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“Excellent location, great staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Balkisse

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Riad Balkisse
4 Derb Charij | Médina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #722 of 1,105 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Excellent location, great staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

We chose this riad because of its location. This place wasn't difficult to find at all. We took the number 19 bus from the airport, and it was only a 5 min walk on the main street from the stop outside kfc near the square (see trip advisor forum for airport bus info).

On arrival we were greeted by a very friendly young man who also served us mint tea before showing us to our room on the first floor. Overall we were quite happy with our choice of riad.

Positive:
Very friendly staff
Good location
Good breakfast

What could be improved:
Leak in shower tube, not much water coming from shower head. Reported but wasn't fixed during our stay.
Shampoo and soap not replaced each day.

The minor points weren't a major issue for us but the riad would have deserved 5 stars if it wasn't for those issues.

Overall I would recommend this riad for any couples travelling to Marrakech.

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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hastings, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

I was collected at the station, where the train from Tangiers was an hour late.
The young man drove me through Marrakech and as it was now after 9pm, the streets were teaming with people and he was unable to get close to the Riad.
He shouted to another guy in the crowd, who then proceeded to take me on foot through the throng down dark alleys to a door, where after ringing the bell. I entered another world.
It was a haven of peace and quiet, I was served mint tea with sweetmeats, given the WIFI password, and then shown to my delightful room.

I pumped up the air conditioning, and settled down to a great nights sleep.

Breakfast was served downstairs in the courtyard, although I could have had it on the balcony just outside my room.

The staff were all very helpful, and I enjoyed the slow pace.
Each day a different course was served at breakfast, either yoghurt, fruit cocktail, or boiled eggs, along with a sweet roll, beghrir {pancake}, crusty bread, 2 jams and honey.
Fresh OJ and cafe au lait.

The Riad is minutes from the central square, and I enjoyed a great value dinner one night, for 12 Euros

I was served soup and Olivesbread, , a Morrocan salad of tomato and onion, followed by a Tagine of lemon chicken, coffee and sweetmeats.
To wash this down I had a bottle of Morrocan red, which while not cheap at 20 Euros, was much appreciated.

I would certainly stay here again, just don't be put off by having to walk down a narrow alley!

  • Stayed April 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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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I feel like I got what I paid for here. It was convenient and friendly with good breakfast but I'm not sure I would stay here again. I stayed with a friend and we agreed that communicating with the staff was a bit difficult. My French is a bit rusty and the English of the young man who we communicated with the most often was not very good. We were picked up at the airport by the riad's shuttle but when we tried to arrange a ride back to the airport something got very lost in translation so there was no ride. We ended up using our tour guide that we hired privately during the week for a ride to the airport so we weren't inconvenienced and were smart enough to confirm the night before that we had (or didn't have in this case) a ride. We also were there for 3 days before being told that the couple in our room before us took the key with them and we needed to leave the key at the desk so housekeeping could clean. It wasn't a big deal for us not to have our room tided, but our trash was building up and we ran out of toilet paper. (My friend tried to get some in English first but it had to be done in French.)

On the plus side, the dinners were fantastic--the best food we had in Marrakech by far. We had the chicken and vegetables tagines. They make your food to order ahead of time. You choose off a menu and arrange a time. I think it is made fresh everyday but if you eat too late they microwave it for you. They also do this if you eat earlier than 8:00. They are very accommodating so that is also a nice thing about staying there. The location is safe and quiet at night. It is in the old city so just beware that getting to other places in Marrakech (new city, Majorelle Gardens) can be difficult.

  • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Milan, Italy
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
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.
Andalucia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
34 helpful votes 34 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...
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  • 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
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 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
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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.
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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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #722 of 1,105 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
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