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“Perfect” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Ailen

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Riad Ailen
170 Deb El Mejjat, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #304 of 1,031 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Bergerac, France
1 review
“Perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

Excellent hospitality in this riad.idéalement placed to discover the real life of marrakchis Naima Asna and Younes are exemplary professionalism: discreet but very attentifs.Toujours available to facilitate your stay and accompany you if needed Have a night watchman (younes) is very reassuring. They are making serious efforts to speak your language and answer all your questions in your intérêt.La traditional hammam session with Naima is just exceptional but you can choose more continental options if souhaitez.La half board is also perfect: food varied and délicieux.Chambres own and no bruit.Wifi available.A impeccable service so! we will definitely recommend and all our friends and much more!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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104 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 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 (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Midlands, UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

We spent 3 nights at the Riad Ailen. We found it to be a friendly, clean and tranquil escape from the madness of the Medina. The staff were very helpful and pleasant, the breakfast was adequate - pancakes/flat bread, conserves and honey. Although small, the rooms are very nicely decorated, clean and a quiet place to put your head down which is all we needed - we spent most of the time out and about. The air conditioning worked perfectly, the water was hot, and the bed comfortable.
The Riad is very pretty - the owners have taken a lot of time and pride in creating a little oasis.
Two minor negatives - the location is quite far from the central square of the Medina and my wife was a little nervous walking back late at night - I have to say that I was a little wary too when the streets were quiet.
On arrival, our transfer (a Riad engaged driver/taxi) didn't show up at the airport as promised/arranged for some reason. We spoke to a very kind holiday rep (not ours) who rang the Riad for us and between them they sorted a taxi - so we didn't have to negotiate a price or worry about paying.
In summary though - I would absolutely recommend Riad Ailen and will return there when I take my daughters to experience Marrakech - which again, I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone - it is a massive cultural rush and constantly fascinating, stimulating and exciting. A real buzz.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013 via mobile

I feel very disapointed having to write such a bad review as firstly I've never given a bad review and also as all the other reviews on here are so good but I was left seriously disapointed with this place.

We arrived late on a Sunday night and I had arranged over several emails with the manger we would be collected by the riad. We got through customs and made our way through to be collected. No-one was there and as time went on we were getting worried. It was getting late and everyone had pretty much left. I was also concered as the manger had told me not to bother with getting our money changed as they would take us somewhere on the way to the riad. I eventually phoned them to see where they where. At first they thought I was trying to book a room but after several times of telling them my name and they were supposed to be collecting us I was shocked to be told in a really rude tone that they'd forgotten and we'd have to get a taxi. I did try to say we didn't have any money but I just kept being told in a really rude voice that we would just have to get a taxi. Not even a apology and spoken to like I was a child. I was livid. Next as the desks were shut for exchanging money we had to find somewhere to change our money. Luckily we found a desk and got it changed. There were only a few taxis left as it was late and they could easily see we were stuck. We could only get one of them to take us and it cost 300 dirhams!! What choice did we have?! So now because of the riad we had lost money.

We finally got to the riad and the manager met us. We finally got a apology and shown the riad. We got a quick hello, shown where are room was, given a map then told it was too late to have any food there. She then informed us she was off and left for the night. We didn't want to go out that late so we had to ask another guest if they had any water we could possibly have and went to bed hungry. The room wasn't nice, it was clean but very small with two twin beds. We were right on the courtyard and it felt like the people in the courtyard were in our room! Add to this the kitchen was right next door we slept very badly. I even felt strange getting changed in the room due to it feeling quite exsposed. We couldn't even have the one window we had open as one day I opened it to see a guy sat at the table right outside looking at me! We also didn't even have toilet roll on the first night luckily I bought wet wipes! Our room didn't get cleaned one day for some reason we don't know and we once again had no toilet roll.

We went on a desert trip the next two days and when we came back we asked around 5pm if we could have dinner that night in the riad to which we were first told no but then the manager changed her mind and we could. It felt like everything was a real hassel not what we wanted at all!

One thing also the riad is lovely and beautiful but the area is very very run down. It probably is the real Marrakech but make sure your ok with that as its hard going. You will be stared at a lot, its smelly and dirty plus homeless people are on the street just by the riad. We met lots of people staying in other parts of the Medina and there are much nicer parts to stay in. It may not bother you but we found it very hard going which on your holiday isn't great.

