What is a riad?
Riads are found mainly in the old medina or city centre of ancient towns and cities in Morocco. they are converted old townhouses that are usually built around an open courtyards and all rooms facing inwards to the courtyard for maximum coolness, privacy and enjoyment of the pool and gardens which are often in the courtyard. many riads have a terraced roof with great views (like over the High Atlas mountains for Riads in Marrakech.). the rooms in a riad will probably all be different from one another with traditional decor such as Moroccan Zellige tiled work and Tadelakt (waterproof plaster), abstract designs and a lot of colour. many riads have small pools, but only the very largest have space for a big pool, some may only have fountains and palm trees, while others have beatiful gardens and space to sit amongst roses while still in the heart of the riad.
Most riads have ensuite facilities, air conditioning and all the stuff you might expect in a big hotel, but are unlikely to have a bar, gym or elevator. Many are located in small alleyways with an ordinary looking door and plaster outside wall, hiding the beauty of the interior.
A great place from which to sally into the souks and bustle of medinas but have a cool calm base in which to stay.
Note that real traditional riads are only found in older medinas like Marrakech, Fes and Meknes , but in Casablanca and Agadir (where the medina has not survived) there are no traditional places left.