A nice helpful welcome on our arrival, showing us where we were, where things we wanted to see were located, directions etc. The rooms were nice and clean with a very comfortable bed, and nice Moroccan style bathroom. Riad itself was quite modern (more so perhaps than the photos suggest) though pleasant enough.
The not so good:
The riad is nice enough, but in my opinion a little more tired and more modern/less atmospheric than the photos suggest. There is a bedroom that one enters from the roof terrace so not ideal for having a natter in the evenings if occupied. The plunge pool was a little cloudy/milky coloured so not that inviting. Roof terrace was a bit tatty but ok.
Though the Riad is not that far from the djemaa el fna main square (around 15 minute walk) the road that leads there is unbelievably busy and quite frankly a bit of a pain to negotiate with motorbikes and throngs of people, often one comes to a total standstill at various bottlenecks along the way. Where the Riad is located seems to be quite removed from most tourist places, all the shops along the road to the square near the riad are local essentials, motorbike repair shops, household goods, small local food joints, etc. I've stayed in Marrakesh several times before and the journey to the square has been considerably shorter/less stressful to negotiate, this location made me appreciate these other locations that much more in hindsight.
Also a few things about the riad itself, I was quite disappointed when one breakfast I wasn't quite finished and went to the room to get something, came back and my breakfast had been cleared, no big deal I was almost done anyway. While waiting for my friends to finish theirs I ordered an orange juice and was pretty disappointed to find that I had been charged for this on the final checkout bill. Small I know but not really the best hospitality, if I'd asked for another breakfast ok, but an orange juice that costs, in the land of oranges, pennies to make pretty poor in my books. The riad we stayed in in Essaouira actually provided coffee, and half a breakfast for my friend who came over in the mornings from his riad elsewhere, no cost.
Finally on the last day when it came to paying we were told the card machine was out of order and we would have to go get cash to pay. In this day and age that seems pretty unacceptable to me, either have a spare card machine or and arrangement with another business to cover such eventualities, so as not to expect customers to incur costs withdrawing fairly large sums of money (there were 4 of us) and inconvenience of having to go to the main square to withdraw cash and come back again. Lucky we asked in plenty of time to go get monies. Also we specifically asked for breakfast the night before at 8am as we had a taxi at 8:30 to take us to the airport and were a bit annoyed to have got up, packed and come downstairs to wait for 20 minutes while the breakfast was organised, having to bolt it down to make our taxi.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Only a few steps from Jemaa El Fna square, in the heart of the artistic and trade center of the medina, Riad Karmanda opens its doors into a home of charm and serenity.6 rooms, restaurant, SPA (hammam, massages and beauty care), organizing city tours and excursions, airport transfer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Karmanda Hotel Marrakech