Our Story

Marhaban (welcome) to Riad Ma’ab and your interest in our bed and breakfast in the medina of Marrakech.

John Rani 350Our story begins in 2006 when John and his wife Rani purchased an unoccupied riad, which was over 200 years old, located in the Riad Laarousse quartier of Marrakech. During approximately a two year period of time, the old riad was completely renovated from the ground up. Once completed, the riad opened as the English speaking Bed and Breakfast named Riad Ma’ab.

From the start of renovation it was the intent to maintain the original Moroccan architecture and Berber design using modern materials.

Each bedroom in the Riad is named after the area of Morocco where the carpets were made. Beni Ouarain located off the courtyard has a thick, soft hand knotted carpet in cream with black border from the Middle Atlas. On the first floor in Chichaoua, the carpet is dyed a traditional deep red from the Plains of Marrakech. The flat woven carpet in blue, red yellow and orange with traditional Berber motifs in Tazenahkt is from the Lower Atlas. Ourika with sheep skin covered poufs has flat woven and knotted pile carpets in black, yellow and red hand loomed in the High Atlas village of Amlougi.

entering courtyard 350The Berber influence can be seen throughout the Riad from the ground floor to the terrace. As you enter the Riad, the old doors on the wall are from the Berber Middle Atlas region near Ifrane. Stepping into the courtyard, the door carvings off the courtyard and first floor bedrooms, although new wood, are hand carved in Berber Middle Atlas traditional designs. Adjacent to the courtyard in the bhou, the tables are from the region of the High Atlas. The Salon tables are hand carved in Berber design from the Tazarzit region of the Sahara. The subtle earth tone of the tadelahkt (plaster) and painted walls within the Riad are carried over from the natural colors seen in Berber village homes. Our soft “candle – like” lighting creates a calm, relaxing and natural environment. All of this comes together in the name, Ma’ab. Ma’ab an old Berber / Arabic word which means “a place to which one returns“.

We hope you will enjoy your stay with us and your experience in Marrakech. If you have any questions or need assistance, please ask. We will be happy to assist.

John & Rani Owners, Houssain Manager, Sana Cook de Cuisine