Photo Diary: Staying at a Riad in Marrakech

While hotels can be the most obvious choice when you're booking accommodations for your next adventure, they're not necessarily always the best one. Most places have alternative housing options that are not only cheaper, but give you a more realistic taste of local life and culture. In Morocco, these would be riads.

Riads are traditional houses with interior courtyards and rooftop terraces. These private homes are designed with an 'inward focus', providing privacy and protection. The central courtyard is ordained with trees and a fountain - which provide a cool open-air haven where you can relax away from the hustle outside. The best part? The riads are usually locally owned and provide a more authentic charm than big-chain hotels. They also have a smaller number of guests so the service is much more personalized - similar to a bed & breakfast you'll find in the States. 

I stayed at the Riad le Clos des Arts and loved every minute of it! From the fresh cut flowers in the room every morning to the candle lit dinner in the courtyard in the evenings - it was pure bliss!