This is my second visit to Morocco and have left this review for last and am really glad I did as I wish to extend a special thank you to Ahmed who really looked after me and my husband. First time I came to Morocco, TA did not exist and I was a single girl happily staying in very simple accommodation. This time, with husband in tow, I had to up the ante and stay in more comfortable, acceptable surroundings befitting a married couple i.e. Not a bucket for a toilet!
This riad does have everything, a small dipping pool downstairs, a couple of lounge areas around a courtyard, two bedrooms on the ground floor, 4 on the next and 1 at the top floor where there is berber style lounge area, breakfast tables on the terrace, a hot tub and lounging areas for sunbathing and rooms for massage. We stayed here 3 times in 2 weeks: once in the hiba room downstairs when we first arrived to Marrakesh for 2 nights, second time for one night (chadia room first floor) upon returning from the Atlas mountains and for the final night (chadia room) after returning from Essaouria before going home. It is the final time that I especially wish to thank Ahmed for, he is like a friendly omnipresent concierge.
Early evening my husband realises he has left 2 shirts in the wardrobe of the Riad Chems Bleu in Essaouria which we left that morning. Although not expensive shirts, one of them I had sentimental value as it was the shirt I remember my husband wore on our first date. Ahmed contacted the riad and Latifa, manager of the Riad Chems Bleu brought the shirts herself the following morning to Ahmed just in time before we had our flight home at lunchtime. i never got to thank Latifa in person as she was en route to a meeting but wish to further add another review/comment after 3 months curfew that TA enforces as she made a special effort for us and I am so grateful she was able to come so quickly at short notice. Simple as it sounded, if I tried to converse with Latifa on the phone it wouldn't have been so straightforward as most hoteliers converse in French fluently but English not quite as well, having Ahmed facilitated the conversation and ended with the perfect result!
Location wise, the riad on the TA map is incorrect (not on derb Jmaa) if there is a lesson I have learnt is to check hotel websites as TA has incorrect locations on a few hotels and restaurants. The riad is at the end of a blind alley on the Rue de Bab Hmar, east of the Royal Palace- at the boundary wall there is an arch whereby you will see a street with small shops, immediately to your left there is road going alongside the palace wall and an alley, after a few shops, go into the next blind alley (you may see people going into a prayer room if its open) and take the first left and follow it to the end and the riad is there. It is about a 15-20 minute walk to Jemaa el fna following the palace wall and then the main road. Pleasantly located out of the main hustle and bustle.
Out of the rooms, we preferred Chadia room a little more as it feels more private than the rooms downstairs. On the ground floor you do hear the throughput of people in the courtyard so guests do need to be considerate with noise levels, on the flip side you don't really hear the sound of traffic on the outside except the call to prayer.
Last but not least, dont forget to say hello Max the friendly resident fluffy ginger cat. He loves strokes, the leather seat in the corner table of the courtyard and stretching out on the red carpet.