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“Peaceful Beauty in Marrakech” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Aguaviva

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Riad Aguaviva
Sidi Ghanem, Derb Derraz 3, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Peaceful Beauty in Marrakech”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

This was my first trip to Morocco and I arrived at Riad Aguaviva in the evening wondering if everything that other reviews had said could actually be true …. and the answer is YES.

Everybody from the Aguaviva ‘team’ was there to greet me on arrival and immediately the peaceful beauty of the Riad made me feel relaxed and on holiday. I was upgraded to a different room for free with water and orange waiting for me in the room.

I began each day with fresh breakfast on the rooftop terrace with something different every morning, always cooked beautifully and complimented by fresh bread, orange juice, mint tea and a variety of spreads.

On my first morning Manuel gave me a guided tour of the surrounding area and then the route into the medina with an essential map. This not only involved hearing about some of the social history but also sampling local fruits and sugar cane juice !! This tour and the map were invaluable throughout my stay in helping me to find my way around and back to the Riad each evening.

Manuel would then help me plan each day after breakfast, tailoring his suggestions to what I wanted to achieve during my stay and providing the necessary directions, tips and hand drawn map to guide me through the day. On my return each evening there was always a warm welcome and the chance to talk about where I had been, what I had done and where I had found to eat.

The Riad is immaculate, beautiful and peaceful … the team as welcoming, helpful and warm as you could wish for throughout your stay … and its location in north Marrakech gives you an insight into Moroccan working life. If you want somewhere personal and comfortable then this is the place to stay. Thank you Riad Aguaviva.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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603 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Rankin Inlet, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

I can't say enough good things about Riad Aguaviva! They treated us like family right from the start.

The amazing Sara took such good care of us. More like a friend than an employee of a hotel. After we got settled in, she took us on a walk to orient ourselves with the medina. This is so important!! I was very overwhelmed at first but Sara's relaxed personality helped to ease me into this totally different world. Coming from Canada, I found the medina absolutely bonkers! Scooters, bikes, donkeys, trucks, people everywhere.... But seeing Sara so relaxed walking around totally put me at ease and I felt very safe. She walked us all the way to the main square and showed us an authentic moroccan restaurant where we ate dinner. She left us there and we found our way back home using the provided map and remembering landmarks that she pointed out along the way.

We loved breakfast every day. We were there for 6 nights and breakfast was different every day. Amazing coffee and OJ. Simo took very good care of us (bringing me a second pot of that awesome coffee). Rooftop terrace is so tranquil and beautiful. As we were wrapping up breakfast, David would help us make our plans for the day. We loved it. He would even draw customs maps every day to help us find our way. We really liked all of their recommendations. David also gave us an amazing gift. He drew a portrait of me and my wife. It's beautiful. He is such a talented artist (as you will see when you look around the riad). David is such a kind soul. He even came to work early on our last day to say goodbye and he and Simo gave us a great breakfast to eat at the airport.

This riad is truly an oasis in a chaotic city. You might feel skeptical when you first duck into the little alley for the riad but I assure you, it is beautiful. We felt so safe and secure we didn't even lock our room when we went out.

The only thing I would caution people about is the location. We were well aware after reading reviews but you should know that the riad is about 20 min walk to the main square. For us, this was a positive aspect. I wanted to be as far away as possible from the monkeys and the snake charmers!!! I loved the "real" neighborhood where the riad is. Buses and taxis are cheap and very available too.

I could go on but need to stop somewhere! It's a good sign when you actually miss the people where you stayed (hi Sara!).

I highly recommend this Riad (in case you didn't already figure that out).

Oh, and definitely book the airport transfer! You would have a very hard time finding it on your own the first time!! Driver was friendly and waiting for us at the airport.

In closing, I have never stayed at such an honest place. Never trying to up sell or send you to crappy touristy places. They booked us a cooking class that was one of our highlights for sure.

Message me if you have any questions!

Thank you, Riad Aguaviva!!!

Andrew

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hayling Island
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

I never normally get round to writing reviews but this is one I really must write.

What an amazing Riad. All the rooms are fabulously decorated, comfortable and beautiful. Location wise Aguaviva is tucked away in the North of the Medina, just far enough away from the hustle and bustle to give you some calm after a hectic day. It's close to some amazing restaurants (Le Fondouk and Dar Donah are a couple) and just a 20 minute stroll from the main square. Perfect location.

But this is not the main reason for recommending staying here; that is the incredible staff!! From the minute you arrive you are welcomed into the heart of your new Morroccan family. Sara and Oti and the rest of the staff are just amazing. They will orientate you through the Medina and provide guidance and maps to ensure you don't lose your way. Sara genuinely loves her job and is truly passionate about the city! She walked with us for two hours through the alleyways and streets, through the souks to the square, all the time explaining landmarks to remember and showing us hidden secrets behind the closed doors of Marrakech. Absolutely nothing stands in the way of them ensuring your stay is as memorable as it can possibly be. They will find out from you what your interests are and help you plan each day of your trip if you want them to. Each day we were guided through new things to do and see and not once did we get lost or feel unsure of where we where.

Their recommendations for restaurants and things to see and do were spot on and we were able to walk everywhere confidently using just their maps and guidance.

We had dinner at the Riad on our last night and it was really magical. The table was set under the stars with Morroccan candles and strewn with rose petals and the food was amazing! It was one of the best meals we had during our stay. Simo definitely makes the best Tanjia in Marrakech!!

