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“Pure Riads” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Bel Haj

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Riad Bel Haj
60 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hssaine | 60 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hssaine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #354 of 1,136 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
77 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Pure Riads”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2008

We spent 2 nights in this delightful Riad. It is situated close to the main square and the Koutoubia Mosque and is easily accessible (without any need for a porter/barrow ) from a nearby main road, although it is situated in a typically narrow 'derb'.

The Riad comprises 4 rooms situated around a pretty but small courtyard, one on the ground floor, two on the first floor and the fourth at the top of the building which includes a roof terrace.

The roof terrace also has a tented dining area where we elected to have our main meals. This was an excellent decision as the food, ambience and service were all memorably first class.

The staff were obviously hand picked and well trained and could not be faulted. We also met the owners who run 3 other Riads in Marrakech which are marketed under the title of PureRiads. They have a strong hotel background and could not have been more welcoming.

All in all it was a great stay and we will return.

  • Liked — Normally children are not welcome in this Riad, but because we booked all the rooms we had the place to ourselves and the children caused no annoyance to others.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2008

When I first saw the website for pure riads and found the Riad Bel Haj, I knew straight away that it would be a wonderful place to stay. I was traveling to Marrakech with my husband, 4 year old daughter, 4 month baby, my parents and good friend and we hired the whole riad for 2 nights stay after a 5 night stay in Essaouira.

We all arrived at the riad at the same time as the previous guests were leaving and there was a real buzz in the air as we had the 'hand over' of Marrkech knowledge from them. Also, it was a great opportunity to meet Nikki and Stuart (owners) who were there to greet us. They talked to us about their very interesting history as hoteliers and we could really sense their passion for sharing their good taste and high standards with their guests. The mint tea and Arab biscuits on arrival were delicious.

We occupied 3 out of the 4 rooms and they were all perfect and very authentic in shape and style. The riad itself was a real oasis of calm and just what you need when visiting such a vibrant city. Its design and finish is superb. We chose to eat our meals at the riad and were so impressed with the level of cuisine, it was truly delicious and very generous quantities. When visiting Marrakech for just a few nights, I wouldn't waste time stressing to find a 'safe bet' restaurant, food at the Bel Haj is authentic and most delicious home cooking you could ever ask for. Myriame and her team are fantastic and extremely accommodating. We felt so at home with them that we could go down to the kitchen and even get a quick lesson in mint tea making! Every meal we had there was outstanding value for money.

The dunk pool was great fun and all you need to cool down from the heat of the city. The adults in our group did not test the water but our 4 year old couldn't get enough of it. The roof terrace (where we ate every evening) was beautiful and private and it was the perfect spot to dine and listen to the amazing sounds of Marrakech.

Our experience of the Riad Bel Haj was one that none of us could fault in any way. When we return to Morocco we will certainly be staying there again or at one of their other riads. Everyone involved in running the riad Bel Haj, from the manager to the night warden, were all charming and very professional people.

DON'T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO STAY IN THIS AMAZING PLACE!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2008

We stayed in the Riad for 3 days in total when we visited Marrakech, spending 2 nights there on arrival, 6 days in Essaouira, then returning for the last night.

On our arrival the taxi driver who arrived at the airport didn't actually say anything to us - he spent the entire time on his mobile phone. Nor did he offer to help with our bags, which I found a bit strange, considering my girlfriend was struggling with two. For this reason we opted to take a grand taxi to the airport on our last morning. It was also a third cheaper.

Our welcome at the actual Riad was good, save for the fact that our room was not available. This was a bit of a bad thing for us - we had been travelling since 2:30am, it was now 10:30, they knew we were arriving (and had plenty of notice) and all we wanted was a shower. We were told it would be ready in a couple of hours and that we were to wait an hour for our introductory talk. As we were only in Marrakech for two days (now one and a half) we didn't really want to waste time waiting for someone but felt we had no choice.

After our welcome chat we were told we could use another room for a bit, to have a shower etc. This was a relatively acceptable solution.

The Riad itself is clean and pretty - the host is very friendly too. The rooms are fairly tight, but all well designed. The pool, I have to say, is absolutely useless - it's utterly freezing. I got as far as putting my toe in it . Maybe in the height of summer it would be useful. The terrace was lovely. The Riad itself is located only a couple of minutes from Djaama El-Fna (the big square), so is in a pretty good spot.

Our experience ended on a real low note - on our return we arrived in the hotel (no welcome tea etc this time, unlike our first arrival). We had a final chat with the representative of the owner, explained we didn't want the taxi in the morning etc. She was aware of the time we were leaving. We said our goodbyes etc. We then got up in the morning and the riad was deserted. As they were aware of us leaving we expected breakfast. We had a long day ahead and this was a real let-down; we had also paid for the meal. The only person around was the night warden - he said he could make us tea or coffee and we would have to wait til seven for breakfast. I explained our taxi was coming at seven and we had to leave. This really put a dampner on the whole thing.

I have since emailed the Riad twice but they haven't bothered replying. All in all I expected more.

  • Liked — The decor
  • Disliked — The service
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DarHanane, Owner at Riad Bel Haj, responded to this review, May 4, 2008
As the owners of Riad Bel Haj we would like to respond to the comments made in the review left by a Trip Advisor member on 29th April 2008.

This gentleman stayed at Riad Bel Haj in April 2008 and upon his return to the UK sent us an email to say that he had enjoyed his stay, the riad was beautiful and the staff were great but he just wanted to mention a couple of points about the taxi driver and the fact that he didn’t get breakfast before leaving early for the airport.

