I found this riad to be a good place to stay on a budget in Marrakech. It definitely had some downsides, but for the price, it was totally worth it. Keep in mind that if you want to stay in the medina, you are going to have to put up with some of these hassles to get an authentic experience. The stuff in my review is more of less info that I would have wanted to know before staying here.
First the location was excellent. This riad was within a minute or 2 walking distance of the main square (Djemaa el-Fnaa) as well as the Koutoubia Mosque. Now the downsides... getting to the B&B was a big pain. It is tucked away back in the damp alleys off the main roads. When we stayed there we were particularly unlucky because the city must have been doing work on the pipelines and all the alleys were dug up and nasty. Just to get into the alley we had to slide down a 4 ft high dirt and rock mound (the stairs were burried underneath), so that was unpleasant. The alleys them selves were mostly dirt mounds and holes with rickety wooden boards over it, so that was not so great. Other times the men working in the alleys wouldn't let us pass- so we had to go the long and confusing other way out. Not so fun. Also, its not a place you would ever find on your own. Those dank alleyways are not marked with street signs, so your best bet is to pay someone in the neighborhood to take you or just do what we did and arrange an airport transfer. This was more expensive then paying a taxi driver but for piece of mind it was worth it, since they take you right to the front door.
As for the riad, we were asked to pay for our 3 nights of stay up front. I did not like this, and I also found it unprofessional. I didn't mind paying the cash over card, as I think that is very common in Morocco, but I dont think a guest of the hotel should be expected to pony up all the fees at once. As a customer, there felt like there was no safety in this transaction and there was no receipt given. Furthermore, they did NOT give us a key to get in the building and even gave us a curfew of 11 PM. Now, I understand it being a B&B, but in my book, when it is a professional establishment that I am paying money for, I dont expect when to be told home, especially when previous reviews on here had been given the courtesy of a key. I expect the same treatment as others. And also, during our stay there was only one person looking after the B&B and she only spoke french, so there was no assistance with english. I was just lucky to have had a bit of french under my belt!
Other than those setbacks, we actually were pleased with the stay. The rooms were spotless and the bathroom was good. The furniture seemed new and was modern- although the rooms were no frills. The only weird thing is that the shower doesn't drain very well and there is no shower curtain, so it soaked the floor and any nearby items. That I found weird and could easily be rectified. The breakfast was delicious, and we were very pleased with this. There was fresh coffee, juice, bread, flatbreads, yogurt, and even omelets! The cost was 70 dirhams for 2 people, so the price was fantastic (although it does defeat the purpose of staying in a b&b if breakfast is not included, but I digress). The rooftop had a great view and a little plunge pool, although it was not hot enough out to use it. I also did find the riad to be a bit noisy with guests coming and going, but it was overall a quiet place to stay.
We also chose to arrange a tour guide for the day, but this was something I had to do on my own. They have no pamphlets of info in the lobby, I was just lucky enough to have had the Riad email address, so that I could contact Mustafa (presumably the owner) and he set me up with the contacts to arrange a tour. The tour was excellent and we were thrilled with our guide. He showed us things we never would have seen on our own and even helped us negotiate fair prices in the souks. We were very very happy with this and would have done another tour with this company if we had the time.
Overall, the stay was average but the price made it all totally worth it. If you are the kind of person that can put up with a few hassles, then this is a good fit!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 1 min walking to Djamaa El Fna. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Bb Marrakech Hotel Marrakech