The History of Riads
When the Almoravid dynasty, founded by Abdallah ibn Yasin, established their Empire in the eleventh century, their domain spread from Spain down through Morocco, Western Sahara, and Mauritania. In 1062 he founded the city of Marrakech which became their capital.
When the Almoravids conquered Spain in the 11th century, they sent Muslim, Christian and Jewish artisans from Spain to Morocco to work on monuments. It was from this unique blend of cultures that the distinctive architecture of Marrakech evolved.
The Riad is the traditional Moroccan house, with two stories built around an Andalusian-style courtyard. Riads were the city homes of the wealthiest merchants and aristocrats. The name riad means garden and all the rooms opened onto the central atrium which would have orange and lemon trees and a fountain. Each riad had its distinctive style or theme.
Over the centuries these magnificent houses fell into disrepair and the facades started to crumble. But in recent years, many houses have been refurbished and converted into townhouses and hotels. Now it is possible for travelers to stay and get the authentic atmosphere of old Marrakech.
La Sultana Hotel
La Sultana in Marrakech is not just one riad but five combined to make a grand hotel experience. Each riad has its unique style with attention to minute details for furniture, decorations, and plants. Each of the 28 rooms has a unique theme – you can check to see which are available for your stay. The blend of the five different Riads gives the hotel, with its various architectural styles and moods, a very energetic atmosphere.
The Five Riads
1. Riad Bahia, light floods into this area of the hotel from the open courtyard, washing the brilliant white sculpted stucco walls in light. You will find the deluxe suites and apartments in this riad.
2. Riad Sheherazade has a rich and self-indulgent African feel, with its lush courtyard and striking columns and arches.
3. Riad Saadia brings a sense of stately Fez to the hotel, with many cedar wood shutters, and detailed ceilings.
4. Riad Almohade with its ochre bricks lends simplicity to one of the larger courtyards in the hotel. Riad Almohade houses the swimming pool and a sub-tropical garden. It is here that breakfast and dinner are served in winter.
5. Riad Sabaa is the final riad and above all of the houses is one expansive roof terrace, said to be one of the largest in the medina.
Food and Style
The luxurious rooms are decorated in a different way. Everyday fresh Rose petals are scattered in the rooms and dates filled with almonds, and fresh oranges, camel milk infused with orange perfume, and Moroccan cookies.
Large marble bathrooms with big sunken baths, his and hers washbasins, a good power shower and nice touches like bath slippers and robes and leather bedroom slippers. Some rooms have private balconies or patios. Fruit, dates, nuts and cakes are waiting upon arrival in your room.
When you stay at La Sultana you will get a sense of history and luxury, just like stepping into the Tales of the Arabian Nights. A perfect location within the Imperial city walls surrounded by the royal palaces and the famous Saadian Tombs (a fast track entry for guests at La Sultana), and just a 10-minute walk from the Djemma al-Fnaa Square and the souks.
Why not take a Cooking Class in the morning on the rooftop terrace then sit down to a lunch that you have helped to prepare with the Chef?
You can experience their signature service, La Sultana Massage, make sure you book in advance and arrive 30 minutes before your appointment so you can get to relax in the Spa pool!
Even if you are spending one or two nights at La Sultana, be sure to book a table in the Restaurant for dinner. The food is delicious, service is top class, with a romantic ambiance and live traditional music.
The biggest decision of the day is whether you should go for the Mediterranean or the Moroccan menu. You can order the house-made duck foie gras, or the Moroccan pigeon pie in filo pastry (bastilla), so light it could blow away in a slight breeze.
A desert dinner under the stars while you admire the Atlas Mountains from the terrace. La Sultana It is an oasis of luxury, calm and peacefulness within a hectic city. It is the perfect way to end your day.
Welcome to La Sultana!