We stayed at Riad Tawanza last weekend for 3 nights and it is a beautiful example of this kind of small hotel that seem to thrive in Marrakech. The rooms are lovely, large and gorgeously decorated with comfy beds and duvets, etc. Amina,our hostess, was fantastic and nothing was too much trouble for her. The food was great, if served a little early at 6.30pm for us, simple Morrocan fare but veyr tasty. The roof garden is lovely for sunbathing and there is a small Hammam, but it's a bit weird to have this donw by Amina and I would probably recommend going to a larger specialist hammam.
Some general tips about both the Riad and Marrakech:
1. Definitely use the Riad to arrange your transfers from the airport as it is not easy to find.
2. if you do use the Riad transfer, try to arrive during daylight hours as we arrived at night in drizzle and were dropped off quite a way from the Riad. We were met by an elderly man with a cart, who took our luggage and we had to then follow him through winding dark and narrow streets to the Riad, which is in a particularly dark long alleyway, so it was very un-nerving for our first visit!
3. Get Amina to be your guide around Marrakech and especially the Souks. She knows everyone and all the best places to buy and is very willing to help wherever we can.
4. If you like a drink with your meal or of an evening, take your alcohol with you. I was amazed, probably naively, that the bars and restaurants in the main Medina do not serve alcohol at all and we had to walk for some miles to buy a bottle of wine to have with our meal! Amina will source this for you and I think an email in advance giving her your requirements would allow her to get this in for you. Don't expect much choice! We ended up going to a hotel and some bars in the main new town for our evening relaxation which is away from the hustle and bustle of the Medina and quieter.
5. It is chilly at night in the Riad because of the building being built to keep out the warmth in the summer and there is no glass in the shuttered windows on the rooms, so take warm clothes! There are extra bed linens in the cupboard so wwe were quite cozy in the end.
All in all, we enjoyed our time at Riad Tawanza but didn't enjoy Marrakech at all. We found it squalid and threatening and not the exotic environment it is lauded to be by many people.
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