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“Lovely Riad cannot fault it at all” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Maison Africa

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Riad Maison Africa
287 Derb Sidi Bouamer | Quartier Riad Laarouss, Marrakech 48000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #529 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
High Wycombe, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Lovely Riad cannot fault it at all”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

The Riad is very very clean and beautifully furnished, with a gorgeous roof terrace from which you can view all the other nearby roof terraces and watch the birds, planes and change in colour of the sky. Zahira and her husband and Oussamma were all extremely helpful and friendly, and the food was superb. I am a vegan and that posed no problem. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to stay in Marrakech. I have not rated the value as the stay was a present from my daughter.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

We're just back from Maison Africa and as the title suggests we had a great time.

Oussamma, Zahira and her husband looked after us exceptionally well. Oussama was on call should we need him, and would have arranged trips, guides etc as required i'm sure but we had our itinerary pretty much sorted.

Zahira is a real gem. Her breakfasts delicious, crepes, omlettes, pancakes, all made fresh and they keep coming. Her dinners are even better. I challenge anybody to leave that table hungry, delicious tagines, cous cous with vegetables (vegans catered for), all stunning. As i gushed in Zahiras general direction in a slurred franglais more than once her brivat (little samosa type things) filled with chicken, beef, cheese or veg are amazing. The meal day 1 consisted of about 100 of these of all different sorts and they will not be forgotten in a hurry. I like my food.

Location of the Riad is good - 15 minutes from Djemma El Fna once you've got your bearings and closer to the Souks. It's got local supplies from the 2 little shops round the corner and felt safe once we'd landed. Don't be worried by the drop off from the airport in the square with the luggage barrow guy - it's just morocco - we were slightly and shouldn't have been.

Wifi, Tv, pool, sun loungers etc etc great. 2 things they might consider, a sisha upstairs on the terrace, and maybe some shower curtains but neither detracted from a lovely stay.

Room Tip: you cant avoid the call to prayer at 5 am from any room in marakech but they're all lovely. bath...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2012

We found the Riad clean,calm, comfortable and very practical - being just a short walk from the main square and souks which was ideal with young children in tow. They made our stay in busy marrakech with children very safe and easy.
Finding a family room can be quite difficult but here we were given the lalibela suite with 3 extra beds for the children set up. The housekeeper and other staff were all very attentive and helpful, especially with directions etc. although Oussama the manager didn't have the most natural rapport with us.

We loved reading the book of stories of marrakech together that we found in the lounge area.

The only real negative to our trip was when we ordered food at the Riad. Although the tangines and salad off the menu were delicious, the grilled chicken they prepared for our fairly fussy children, was not cooked through. So perhaps best not to venture away from the set menu.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
africanick, Owner at Riad Maison Africa, responded to this review, March 24, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to write a review Helen. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay. I've had a word with Oussama about requests for non-Moroccan dishes/meals for children - my kids are very fussy eaters also and I can appreciate how difficult it can be finding simple dishes they can eat. What we will now do is create a children's menu with a choice of 3 classic kids meals that most kids will eat (your suggestions are most welcome) - and make sure we train/teach and supervise Laila and Hanane to prepare them.
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Albufeira, Portugal
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

