 

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