We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great location, great dinners, but...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Balkisse

Save Saved
You added Riad Balkisse to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Riad Balkisse
4 Derb Charij | Médina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #805 of 1,054 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Milan, Italy
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“Great location, great dinners, but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

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.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

81 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    42
    32
    5
    2
    0
See reviews for
14
39
6
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Andalucia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

My husband and I stayed here with a group of young spanish friends earlier this month and the owners and staff are just so helpful and accommodating in every way. We could not fault this place. Nothing was too much trouble. Breakfast was good, but as written by previous reviewers, standard fare for Marrakech. We would stay here again without hesitation.

Room Tip: If you have walking difficulties as for a room on the ground floor as the steps to go up are steep a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We stayed here in October and enjoyed our stay. The Riad is ideally located very close to the square. The family that run the Riad are friendly and accommodating however at times service can be slow. The rooms are fine and I have no other real complaints.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lee, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

This charming and more modern feeling Riad was the perfect end to a trip to Morocco and the best of the Riads we stayed in. The owner/staff were friendly and understood the needs of the traveller better than many that focus instead on lavish decor and ambience and then have little substance to them. Honest information about Marrakech, local insights, help if needed and decent coffee in a riad - at last! The only downside was the rather poor shower in our room, but a minor issue in what was a lovely stay and a great location for exploring Marrakech.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
London
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

Like all Riads in Marrakech, Balkisse is situated in one of the tiniest ally ways about 5min walk from Jeema El Fna. So really, this makes it an ideal location if you want to stay out in the square till late at night. Surprisingly being so close to the square, the riad offers tranquillity in its maze like ally way.

The Riad has a very pleasent feel, very light, clean & comfortable. The owners is also very polite and lovely to speak to, both very adequate in English. The rooms itself was averaged size incomparison to other Riads i have stayed in. Very Nice traditional decorations but wouldn't say it has any wow factors. The room docoration isnt without its mini flaws...drills holes left uncovered, shower curtain not fitted in the correct place (so its useless), lights didnt work until 15mins of maintenence, aircon failure which led to a change of rooms. Despite all this, Balkisse will sort everything out without fuss, hesitation or extra cost...i.e when my aircon failed (when i first arrived and NOT during the night) they changed my room from a single to a triple.
Breakfast is nothing special, when you have stayed in Marrakech for a week, every Riad will pretty much give you the same deal, bread, bread and more bread.

As newly established owners, service is always with a smile! However, one thing I would suggest to the owner is to get an extra pair of hands. She is very good at what she does but when there are a few thing running simultaneously, service can be a bit slow.

All in all, the location of this Riad, the price you pay and the quality you get is nothing shy of a thumbs up from me.

How to get there:
From Jeema El Fna walk down Rue Prince Moulay Abdellah (or Rue Bab Agnaou), you should see Hotel Tazi on your left. Turn into this road (Riad Moukha) then it as simple as right, left, right...then straight through the ally way until you come across number 4 on your right.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

stayed here with my sister-in-law and daughter 20 years, and can't wait to return.
Andrea, her husband Adil and staff were very attentive even when we had a problem with sink not emptying in our room it was repaired same day. Adil was very informative regarding places we wanted to visit and arranged a guide for a couple of hours. The room was very clean and breakfast substantial which could be taken in riad or on roof terrace which was lovely.
The riad was in an excellent location for everywhere we wanted to see and would definetely go back.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

My wife and I, as well as our college-age daughter studying in Morocco, loved this riad. Andrea Courtney, her husband, and staff made us feel right at home. Very clean room and common areas with plenty of space for us and all our luggage. The interior decor was classic Moroccan. Wonderful breakfast, even if we slept in. Had our choice of eating on the roof top terrace or inside. Can't miss on either choice. The riad is located within walking distance of everything we wanted to visit. Finally, we can't thank Andrea enough for contacting us after we returned to the U.S. about her finding a lost item. Our son picked it up a month later while also staying at Riad Balkisse.

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Riad Balkisse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Riad Balkisse

Address: 4 Derb Charij | Médina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #805 of 1,054 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline and Odigeo so you can book your Riad Balkisse reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Riad Balkisse, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.