My husband and I have just returned from an idyllic four night stay at the riad adore, a pretty new riad right in the centre of town. It was an absolutely amazing trip, and we would not hesitate to recommend the riad to anyone looking for a little luxury, peace and comfort in the madness of the Marrakech medina.
From the first, everything was painless and easy. We booked through Cristian, on email. He explained everything clearly and we were able to arrange a taxi from the airport (which was waiting for us right on time) and an evening meal at the riad, as we arrived after dark and, having not been to Marrakech before, weren't keen on having to figure out directions as well as somewhere to eat straight off the plane.
We were met at the riad by Mohammed, who very kindly explained a little bit about the city, a few things that we really needed to see, and then gave us a quick tour of the building. The riad is tucked away in the side streets of the medina, and as a guide told us the next day, the anonymous blank walls of Marrakech really can hide wonders. It is very sympathetically restored, very clean and very beautiful. Everything is calming, soothing and peaceful. In the evening the lamps provided romantic lighting, the fountain was on and the riad was warm but not hot.
We stayed in the Bahia Suite, which was very spacious (an enormous bed!) with room for lounging during the day, and a beautiful and very well designed en suite. There was an ipod docking station, tv (with uk tv channels) and dvd player, plus a very well stocked library of dvds, books and guidebooks just outside for times when you just fancied staying in (plus a notepad and wi-fi for checking emails, if you can't bear to tear yourself away from the real world).
The dinner we had when we arrived was absolutely delicious - three courses of excellent morroccan food (moroccan vegetable soup, chicken tagine and fruit tarts), which was accompanied by moroccan wine. There is also an honesty bar so you can have a few drinks whenever you fancy. Breakfasts were equally good - served on the roof terrace, with fresh fruit, excellent coffee, and various other interesting things including pancakes one morning, and donut-like treats another. You can also get a lunchtime snack, though my husband and I were out each lunchtime so didn't take advantage of that.
The riad is excellently located for the medina, the souks and the place jemma al'fna. Although getting lost is part and parcel of the experience, because the riad is just off one of the main streets, once you've find your way there you know you're nearly home. It is quite lovely to go through the hustle and bustle of the medina, wandering through the shops and then return to the riad for perfect peace, and a little bit of a relax in the sun. There is a plunge pool which can be used, although we preferred to just laze on the roof terrace, and also a small hammam.
The staff at the riad were all absolutely lovely and very helpful. The owners also were very friendly and helpful, and were kind enough to organise a guide for us for our first morning in Marrakech, which was really great. Although exploring is good, I don't think we would have found everything the guide showed us without him, and he was a source of excellent local knowledge.
In terms of tips for Marrakech, we would recommend keeping an eye on opening times - some of the sites close at about 11.30 until 2.30, and often, after a long breakfast and a little shopping en route, you don't get to them until about that time. The food in the Place Jemma Al'Fna is good, but don't expect any bargains! Going to the KosyBar for sundowners and watching the storks is great, and we would also recommend the tour bus which you can pick up outside the Koutoubia Mosque for getting a view of the new town if you don't have long enough to explore it properly.
We will certainly be back in Marrakech again, and we will definitely be staying in the Riad Adore. The only thing is, no doubt it won't be long before this place is number one in the tripadvisor chart, and by then we might need to book a few months in advance!