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“"Ramblings from Marrakech"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Camilia

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Riad Camilia
4.0 of 5 Guest house   |   Derb El Ouali 9, Kaat Benahid | Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
abu dhabi
1 review
“"Ramblings from Marrakech"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2011

Jonesy’s scribbles from Marrakech, Morocco - Oct. 2011

We love our Riad ‘Camilia’ located centrally in the Medina, rambling tentacles of permanent market stalls weaving continuously for kilometre upon kilometre within the 1,000 year old mud walls surrounding the old city. After being here for 3 nights already and with just 2 more to go, we decide to extend our stay at Camilia for an additional 2 nights before heading for the sea-port of Essaouria.

Nicholas, our young, French manager, serves his position as “mine host” to the extreme - so switched on to everyone’s needs, his diligence, efficiency and attention to detail is astounding. Along with his gentle, ever-smiling Moroccan staff, we are considered as family guests in this marvelous house of architectural riches and treasure-trove of French-Moroccan decor delicately embellished with such artistic flair. As ‘family’, which also includes “new friends” Ron and Marisa from the USA, Annika and Anna from Sweden and Martin and Suzanne from England, we are encouraged to wander into the kitchen at any given moment to observe Fatima baking her Berber bread or preparing our lamb and couscous Tangiene for tonight’s dinner, served at the roof-top garden overlooking the chaos of Marrakech below.

Whenever we fancy, aromatic tea or a simple cold ale served in a choice of seemingly a hundred different and delightful ‘nooks and crannies’ around the Riad, is always accompanied by meaty black and green pitted olives or a variety of roasted nuts, or both!

In passing, we casually mention to Nicholas our love of contemporary Riad architecture - in no time, maps are produced and directions meticulously planned with Ella, my life-time guide! We are soon in the Riad of famous Moroccan born English ‘pop-artist’ Hassan Hajjaj who just happens to be visiting from the UK. We meet him briefly and introduce him to the recently released haunting Moroccan Rock n’ Roll symphony “TANGIER” by Billy Thorpe and we become instant friends. He has invited us back to his Riad tomorrow to share life’s ‘stranger than fiction stories’. We relish the exchange!

Nicholas also recommends we visit Riad El Fenn, the home of Vanessa, Richard Branson’s sister - we are greeted by Moroccan born Dutchman Rafik, partner of the General Manager Willem. Rafik is delighted to take us on a tour of this eclectic, colourful and reminiscent ‘60‘s Riad, decorated with Morrocan influenced pop-art from our new friend Hassan Hajjaj. Vanessa’s style and decor is completely juxtaposed to her brother’s resort, Kasbah Tamadot in the foothills of the Atlas mountains outside of Marrakech, where we had Sunday lunch on the terrace.

As we have decided to stay on, Nicholas has suggested (for no additional tariff) we may wish to move to the ‘Presidential Salon’ on the first floor - this happens to be the owner’s suite and is utilized on their regular visits from Paris. A French film star, and his Haute Courture designer wife Camille, purchased this place some years back and were later offered the 3 properties sharing its boundary - 2 years ago they re-built it into a commercial Riad and decorated it to suit their own personal taste - stunning!!

I estimate the size of our ‘salon’ as approximately 175m2 including a 10 metre long balcony viewing the Riad’s traditional central courtyard through a wrought iron balustrade and powerful, whitewashed columns beautifully detailed in what almost appears to be an arabic script - heavy drapes are tied at each column.

I find it impossible to describe all the detail - hopefully my i-phone images (my Canon SLR has died!) may do it some justice. Suffice to say, we have 2 sitting rooms on either side of a 4 x 5m bedroom - each living room is 10 x 4m and features an open fire place. There is also an open fire place in the bedroom. The solid walls are at least 50cm thick - magnificent, narrow archways abound, a total of 16 in all. Delicately carved and painted doors rise 4 - 5 metres in height and pivot on a metal rod fixed to the outer side of each archway.

One portion of the bathroom alone is 7 metres in length - at one end and around the corner opens up a circular, tiled bath taking up the full space of a room approximately 3 x 3m. Five metres above the bath, a hand-made brick and solid plastered cupola adorns the room - a shower rose hangs from the centre of the dome. To one side of the bath, a wide arch is filled with a peacock in full bloom etched into the glass looking onto our private courtyard - in the corner, a 60cm wide stair winds itself to a private rooftop garden.