We just found this place had a strange vibe and theres much better out there in better areas worth considering. Maybe we caught them on a bad day Im not sure as we loved our other time in Morocco and meeting people. Huge shame.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
espacelibre, Propriétaire at Riad Ailen, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
- Likewise we are extremely disappointed about the review you posted on our website, as perhaps your memory fails you but we had many friendly conversations during your stay with us and absolutely nothing suggested such harsh criticism on your part.
- However, for your comments upon the problematic airport transfer, our manageress and ourselves expressed how sorry we were and explained why such a mix-up happened. A reservation was indeed made in your name but the e-mails exchanged beforehand showed your maiden name. Even if this mistake is not acceptable, it is the first time this has happened in the years we have been running the riad. Also our manageress explained how to come by taxi and expected to pay the driver on arrival at the riad, because she knew you would not yet have any dirhams.
- As customary with our guests when they arrive our manageress took time to welcome you and explain life and services in the riad (meal times, ordering meals, excursions, the pool, etc…) as is done for all guests. You required a bottle of water and it was my wife (the owner of the riad) who served it, it was NOT another guest.
- When you arrived we were dining, you should have asked for a meal and we would have shared with you as we have done with guests in the past.
- Concerning the bed room ; you booked exactly this room, the smallest with twin beds, a clear description is on the website of your agency. The price of our rooms depends on the size and location.
- Riad Ailen is a renovated traditional house in the Medina of Marrakech with rooms on the ground floor having windows opening onto the interior patio. If some rude people with no respect for privacy look through these, I’m afraid we are not responsible for their lack of “savoir vivre”.
- When guests go out for the day without leaving their room key it is interpreted as “please don’t enter our room”. Thus the housekeeper keeps out and does not do the beds or bathroom.
- At our riad, there is at least one member of staff 24/24, you should have asked for toilet paper if it had been forgotten and it would have been provided immediately.
- When you arrived from your excursion to the desert, it was 5.30 pm and you requested to eat in the house that evening. Normally you are to order evening meals beforehand, in the morning (as explained on arrival and stated on the website). The night guardian refused at first as he had to call back the cook to prepare a meal especially for you, a hour later you were served.
- Our riad is located in an authentic neighborhood of Marrakech, the local people are friendly, welcoming and non-aggressive. In the past, guests have never reported any act of aggression or feeling of insecurity.
- When choosing to stay in the Medina, it is also because there is a desire to experience life alongside the local people. Some neighborhoods are more popular with European and American visitors but there is such a high concentration of riads in these areas that the feeling you are in Morocco is just not there, encounters with the real population of Marrakesh are rare and less authentic.
- My wife and I are astounded by your appreciation, we were there to help you, to excuse ourselves for the airport incident. We just do not comprehend how for an airport transfer, 2 toilet rolls and a meal refused but served freshly cooked within 1 hour, you could rate “terrible”.
- Thank you however for your review as all criticism remains constructive and allows us to improve and communicate better.
Yours
Laure and Bernard as well as the staff of Riad Ailen
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

We arrived here to a warm welcome after an exhausting day. I had emailed the riad to arrange a driver to pick us up at the airport. He was waiting in arrivals for us as they said, and was one of the friendliest drivers we met, chatting and pointing out the sights on the way to the riad. The owners met us at the main gate of the medina and walked us down - otherwise I doubt we would have found it!

Our room was on the ground floor, we were promptly checked in and given a quick tour, along with a map of the area and general advice on dealing with life surrounding in Marrakech. Even without the airconditioning on, the room was lovely and cool. Comfy double bed, extremely clean, and a nice size for two of us for a couple of days. My only tiny complaint would be that the lighting didn't feel bright enough, but as I was too hot to even consider the idea of wearing make up it wasn't much of an issue. Although the bathroom didn't look great it was also perfectly clean, with a handheld shower that was of a fairly decent pressure.

Location wise I would have preferred to stay closer to the square. It's only a 15-20 minute walk (providing you don't get lost, which we did countless times) but some of the streets can seem quite daunting. Best option is to follow the map as closely as possible and ignore "helpful" advice from some of the locals pointing you in all directions. Some days we were too hot to bother walking back, and got a taxi. Asking to be taken to the bab ailen gate brings you closest to the riad.

Breakfast was fresh and made when you wanted it, tea, coffee, orange juice, fresh toasted bread, hot pastries that varied each day, with butter, jam and honey. It was one of our favourite parts of the day, sitting in the tranquility of the courtyard next to the pool, watching the little birds that pay a visit.

