Moroccan style – old and new

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Grand patio Riad Sapphire and Spa in Marrakech

For your stay in the ever-fascinating, exotic city of Marrakesh live in a totally renovated ancient riad in a quiet, residential area of the medina.  At Riad Sapphire & Spa we have adopted a colonial 30’s style, but updated for the new century, in a blend of modern architecture with traditional Moroccan architecture. The interior design also is a mix of Western and Eastern, modern and ancient.
Take the glass panelling in the large courtyard with our pool (using solar energy to heat), instead of a traditional forged metal railing, we’ve rendered it in glass but had the beautiful traditional pattern etched onto the glass. The result is a clean look that allows more light to penetrate the loggia/arcade area of the riad.
In keeping with our colonial 30s theme, we have a ceiling fan in the salon – but used Moroccan craftsmanship to make it a little different.  We purchased leather from the suqs and found a leather craftsman to cut and cover the fan blades and support rod – voilà an old idea updated.
In the rooms we have hand-cut metal ceiling lampshades that cast wonderful patterns on the surrounding surfaces.  In the courtyards and arcades we decided on a more modern take on metal lampshades – we only had to show our metal craftsman, Mohamed, a sample and he faithfully executed the designs.  Again, at night these lampshades throw entrancing shadows on the white walls.

 

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Sitting room in Riad Sapphire, Marrakech

All the furniture and most of the décor, e.g. tables, sofas, banquettes, lampshades, rugs, artwork, decorative cushions, etc. have been locally made using skilled craftsmen. We’ve done a series of videos outlining the work of some of these craftspeople – see our blog – to watch how wood is turned without using electricity, how the beautiful cut metal lampshades are fashioned, how the fabrics used in some of the draperies are woven and more.
Marrakech is modern, ancient, exciting, interesting, vibrant, innovative, exotic and it has over 300 days of sunshine per year.  Don’t wait to visit!
Come and stay with us – live in a totally renovated ancient riad in a quiet, residential area of the medina of Marrakech.  Book directly online via our secure site and get an extra bonus www.riadsapphire.com

Koutoubia mosque, Marrakesh

Marrakech landmark, Koutoubia minaret, next to Place Jemaa el Fna', Marrakech
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  Koutoubia mosque is the largest in Marrakech and located just next to the main square, Place Jemaa el Fna’.  It derives its name from the Arabic for books “kutub” as there was formerly a book market nearby – way back in 1150. The tower is almost 70 m high and serves as a useful landmark for tourists.

The design of the minaret was highly influential and you see many other mosques with a similar design, most notably the Hassan minaret in Rabat and the La Giralda in Seville, Spain.

The minaret has three copper balls of decreasing size topped by a pointed one at the pinnacle (like one of Hershey’s kisses); legend has it that this was a gift from Saadian ruler Yacoub el Mansour’s wife as an offering for breaking her fast for three hours during Ramadan.

View courtyard Koutoubia Mosque MarrakeshInside Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech

One of the top ten places to visit in Marrakech – unfortunately if you are not Muslim you cannot go inside, but there are very pleasant gardens to stroll in around the outside.

Koutoubia mosque MarrakechInside Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech