The grand Riad Marrakech
Marrakech / Morocco
Book something different...something unique and exotic. Riad Marrakech sits on 4 acres, has 8 bedrooms, and sleeps 16 people. There is a courtyard, roof terrace, reception rooms, swimming pool, hot tub, shared tennis court, and a shared large subterranean Hammam (a traditional steam bath with plunge pool). The property is a 15 minute drive from the center of the city of Marrakech and 30 minutes from the airport. It's located in an exclusive area of the Palmeraie, a grove of one hundred and fifty thousand palm trees with amazing views of the Atlas and Jebl Ette Mountains. On the North side, the tranquil view is of palm trees and farms on protected government land, where you'll enjoy scenes of grazing sheep and passing camels. On the southern side, the view is of the Atlas Mountains that are framed by the luxury homes of the neighbors.
Traditional Moroccan styles
The decor is a mix of traditional Moroccan styles and textiles, with skillfully integrated modern amenities and fabrics. There are 17 staff members including a general manager, chef, head of house, head waiter, four housekeepers/servers, office secretary, two technicians, security guard, chauffeur, and three gardeners. There is also a fulltime masseuse who is available for beauty treatments and Hammam gomage for a charge per service.
An elegant dining experience
The International menu contains pages of mouth-watering recipes to select from. Excursions can be coordinated with many choices including local camel riding, exploring the city of Marakech, a tour to the Cascades, or visiting the villages in the Atlas. A second smaller independent villa located on the same estate, with 5 bedrooms that can sleep 10 guests, is also available for larger groups. (See Riad Marrakech 1)
Jet Lag – Aarrgg!
What can be done about jet lag? When one of our clients is flying from California to France for instance, to stay in a countryside villa or an apartment in Paris, the time difference of nine hours is substantial. No traveler wants to face that groggy, droopy feeling of time zone change. There are many "tricks" that frequent fliers have learned, to make the body adapt to the time differential. After several interviews and considerable research, let me summarize what I've learned from those who deal with this situation on a frequent basis:
- Avoid consumption of alcohol.
- Eat light meals while en route.
- Try to rest enroute, sleeping if you are able. The use of eye covers and ear plugs may help.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Ask your doctor about prescribing Melatonin. This is a hormone made by the pineal gland that rises and falls with the body's natural rhythms. Levels are higher at night, and lower during light exposure in the day. Not sleeping pills, Melatonin actually helps reset your sleep and awake rhythm.
- Stay up late after you arrive. Have lunch if it's lunchtime, go to a movie, but don't take a nap. On your first evening eat a heavy meal rich in protein and have a glass of milk. Retire at the normal time you would go to bed in the new time zone, as if you lived there.
- Set your watch to your destination time when you leave home, and try not to continually think about what time it is at home. Psychologically this will make the transition easier.
Different folks respond in different ways to time changes. I happen to be one of those lucky people that are not very bothered by all of this. I just make sure I start out rested and healthy, and drink plenty of water on the plane. When I arrive it's easy to focus on the fun and excitement of the destination, and that keeps me awake until it's time for locals to go to bed. That gives me a good night's sleep that first night, and then I seem to be fine the next morning when I wake up. I think attitude and expectations have a great deal to do with it. If you worry about having a problem adjusting, you probably will. And yet if you expect the best, do what you can to help your body get with the program quickly, and renew your mind to the new time, you're most likely going to be amazed at the easy transition!
Emmanuel, family & friend in Japan
Dear Travelers and Friends,
Our staff recently returned from amazing tours of Japan, Thailand, India, and South Africa. We visited many excellent villas, casas and condominiums in these locations and we've chosen the best of these to list on our website. Rest assured that these new properties pass the same demanding standards that we have always required of every RentaVilla.com property.
If you haven't experienced Mexico or the Carribean yet, you're in for a wonderful discovery. The beauty, weather, rich history and architecture are amazing! Holiday weeks are filling up quickly, so I encourage you to give some thought to reserving your winter vacation on the beach. You'll never be sorry you did it!
Just keep traveling!
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
For a little laugh
Unique can sculpture
A note on the soda pop machine in our break room warned, "Diet cola isn't working."
Beneath that, someone else had written, "Try exercise and a low-carb diet."