We took note of his comments and in due course we sent a response by email. We were then very surprised and upset to find that the guest had marked Riad Bel Haj 2 out of 5 and left a poor review on Trip Advisor.

This guest started his Trip Advisor review by complaining about the taxi driver who was sent to meet him at the airport. Apparently the driver didn’t talk to him, spent too long on his mobile phone and didn’t help carry his bags. It is unlikely that our guest spoke Arabic so we are not sure how he intended to chat to the driver and there are plenty of baggage trolleys available free in the baggage hall at Marrakech airport for the use of visitors on arrival. We use a reputable and reliable taxi service to meet our guests at the airport. We expect the drivers to turn up on time, meet guests and drive them to the riad. We do not necessarily expect them to carry baggage when there are trolleys and porters available at the airport. As the drivers do not work directly for us we have very little control over their use of mobile phones or their ability to communicate with mainly English speaking guests. This guest was met at the right time and brought to Riad Bel Haj as arranged. It seems rather ungracious to expect the taxi driver to carry your bags simply because you haven’t bothered to grab a trolley!

Secondly, this guest complained that his room was not ready for occupation when he arrived at 10.30 am in the morning. Perhaps the gentleman has never stayed in a hotel before but it is normal practice for rooms to be available from about 2.00 pm. We ask our guests to vacate their rooms by midday so we can clean and prepare for the next occupants. Unless a room was not occupied the previous night there is no way to make it ready for occupation before the previous guests have vacated the room. We cannot be expected to throw our guests out early in order to accommodate the next arrivals! Wherever one travels in the world this is quite normal and we are surprised that this guest was unaware of this fact and actually expected to be able to move into his room at 10.30 am in the morning. We offered him the use of another room in order to change and freshen up and therefore cannot understand what he feels he has to complain about.

This guest described the pool at Riad Bel Haj as ‘absolutely useless’ because the water was ‘freezing’. The pool is not heated and we do not claim anywhere that it is heated. On our website we describe it as ‘a refreshing plunge pool’ and in the heat of Marrakech when temperatures outside can reach 50 degrees it is indeed a very welcome place to cool off. Very few riads have heated pools and almost none in the same price bracket as Riad Bel Haj, which is a modestly priced Guest House offering very stylish surroundings and excellent service in a remarkably central location in the Medina.

The review ends by describing the disappointment our guest experienced when he was only offered tea or coffee before his departure at 07h00. It is true that we cannot normally offer a full breakfast at that hour and we have already responded by e mail to this guest and apologised for any inconvenience this caused as well as offered to refund the price of the breakfast he did not receive. The riad staff start serving breakfast around 8.00 am and work cheerfully and diligently throughout a very long day. In order to provide breakfast in time for a 7.00 am departure we would have to get them in at 6.00 am and guests have never demanded that. Until now, without exception, our guests have been delighted with the charming service they have received and impressed with how hard our staff work to make their stay enjoyable. Riad Bel Haj is a small, reasonably priced riad offering a high level of comfort and service at a modest price. Unlike larger hotels we cannot offer 24 hour service for the prices we charge. We seek to give our guests excellent value for money but we should not be expected to provide all the trappings of a luxury hotel when guests are paying relatively little. Please also note the extract concerning meals from the riad guide book which is placed in every room to help our guests better understand the services we offer:-

Meals
Breakfast is included in the room rate and is normally served from 08h00 to 11h00 but if you have an early departure please discuss this with Imane who will arrange an early breakfast if possible. You are welcome to take breakfast on the patio, or on the roof terrace.


Our Guest Book at Riad Bel Haj is filled with wonderful comments offering nothing but praise for the lovely riad, the beautiful décor, the excellent location and the fabulous service so we feel that this review was both unfair and unreasonable. We believe that this guest was possibly expecting rather more than any establishment could reasonably be expected to deliver for the price that he was willing to pay. When you specifically request the cheapest room available you should not necessarily expect an English speaking chauffeur/porter, a heated pool, 24 hour service and access to your room before the previous occupants have left, especially if none of these things have been offered or promised. We are sorry that this gentleman had a disappointing time but we take heart from the huge amount of positive feedback we have received from our other guests and we are proud to be the owners of such a charming and successful riad in the amazing Medina of Marrakech.

Please come and stay with us and judge for yourselves.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2008

Have just spent the most amazing four days staying at this Riad, the team who looked after us were amazing, delicious food, wonderful service and totally helpful in everyway. The Riad is everything it says and we really did enjoy our time there. Marrakech was great too!

Stayed April 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Bel Haj

Address: 60 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hssaine | 60 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hssaine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #354 of 1,136 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly located in the Medina, Riad Bel Haj is situated in the Ksour district, only 5 min walk from Jemaa el Fna square, the Koutoubia mosque and the Souks. Ksour is one of the most required districts of Marrakech for its peace, in spite of the closeness of Jemaa El Fna square. Riad Bel Haj offers an oasis of calm and serenity, rhythmic by the remote calls to the prayer of Koutoubia and birds song. The riad, recently renovated with taste and respect of the Moroccan traditions, offers nevertheless to the visitors a modern and comfortable place to remain in Marrakech. Magnificiently decorated and brightened up with artistic achievements and authentic Moroccan materials, the riad also has modern equipment such as reversible air conditioning, free WiFi access The riad is located in the middle of a quiet and well lightened derb and very easy to find, in Bab Ksour, very closed from restaurants and stores of Gueliz, Marrakech modern district. The nearest access for vehicles is 50 meters far from the Riad Bel Haj door. ... more   less 
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