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Monday 12 October 2015

Marrakech Riad of Dreams : Noir D'lvoire

My last Moroccan blog post ... I promise ... and I've left the best til last! I bring you my review of Riad Noir D'Ivoire which is without doubt the most beautiful place I have ever had the pleasure of laying my head. This home away from home exceeds expectations in every way possible. You will never want to leave! I didn't...

My pals (Lauren & Hels) and I stayed at Riad Noir D'Ivoire for three blissful nights. HK Mouse actually gave us the insider tip as she had stayed there years ago and loved everything about it. Us Mice all have exactly the same tastes - extravagant - so I knew I had to give it a whirl!

Upon arrival I knew we'd made a first class choice. The riad is tucked away right in the centre of the hustle and bustle of the medina making it impossible to navigate a taxi driver there and without a guide to show you where to find it you'd be pretty stuck! Luckily the riad had all bases covered to ensure we arrived safe and sound. We called when we were en route in a cab and as we turned the corner, there they were ... three smiling knights in shining 
Riad Noir D'Ivoire uniforms together with their trusty steed plodding just behind them - Cous Cous, the hotel donkey! Within moments our cases had been loaded onto the little donkey trailer and we were off winding down the narrow lanes off the teeming streets to our home for the next few days. It's little touches like this that kept on coming during our stay, I couldn't wait to get inside the riad to see what further delights awaited!

We were welcomed in and ushered through to a courtyard. Cue lots of hushed "oh my Gods" and "is this place for real" comments - we couldn't believe our eyes and our luck! It was as spectactluar as HK Mouse had described, from the grand central atrium lined with perfect palm trees, lavish velvet sofas that enveloped you like a big hug to a huge decorative bowl perched beside the indoor plunge pool boasting hundreds and thousands of rose petals, all delicately placed creating a flowery masterpiece! 

After we had finished being blown away, we were invited to sit down and rest after travelling. Before our bottoms had even reached the plush envelope hugging sofas three glasses of sparkling champagne were thrown into our hands - my kinda welcome! We then sat there with the lovely riad manager, Marc for the next 20 mins in a delirious daze! He told us all about the nine-room riad and its history and gifted us our very own bat phone for our trip - a mobile with a local SIM offering us peace of mind should we need to call the riad for directions or questions whilst out and about. I mean come on, could this place be anymore thoughtful! 

Next up, we were taken to our deluxe suite, The Chameau which came complete with its own private balcony - screammmm. We knew what was waiting on the other side of the door was bound to be pretty special and we were right! A huge sprawling four poster bed with beautiful embroidered sheets, a sofa-bedecked area just made for languid lounging and last but not least, a marble bathroom of dreams with a huge bathtub, rain shower and gorgeous Moroccan his and hers sinks. Sweet treats had been sprinkled around the room too to welcome us - bowls of fresh fruit and homemade meringues tied up with ribbon. Too much!

We got ready in super quick time as Marc (the riad manager) had arranged a special dinner for us in the main central courtyard which we were yet to see... 

Yep fittingly beautiful! 

It's official, we had arrived in paradise and now all that was left to make this arrival spot-on-perfect was to be fed and Marc had that covered. He started the meal off by saying "lets get you a drink - how about I keep the champagne coming" and our response "yes Marc, yes, that sounds like a cracking plan". Each evening meal, guests are given the choice between Moroccan or French cuisine - Marc had taken the liberty of choosing Moroccan for us and all three courses were sublime. Tasty fishcakes to start, followed by a beautifully spiced lamb tagine. We devoured both in no time...

But he saved the best til last wowing us with three perfectly formed puddings ... cooked pears with caramel sauce, a cheesecake roulade and a cloud of pavlova topped with raspberry coulis - three. minds. blown.

After a sound sleep, we awoke excited to explore the riad in the light of day...

Gorgeous details everywhere you turn and little trinkets displayed with such care. Not only does it look wonderful but it smells wonderful too - oil diffusers pepper the space and send you into a permanent relaxed state of calm. 

And did I mention the breakfasts?! I've seriously never eaten so well - the most delicious food just kept on arriving and delighting! Each morning freshly squeezed juices would be delivered to your table - orange, a classic was always presented but the second jug would be a complete surprise, anything from pear to grapefruit to apple. Fresh croissants with an array of incredible jams to choose from together with little butter parcels wrapped in brown paper and tied lovingly with string. Fresh eggs whipped up any way you wished paired with homemade treats such as fluffy pancakes, french toast and sweet crepes...

And for a mid-day delight we would track down the riad's chief cocktail king, Ali. HK mouse had raved about the cocktails served up during her visit a few years back and so it was only fair we tested out as many as possible. A swish bar had just been installed and the finishing touches were being made to the space during our stay. Here's Ali hard at work mixin' and shakin'...

And his handy work perched next to our loungers poolside...

Can we go back immediately please? Is tomorrow too soon?

Riad Noir D'lvoire
Derb Jdid, 
+212 5243-80975

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