As always the the slightly expensive limo transfer was essential to find the riad for the first time. However, location couldn't be better, right next to Bab Laksour (tell that to the taxi), a stone's throw from the Djemma El Fna and Koutoubia Mosque.
The riad was small, but extremely cosy. If you like your riads huge, covered in mosaics and wood carving, this is not for you. What Bel Haj offers is a sparkling clean, simple and homely space, almost entirely done in tadelakt in the rooms. Rather Zen-like in its simplicity.
We were upgraded FOC to the bigger Rabat room, which was extremely comfortable and well-lit. Lots of pillows and a comfy bed. Bathroom was great, with the exception of bathwater taking forever to drain from the tub even with just a shower -- a major discomfort which the management should look into.
It is nothing short of amazing that the staff can keep an open-air riad in dusty Marrakech so clean and neat. Standards of cleanliness were stratospheric in both the bedrooms and the shared areas.
Style of service seems to be less in-your-face (comparing with Riad Tizwa in Fes), which we liked. Hanane was always helpful but never intrusive, and very quiet (possibly due to our inability to comunicate in French). Imane the manager was very pleasant, even calling to check on us even though we didn't manage to meet her on the first 2 days.
We would highly recomend this riad. Well-priced, convenient, and extremely clean and comfy. I'm surprised it isn't ranked higher on Tripadvisor. Thanks for an unforgettable stay.
Tips for Marrakech: Don't miss Al Fassia restaurant -- it was the best Morrocan food we ate in the country (and we do eat well). Also great ice creams at Oliveri (near Al Fassia, need a map), and Ice Legend in the Djemma El Fna.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A cool, calm riad situated only moments from the bustle and excitement of the Place Jemaa el Fna, Riad Bel Haj is a haven of peace and tranquility in the Medina of Marrakech. The riad has been lovingly renovated and beautifully decorated to create a contemporary yet comfortable home for visitors to Marrakech. Traditional Moroccan materials and craftsmanship have been used to great effect and there are all the modern refinements guests would expect such as air conditioning, free WiFi Internet access and iPod docking stations. The riad is perfectly located in a well lit and easy to find derb, close to Bab Ksour and only two minutes from the Place Jemaa el Fna or the entrance to the souks. The nearest vehicular access is 50 metres from the front door and Riad Bel Haj is also close to the shops and restaurants of modern day Marrakech in the Gueliz district. ... more less