Location: Marrakech, Morocco
An adventure searching for the perfect derelict Riad, through the constuction itself, to the end result (insha'Allah!)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

another riad, friends and even cheaper flights

Grrrrr, Ryanair announce 25% off flights if booked within the next 24hrs, just a week after I booked for January.  Oh, well the flights were only £14.99 each way and it has meant that our friends Sam ( and Laura have taken advantage of the offer to come with us, yeh!

Grant emailed details of the above riad, in Douar Graoua, this time titled and 130sqm plot size, four sided, with a wonderful 10/12m street facade.  It has a generous courtyard, but only one floor, so looks likely to be a demolish and rebuild job in order to create the necessary stability to add a first floor and terrace above.  However, for the price it is, that seems like a very attractive option.   The long street facade would give the option for external windows to open up the house (which is not all that common) and allow us to transform the riad into a more open, light property with external light sources.  The car access at the end of the derb is convenient, as can be seen in the last photo.  The house is well below the derb so you would rebuild the house above the derb, with higher rooms and two proper floors.  The level of the new terrace would then be above the neighbours.

Hoping its still available when we get there in December.  Only 6 weeks to go!

Friday, 22 October 2010

birthday treat

Grant thinks he has a better Riad for us to look at in Douar Graoua, its titled and 130sqm for 850,000dhm.  Sounds too good not to investigate.

Booked to go back to Marrakech in January for a week for my birthday...well, the flights are only £14.99 each way (plus taxes, admin charges, baggage - but still cheap!)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Progress is slow...but its still progress!

The owner of the riad we like still doesn't appear able to clarify whether it is titled or not, despite owning it for 2 years.  Sounds like its not titled!  Notwithstanding this, he's trying to put me under pressure to make an offer, having bought it at the peak of the market and not sorted the title, he still thinks he can find a mug to buy it for a premium when the market has dropped 30%.  Well, at least he's an optimist!

Spoke to Grant again today on Skype, who has confirmed my fears and given me confidence that we can get more for our money elsewhere.  The search continues.

Emailed Simon at Riad Laksiba, who responded very helpfully and having worked with Grant to find and renovate Riad Laksiba, is very happy to recommend him.  Looks like we might be staying there in December!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Yellow Riad (AKA the rabbit house)

This 140sqm plot riad is located in Zauoia and is built of brick, so relatively solid.  Nice 1st floor balconies, but ground floor rooms very compromised and difficult to see how they could be opened up.  However, nice features like the doors and cedar ceilings.  A decent size for the money, with loads of potential for renovation without being a knock down and rebuilt proposition.  Although a roof terrace could be easily created and there are even existing stairs, the surroundings are very open and difficult t create any privacy, plus the derelict riad next door, shared entrance and general surrounding area were not to our liking.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Palm Tree Riad

One Grant showed us.  Four sided Riad in Zaouia district with a palm tree in the middle of the courtyard.  At 156sqm its relatively large, with some nice original features like chickens living in the kitchen and a dead cat melted onto the roof terrace.

just booked flights for another trip to Marrakech in December to meet the owner of 67 derb Jdid.  Are we mental!?

A renovated riad

A very pretty, nicely styled small riad (50sqm footprint) in Douar Graoua.  Owned by a very nice frenchman, who wanted to sell it for a lot of money!
View of derb Jdid and the entrance to no. 67.
As we left on Saturday (Philip and myself went back to measure up), a donkey was stood at the entrance, taking a break from delivering construction materials to the neighbouring riad which was being renovated.

Monday, 4 October 2010

67 derb Jdid, Douar Graoua

Thanks to Mathilde (riad 107) and Antoine (riad Aguerzame) for suggesting we look at this riad in derb Jdid, Douar Graoua.  Full of potential and perfectly located with good access.  After a week of riad hunting across the whole medina, from total knock down and rebuilds to beautifully designed high spec new builds, this one seems to fit the bill.  Needs a bit of work though, but has the potential to create a 3/4 bedroom riad, with a lovely private roof terrace.  Its a straight forward square shape 3 sided riad, which I have come to the conclusion is nice as it provides a wall upon which to create a fountain/water wall as a feature, rather than a 4 sided riad with all views onto the internal courtyard.  Fortuitously, the owner of the riad we stayed in is an architect (we shall call him Philip) and helped us measure it up and suggested what potential the riad could release.  After a good look around and the taking of the photos and videos, we left.  As we stood on the derb outside and I shut the door behind us.  Philip wondered where he had left the key and realised that it must still be inside the riad, together with his other keys and his mobile phone.  Oh.  Problem with riads, only one door and no windows.  Solution, enter the neighbouring riad and go upstairs to the roof terrace.  Climb over the wall and into the riad, with the help of some rope.  Here's where it gets tricky.  Most riads will have a locked door down into the house from the terrace.  In an unrenovated riad with no roof terrace, you have to use the rope to abseil over the courtyard opening and down into the courtyard or if you are lucky onto one of the first floor balconies.  Fortunately for Philip, there was a small (i.e. tiny) hatch in the roof giving access to the 1st floor, which he squeezed through, ripping his trousers in the vicinity of his crotch and down to his knees!  Philip emerged much later at the front door, ripped trousers, sweaty and hot, but with a grin on his face.  The adventure has definitely started!