Our stay at Les Jardins de Riad Laarouss in August 2011 was very different from that of the three American friends who wrote the other 3 recent reviews. My teenage son & daughter and myself really enjoyed our holiday and had no problems with Yassine. However, as a courtesy to Yassine, I talked to him in French as much as I could - always good to make an effort when visiting a foreign country, although Yassine also tried to speak to us in English. Although the prices for additional services, such as lunch, dinner, mint tea, bottles of water, day trips etc were very high and in Euros, we were under no obligation to purchase any of these. We sussed out pretty quickly that bottled water cost a fraction of the price from the traders in the area. We were pleased to receive a Moroccan breakfast, rather than a continental, the-same-all-over-the-World one. Our cake, for example was freshly baked onsite by Nadia, as I saw the used loaf tin in the sink one morning. Yes, it was different from what we would at home, but that is part of the charm of travelling abroad. I don't know what expectations these other people had, perhaps they should have stayed in a coporate hotel. But I guess that would have been too pricey for them. We also thought the little alleys leading off from the main road to the riad were quite clean (no urine smell in the middle of hot August!), litter-free (unlike England...) and not scary at all, just curiously different! We perceived it to be a bit of an adventure to be living amongst the locals, what better way to experience a country's culture? At no point did we actually feel unsafe, however, the locals will try and make a bit of money out of the tourists! Who can blame them, being invaded by us, who are so affluent in comparison and of a culture alien to theirs? Some of the traders in the souks can be persistent and try to rip tourists off, others are kind and genuine, one just has to use one's common sense and be assertive. Yes, Yassine has a loud voice, but I would not describe his slightly abrupt personality as rude. Unless the aforementioned group of tourists gave him reason to be short and impatient?? He was helpful to us and gave both myself and my son lifts on his little moped to the bank and the market, respectively, so we wouldn't have to walk. What does his wearing a leather jacket have to do with anything, anyway? And what's wrong with his room leading off the roof terrace? He has to stay somewhere in the vicinity and I bet his room was more modest than the tourist accomodation - it's not as if he stayed in the rooftop appartment! Well, if these American tourists are used to big rooms, perhaps they shouldn't stay in a typical Moroccan house? The narrow rooms are traditionally built around an inner courtyard, just as the houses are built around small alleyways, that is the country's architectural heritage, so who are these tourists to judge? Incidentally, the bed- and bathrooms, as well as the little sitting room and courtyard area were beautifully and tastefully furnished and decorated. The only thing I'd say is the bedroom and bathroom floors could have done with a wash, but everything else was immaculately clean. We were also pleased how quiet, relaxing and peaceful it was as soon as one stepped out of the hustle and bustle of the city into the calm of the riad. And so what if they decided to turn that little splash pool into a planted area instead? It made the courtyard more like a garden, and they took great care of the plants, watering and pruning them regularly. There were also fabulous climbing plants all over the railings, which added to the charm of the place. We thought it was pretty much exactly like the photographs, and very lovely indeed, also reasonably priced compared to other riads online. We, too, used the sitting room and pc (and sometimes the internet failed) and even played music cds from the selection there in the evenings, but never got told off. But it is just common decency to have regard for other guests late at night. I'm sorry the group of American tourists didn't enjoy their holiday - it clearly wasn't "their kind of thing" - while we had an amazing time and loved being immersed in a different culture. I would advise prospective visitors to take subjective views - including mine! - with a pinch of salt and make up their own minds. If staying somewhere other than a corporate hotel is too much of a culture shock, just don't stay in a riad! Or be open-minded and release your sense of adventure, then you will make the most of your visit and stay!
Be open-minded about the shape and layout - Moroccan architecture is different from other countries...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.