- add 200dh to price for essential taxi transfer and 20dh/day for taxis; expect to get screwed on the exchange rate by management and expect breakfast to be a joke, even compared to other Riads in Morocco -
seriously, the previous reviews saying djemma el fna (main square) is 10 mins away are lies. it's easy enough to go to google maps, type in the address and get walking directions to djemma. 22 minutes. and that is optimistic. The location is such that you will get lost, so double that time and that is more realistic. It is charming once or twice, and only in broad daylight, to get lost in the medina - although this is not the souk, so there is nothing picturesque about the area you will get lost in; just the authentic stink of petrol and the menace of young men with not much to do but offer to help you carry your bags while trying to grab them off of your back. And at night, it is almost empty, intimidating, nerve-wracking, frustrating, and downright dangerous. When I told a friend's mother - old Fassi lady raised in the Marrakshi Medina - where I was staying and that we'd tried to walk there at night, she told me that God had watched me and my husband because the area was not safe. Another local woman, who had heard our troubles the previous night but didn't dare venture out, warned us that only people who were up to no good were out at night in this neighbourhood. The hotel offers a 200dh pick up charge, which in fact should not be charged for because it is not optional, especially if you arrive after economic activities in this part of the riad have ended (after around 6-7pm). So add this to the deceptively cheap room price of EUR23/night. Also, if you want to come back in the evening from trips to the livelier, safer southern part of the medina, add about 20dh for the taxi each night, because getting lost after a long day of haggling in the souk or wandering around marrakech, is not an experience I wish on anyone (except the horrible absentee owners Sylvain and Alexia Penin). Also add EUR2 per person each night for the tourist tax. And ALSO don't forget that the price you see in Dirhams on whatever booking website you use, is not the price you will pay, regardless of the real exchange rate. The owners take the Euro price, set their own exchange rate (favourable to them) and convert it into dirhams.
Add to this, that the bathroom had an infestation of insects from a poorly sealed ceiling of untreated wooden logs and the cleaning was so poor that many dead bugs remained (see pictures); the door had a gap that allowed everyone to see/hear you and your partner on your bed (see pictures); the breakfast of day old bread, and day old crepes was warmed in the microwave while staff seemed annoyed that you wanted actual mint tea instead of Lipton (lipton!?! I'm in Morocco!!!!!); the rudeness of the owners who know they have no business charging 18euros for a transfer to such a godforsaken location; and after this, compare the price to other Riads in better locations, with better renovations and kinder staff (key exception is the man on the door who tried his hardest).
My guess: the owners thought a riad in Marrakech, full of desperate tourists, would be a good retirement income and were suckered into buying in such a horrible location. They were probably also suckered into an expensive, but not very masterfully done renovation. And they are now trying to recoup these expenses by luring you in with a low upfront cost and then piling on the fees. Prices of meals, hammams, etc are what you would pay in the nice hotels near Koutobia. Seriously!
It's very much like the fake antiques you can get in the souk. beautiful to look at it, but if you actually try to use it or look deeper - scratch the surface and you see poor quality and half-efforts.
The rating is a two, because the bed was comfortable (although a couple of insects wandered in from the bathroom) and I do not want the riad to go out of business - there are at least three Moroccans who depend on this place for an income. I want the owners only to adjust their pricing to be more realistic and honest. The courtyard is lovely and so if you want to spend your time in a Riad rather than explore Marrakech (which can be exhausting, so this is fair enough), feel free to come here. The courtyard, with its trees is lovely. There is no plunge pool. There is a fountain without water that they call a plunge pool, though, and it completes the look of Riad (again, scratch the surface and you see the truth).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Riad Arocha se situe à 20 minutes à pied de la place Jemaa El Fna, à 5 minutes de la Palmeraie de Marrakech, du centre ville et des Golfs.Un authentique Riad, plein de charme et de tranquillité… Véritable havre de paix, le Riad Arocha offre 5 chambres climatisées avec salle de bains privative. Décoré dans un style tout en avance, équilibre subtil entre artisanat traditionnel et contemporain. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Arocha Hotel Marrakech