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“Winter in Marrakech” 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 #525 of 1,041 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Winter in Marrakech”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We, a family of four including two young children had a great time at Riad Maison Africa. I back all the other reviews of the riad and would add the location is also wonderful. It is a very short stroll to the souks, not too far from the square and feels like a perfect little haven within the Medina. My boy is five and played with the kids outside the front door on most days and along with everyone else appreciated the great hospitality of Zahira, Ahmed and our contact Pete. As we visited in February it was relatively cool so even better reason to be in the Medina but still able to enjoy the sun on the roof top balcony. Food was great, for vegetarians and meat eaters, enjoyed dining out at le Jardin and cafe Arabe and most places. Don't miss out on the hamman / massage double.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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22 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
Marrakech, Morocco
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

Had a great time. The riad is very well located and houskeeper Zahira is doing a swell job in keeping everybody happy! I adore the palmtree in the garden: gives a real holiday feeling since we don't have anything like it at home in Amsterdam!
Greatbspots to hang out in the area: café Arabe and Terrace des Elices. Bestvfood we ate at Villa Flore and les bains de Marrakech did the real thing for us.
All in all: wunderful!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

This is the last day of our holiday and we are so sad to leave. Our family of four (me, my husband, daughter of 11 and son of 14) have spent the last 5 days in absolute luxury - busy mornings in the Medina, lazy afternoons in the Riad, and fabulous meals cooked of course by Zahira. The plunge pool is fabulous - the stepped areas have allowed us to sit in the cool waters and read the afternoons away. Do take a Caleche in the evenings, a trip past the grand dame of La Mamounia and the 5 star hotels made us realise just how privileged we are to be staying at Riad Maison Africa. We have absolute privacy and quiet - eating what and when we want and venturing out with Zahira to the markets and Ahmed to the hammam. Oussamma is an amazing chap - so helpful - taking us in his car to Jardins Majorelle and offering us 24hour assistance should we get lost. Nowhere in the world have we ever had such service; no hotel has ever offered the help we have had here. Customer service has reached new levels here at Riad Maison Africa; Oussamma, Zahira and Ahmed are exceptionally kind, helpful and gentle people, and now friends. The souks and Djemma El Fna and street sellers are delightful - I remind myself that people are simply earning a living for their families and a polite smile and respect go a long way - it's all good natured fun for us - we love a haggle and a bargain. We are sad to leave but will return.

Room Tip: We booked the whole Riad for a family of 4 - allowed both children to have their own space to relax...
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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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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 #525 of 1,041 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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