Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Riad Badi - Marrakech

Riad Badi in Marrakech, Morocco was the third of our three great Moroccan riads. The riads have forever changed how we will think about lodging. They are a combination of a nice room, a very nice common area, a good breakfast and an optional evening meal, all for a very reasonable charge. Riad Badi, including the room and breakfast, was less than $80.00 per night, is inside the medina very near the Badi Palace and about a ten minute walk from the Jema el Fna, the main market square of Marrakech. It is a windowless three story building, recently restored, with a covered courtyard and a rooftop area with a great view of storks nesting on the Badi Palace walls.

Isabelle and Christian, the owners, are very accommodating. They offered to show us around the medina (we already had a guide arranged), walked us out to meet up with our transportation to a cooking class we took and early one morning when I was taking pictures of storks on the roof, Christian brought me up a pot of warm milk with sugar. For all of these reasons and more, Riad Badi was ranked no. 1 out of 1,126 hotels in Marrakech on Trip Advisor when we made reservations and it is currently no. 9 out of 1,174.
This is as showy as the front of the riad gets. 
The entrance is down a narrow, non-descript, corridor. The ground floor has the kitchen, several rooms for guests to relax and lounge around, and I believe games and t.v. (we never visited this part of the riad - we had too much else to do).
A couch and some chairs downstairs.
Judy sits at a table downstairs waiting for dinner.
A view of part of the downstairs from the second floor.
We also had dinner in the riad our first night after driving in from the southeastern side of the High Atlas Mountains. For a starter we had a pastilla which was a combination of bread filled with raisins and chicken. Our main course was a tagine of chicken with olives and couscous. I find that in general most chicken is overcooked for my taste and that held true in Morocco. The olives were quite large and a little more bitter than many we had and we had way more couscous than we could handle. We ate a lot of tagine cooked food in Morocco and lamb was always by far the best, followed by beef, a distant second, and chicken a more distant third. Finally, for dessert we had fresh strawberries in a cup with a sprig of mint and some whipped cream. Isabelle went to the market daily to get fresh fruit for the meals.
Pastilla with slice of orange on top.
A look inside the pastilla.
Tagine of chicken and olives.
The guest rooms are on the second floor arranged around the outside of the atrium. In addition to our bed, we had a nook with a coffee table and a couch, and a nice-sized bathroom with a walk-in shower.
The second floor and doors for some of the guest rooms.
Our bed
The nook with the couch.
Door into our room and bathroom off to the left. A beautiful wall hanging near the door.
On the third floor, which is the roof, there is a covered area as well as lounge chairs and a little hot tub. We had all three of our breakfasts there, outside and in the morning sun.  For breakfast Judy always got a pot of hot chocolate and I got a pot of warm milk with sugar (which I'd never had before Morocco and learned to love there). We always had fresh orange juice, some other fruit - an orange, strawberries or dates and several kinds of bread or cake along with butter, honey and fresh jam. We also had plain yogurt which I did not eat, but Judy did eat every morning.
Lounge chairs and a hot tub just visible to the left.
The covering over the atrium and the stork wall to the back.
Breakfast one morning.
Breakfast another morning.
Breakfast the third morning.
Best of all, we had a view of at least six white stork nests nearby on the wall of the Badi Palace. Two mornings I went up with my camera and watched them and took pictures. This was a very fun vantage point.
Four of the stork nests are visible in this photo.
Storks on their nest.
Taking flight.
Leaving the wall.
Overall, our three riads in Morocco were all marvelous. I would rate Riad Laaroussa in Fez and L'Ma Lodge in Skoura as the best, each being wonderful for different reasons, and I would rate Riad Badi a little behind the other two (the physical facility was not as large or as open and the food was not on the same level, but it was still fantastic and cheaper - in a more expensive city). 


  1. Each of the riads we stayed in had its draw. This one had the wonderful roof-top view of the storks. Also, the location was nice. We could walk to the souk/main square area and actually find our way back. The owners were wonderfully accommodating as well.

  2. If it weren't for the wonderful things to be seen in Morocco, you could make a great vacation lounging at the riads.