With its stunning palm-fringed plunge pool, this lovingly restored riad in the heart of the Moroccan capital has become Instagram’s lushest new star.
Taking the plunge to move to another country, renovate a building and start a new business, all within the space of a year, takes courage. But when this Moroccan riad came up for sale in 2015, communications manager Alice Tassery and photographer Gabriel Paris saw it as a golden opportunity. ‘We were looking for a new direction to take and when Gabriel’s dad, who owned the riad, decided to sell, it provided us with the perfect passion project,’ says Alice.
The couple soon found themselves relocating from France to the bustling city of Marrakech to transform the property into the home – and guesthouse – of their dreams.
Alice and Gabriel wanted to create a stylish, comfortable space with a friendly vibe while remaining true to the riad’s heritage. ‘It had been in Gabriel’s family for years,’ says Alice, ‘and we wanted to do justice to the culture and history of the city. Marrakech is a place that marches to the beat of its own drum and it was important for our guesthouse to reflect that.’
With this in mind the couple embarked on the renovation project, embracing the colours and traditions of Morocco. Each room was painstakingly redesigned and no two are the same. The green-tiled pool quickly became an Instagram sensation (@leriadyasmine) when the eight-bedroom guesthouse opened for business.
‘We never dreamed the riad would become so Insta-famous,’ says Alice. ‘In fact, around 80 per cent of our guests visit because of social media.’ On the floor of the pool, picked out in black tiles, is the Berber yaz symbol, which means free man. ‘It’s become the ethos of riad,’ says Alice.
And the guests keep coming. But despite the demand for a stay at this heavenly haven, the couple still manage to find quiet moments when they, too, can relax by the pool.
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Report by Julia Green. Shopping edit: Charlotte Page.