Typical Tuscan countryside
Tuscany is the region central to Italy, bordering the western coast along the Mediterranean Sea. Tuscan cities such as Florence, Siena and Pisa, together with smaller towns like Lucca, Cortona and Arezzo, contain some of Italy's most famous artistic treasures. Medieval villages such as San Gimigniano, Asciano, and Vescovado di Murlo are at the heart of the glorious pastoral countryside for which the region is equally renowned. Here you find vast fields of sunflowers, vineyards, olive orchards, wheat and other grains. It's an ideal location for a villa rental because this area offers something for everyone.
One can spend a day touring the architectural and artistic treasures of Florence and yet drive a short distance home and be surrounded by the calm and beauty of the agricultural landscape. The motorways and rail network are good, connecting the major cities and towns. The weather is mild, usually sunny and pleasant. For those hot summer periods, a relaxing day of sitting in the shade garden with an occasional dip in the pool does the trick.
Most of our requests for holiday destinations are to this region, and because there is so much to experience, people return again and again. Most of the people in this area speak English, particularly youngsters who are taught in school, and merchants in the towns and cities. Even though the written and artistic history goes back a thousand years and more, modern amenities remind you of home.
With RentaVilla.com's wide variety of Tuscan properties we are prepared to accommodate every need. We can help you arrange a chapel wedding at a large villa estate where you want the reception and overnight accommodation of family and friends. We can put a single person or couple in a comfortable apartment nestled inside the gates of Siena or Florence. We can find an ideal countryside home for a family or group of friends that have come together to tour this special area for the first time. We know the properties personally, because we take regular visits to Tuscany to meet with owners to tour each property.
The rich Tuscan culture combined with genuine joy of hosting make the people incredibly friendly and accommodating. Food is probably the most important "international language of love". The tastes and smells of genuine home cooked dishes and local wines bring people together to build "forever memories"!.
What a delightful space!
4th Arrondissement, Paris, France
Marais Delight is a stunning, recently renovated two bedroom apartment located on Rue de Turenne in the famous Marais District, near Musee Carnavalet and Musee Picasso. On the second floor of a beautiful historic 17th century building with a plant-filled courtyard, the apartment is light and bright with views onto both the garden side and the street. Entering from the courtyard you find the classic living room with elegant and functional furnishings. The kitchen is modern and equipped with the latest appliances. There are two spacious bedrooms and two ensuite full bathrooms, one with tub and shower and the other with shower only.
"The apartment is a delight!"
- JR, Albany, CA.
"We thoroughly enjoyed our apartment in the Marais District. It was a very convenient location and the manager was very helpful in all things."
- DM, Bellevue, WA.
"The property manger was wonderful! We loved the apartment and had a wonderful week there!"
- HY, Seattle, WA.
Provencal Vegetable Soup
This satisfying soup captures all the flavors of summer in Provence. The basil and garlic puree (pistou) gives it extra color and a wonderful aroma, so don't leave it out.
1 ½ cups shelled fresh broad (fava) beans or ¾ cups dried haricot (navy) beans, soaked overnight
½ tsp dried herbes de Provence
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large leek, thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 small potatoes, finely diced
½ cup green beans, chopped
5 cups water
2 small courgettes (zucchini), finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup shelled garden peas, fresh or frozen
a handful of spinach leaves, cut into thin ribbons
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprigs of fresh basil, to garnish
For the pistou:
1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
To make the soup:
If using dried beans (that have been soaked overnight), place in a pan and cover with water. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes and drain.
Place the par-boiled beans, or fresh beans if you choose, in a pan with the herbes de Provence and one of the garlic cloves. Add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer over a medium-low heat until tender – about 10 minutes for fresh beans or 1 hour for dried beans. Set the beans aside in the cooking liquid.
Heat the oil in a large pan or flameproof casserole. Add onion and leek and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften.
Add the celery, carrots and remaining garlic clove and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add potatoes, green beans and water, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add the courgettes, tomatoes and peas, together with the reserved beans and their cooking liquid, and simmer for about 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the soup and swirl a spoonful of pistou into each bowl. Garnish with basil. Serves 6 to 8.
To make the pistou:
Put the garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides once. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Alternatively, pound the garlic, basil and cheese in a mortar with a pestle and stir in the oil.
Newsletter Editor: Kathy Hayes