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“a home from home amongst friends....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Ida Ou Balou

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Riad Ida Ou Balou
127, rue Bab Taghzout | Medina, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #603 of 1,065 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Tipperary, Ireland
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“a home from home amongst friends....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

We first went to say in Jean Pierre's lovely Riad in Oct 2010...we enjoyed a wonderful week and vowed to return and we did 10 days ago...it was like returning to old friends....Riad Ida Ou Balou is small glowing gem in the heart of Real Marrakesh....you get the unvarnished reality of life in the medina right outside your door. We stayed in the Sahara Room and it was typically decorated with Soap polished walls and decor. It was a quiet haven with English channels and Air Con...which came in handy when I was unwell one evening...Jean Pierre went out of his way to show us a pharmacy to resolve the issue...Breakfast each morning was enjoyed with enthusiasm...a variety of breads, spreads and fresh juice.

Jean Pierre is an extrovert with a kind heart...completely suited in his role as Host within this lovely place and his staff are enthusiastic, friendly and willing to solve any problem or give advice. Hisam made many cups of mint tea for us, advised on Medina prices, offered to locate anything we wished to buy at the right price if we were not in form for haggling and in general made our stay a joy.. my husbands PC was damaged during our flight and he located someone to fix it for 35 euro in the three days we were there...he was overjoyed!!!

Jean Pierre insisted in taking us to the bus station when we were returning to our base in Agadir...be warned he is James Bond in a Car ...we will no doubt see him again in the future. the Museum of living arts is just around the corner from the Riad and the edge of the Medina or Souk a 5 min walk...Haggle hard....and be prepared to walk away as the initial price quoted will be very high...if you offer a third you will be nearer to the real cost ...so stick to what you think the item might be worth...keep it light hearted and smile...Marrakeshi's are very pleasant people and its a very safe place to visit...no alcohol, no rows, no thieving, genuine friendliness from people who have very little. the Jemma de fnaa square is exciting, intense and unlike anywhere I have ever been...the cafes offer great Moroccan food at a small price...make sure and visit the Mellah or jewish quarter, some of the Palaces and the Jardin de Majorelle...its a wonderful oasis of tranquility in a teeming city...and for those who hate haggling...visit the Ensemble Artesinale fixed price artisan studios who offer good value for lovely products...So break outside your comfort zone and enjoy this atmospheric city knowing that you have a lovely haven to return to...

Room Tip: If you want Air Con and TV book the Sahara double...if you want singles the other rooms are equally...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    17
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    4
    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Warsaw, Poland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Amazingly located in the middle of bursting real city Marocan life therefore out of often fake touristic spots. In the heart of medina though quiet and home. Cheap and fresh variety of food available just at the doorstep of the Riat. Absolutely warm and friendly staff ready to help at any possibly occasion. I do love the breakfasts and evening mint tea sessions. Cozy, stylish and comfortable lobby area which is in fact internal patio. Perfect location, few minutes walk to major attraction such us Ali Ben Yusuf Madrasa, museum of Marrakech, Museum of Photography, on the way to suks and Jemma el-Fnaa. Definitely recommend that place for people seeking for peaceful and veristic at the same time place in Marrakech.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

A brilliant stay in Marrakech, if your looking to stay in a Riad look no further.
The place is clean, has all the facilities you would ever need and the staff are amazing.
Jean-Pierre, a Frenchman is the owner and he will go out of his way to assist, Hashim( my apologies for the spelling)who works there is fantastic, helpful and street wise so he will be able to give you an idea of prices if your going to do some shopping.
I have reviewed a number of places all over the world and this place falls into my top 2 or 3 places to stay. Marrakech can be daunting, especially if your French is poor or non existent but this is somewhere you will enjoy staying.
Read the rest of the reviews of this place, everyone who has stayed here gives positive reviews...I can be a bit pedantic at times, but I rate this place 100%, but if your even more pedantic than I am,you will still rate your stay here very highly.
It is about 15 minutes from the main square, close to the markets....there is bus number 2 that will drop you next to the square, and on the way back 50 metres from the Riad, just get your bearings before you take the bus especially if you don't speak French.
The Riad is in a very working class area of Marrakech. It's fine I felt totally safe here.
However if you want to see a sanitised, pasteurised version of Morocco this place may not be for you. This is a working class area with all the life, the passion and the character of the Moroccan people.....if you want to see and experience the pulse and life of the real Morocco outside your door, stay here. If you want the sanitised version stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed three nights at this Riad and our host Jean-Pierre was most helpful and courteous, as was his staff. My grandson loved to play with the cats and kittens too. The rooms were clean and the beds comfortable - so quiet amid the bustle and activity of Marrakech. Mint tea provided was so refreshing and the evening meal is to be recommended. Altogether a lovely experience!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Very friendly, helpfull staff, perfect location in the medina. Although on a busy square, inside your room and on the great roof terrace there is no noise. Perfect spot to stay in Marrakech. The first time you go there it might me hard to find on your own. Google maps will help you out (when you're walking, not by car). The airport pick-up we used was very comfortable and not expensive.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

This is the second time my wife and I have stayed at this riad, the first time was during our honeymoon back in April 2012 and we enjoyed our stay so much we promised to return. Jean-Pierre, his staff and the cats make this riad what it is, a relaxing and tranquil place to stay. The rooms are nicely decorated and very comfortable. Although it is not in a tourist area you benefit from seeing "the real" Marrakesh and it is only a short walk to the medina.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

Initially, we were only booked to stay here for 3 nights, but after enjoying the Riad so much we extend our stay. The location is excellent and the rooms are comfortable and clean.

The staff went above and beyond, even taking us on an orientation walk through to the main square via the Souks. No request was too much and the staff were always friendly and attentive. We felt like we were at home.

This place is a must stay for those wanting an authentic taste of Marrakech with a quiet haven to come home to!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Ida Ou Balou

Address: 127, rue Bab Taghzout | Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Hotel Style:
Ranked #603 of 1,065 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
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