Careful.. there is now Maison Africa ( 3 bedrooms) and Riad Africa...some confusion between taxi drivers occurred whilst we were there... (we were at Maison Africa)....We arrived in the airport at about 18.00 hrs and the taxi and transfer was smooth and uncomplicated, once you got used to the driver heading straight for oncoming traffic, which seemed the norm after a few Kms!..The arrival at the drop off square was interesting and we were immediately surrounded by a crowd of Porters, which was quickly dispersed by Todd the manager, with Abdul, who is Zahiras ( the house maids) husband, and were quickly on the way down the alley to the Maison Africa. It is a three minute walk and there are a couple of little shops just before you get to the villa..hint water is 6DH per 1,5l and the little flat breads are 1DH each...they sell all the basics and I found the one on the Riad side the most honest!
Arrival at the Maison was great.. all we expected and more...the place was great. The wifi was on ( with 4 Ipads out of 5 people.. that was imperative!) and we never suffered any breaks of service, the TV worked fine..but limited channels in English, news mainly..and we didn't need that!...The DVD worked, but films limited.. take some ..especially if you have kids... and the hot water etc worked fine...all good. Tod gave us a starter talk, and showed us round, very informative. We had our excellent arrival dinner ( Lamb and prunes, and the little samosa parcels were delicious.) And now think that at 150DH per head it is good value. There is reasonably priced wine , beer and pepsi, available on an honour basis, but would suggest that you buy duty free spirits and bring them with you, as these are harder to get hold of..we took spirits and champers with us, and decimated the house red wine.
We did have some trouble finding maps and directions...so I left some hints on the house computer, desktop doc file....to help future guests find and easy way to Fnaa square ( an easy walk). Dont ever take a taxi..they rip you off.. or get a rate before you get in. Horse carriages also...total rip off...when they ask for 600DH.. offer 200. A days wage for a tradesman there is about 150-180 DH...so work on that as a base.....
We had no problems at all with the house, and Zahira is ( as everyone says) a sweet gem, and helpful..) I speak good French so had an easy time with her. Abdul her hubby took my daughter and I on a tour of the tanneries.. really NOT for the fainthearted...smelly and dirty but fascinating..for which I tipped him 200DH..he is a nice guy and worked in the tanks for years and knows everyone around there! We stopped in at his house on the way back and met the whole family, and had mint tea with them....high spot!....
The roof terrace is great and had a few sundowners up there...great sunsets and the echoing muzzein calling is spooky...it also starts at about 5am!....be warned...one local one occasionally starts at 4am.. so I think he probably uses one of the 'rolex's' that you will inevitably be offered.....
Generally we had a good trip, take some immodium or similar , as you may get a bug, two out of our party did....hit it fast and it shouldnt slow you down too much.
We did a tour into the Ourika hills, very interesting day and worth it.. the Essouaira tour was a bit too long for our party so we missed out....but people said it was good.....
As a rental property area manager of over 40 years experience in the Algarve, I have to say that we found nothing to criticise about the house or the staff, ( unusual for me!)....it is a real hideaway, and comfortable...and we were always glad to get back in after the bustle, hustle and exhaust fumes.
By the way, along the Rue Larousse, there are a couple of local eateries one left one right which were cheap but a bit dissapointing, further down, the Cafe Arabe a) has booze.., b) has a better menu choice, and the bar terrace at the top has snacks and stuff. Wine from 150DH bottle, cocktails from 90DH.. 1 euro is approx 10 DH. You must get money at the airport to start you off..I canged 100euro at the desk... get some small ( 20 and 50) notes, and some coing for initial tips and purchases. The ATMs are a bit far away, but work fine.

Generally I found the souk wearying, as the prices start at 3-4 times the base price...andI felt like I had a target on my back by the final days....I was with 4 females, and shoved to the front every time.. except my daughter quickly overtook me on negotiating for herself...winner!..but as she is 20 something and tall blonde.. they probably didnt have a chance anyway.....fat old dad was left in the cold!
I never felt I made a deal which was good for me.. except at the grocery shop! Retreat to the Maiso, and open another bottle of vino was the best solution!
It is a culture shock, and prepare yourself for the onslaught.
PS my wife is paranoid about snakes, and we never saw any except in FNAA square, but they dissapear after sunset....and the 'Winner winner chicken dinner' stalls appear..they are a hoot!.. Take a flask of the good stuff, and add it to your coke! Have fun!
Alistair

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
africanick, Owner at Riad Maison Africa, responded to this review, January 24, 2012
Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your stay at Maison Africa - I'm sure future guests will find it extremely useful. I've noted your point about local information / maps - we'll make sure that we work on this to provide a more comprehensive info. pack in the house. We have a complete 'Made in Morocco' movie collection at our other larger riad - Riad Africa - so we'll replicate that for the Maison. We hope to welcome you again sometime in the future!
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2011

Awe were three women travelling by ourselves. The riad is in a central area of the medina, and is a quiet and safe haven away from the busier areas of the medina. We rented the entire house for the three of us, and the spaciousness was perfect for us. The riad is tastefully decorated and spacious. Zahira the housekeeper took wonderful care of us! She cooked delicious breakfasts and dinners for us, and made us feel so comfortable- despite our lack of French/Arabic language skills, we felt right at home.
However, there were many "wrinkles" that really need to be ironed out to make this a great place to stay. Apparently the current manager has been there for the past month, and it shows. There was a "communication" mishap that resulted in our reservation being completely forgotten. So when we arrived to the airport at 8:30pm, no one was there to pick us up. Two hours after arrival and a frenzied phone call to the manager, the driver finally arrived. We were starting to feel very nervous, as we were the last few people left at the airport. The riad was not ready for us, and the housekeeper and her husband had been called in to hurriedly clean up the riad and get it ready for us. By now, it was 11pm, and our pre-arranged dinner was also not available, and the manager had to run out and grab some restaurant food. We had no hot water for the first 2 nights (the manager eventually had to fix some wiring on the hot water heater). The Wifi never worked during our entire stay, making our later trip planning very difficult. One of the heating units in the rooms didn't work, and the manager didn't really know how to fix it (I eventually figured it out for myself later). The satellite TV was not working on the first 2 days either (although we didn't really have any desire to watch).
On more positive notes, in addition to wonderful Zahira, the tour guide that the manager obtained for us was excellent. Karim was an entertaining guide with an excellent sense of humor. Definitely ask for him!
Overall a very nice riad and wonderful housekeeper and tour guide. The details really need to be addressed, because even these small things can quickly add up to an unpleasant experience!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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africanick, Owner at Riad Maison Africa, responded to this review, December 26, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on your stay at Maison Africa. Since your review I have spent some time investigating the shortcomings you experienced with Tod, our locally-based house manager. I agree that at the time of your stay Tod was relatively new to his role of managing Maison Africa and in a perfect world he would have been completely familiar with all operational aspects and facilities of the riad. I apologise that this was not the case during your stay.

