Riad Villa de l'Ô. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house with an interior courtyard. In the past 10 years or so riads have become popular in Morocco and are offered as intimate inns in the heart of the old cities - sort of like bed and breakfasts are here in the States. From the outside, these riads look pretty plain - just a hole in the wall. Sometimes a simple hand carved door but there is no way you would know what kind of beauty lies beyond. Once inside though, it is a visual feast with tile mosaic floors and fountains, hand carved columns, balusters, and furniture and beautiful perforated metal lamps that cast pearls of light in all directions. In the central garden of traditional riads there are often four orange or lemon trees and a central fountain.
This riad in Essaouira has been recently renovated and departs a bit from the traditional Riad. The feeling in this Riad was decidedly Safari with leather chairs, animal hide, and a simple pallette of colors that you see in these sketches.