We stayed at La Porte Rouge Riad from Fri 29 March - Wed 3 April and it exceeded all expectations. From initial contact via email Karen was very, very, helpful. I found it by going through all the TripAdvisor reviews & finding something within our tight budget!
We arranged a transfer with Karen (she offered this to us for free) but our flight was delayed by 2hrs. I emailed Karen before we took off to let her know and when we arrived at Marrakech airport our transfer was waiting at arrivals (we were scared they may not have realised!)
When we parked up on the main road we were dubious at first - it seemed very busy and we had to walk down 2 alleys to get to the Riad door. But as soon as we walked in our worries were over. The riad was simply beautiful and felt homey - the decor, the smell of incense burning etc. We were welcomed with fresh mint tea & Moroccan pastries (yummy!).
We were a group of 7 females looking for a relaxing and chilled break. On the first night there were 5 of us staying in 2 rooms - Hiba & Argana and the next night our 2 friends joined us so we had Hiba, Argana, Salwa and Chadia. The rooms were all decorated in different Morrocan styles & colours and they were perfect in size. No issues with dirt, beds being uncomfortable etc they really were great! The shower gel provided smelt very nice! Rooms were cleaned every day.
We had breakfast on the roof terrace almost every day - this was our fave part of the day as the sun shone on us and we had fresh pastries, mint tea, crepes, yoghurt etc. It was a very "sweet" breakfast and we would have loved to have had some cooked eggs or something savoury etc but this was not a major problem. You can see the Atlas Mountains from the rooftop. We also ate dinner at the riad twice and it was very nice - the tagines cooked fresh and only 8.50Euro for a main meal also great main + dessert/3 course meal deals. The riad also had a fab open bar for only 6Euro per person and this included unlimited sangria, caprinhas and mojitos. We loved the sangrias Moustafa prepared for us! Great value & way to unwind/start the evening!
We never got the chance to use the jacuzzi as we were so busy but we had massages - 30Euros for 1 hour and 20Euros for 30 minutes - the 1 hour massage did not last a full 1 hour (more 45 mins) but it was a good massage nonetheless.
We arranged a 1 day excursion with Karen to be taken upto the Atlas Mountains, Orika Valley, visit a Berber village, visit to the lake etc. This was 1600 dirhams for 7 of us which was good value. We were driven by Yassine for the whole day and it was a great trip. We wish we had known that the additional guide to the waterfalls was extra as we didn't have enough money for this...
The Riad is approx 15 mins walk from the main square. It's an interesting walk but once you have done it once it's very easy and a taxi is not needed. We actually preferred the location of our riad, away from the real hustle & bustle and more relaxing and peaceful.
On the first day Karen arranged a "green taxi" for us (metered & official) to Jardin Marjorelle. On the way back we tried to get a "normal" taxi but they were not metered and were saying extortionate prices! I called Karen and asked for her to arrange for 2 x green taxis to pick us up instead and she obliged.
The kindness and hospitality of Karen, Syed, Moustafa, the housekeeping team and Yassine was second to none. None of us would hesitate to visit again - it's perfect for groups of friends and couples (it's very romantic!) - i could imagine that it's possible to rent the entire riad which would also be great for a special occasion etc.
The riad has free wifi which is also a big plus :)