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X2: Global Hotel Design
december 2007
Riad Meriem, Marrakech

A hotel gem has just opened in the heart of the Medina in Marrakech. The door is wooden and the winding streets outside heaving with life, but step through and you enter an oasis overflowing with flowers, birds and beautiful furnishings, old and new, individually sourced from around the world. The conversion of a typical Marrakech townhouse into a hotel that is an extraordinary fusion of Arab and Oriental design influences has been a labour of love for the creative polymath Thomas Hays, acclaimed New York-based designer, photographer and one-time businessman. Aided by his extensive travels, he has brought a world view to this five-guestroom Riad."
"The latest generation of hotels, Le Bellechasse in Paris, for example, or the Riad Meriem in Marrakech, are about fantasy and escapism rather than replicating a supposed front room at home. They are anchored in their location but they are not limited by it and they invite guests to participate in their particular interior drama.