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Riad Enija is managed by Ursula, the owner.
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Riad Enija Lion suite - Riad Enija, in Marrakech, Morocco
— Ursula: “It is definitely a ‘thousand and one nights’ experience. The rooms are Arab, fixed up like you would imagine them. We offer the possibility to wind down, to be and enjoy.”
Interview By:

— Tell me a little bit about the history of Riad Enija.

Ursula: “It’s a Moroccan name, but my version is from Greek mythology — it means Ying and Yang. Riad Enija is also in honour of my daughter. The place is about 280 years old and used to belong to a wealthy Moroccan silk merchant. The whole family lived in this property. There was also a harem for the women — a very traditional house. Then the time came when they wanted to be more modern, so the place was given up. We saw it 15 years ago and decided to buy it.”
— Riad Enija courtyard

— Did you decide straight away that you would run it as a small boutique hotel?

Ursula: “Yes. At the time it was quite a new idea because there weren’t a lot of foreigners living here. I am a hotelier and when I saw the place, I knew that it couldn’t be used as a private home but it would be possible to furnish it as a boutique hotel.”
— Riad Enija Lion suite

— Riad Enija is said to be the most beautiful of all Riads in Marrakech. To you personally, what’s so special about it?

Ursula: “We looked at about 240 different places before we bought this one. It had the most aristocratic beauty we had seen in the whole Medina. A lot of people call Riad Enija the mother of all Riads. I think it’s because of its historical beauty and because of its size. There are 4 palace houses connected through corridors, so all together we have about 2,500 square metres.”

— Please tell me a bit about the architeture and the interior design of Riad Enija.

Ursula: “The restoration of Riad Enija was done by my husband, a UNESCO architect. Step by step we restored the place and tried to respect the Islamic art and architecture as much as possible. We saved a lot of items like the old wooden doors, the windows and ceilings as well as the craftwork. I think this is the beauty in our property.

The interior design was my project – it’s my hobby. I love art, I love decoration. I did all the interior decoration and have a great collection of art pieces that I’ve gathered over 25 years which are all in this house now.”
— Riad Enija patio

— Please tell me a bit about the atmosphere of Riad Enija?

Ursula: “Riad Enija is definitely a ‘thousand and one nights’ experience. It’s a big place. The rooms are Arab, fixed up like you would imagine them. We mix cosmopolitan furnishings and art pieces with old antique Berber carpets. We have a lot of candles everywhere, a big garden and a lot of roof terraces. We want to give people the dream they had before they came here.”
— Riad Enija patio

— I read that your philosophy is ‘a journey to the sublime realm of peace’.

Ursula: “The kind of luxury we offer is for people who understand this philosophy. We decided that it was such a great house and such a great experience to be in this house that you would not need to have a mini bar or a telephone, or a television. And you do not need locks because you have these beautiful massive doors. We know from our regular guests that it was a great decision. We offer the possibility to wind down, to be and enjoy.”

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