Just returned from a 5 night stay at Riad Balkisse. There are lots of pluses and minuses.
Let's start with the pluses-
1) the price: we got such a great deal, it's hard to complain about much
2) the location: so close to the main square that even if you're lost in the medina you can follow the signs back to that area and get to the Riad. I always felt safe here.
3) dinner: you can ask to have dinner prepared for you. The chicken tagine with preserved lemon was so unbelievable. We ordered that with a vegetable tagine and shared the two. So amazing! It's nice to have this option after a long day of sightseeing or dealing with the sensory overload of the medina.
And, now for the minuses-
1) language: we really struggled to communicate with the main staff we dealt with. I don't speak French, but my friend does and we found that it was a struggle for us to ask questions and get answers in English and French. We had booked private tours in advance and our guide spoke to them in Arabic and said that there was difficulty even in Arabic. So, I'm not to sure what's going on, but relying on the staff for answers may pose a problem for you.
2) the rooms: our room was a small one, which is fine. But our room wasn't cleaned for the first three days we were there. I don't expect much, but it would've been nice for someone to empty the trash or straighten the bed. After our third night, one of the employees explained that the last guests had taken the extra keys so they were not able to clean our room. I don't know why this took three days to communicate to us. The night before we had to ask for extra toilet paper (English first was a no go, but French did the trick that time!!) In addition, be aware that our shower was not a standard stand up type. The shower head is not hooked to the wall so the whole thing is a bit of a mess. The shower curtain is used to block the window and not keep you from spraying water everywhere!
3) breakfast: the breakfast is fine, unless you need to leave before 8:30. The cook arrives at 8, and begins to prepare the food as you come downstairs. If you need to eat before that, they will accommodate you, but the main part of the breakfast (a hot Moroccan pancake type thing) is reheated and not the best.
Other notable points:
- It can be loud at times, but I'm not sure there are many places in the medina that are quiet. But, you can hear every guest, etc.
- The wifi is great downstairs, okay on the 2nd floor, but I would guess it doesn't work on the roof top (which looks a bit tired, unfortunately)
- The main guy that seems to be in charge works so hard. He tries to accommodate your requests. In fact, he works so much, I wonder if he sleeps in the little room off the breakfast area. This is maybe a little strange.
Would I stay here again? Maybe.
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