Have just spent a week in this city centre idyll, initially recommended by our travel agent and further supported by the reviews we read on Trip Advisor. However no matter what you read prior to travelling, nothing can prepare you for the "Itrane" experience when you do eventually get there.Tucked away in a little alleyway about 3 minutes walk from the top end of the main square, this Riad is owned and run by Patrice and Charlotte Lebobe and their general manager Abdou. (Sadly Mohammed has now moved on last week to return to his first love of being a mountain guide) Bought in 2005 the initial two house redevelopment started in March 2006 and with the addition of a third house in 2008, eventually became what it is today on completion in 2010. This 7 standard room and 3 suite Riad is everything that you could imagine a Riad should be, from its quirky layout with 3 courtyards, one of which contains the swimming pool and a beautiful selection of roof terraces from where you can laze on a sunbed or read your book in the shade, under a gazebo canopy. At an average of 24 sq. mtrs you may at first glance, think that the standard rooms are a little on the small side with the suites coming in at 27 & 32 sq.mtrs respectively. Think again, this is a top quality Riad not a 4 or 5 star hotel at double or triple the price. Patrice Lebobe had the unrivalled opportunity to design this Riad from scratch, as the refurbishment project took the property back to bare external walls with every room and public space being built anew to the master plan. The project photos that were there to see by everyone, spoke volumes of the size and complexity of the project over its 4 year span. The end result is a masterpiece of peace and tranquility with only the occasional call to prayer from the mosques disturbing the quiet calm that pervades everywhere.
The in house service is first class, with Abdou or Patrice or Charlotte able and willing to cater for every little indulgence that you requested, from Camel riding to a Hamam experience or a recommendation for a top class restaurant. Nothing was too much trouble and without doubt magically enhanced our stay with all this local knowledge at our disposal. They even provide a dinner service, which if you don't feel like going out to eat, allows you the luxury of dining in the Riad with a meal of your choice, providing that you give prior warning of your dining intentions at breakfast time. The food quality is outstanding and belies the superior cooking skills of head cook Karima, who always seems to have a suggestion for an interesting or unusual dish.
All in all a holiday to remember, made more wonderful by the "Riad Itrane" team, who really do go the extra mile to make their guests feel extra special. As in all good movies, we shall return, to savour lots more special moments in this magical city and be accommodated in this little oasis of tranquility.