On our way to Marrkech, we had a stop over at London Heathrow. As part of our service on our United flight, we received two free hours at the Yotel.
The Yotel is made up of a collection of "pods" staggered a few stairs up or a few stairs down on either side of the hallway.
Each pod has a heavily insulated door with window and shade. These pods are really surprisingly quiet.
You can choose your mood lighting in each pod as well. From purple, to daylight yellow to bright white.
Each pod has a toilet...
and small sink.
The sleeping area is in a small compartment that's surprisingly big.
There's even a TV inside.
There's a small collapisble table, power outlets and an internet outlet. Overall, it's a great place to freshen up or just nap for a few hours.
We took one of the last flights on BMI (British Midland) airways before it transitions over to BA.
Inside the BMI airport lounge in Terminal 1 at Heathrow.
Marrakech is a 3.5 hour flight from London. There aren't any jetways, so you'll deplane via the stairs and then take a short walk across the tarmac to the terminal building.
During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Force Air Transport Command as a hub for cargo, transiting aircraft and personnel.
A view of the front of the terminal. The airport is close to the city, so within 20 minutes, you can be just about anywhere in central Marrakech.
The city walls in Marrakech date back to the early 1100s. The walls are up to 9 m (30 ft) high and surround the "old city" for a distance of around 6 miles. Throughout the wall, there are nearly 200 towers and 20 gates. This photo is the Bab Doukala gate on the northwest side of the "old city".
Streets and pathways are narrow in the "old city". Some are closed to cars, but still allow motorcycles, donkey carts, horses and more. Our riad (hotel) was about a 5 minute walk from the gate through here.
Mint tea is extremely popular in Morocco. Every day, many vendors bring fresh mint to sell.
We stayed at Riad Kniza, which is located just off one of the main pathways.
Many buildings in the old city were originally built with very few if any windows facing outside.
But inside, many have open air courtyards with rooms located around the outside.
Riad Kniza has two main three courtyards. Much of the original detailed tile work has been preserved or restored in this 200 year old building.
There's a pool in one of the courtyards. This is a view of it from the roof.
There are many rooms where you can relax, have breakfast or admire many of the antiques in the building.
The detailed wood work and painting on the ceilings are amazing.
Mint tea is a daily ritual for most Moroccans.
There are 11 rooms in the riad. We stayed in the Yakout Suite.
Located on the second floor, the room looks out onto one of the open courtyards.
Looking down into one of the courtyards from the roof.
The room has a working wood burning fireplace in the living room.
In the sleeping area, you look up to a large dome above the bed.
The bathroom is large, with a closet on the right.
When you check in, there's a plate of fresh fruit and bottles of drinking water are supplied at no additional charge.
Breakfast is included in the room rate and it's made to order at whatever time you want each morning.
On the roof, there's two large patios where you can catch some sun….