We will be back in Marrakech soon and I already know exactly where we will be staying!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Yorkshire, UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Riad Aguaviva for three nights at the start of a recent tour of Morocco. It is a truly beautiful riad but what makes it really, really special is the staff. David, Sara, Oti and Simo were all wonderful (Manel was in Spain at the time of our trip). All seemed to know what we wanted before we did. Nothing was too much trouble. All communications before (and after - more of this later) were dealt with promptly and efficiently and in a really friendly way.

They arranged for our transport from the airport and the second the car parked up in the Medina, Simo was on hand to bring us the couple of minutes walk to the Riad. We had asked if it would be possible for some food when we arrived as we knew we were not going to feel like trying to find a restaurant at the time of night we arrived. The food was better than any we had elsewhere in Marrakech (and very reasonably priced). Breakfasts too were wonderful. Sara brought us down to the main square the following morning and ensured that we would always be able to find our way back (she was also great fun to be with and seemed to know everything about the city). David was an absolute font of information and recommended places to see (in Marrakech and elsewhere) that we wouldn't have found without him and for which we will always be grateful.

All that said however, the thing that is most indicative of my feelings about this place is my complete lack of worry when a potential disaster happened. We managed to leave our passports in the safe - how stupid is that! We only remembered them about four hours out of Marrakech and our driver phoned the riad immediately. I don't know who he spoke to but whoever it was checked that they were still there and promised to keep them secure until we could collect them after our tour. At no point did I feel worried that anything would happen. Once I knew they were there, I knew they were safe.

All I can say is that when we go back to Marrakech we will stay at Riad Aguaviva. I wouldn't dream of looking elsewhere. I really can't recommend it more highly than that.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013 via mobile

I would recommend this riad wholeheartedly to anyone visiting Marrakech for the first time. After a guided tour on the first evening, we were able to find our way around the city for the next few days with ease! Having got to know us personally on the first evening, Sara, David and Manel were exceptional in helping us plan our days, ensuring that we visit all of the necessary highlights and hidden off-the-track gems. They made sure we ate well, reserving us seats at beautiful restaurants, ensures we were truly relaxed after booking us into a stunning hammam and taught us the tricks of bartering for cheap souk deals and low taxi fares. In addition to all of this, the riad and our room were both beautifully decorated and exceedingly homely, much needed after a day of Marrakesh trekking. Thank you Sara, David and Manel for your wonderful hospitality, friendly faces and top rate advice. We hope to see you again!
Matt and Emily

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile


If you are looking for a hotel you can reach by taxi right to the doorstep, this place is not for you (though I would recommend booking a transfer, at least when arriving and while you've not developed your orientation skills). The ever so enthusiastic staff are more than willing to supply you with a very useful map of their own and walk the medina with you so you successfully identify the landmarks you need to navigate the old town. They will offer you invaluable advice about sights, entertainment and shopping, but nevertheless you will have an adventurous feeling, as the riad is located on the north of the medina, and you'll have the chance to visit the authentic souqs and streets, whereas most tourists do not venture farther than Djmal el-Fnaa. Actually, one could just hop on a plane for Marrakech without knowing anything about the city, and leave it to the lads in Aguaviva to best organise your time there, regardless of how many nights you are spending. And if you are also travelling somewhere else in the country, I'd leave the artefact shopping until you've heard where they recommend you to go.
The riad is a familiar (though not necessarily family oriented) hotel with only 6 rooms, small but tastefully decorated. Breakfast is in air conditioned jaima tent in the terrace, and you can go for a dip in the pool in the centre of the patio after a long hot day.
Sara, Manel and Mohammed (we only got to know David by his fine paintings) are the most helpful and enthusiastic staff we've found anywhere else.
Muchas gracias, chicos.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

I joined TripAdvisor just to write this review. You should not stay anywhere else in Marrakech. David, Manel and team take such fantastic care of you it's unbelievable - I'm not sure I would've enjoyed Marrakech as much had it not been for them. When you arrive, they will discuss your itinerary with you, and find out whether you'd like their help/recommendations. First, they will get you oriented in the medina which is a really big deal. They have spent years making their own map of the medina, where they mark off certain "landmarks" so you know whether you are going the right way or not -- this is a HUGE help as it is incredibly easy to get totally lost and not in a fun way. They will go out with you (if you want) each morning of your trip and walk you to a different part of the medina and show you their markers on the map and in real life. They will teach you a lot about the culture and tell you stories about the various shops and locations. And then they will leave you to find your way back. One of the best things about going on a walk with them is that they know their neighbors well, and when they take you out, you minimize the amount of people that will haggle you. They will also take you to see a real souk, that locals shop at, versus the very touristy one. They will find you the best restaurants for what you want - super fancy, mid range, local and cheap - the options are endless. And they are amazing hosts - they will sit and chat with you in the evenings and take fantastic care of you--it's like hanging out with friends. Breakfasts by the way, are super delicious. I've truly never had a better experience at any hotel or B&B ever before. All the rooms have their own a/c. David and Manel have Apple and Mac product chargers that you can borrow if you need them. And they will help you decide what you should and shouldn't do with your time in Marrakech - they will also tell you what you should tell taxis you are willing to pay. I have to say I was really dubious about getting transfers from the train station and over email, David was pretty clear that he thought it would be a mistake to forgo the offer. Turns out he was exactly right, I don't know how we would have found the place without him. These guys know what they're doing and they take excellent care of you.

Room Tip: Smara room worked out great for us! Very romantic and comfortable!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Aguaviva

Address: Sidi Ghanem, Derb Derraz 3, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming Riad in a traditional and quiet neighbourhood in the Medina. A place to relax after an exhausting day in Marrakech. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Aguaviva Hotel Marrakech

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