Being a part of the old town I think you have to make allowances for certain things that will not compare with an international 5 star hotel. But what you are getting with somewhere like this is a beautiful, quaint, traditional dwelling right within the old town and just a 5 minute walk from the main square. The rhiad is picture perfect but of course has its quirks, which I will address as I think if visitors can be pre advised you can learn from our experiences and really have a very beautiful experience yourself with expectations fully managed.
1. Location/ Upon Arrival: We had pre booked the "hotel shuttle" which didn't actually turn up at the airport so we had to phone several times before a taxi actually turned up for us, due to there being a strike and the traffic being terrible. Not sure I believe this as the airport is really not far from the city and the roads were busy but not terrible. So we didn't have a great first impression. We were however very glad that we had booked it through the hotel as there is no way we would have found it just with a taxi from the hotel. Within the medina, there is mostly no car access - it is all little alleyways, etc. so I would strongly recommend booking this through the hotel. We did get the hotel shuttle on the return to the airport and it was a very efficient service in a very modern vehicle (unusual in Marrakech from my experience). After we had arrived and settled in, we found it very easy to find the Rhiad whenever we out as we quickly got our bearings and being so near the square is such a benefit, from an orientation perspective and from being close to everything.
2. Check In/ Room - check in was very chilled with fresh mint tea and free wifi. I was travelling with my father so we needed twin beds so whilst we were waiting to be shown to our rooms we double checked that it was twin beds which had been booked. I got the impression this hadn't been accounted for so we were asked to wait a while and were eventually shown to our room. Now the room was beautiful - a real miniature palace with original features, etc. We had a junior suite so it was one of their larger rooms, so there was no issue with size. It was long and narrow though but that wasn't an issue. Anyway there was a big king bed - very grand - and then they had set up what looked like a camp bed, as the second bed. We advised them this wasn't acceptable so they asked us to give them the afternoon to fix it, which we did, and returned for them to have set it up as 2 single beds which was better - they were certainly very creative! The beds were mattresses on boards on a frame so they weren't the most comfortable but it was fine. So if you are in a couple - ie the norm expected for this room and you have the lovely massive king bed - you won't have this issue. If you need twin beds which these rooms aren't really intended to be set up with, then you have to expect some challenges! Anyway we were very happy with the room after that. One thing we did observe was that there was no telephone in the room. My father got sick while we were there and this would have been quite necessary in this scenario - one of those things you don't notice until it's not there, but might be very necessary for some people. The hotel staff were very helpful when my father was ill and called out for pizza for us and offered to call a doctor, etc. which was very much appreciated. The shower was a bit temperamental but not all the time. The TV has 1000 channels so it would be good if they were to give a list of the key channel numbers for the international channels.
3. Breakfast - fine but I wouldn't bother - you are so close to the square there are lots of nice local breakfasts to enjoy. Annoyingly we thought we had paid an inclusive rate so ate it every day and it was fine for that - different breads, etc. but we only found out when we paid the bill that it wasn't included so if we'd known we would probably have just had breakfast one or two days.
4. Rooftop - the hotel has a lovely rooftop with sun loungers and views across the minarets of Marrakech and great sunsets. Really lovely chill out area to read and relax. The courtyard is very pretty too.
5. Overall I would absolutely recommend this place to stay. The service was incredibly friendly and the place is such a beautiful little taste of Morocco in a fantastic location - so much nicer than staying in an international branded hotel, outside of the medina with no heart and soul. I would stay here again for sure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the district of Riad Zitoune El Keddim inside Marrakech Medina, at 2 minutes by foot of the famous place Djemaa el Fna, the “Riad et Palais des Princesses” is a charming guest house based on Oriental traditions. The “Riad et Palais des Princesses” have a total of 14 rooms and suites of Mauresque and contemporary style. All our rooms are entirely air-conditioned and have a wifi access. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Et Palais Des Princesses Hotel Marrakech