The Bucket List: Riad Yasmine

Whilst the entirety of this world is on my list, anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that the one place I long to travel to – like no other – is Morocco.

One of the many reasons for this is that travellers have the opportunity to stay in a riad. A riad – unique to Morocco – is a “large traditional house built around a central courtyard, often converted into a hotel” (cheers, dictionary). Morocco has many riads on offer, but there is one that arguably stands out from the rest.

Enter: Riad Yasmine.

“Enter the crossed threshold and escape the heat and vibrancy of Marrakech. Let yourself be guided by the cool air corridor leading you to the traditional patio. You will be enveloped by its bright and quiet atmosphere where only the chirping of birds comes to disturb the silence. Throughout your stay in the red city, the Riad Yasmine will be your safe haven of peace, a timeless nest preserved from the bustle of the medina.”

Photo courtesy of Riad Yasmine

The boutique hotel – which has been described as an “oasis within the chaos of the medina” – owes it’s iconography to it’s exquisite Moorish architecture and design. Characterised by a motif of white and olive green tiles, the riad enjoys sweeping courtyards and a mosaic dipping pool.

Photo courtesy of Bon Traveler

Guests are spoilt for choice with seven individually-decorated rooms. With the riad located mere footsteps from some of the best sites in the Moroccan capital of Marrakech. Riad Yasmine is as photogenic as it is special, and has met an impressive reception of travellers who praise the owner’s intimate and extensive approach to hospitality.

Photo courtesy of Bon Traveler

I’m trying to refrain from describing Riad Yasmine as Insta-worthy… but yeah, it’s Insta-worthy. From my research, I would advise booking far in advance – to describe the riad as popular would be an understatement!

Highlights:

  • Sipping on mint tea poolside
  • Basking in the Moroccan sunset over the medina from the roof

Photo courtesy of Ohh Couture

The ‘Deats:

Name: Riad Yasmine

Website: http://riad-yasmine.com/en/

Location: 209 rue Ank Jemel، Bab Taghzout، Marrakesh 40000, Morocco

Contact: +212 5243-77012

Photo courtesy of Ohh Couture

Be sure to check out my two previous posts in the Ginger Passports’ Bucket List series: Villa Ariana Grande and Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel 👌

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The Bucket List: Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel (Or Why Tourism is Political)

This is the second edition in the Bucket List series, with the first showcasing the Balinese architecture of Villa Ariana Grande. However, what makes this post so special is that what I am about to discuss is worth more than a pretty Instagram picture.

It is only recently that I have begun to take an active interest in politics, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only is it crucial that someone has a reasonable understanding of the political and cultural dynamics when traveling to a different country (in the interests of safety, if nothing else), but following current events and the like provides that extra dimension of appreciation for the context in which one experiences a new place.

The centrepiece of this post is Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that Banksy is a controversial and political graffiti artist who created the likes of Girl with the Red Balloon and Pulp Fiction. It was only in March 2017 – one month ago at the time of writing – that he opened the hotel.

The Walled Off Hotel is quite literally a work of art. In fact, it’s more of a demonstration than anything. The Walled Off hotel – hence it’s name – is located in Bethlehem opposite the Separation Wall (a wall constructed by Israel to segregate the country from Palestinian territory) and is self-promoted as having “the worst view in the world”.

The Walled Off Hotel has the unique potential to send a political message through it’s geography. According to the Conversation, “… placing an operating hotel on a site where guests can feel the oppression of the wall and experience the surveillance of an Israeli watchtower works to embed visitors in the occupation.” Guests will be subjected to physical confinement, checkpoints and security checks in the hopes of inciting feelings of injustice for those suffering from conflict such as that between Israel and Palestine. Banksy invites guests to subjugate themselves to the tensions of occupation, and his intentions for his latest masterpiece to construct a marriage between tourism and politics are sure to hit the mark.

Banksy’s latest instalment has attracted substantial media attention. Al Jazeera reported that critics accused him of “… making a profit off Palestinian suffering, normalising the occupation (and) beautifying the wall”. However, others applaud Banksy on his critique of the way Western tourists divorce travel from a country’s civil affairs and oppression. As for your opinion…? Well, you’ll just have to decide that for yourself.

If you are thinking about booking a reservation, you may want to act fast; it is likely that the hotel will only be funded for the remaining of 2017. Learn everything you need to know here.

The ‘Deats

Name: The Walled Off Hotel

Creator: Banksy

Location: 182 Caritas Street, Bethlehem, Palestine

Website: www.banksy.co.uk

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