I don't think we could have picked a better riad, and wouldn't hesitate to return or recommend. Aside from location - and even that can be looked at as part of the experience - everything was wonderful, and helped make our first visit to Marrakech a memorable one.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Situated on the edge the Medina just a few metres away from the Bab Ailen gate this tranquil Riad was just the perfect place to return to for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The courtyard with small plunge pool was shady and cool and a lovely place to eat breakfast or to drink a refreshing mint tea which was always on offer when you returned for a rest.
The roof terrace with its comfy sunbeds was a great place to catch a few rays or enjoy the warmth whilst relaxing in the shade afforded by a Berber tent with ample sofas and cushions for lounging on. The whole place was authentically decorated and spotlessly clean and well cared for.
The staff couldn't have been more welcoming and accommodating and were on hand to serve a delicious and authentic breakfast, arrange visits and taxis and even ham-mans and massages if you wished. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this Riad as a great place to stay for an authentic feel of life in Marrakech.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

Getting a taxi from the airport into the Medina was a real culture shock, but good! I thought that there would be a lack of women on the streets but how wrong I was. The 'buzz' on the streets was great. I thought that the spa prices were much better value for money and cheaper than in the UK. We had a great variety of food from the night market stalls to cocktails on the patio at the Mamounia. A really good choice for different budgets. I loved the Majorelle gardens(Yves San Laurent) which we visited on the last day and didn't want to leave! Going back to our Riad was a very peaceful experience where I felt I could relax after a hard days sight-seeing. Comfortable beds, lovely breakfast area enjojable breakfasts) and great rooftop terrace with tables/chairs sun-loungers and a tented area for all tastes. All the people we met were very helpful and kind except for a young lad who tried to give us directions the wrong way eventhogh we did not ask for any, and then swore when we would not pay him. I enjoyed not having to barter and being able to pick up wallets, belts, try on lots os sandels, etc., etc.,, at the Artesan Ensemble on the Rue Mohammed V. So I bought more here than other places.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

What a great experience!!!! Have just returned from a 4 night break at this hotel. We were met at the airport by Said who took us to the hotel and was greeted at the entrance to The Medina by Eunice who helped with our cases. We were offered mint tea on our arrival and Ashna talked us through all excursions we could do and given a map and directions on how to reach places. When we were ready Eunice showed us our route towards THe Medina which was certainly an experience. The hotel itself was very clean and the owners were more than happy to help us with any question. The room was long and narrow and the double bed just gave you enough room to get out some people might complain but was not a problem. There is a small safe which will take your passports and a purse or wallet. The bathroom was clean although the shower a little unusually it was a hand held shower head but plenty of hot water. Breakfast was great toasted bread, pancake type bread, butter , and jams. Coffee was available. If you required some after a long day it was available at a charge of 1euro per cup. Sun terrace was great and good to relax on after a good day round the Souks. You could dip your feet after long day in the small pool which was refreshing.

We decided to do a day at Atlas mountains and booked this direct with the hotel cost 80 euros for the day that was for 4 of us but was worth every penny. We were picked up at 9.30 by Said who took us to a Berber Market and WOW what a experience it makes you really appreciate what you have at home . We stopped at a typical school, typical house and a pottery shop which had some amazing pieces ( which we did purchase some goods). We had lunch by the river which was ok. Then we were given a guide who took us up to the waterfalls. Please make sure you wear trainers.
A truly amazing day ( yes we gave the guide and Said a tip) but not a problem.

Souks are amazing but be prepared to haggle( bit of advice print off a converter before you go this proved invaluable to us) it saved loads of time trying to work things out. Give a price and walk off they will follow.

Ashna took 3 of my friends to buy spices and was not a problem.

Dress wise we were worried about showing shoulders but we didn't have a problem we wore vests , and dresses with no arms in and I even wore a maxi dress with shoulders out, just make sure you take a scarf and cover up if you feel as though you were being starred at.

Our last night we went to Cafe Arabe and wow this was great, we had 4 starters, 4 main courses, 2 puddings, cocktails and 2 bottles of wine £120.

Eat at the stalls in the market food great and cheap. About £15 for 4 people


One thing to be aware of don't ask anyone for directions as they lead you off the garden path and expect you to pay, make sure you have a good map and be prepared for the abuse if you don't give them anything.

All in all 4 women travelling on their own what a truly amazing experience, Great hotel, great service and wouldn't hesitate to go again and stay at this hotel.

Age range 42 to 55

Thank You

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Riad Ailen

Address: 170 Deb El Mejjat, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #304 of 1,031 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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