If I may comment on your points:

1. Delay in airport transfer / pick-up - this was not caused by the transfer company whom we contract. They are very professional and punctual. The delay was as a result of a systematic problem we experienced with gmail whereby the email sent to Tod advising of your arrival dates, time and services required did not reach him. To avoid this issue from arising again we have put in place two additional pre-departure communication procedures / diary deadlines. This will ensure that should an email not arrive for any reason, as a back-up an sms is sent, and a phone call made to reconfirm a guest arrival.

2. As a result of the failed communication mentioned above, the house (and dinner) were not prepared for your arrival as Zahira was unaware of your impending arrival. Should she have been aware everything would have been ready for you.

3. The lack of hot water for your first 2 nights was due to a gradual erosion of the cable leading from the mains electric to the solar water heater (which requires a mains boost in winter months). This fault was the first of its kind we have experienced since intsallation of the system in 2009. We shall now undertake bi-annual checks of the cable to avoid this problem from arising again.

4. The quality and reliability of wifi in the medina is usually out of our control, as was the case during your stay. Often when our wifi goes down, or runs slow, so do our neighbours. Maroc Telecom cannot guarantee how long it will take to fix the problem. I will warn future guests that wifi reception is reliant on Maroc Telecom's service. We will also purchase a mobile internet dongle for use by guests should the network go down in future.

5. Each suite and the main salon has a reversible a/c-heater unit. All units are working and Tod is now familiar with their operation. All units are serviced every 6 months to ensure they function to the maximum of their capability.

6. The satellite TV was not working as a result of strong winds prior to your arrival which nudged the satellite dish slightly out of position resulting in loss of picture. Each time this occurs (usually 5 or 6 times a year), the dish has to be realligned by a satellite TV specialist. This can take a couple of days as specialists are in high demand following storms.

Finally, thank you for your positive comments - Zahira has been a real star since joining us in 2010 - and remains a consistently excellent cook and diligent housekeeper.

I am pleased that despite the wrinkles you experienced you still found the location of the riad, the value, the rooms and cleanliness to be excellent. Rest assured we will work hard to get back to our previously excellent ratings for service as soon as possible.
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York, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2011

I agree with all the positive comments made about this Riad, secure, safe, well equiped, spacious, clean, great roof terrace, centrally located. Nick organised everything for us which went like clockwork.
Mustafa the manager, and Zahera, the housekeeper were brilliant and a massive bonus. I would wait and let Mustafa recommend tours etc. According to the previous visitors he is great tour / mountain guide and knows everything. Zahera is an amazing cook and she cooked the best food we had by a mile. Breakfasts were fairly simple but beautiful, fresh orange juice, coffee, fruit, pancakes etc. Zahera only speaks French but you will want to speak to her as she is lovely. She is also a good masseuse so bear this in mind before you pay a fortune a hammam. The riad is well furnished and the plunge pool is welcome. I would definately recommend this Riad to anyone.

Room Tip: All the rooms are really good.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2011

Recently came back from spending 5 nights in Riad Africa. The Riad was just amazing. Totally authentic and lived up to our expectations. We ate in the Riad on 3 occasions and the food was delicious and there was plenty of it. We could not have been looked after any better anywhere. The people we met in the Souks were very friendly and we very much enjoyed bartering for our goods. Although the Riad was just minutes away form the Souks it was a haven of tranquility and just far enough away from the hustle and bustle. Our experience came to an end all too quickly.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Maison Africa

Address: 287 Derb Sidi Bouamer | Quartier Riad Laarouss, Marrakech 48000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #529 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 3 spacious suites, a courtyard with plunge pool, palm and fountain and an elevated roof terrace with fine panoramic views of Marrakech, Riad Maison Africa offers discerning travelers real privacy in homely, atmospheric and stylish surroundings. Traditional Moroccan dishes can be prepared for lunch or dinner, and for those that like cooking - we offer local cooking courses. Riad Maison Africa is ideal for couples, friends or families. ... more   less 
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