Love is in the walls

The renovation of Riad Cinnamon is at last coming to fruition after many many months of planning, designing, redesigning, imagining, repositioning and trying to create our vision. We expect to welcome our first guests for Easter 2010.

Having sucessfully renovated Riad Papillon we felt encouraged to be if anything more bold and adventurous. We know that one of the things that we value most of all about being in Marrakech is the wonderful sense of calm and serenity that one feels as one enters a Riad Boutique Hotel after spending a day at the souks.

I works as a Psychotherapist with people from all walks of life and all ages and I know about the vital need that we all have of a place where we can feel a sense of belonging, peacefulness and contentedness-a sanctuary. This place or feeling that many of us yearn for can be found in many ways. One of the ways we hope to help you find this sense of peacefulness and calm is through the space, light and colours that we have created at Riad Cinnamon.

All the rooms at riad Cinnamon have high ceilings which give an expansivenes that allows  one to breathe and feel that you can expand and spread out literally as well as figuratively. We have designed three of the rooms to have special ‘meditiation spaces’ within them accessed by a slim staircase with treads in wood and risers in smooth tadelakt. It is almost as if you are climbing to a higher place within your self as well as within your room. The meditation space can be used for all sorts of activities-not just meditaion of course- children may stay there and watch a dvd; you may eat breakfast on a low table there or chat with a great vantage point overlooking the rest of the room. Those less spiritually inclined may simply use the staircase as an exercise area to strengthen those thigh muscles!!!

We have chosen to use tadelakt extensively throughout Riad Cinnamon because the material is very sensual and soothing to look at as well as to the touch. The tadelakt material allows one to create surfaces that are slightly rounded and beautifully smooth-no sharp edges from wood and metal here. Somehow the use of this material within the bathrooms and bedrooms enhances the peacefulness and flow of the energy within all spaces.

Our roof terrace is quite amazing-the views are breathtaking especially when the mountains are ‘out’ (sometimes the clouds cover them from full view).  The roof terrace features a Moroccan tent, cosy corners for relaxation, an open air barbeque, two raised viewing platforms and plenty of room for sun loungers.

Love is in the walls!

The workers at Cinnamon are dedicated to their work and one can sense a real feeling of purposefulness, camaraderie and flow as they are creating our lovely rooms. Our building site is quite unlike any other I have ever visited here in Marrakech (and I have visited dozens!). The workmen really take a huge pride in their work. They work in pairs or independently without the need to be closely monitored or persuaded to work-they know their job and they want to do it-and do it well. The workers work silently for the most part the building is like a library apart from the occasional sound of a drill or a bucket landing with a thud on the ground floor as it is lowered by rope.

At lunch times and break times (which are scheduled precisely) all of the craftsmen leave their work and sit together in a circle around a little gas stove. One worker (usually Hassan who is the guardian of the building day and night) prepared the mint tea and tagine with cous cous. They all take a piece of freshly baked bread and by turns scoup up a portion fo the hot meal. It is clear that there is much respect and affection between the workers. They have worked together on our project for nearly two years now.  I like to think that the workers are pouring their love of their craft into the very fibre of this beautiful building and that you will feel that when you come and stay with us!

Choosing fabrics for curtains and sofas

My current task is to choose fabrics, calming colours to coordinate effortlessly with the tadelakt colours on the walls and to find a wonderful person to make them all for me within a reasonable timeframe and budget. You would imagine that this would be a simple task in a country renouned for amazing fabrics and colours and craftspeople. However, my experience so far tells me it will not be so simple. I first have to find someone who can sell me beautiful fabrics that are good quality. Then I have to explain the design of the curtains and sofas with words and pictures (in French) and then I have to negotiate a reasonable price and timescale and quality control. Again this may seem easy but my experience tells me otherwise! about half of the people I ask will not return to give me a quote, a proportion will say they have a fabric and then it will transpire that they do not, a proportion will give an astronomical price, some will not be skilled at sewing neatly and maybe just maybe I will find one who will deliver for us the beautiful, sumptuous curtains in silks and velvets and satins with voiles and sashes  that look just perfect-maybe-we will see!

Lucie, Janaury 2010

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