I booked this Riad by going on the reviews even if they were slightly mixed. The rooms seemed lovely with a Moroccan look. So thought what the hell and booked it for 3 nights for my other halfs fortieth and am so glad i did. They couldn't have been more helpful as soon as I had booked I received an email from them checking I was happy with the booking. I also contacted them to ask if a birthday cake could be organised as a surprise and immediately was emailed back to to say it was not a problem and they would arrange for it to be presented on the roof terrace on his birthday. They also arranged transfers to and from the hotel for 15 euros each way, not per person!
When we arrived our taxi was waiting with a sign and he was really lovely and helpful. As you walk into the Riad it opens into a cosy little seating area with the rooms upstairs and just made us feel at home straight away. We walked into a small room with a lovely wrought iron bed draped with material with a lovely moroccan feel to it. To be honest I really cant describe the room or Riad enough to do it justice, we just fell in love with the quaintness of it all! My only complaint was it did smell damp and felt a little damp but not so you would be worried about mold growing on your clothes. I think it was more to do with it being March and the roof being enclosed and not enough air being circulated through the Riad, the window in our room just looked out into the Riad, so you couldnt even get air in from outside but to be honest we hardly noticed it. There isnt much room to store clothes just a wardrobe and would advise, if you can, take some hangers with you! Apart from that we loved it, it was warm, dry and welcoming. Breakfast is basic with pancakes, assortment of rolls with jam and honey and tea or coffee with fresh squeezed orange juice, basic but we found it filling but be warned it is the same everyday!
The lady who was there in the mornings was lovely and so helpful and nothing was too much trouble. The Saturday it rained so I booked a massage and within half hour of me asking she had the masseur turn up and perform a lovely relaxing massage, which was definitely needed after all the walking we had done!!
On the sunday it was my partners birthday and at 5pm the lovely lady had set up champagne glasses, we bought our own champagne, and produced this amazing fresh cream gateau that was to die for!!!!! She laid it all out on the terrace and even sang happy birthday with me!!!! With only us and 2 young lads staying it felt like our own place to just sit and relax after a long day in the Souks.
The Riad is about a 10 min brisk walk but be WARNED the roads are treacherous with on coming cars but mainly bikes and scooters, they dont stop for anyone and will ride into you if you don't move! When i say they don't stop I literally mean they don't stop and its even worse in the narrow alley's of the Medina and Souks! Walk on the right side and don't just look right and left when crossing a road or turning a corner , look front , back, right and left, you do literally need eyes in the back of your head!!
I would also advise you read up on other peoples blogs of Marrakesh as you can really be conned if you don't have some understanding of being a tourist in Morocco, the best information i came across was from http://wikitravel.org/en/Marrakech. I found this site sooooo helpful on expected prices and just general information that helped especially when we got conned going to see the tannery and got told it was 450 MAD to be shown around and photos, after they took us, I stood my ground told them I would pay 100 no more as I wasn't told of a cost and made my self look very confident, even though I was worried when others got involved. Look confident and dont be intimidated and just calmly walk off and if you can startt talking to other tourists they tend to leave you alone. They will try anything to get money off you including "guiding" you through the Souks telling you its one way or you are going the "wrong" way or that way is closed, its not they cant be closed off and if people are walking that way its definitely not closed!! They will guide you back the way you came, then another will appear and take you another way and this will go on and on then and some will demand money from you, tell them no and you will find your own way and just ignore them as they folllow you they soon get bored In the Souks it is signposted with green or red signs to take you back to the square, just follow them and you will get out by yourself even if they do take you round the houses!
This site also lets you know the sort of prices you should expect to pay on all sorts of things. Arm yourself with knowledge and common sense and you will be fine, I might of made it sound scary and even armed with info it was still scary on the first day but after the first day it was a doddle and great fun bartering and avoiding so call "guides"! If you are worried just hire 1 of the many licensed guides who will take you around for a small fee but haggle the price first!
Alcohol , it is a dry country and to find a bar with alcohol in is like looking for gold dust!! You know its there but its hard to find and expensive, bottles average 4-6 quid! We found one and it became our local and also for most of the other tourists we met! The food was amazing as well especially the beef tagine and we felt the prices pretty reasonable, its in the same road as the cinema nearly opposite Brokys shoe shop (sorry forgot the name of it but its the only in one that sells alcohol in that street). So I suggest you buy your own in duty free!
Also definitely try the street food in the Medina the food was amazing, sooo filling and so cheap! It is pretty mad and busy but so worth a try. I dont think we had a bad meal out there.
Most of the Moroccans we came across were very genuine and friendly so I hope I haven't put you off going by mentioning the downsides.
The upsides are its a very beautiful country with amazing places to visit and things to see and is a wonderful experience even if you never go back. Definitely visit the Medina and Souks, barter on all purchases and stick to your guns on price, go on a horse and carriage ride (barter the price), try the street food, be confident but calm when pestered or followed by a "guide", stay in a Riad even its just a few days and just sit and relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of Morroco!
I had booked our summer hols their before we had been and was a tad apprehensive but now after spending several memorable days there I cant wait to go back for 2 weeks and try the excursions and see more of the wonderful place!
Oh P.S if going in March take warm clothing as nights can be cold and days hot but also can be chilly or pouring with rain!!
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- Also Known As:
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