When you have come to love all the little things that were once very foreign and strange to you upon arrival. After nine amazing nights in Marrakech, at Riad Mur Akush, it's time to pack my bags and make my way to the medieval city of Fes. There's so much that I could say about Marrakech and its fascinating people, but I will leave that for you folks to discover on you own. Riad Mur Akush has served as my oasis of tranquility and comfort right in the middle of the old medina. It is located in an area that is tourist friendly, while retaining so much of its authentic day to day life- la vie quotidienne. The rooms are beautifully decorated with all the modern comforts we have come to expect and rely on WHILE keeping true to all things Moroccan. What I mean to say is that you have a great shower with piping hot water (if you want) that looks like it was built from a different era and with a unique artistry- incredibly charming. I stayed for 7 nights in Suite Amel, and it was lovely. There's a beautiful flat screen TV (that I never used) with an iPod deck to listen to your favorite music. The lounge area is spacious and gets a really nice amount of afternoon sun. I didn't use the fireplace, but I imagine that during the colder months it must be quite nice to have it at one's disposal. The sleeping area is beautiful. I enjoyed so much sleeping underneath the canopy. The mirror that is placed in the sleeping area is a piece of artwork. My last two nights were spent in the Yassine Suite, one floor down. It is beautifully adorned. The bathroom is quite lovely and very spacious. I found myself curling up on the sofa to take a midday nap before dinner on my last evening in Marrakech, and it was nice to have the windows open to hear the birds chirp and sing their song... I also had a chance to view two other rooms, Meli and Suite Olive. Both were really beautiful and charming in different ways. Each room in the riad has its own character, and I must say that the photos posted do not really do any of them justice. You have to walk in into the room and get a feel for it, yourself. The common areas in the riad get a lot of sun, and there is ample sitting space to accommodate those who want to take their meals there, or just have a cup of tea while chit chatting with staff and other guests. The lounge are and dining area are very welcoming and stocked with books and board games- everyone is welcome to use them... Now on to the personal touch of Mur Akush: the staff is the best part of the stay. Mohammad picked me up at the airport (my flight was delayed, unfortunately) and delivered me to the doorstep of the riad. I was ushered through the door and into the heart of the riad by Rachid, who has a very warm smile and twinkling eyes. Mint tea and pastries were served, and I immediately fell in love with the riad, and was curious about my hosts. Being a single woman traveling alone is an adventure itself, and probably requires more assistance in some aspects: each person at the riad was kind enough to assist me and give me helpful tips and advice- I talked Rachid's ear off each evening, and he was gracious enough to let me tag along when he went out to do shopping or other errands. I must have been such a pest, as I asked him so many questions and even asked to earn how to make tea. (Thank you, Rachid, for letting me into kitchen!) One night, as he was about to leave the riad to get his own dinner, I asked if I could tag along to take a stroll late at night- I was able to see things that I would have never seen on my own. He also went to the train station to get my train ticket to Fes on my behalf. I was fortunate enough to meet Maria and she went above and beyond to make sure that I felt safe and at home. Maria was so kind to me and told me that if I wanted, she and I could venture out together and do some shopping. I am so grateful for having had the company of both Maria and Rachid. Truly. One evening, the three of us had an impromptu dinner- each contributing to the dinner in our own way- very funny... Zorah, who prepares the meals, was also very attentive and kind. As I was on vacation, I slept in as late as I could and probably threw off her daily maintenance schedule. But, she was always telling me that it was ok. On a particular day, she could tell that I was a bit frazzled, and brought me a light lunch that she took the initiative to prepare- she said that she was fretting over me as she would her kids. It made me feel warm inside... What more can I say? Mur Akush is really beautiful. Centrally located. Great value. The staff is very accommodating and enthusiastic. I do encourage having dinner at the riad. The food is amazing. I should have stayed in for dinner more, instead of eating around the corner... So, to sum it all up: after 9 consecutive nights here, I leave Riad Mur Akush with a smile on my face and certain warm feeling inside for those who have made a real effort to take care of me and let me take a peek into their world here in Marrakech. Thank you all.