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A napping oasis in Marrakech

Who knows just how many paradises are hidden in the private courtyards of Marrakech’s many Riads? And once inside these, how many hidden opportunities for a nap in the afternoon sun? And it’s all in a name at the Riad Jiardin Secret…

The historic riad was restored into a slow-life getaway by Parisian couple Cyrielle, a photographer, and Julien, an art director. In search of a slower life, they left the fashion business to create this sun baked haven in the Marrakech’s antique district. Inside their ochre walls, the atmosphere is defined by the simple touches of its “anti-modern” flair, offering guests a different pace of life. It’s the no-frills foundations of comfort that shine – nooks to lounge in, no technology in sight and a palette as warm as the nights.

1. “After a decade working in fashion industry in Paris we were craving for adventure and a profound change of lifestyle. We chose to settle in Marrakech after many visits. In search for a riad we could call home, we came across this late fifteenth century house called Riad Jardin Secret.”

2. “A century back, a wealthy local man built almost two identical riads, one of which he gave his favorite mistress as a present. This generous gift was the Riad Jardin Secret which continues to stand out for the quality of its craftsmanship and the striking impression of traditional stucco, zellige tiles, tadelakt and textured, hand-painted walls.”

3. “We’ve carefully built up a ‘slow life’ haven here, where our guests can adopt our free spirit attitude to life and feel at home. We chose the organic forms and simple design to reflect a sense of Moroccan history, inspired by the”anti-modern” way of life. We define this as embracing the imperfections created by the tear of time.”

4. “We organised the roof terrace in several little nooks with different atmospheres to make each guest feel comfortable. The first thing we did was building our wooden cabin. It’s like being on a flying carpet overlooking the Medina and the majestic Atlas Mountains.”

5. “We worked in collaboration with local artisans to bring a contemporary flair to the historically-listed interiors. Each bedroom is different but in each we wanted to create a very homely atmosphere. Our inspiration comes from the Berber way of life, using organic materials and also from the iconic architect Bill Willis, who used to work with Yves Saint Laurent.”

6. “Televisions and air conditioning are not available, which is our way of encouraging ours guests to adapt to our laid-back slow-life haven and our free spirit attitude to life. We hope our guest will read, sketch…We hope they will dream…”

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