Where to stay in Marrakech, or Marrakesh! What is a riad or a ryad? Is a dar also a riad? If not, what is the difference?
The city is spelled Marrakech in French, and Marraquech in Spanish. In English, both the terms Marrakech and Marrakesh are used, although the latter is more common.
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden. The word riad comes from the Arabian term for garden, "ryad".
The unique design of a riad creates a private, enclosed world, hidden behind an unassuming door, and lends itself to making wonderful secret retreats for guest house or hotel accommodation in Marrakech. The contrast between the busy activity of the medina streets and the calm peacefulness of a riad is quite remarkable.
A Dar (meaning house) is smaller than a riad, offers all the benefits of a riad, with its privacy and intimacy, but without the large garden in the courtyard.