It is an arduous process to choose the right riad for you in Marrakech. I scoured Tripadvisor, other travel websites, pictures, reviews, and property websites to find the best match for me. I hope this review will help you with weighing your options.
There were 3 main things I considered when choosing this riad: price range, amenities, and location.
My price range put me either at the best room in a budget riad, or the smallest room in a luxurious riad. This will be something you should consider when selecting a riad. I thought Riad Adore was a happy medium. They also offer specials if you book directly with them. I would contact them directly and see what they can do for you. I found this to be true at many riads, so do not hesitate to contact places directly.
I really liked that this was a fairly new designed/furnished riad. I also liked that the design kept with Moroccan architecture and style. I had not selected certain riads because despite being luxurious, it didn't represent Marakkech to me. If I wanted an American or European experience, I would have stayed home or gone to Europe. In addition, other locations seemed older and worn down. I would inspect user photos for the most accurate details.
I then thought about the amenities. I initially wanted a fireplace. However, this was a difficult amenity to find without going super luxurious. I then realized that in the middle of March, there is no need for a fireplace. There are no fireplaces here. I then wanted TV and wifi. There is satellite TV with hundreds of channels on a small flat screen TV. They also provide a DVD player with an ample DVD library. The movies are not current; but, there are good solid options you might have seen already or that about 5-10 years old. We enjoyed the movies we watched. There is free wifi, but is very spotty. Some days it was better than others. I would not rely on this for any continuous use, but useful for checking email here and there.
Next to the DVD library is the honesty bar. The small fridge is stocked with red, rose, and white wine, beer, and soda. You can only take wine by the bottle for 15 Euros. The beers were 3 Euros. The soda was a little less than that. The white wine was a Sauv Blanc, it was light and great for a night cap.
We stayed in the Zahia suite. The room itself is narrow and long. I think this is common for riads, due to the shape of the buildings in general. It has a large bed; I want to say king size or close to it. There are 2 seats and a small table. The riad provides you with a huge bottle of water free daily. That was much appreciated. There is a large closet with hangers, 2 robes, shelves and a safe with key that you have to carry around. There is a separate water closet/toilet. The area with the shower/tub and 2 sinks is really beautiful. The towel warmer was good in theory, but the towel was not heated up entirely as I imagined it would be. There's also a hair dryer and scale. The riad also provides Le Sens de Marrakech toiletries to use during your stay. I would definitely use it and enjoy it! Smells heavenly. They also sell the items if you feel inclined to purchase. It is cheaper to buy at the riad than online. My one gripe about the shower is that water splashes everywhere if you are not careful. There is no curtain or anything to trap the water in the tub, so it will leak out onto the floor. We laid out towels and it was not a problem. The bathroom is too gorgeous to mess with, so it is a small price to pay. There is an A/C unit. However, there is a bright blue light that shines when you have it on, which might bother you if you are a light sleeper/sensitive to light. Bring an eye mask or forego using the A/C if you can at night.
The riad provides breakfast daily from 8-11, which you can have on their rooftop terrace or in their courtyard on the main floor (which is covered). You just give them a heads up when you are ready to eat. The rooftop terrace is so calm and pretty. But, some mornings we had to battle wasps. This is not the fault of the riad, as it is a common sight throughout Marrakech. Just something to be aware of. The breakfast itself is perfect to get you going. You have a choice of coffee or tea. Every morning you get fresh squeezed OJ, a small yogurt drink, fruit, bread, a pastry and a main dish - which differed daily from french toast, omelet, croissants, etc.
They also have a lunch option for 12 Euros or a dinner option for 25 Euros. We had dinner the day we arrived (which you book in advance). It was a 3 course meal that was divine, which included large plates of marinated carrots, salad, olive temponade, beets, lamb tagine and crepes. It was probably one of the best meals we had throughout the entire trip. We had it in the evening on the rooftop with the fireplace going. There were no wasps in sight.
In terms of location, Amal, the manager, will walk you through a map (both a hand written one to help guide you out of the riad and another larger map of the city). The location is perfect in that it is easy to get out of the side alleyways, you walk 2 "major" roads to get to the square (we timed it less than 10 minutes), and you are right by the souks. We did not get lost at all here, it was very easy to navigate. One previous poster mentioned to look for the "laughing cow" sign that is up at the main walkway into the alleyways that lead to the riad. That was very helpful and kudos for that tip. Many things will look different at night when the shops are closed, so definitely look up for signs that are permanent. We looked at signs for streets, stores and cafes along the way to remember, and took pictures in front of them just in case.
The 2 roads you walk to to get to the square - Dar El Bacha and Rue Mouassine - also have their own stores to check out along the way. We were able to do most of our shopping along these roads without having to enter the souks. We walked the souks anyway for fun. It is not as pressuring as the souks.
The restaurants closest to the hotel: Dar Moha, Cafe Arabe, Terrace des Epices. We only went to the Terrace, which was touristy but still a nice respite from all the walking. We ate in the square twice. It was so easy to reach from the riad and so much cheaper than other options. We went to Stall 1, which is in the northeast corner of the stalls. I noticed Hammam de la Rose is also very close to the riad. There is a portfolio in the room with suggestions for restaurants and activities. We also had lunch at Al Fassia in the new city/Gueliz, which Amal helped us with making a reservation. We took a taxi for 30DH total, but we took a leisurely walk back to the riad with no problems. The map she gives you is very handy. By the end of the week, we weren't even using it; as long as we made our way to the square, it was very easy to find our way back to the riad.
I also would keep your eyes opened when reading reviews about the proximity of the riads to mosques and its loudspeakers during the 5 daily prayers. I liked that Riad Adore was quiet and there was no mosque nearby. On the rooftop, you can hear the distant prayers, but it is rather soothing. It was not a problem at night. I am a very light sleeper and this was crucial to me. I did here faint prayers at 5AM in the distance, but not enough to wake me up entirely. The room is also very dim, which was heavenly for sleeping. Once it was daytime, opening up the curtains and windows filled our room with sunlight.
The riad also can help you with excursions. We took a daytrip to Atlas mountains. Nice, but there are a couple of stops along the way to try and entice you to buy items. You can politely decline. The best part of our trip was a 3 course French lunch for 150DH we had at the bottom of the waterfall. It was at an inn owned by a Frenchman (or perhaps Belgian? I apologize). It was one of the best meals we had on our trip. Otherwise, I would be weary of all the hawking that goes on along the way.
Overall, it was a great stay in a good location with appropriate amenities. The location was great and I was able to navigate the Medina with no problems. The staff is so helpful and so kind. They truly made the stay 5 star. Yes, I wish I was able to afford the luxurious riads of Marrakech, but I found this was a solid option for those that did not want to spend a fortune.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Adore is a cool, chic, contemporary hotel in the very best area of the Medina, close to the souks, the monuments and the main square. Newly restored by the celebrated architect Christophe Simeon, Riad Adore offers guests discreet luxury and first class service in the very heart of Marrakech. This sparkling new riad is light, bright, calm and peaceful. The modern Moroccan inspired decor evokes all the charm of traditional riad style while providing all the creature comforts desired by the discerning traveller.The charming and attentive staff cater for guests every need and English speaking managers ensure that a stay at Riad Adore surpasses every expectation. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Riad Adore Hotel Marrakech