We booked the taxi transfer the day before we arrived (28 euros return) and the friendly taxi driver was waiting patiently for us even though we were over an hour delayed (due to snow at Manchester!)
Upon arriving at the car park as the taxi cannot take you to the door of the riad we made our way down what seemed like several windy dark, cobbled passage ways and eventually arrived at the Riad. This was unnerving at first however upon entering Utopia the initial reservations disappeared, the Riad itself is stunning, the staff were very attentive and even gave us a larger room when we asked as the first room was a little small - and did not charge us any extra for this, as the riad was nowhere near full.
We decided to venture out to get something to eat and Aziz at reception told us where to go (Terrace Ben Yousseff) and by the time we got to the bottom of the street he had a lovely young man (Suffiyan) waiting for us. The staff at the riad obviously appreciate that the walk to and from the riad must be daunting for their guests at first.
After a lovely meal we returned accompanied by the young gentleman and safely deposited into Utopia.
The Riad is immaculate and rooms are cleaned on a daily basis with fresh towels and toiletries.
Breakfasts - included in our price was the traditional Moroccan breakfast which for those of you who don't know, is bread, pancakes and another form of bread.....so basically bread! Coffee and orange juice along with freshly pulped strawberry and orange preserves were also part of the deal.
My husband and i asked for eggs on the first day and even though this was not part of the breakfast, the staff kindly obliged everyday - we did get charged extra for this at the end of the holiday so be careful of extras as something you may think is included, is not. That being said, the eggs were beautiful.
As i am a tea'aholic my constant requests for Lipton tea throughout the afternoon/evening were also met with no problem and they didn't even mind my entering the kitchen to turn the kettle back on again!
The only thing missing at the Riad was an IRON so please take a travel iron as even though the staff are more than happy to take your clothes and have them pressed, which are then returned folded and wrapped in tissue paper, the ironing is done using a large industrial pressing machine so our clothes actually came back worse off than when we sent them LOL! We did suggest to Abdel about the Riad investing in an iron and hope they will do so.
During our stay i decided to book my husband and i a Hammam and massage package costing approx 75 euros. All i will say is if you do not know what a Hammam is then please find out before having this done as we both found it quite uncomfortable as it wasn't what we expected. So this was our fault rather than the staff at Utopia.
Now to the staff themselves..... what a lovely bunch of people, Abdel, Aziz, their beautiful sister (whose name escapes us!) and the rest of the team, made our stay at Utopia even more enjoyable. They had great knowledge of the area and offered numerous suggestions when we pestered them for places to eat, sights to see and routes to take etc.
Aziz and Abdel.......ignore my husbands advice about getting married at 40, he knows nothing!!!
It was a pleasure to meet these guys and we hope to one day return to Utopia.
Lastly a word of advice about the area..... please be advised that even though you are in the heart of traditional Marrakech, we found the area very safe, even at night and the locals very friendly, however there is a lot of poverty and you will be approached and/or witness a lot of begging and homelessness which can be particularly sad especially when there are children or older people involved....this is a part of Marrakech and will either annoy you or make you appreciate what you have.
Enjoy Utopia and enjoy Marrakech, they are both beautiful and magical and will make you want to go back for more.