The choice of Rabat to create a hotel may be surprising. A
s well as being an imperial city, Rabat is not overrun with tourists.
I hesitated between a small classic hotel in downtown Rabat, a fashionable boutique hotel or a hotel on one of Rabat's many beaches on the Atlant
ic. I quickly opt for a Riad
. A Riad is a traditional urban mansion built around a central patio inspired by the atrium of Ancient Rome.
The city of Rabat has this peculiarity of having several medinas: that of Salé to the left of the bouregreg river, that of the kasbah of the oudayas, and finally that of the ancient city of Rabat whose streets are wider than those of the other medinas.
I spare you my long, difficult and time-consuming search,
one evening in November, I fell in love with the old post office of the medina of Rabat; this easy-to-access building on the main avenue of downtown Rabat had the peculiarity of being full of light.
Moreover, the building had no historical interest which allowed me to imagine an original building.
What I wanted was to create in Rabat, a Riad of the 21st century, that is to say a Riad drawing its origins from the Roman and Arab-Andalusian past of the city of Rabat and at the same time show our future guests all the modernity of design and the creations of young Moroccan artists.
Not being a native of Rabat myself (my family is from Fez) I tried to understand my attraction to this city and it is some notions of history that brought them to me: Imagine that
in 1515 Rabat is a town with less than a hundred inhabited houses. At the beginning of the
17th century, following the enactment of the decree of expulsion of the Morisks by King Philip III of Spain, 13,000 members of this community found refuge in Rabat, thus contributing to the revitalization of the city. A period of prosperity ensued, thanks in particular to the maritime race, the main activity of the region at the mouth of the Bouregreg during the next two centuries. The priv
ateers of Rabat ventured far into the Atlantic Ocean sometimes as far as Iceland and as far as Newfoundland off present-day Canada.As evidenced by the
adventures of Robinson Crusoe , captive of the privateers of Rabat.This Andalusi
an heritage contributes to the formation of a social group based on community affiliation, different from the tribal model then widespread in Morocco.The name
of the street where the Riado is located is the Riado , the Hispanic surname of one of his families.
These cultural elements constitute an identity unique to the city of Rabat and I wanted to tell this story by creating the p
lace. Today, Rabat is a modern capital, eco-responsible, which gives pride of place to green spaces. Parks line it up, such as the Botanical Test Garden or the exotic gardens of Bouknadel.
From there, the design of the house begins with that of the gardens.
Alexi Bertin, landscaper had the idea of a palm grove suspended on the first floor, illuminating all the rooms and a landscaped garden on the terrace overlooking the medina.
The Architect, Amine Raiss has created traditional spaces around this garden while giving the touch of modernity of a boutique hotel.
In 2012, the Riad Zyo Rabat is finally ready. In the same year, Rabat was declared a UNESCO World He
ritage Site. In 2013, CNN's top tourist destinations In Rabat held second place.