RIAD EMBERIZA SAHARI, A GRAND AND NEWLY RENOVATED RIAD EVOKING DESERT THEMES IN EUROPEAN STYLE AND COMFORT
Relax and enjoy the swimming pool, the bhou (outside salon) along with the melody of tinkling fountains and the birdsong of the Emberiza Sahari.
THIS BOUTIQUE HOTEL RIAD OFFERS 6 LUXURIOUS ROOMS/SUITES SET OVER A PATIO, AN OASIS OF CITRUS TREES AND SWIMMING POOL
THE RIAD OFFERS THE FOLLOWING FEATURES:
ALL ROOMS ARE FULLY AIRCONDITIONED
DAILY HOUSEKEEPING OF ALL ROOMS INCLUDED IN THE ROOM RATE
ALL ROOMS AND SUITES HAVE EN SUITE BATHROOMS
GUESTS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO STAY A MAXIMUM OF 3 NIGHTS OR MORE
FRONT DESK IS OPEN AND STAFF ARE AVAILABLE 24 HOURS PER DAY
ON SITE STAFF AND SECURITY
EXOTIC TERRACES TO VIEW THE PANORAMA OF THE MEDINA, FOR COCKTAILS AND FOR SUNNING
HISTORY OF THE RIAD
THE NAME “EMBERIZA SAHARI”
The NAME “Emberiza Sahari” is the genus name for the passerine bird in the bunting family Emberizidae indigenous to South Morocco. The Emberiza kept me company and helped in times of stress whilst the riad was undergoing a major two year renovation to bring it into the state you find it today.
The Emberiza is a resident breeder of dry country from north-western Africa from Morocco south to Mali and east to Chad. In Morocco, the species has expanded from the Atlas Mountains northwards since the 1960s, and has recently reached Tangier and Tétouan in the North and the southern shore of the Strait of Gibraltar.
In Marrakech the bird is considered sacred. Now most nights one may find it sleeping in the wooden portico of the entrance inside the riad. When one sees it there one knows that the riad is being looked after and nurtured. And always one smiles. The birdsong of the Emberiza Sahari is sweet and sounds a little like “Tebibte” which is its Moroccan (Darija) name.
HISTORY OF THE RIAD AND THE QUARTIER ZAOUIA ABBASSIA
The neighbourhood is one of the best locations in the Medina not far from the souks and surrounded by major monuments. It remains comparatively unspoiled by tourism and has its genesis in the 12th century.The riad sits beside the beautiful shrine and mosque of Sidi Bel Abbes, the patron saint of Marrakech, just beyond the old gateway of Bab Taghzout. Born in 1145, Sidi Bel Abbes prophesied with success and worked miracles. He was a passionate exhorter of charity, particularly on behalf of the blind. His ghost is believed to haunt the terrace of the minaret of the Koutoubia nightly until every blind person in the city has been fed.
Traditionally, wealthy Moroccan merchants and notables began to follow a Sufic cult which grew up around Sidi Bel Abbes and its shrine. Many of these notables came from Fez, and the private secretary of the Pasha of Marrakech lived in this small historic quarter which had many large properties compared to the rest of the Medina. Riad Emberiza Sahari is one such riad having been owned only once previously by the famous Morrocan Kabbaj family.
Today the riads and the area is much favoured by international designers (including the riad designed and lived in by Bill Willis and that of the Hermès family), writers, artists, and record producers who divide their time between the West and exotic Marrakech.
And so the ancient tradition of Marrakech continues, the crossroads on the Silk Road: a veritable melting-pot of different peoples, religions and cultures.