My description above is just of our exquisitely decorated room - 150 Euro’s per night, including breakfast on the roof top garden - each morning, Fatima surprises us with a variation on the Moroccan/Continental breakfast theme with home baked delicacies on which to spread our sweet marmalade, fig jam and fresh honey. In a city renowned for its citrus delights, ‘Camilia’s’ freshly squeezed orange juice is a joy to behold.

“Life’s true pleasures, surely come from the simplest things which life has to offer!”

Jonesy.

Room Tip: Only 6 rooms available - all totally different, all totally individual!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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247 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (43)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

The Medina in Marrakech can be both energetic and inspiring but at times a little overwhelming, Riad Camillia is a beautiful calm paradise in the heart of the Medina where you can step out of it all for a while. It is a restored riad decorated with exquisite taste making it a light, bright space. The riad has one of the biggest roof terraces in the medina and it is full of little pools and secret spaces where you can have privacy from the other guests. The food was amazing - particularly the orange blossom strawberries - yummy! I can't fault this riad, I think the food, staff, decore and setting are perfect. I am definitely staying there again.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2011

Riad Camilia was an oasis for us; a stunning place to escape to once the bustle of the souks became too much. The interiors are beautifully styled, the rooms are very generous in size and the staff were helpful, kind and very welcoming. What's more, the dedicated chef prepared amazing Moroccan food which could be enjoyed either privately on the Riad's tranquil rooftop. It is a Riad I would recommend to all

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2011

this place is divine ! sheer oppulance, the attention to detail in all the rooms is like a caliphs palace. The staff cannot do enough for you anytime day/night & just glide in the background incase u need anything. The french manager nicholas even took us out shopping with him so we wouldn't get lost.... and even came into the city to find us when we did get lost ! he.. We had the whole riad to ourselves in june & toured all 6 suites which are to die for !

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2011

This is a beautiful riad with staff who couldn't have been more helpful or welcoming. Rooms range from charming to luxurious (we got the chance to peek in most!) with big comfy beds. Public rooms including the rooftop terace were a delight. Don't be put off by the approach down a tangle of side streets, alleys and back alleys - you'll soon realise that all of the Medina looks like this, but do ask to have your transfers arranged as there's no way you'd find your way here by yourself. We were very well looked after, and do take the opportunity to eat dinner here during your stay if you can as the food is authentic Morrocan and really very good. As with any riad (given the basic design/concept is the same) take a room on the first rather than the ground floor for that bit of extra privacy/distance if that's important to you.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benfleet
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

A superb riad with very friendly and helpful staff. We were offered mint teaand pastries frequently and bottled water with every meal and weren't charged for any of it when we left at the end of the trip. I was reallly surprised to read another review that commented on cleanliness as it was spotless and the staff are constantly cleaning. We have stayed in Marrakech before but would without doublt choose Riad Camilia again next time. It is perfectly located near the souks and a few minutes from the Jaama el fna square. Personally we prefer being in the heart of a place. Although it is very quiet in local alleyways at night we always felt very safe.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

We had a fabulous week away in Riad Camilia. The staff at the Riad, including Nicholas, our host and the Hotel Manager, were all very warm and welcoming but without being intrusive. The Riad is tastefully decorated and is the perfect end to a busy and noise filled day. I can't recommend Riad Camilia highly enough and would definitely stay again should we plan to re-visit Marrakesh.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 Camilia

Address: Derb El Ouali 9, Kaat Benahid | Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Camilia 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is a sumptuous and authentic ryad with intact oriental and moorish atmosphere. The owners have invested time and passion to decorate this little palace of the Marrakech medina with wonderful objects and paintings found in local flea markets and antique shops around the world.

 The patio (courtyard) is an area of calm and relaxation where you find a small pool. There are two bedrooms on the ground floor and one bedroom and a suite overlooking the courtyard from the first floor. Another family suite is available in the douiria of the riad. The master suite is absolutely gorgeous and we strongly advise you to spend a few nights there with your loved one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Camilia Hotel Marrakech

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