WHAT FASCINATES YOU ABOUT MARRAKECH?Marrakech captivates me with its sensuality on all levels. The smells, the colours, the sounds and the intensity and kindness of the people. And - you can make a leap in time within the city by walking through the city wall from the New Town to the Medina - where the donkey carts replace the SUVs on the streets.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE DURING THE RENOVATION OF YOUR RIAD?Well - somehow everything was a challenge in the beginning. It was important to us that everything was handcrafted by local craftsmen. That's how I developed my fascination to handicrafts. We walked through the medina every day and had prototypes made and then decided who we would work with. The coordination of all trades was not easy, but somehow it worked. One particularly funny anecdote: In the beginning I sketched and printed out a meter-long project plan - which of course nobody was interested in, but I made the craftsmen laugh and from that moment on the ice was broken.
IN WHICH PARTS OF THE HOUSE IS SUSTAINABILITY THE MOST IMPORTANT?Sustainability has played and continues to play a role on many levels. First of all with the materials and products that we used.
We also wanted to bring jobs into the neighbourhood. All the employees in the house are from Marrakech and 8 out of 10 have been with us from the beginning – for 12 years now – and therefore have a permanent job with social security. In order to avoid food waste, we always cook an evening menu for reservations only - so we can plan perfectly ahead.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE AT ANAYELA? WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE ROOM?My favourite place in AnaYela is on the "Flying Carpet" - sitting on the roofs above Marrakech and watching the sunset is simply fantastic. A favourite room is really hard to define... I've slept in every single one and somehow each has its own special atmosphere.
WHY SHOULD I VISIT ANAYELA ONCE IN MY LIFE?The AnaYela welcomes you to a very different culture. You feel safe and cared for in a foreign world that is bubbling outside but radiating peace and sensuality inside. The AnaYela lives from the sincere warmth of the people who work in it and this is transferred to the guests - something you have to experience!
WHAT SHOULD ONE HAVE SEEN IN MARRAKECH?Oh, that's a difficult question. I think most important is to get lost in the endless labyrinth of the medina. You usually discover something special, something quite unique - and that's what Marrakech is all about. (double room from approx. 160€, www.anayela.com)
PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE ABURY FOUNDATION AND ITS WORK IN MOROCCO.When I fell in love with the crafts and became more involved with the people, the skills and their circumstances, there was a point where I just thought it was unfair that people with such wonderful talents could not earn a fair living. This is how the ABURY Foundation came alive - the idea was, that all these people with wonderful abilities need an environment where they are valued - and we wanted to create this environment.In Morocco, our main focus is on the education and training of women and children.
And just in March we started a music school together with the singer Namika to help to promote creativity. The ABURY Foundation is financed partially from the ABURY's profits and additional donations.
Read more about the label ABURY here.
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