We came here for our 5th wedding anniversary. It's a beautiful little Riad in the centre of the Medina (a World Heritage Site, deservedly so) and all the online photos we saw in advance (there's a good selection on booking dot come) certainly did it justice . It's just as pretty, romantic and exotic as we expected. The location is excellent - you're a (fascinating) five-minute walk from the souks by Djemaa el-Fna square, and minutes in any other direction from the mosques, restaurants and tanneries you'll want to see.
Do make sure you know what to point to on a map though - our taxi driver from the train station had no idea where to go, and tried charging extra as a result. To be honest it's so cheap here it made very little difference, but important to note if you're keen on saving pennies. Just bear in mind it's a poor country, and one Dirham is less than 10p (about 10 US cents), but still gratefully received as a baksheesh (tip) for directions or carrying suitcases!
The Riad staff couldn't have been more helpful - they spoke French and English which made things easier, and were very good tempered and accommodating, even when letting us back in rather late at night. They were happy to help with sights suggestions, gladly gave cultural insights and recipes when asked and helped suggest and organise a last-minute excursion with no fuss.
The room itself was fresh, cool and clean, a reasonable size and overlooked the mini pool, the same as all the other rooms. I think we went for a smaller room as it was cheaper, but I don't think we lost out at all. The bed was clean and comfortable and - importantly - though the bathroom was dinky, the shower and loo both worked perfectly, didn't flood or smell.
We were provided a wonderful breakfast every day (Moroccan breakfast is rather different: thin potato pancakes, flat bread rolls -a *bit* like a bun crossed with a pitta bread, though not exactly - yoghurt, honey and very sweet mint tea. It's delicious and just what you need to get you started in the heat!) when we got up - we just asked, and it was brought up to the terrace for us. The kitchen also made a packed lunch for our day excursion, and provided delicious traditional dinner (with the option of wine) when we let them know a couple of hours in advance. The food was tasty and the portions were large (neither of us could finish!). The chicken was a little bit dry, but we were about half an hour later than we thought so that's probably no reflection on the chef, to be fair.
Western stomachs: Eating in the tiny street "cafes" (you can see how big they are!) is fine as long as you go for *cooked* food. Ask a stallholder for a recommendation, especially if you've bought something, they're twice as friendly ;) Do be careful of salads and olives though as this made me extremely ill :(
Just a final note about the little pool in the centre of the Riad: I'm not sure whether it was for swimming in or not - it was tiny and probably historically used just to dip into and cool down. It seemed to be a typical feature of all the Riads we looked at, but we n.e.v.e.r. saw anyone in it. It was very pretty though, sprinkled with rose petals and surrounded by mini potted palm trees, comfy wicker chairs and cushions. Just a note, in case you're looking for something with a swimming pool - I'm not sure you;ll get that in any of the Riads, there's just not the space! That said, a cool shower works a treat :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad in the heart of Marrakech, easy access, close to tourist attractions pool, steam room, air conditioning, airport transfers, restaurant, tours, restaurant on-site service hotel, rooms cleaned every day, towels, bathrobes and bed linen changed daily - ... more less
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