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“Antidote to the Medina” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Al Badia

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Riad Al Badia
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   135 Derb Ahl Souss, Marrakech 40040, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
West Sacramento, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Antidote to the Medina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Superb service in a wonderful building, the Riad Al Badia was exactly what we needed after each terrific but adrenaline-filled journey into the streets and alleys of the Medina.

Wi-fi: free, reliable, and speedy.
Sleep: comfortable bed and total darkness. Thin walls, although the hotel staff took care to manage the noise so not a problem unless you plan to go to bed early in the evening.
Team: hard to imagine a more perfect staff and management. extremely helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. can't say i've ever experienced better service anywhere in the world.
Location: close to the key parts of the medina. we walked everywhere, but that might not be a good idea for guests with any kind of mobility limitations since the principal road leading to the riad lacks sidewalks. that's not unusual for the medina area, but it would be less convenient if you're not an agile walker.
Relaxing: the first floor and two rooftop decks are great spots, though we didn't use the roof much due to rain.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
I thank you for this lovely review. Ahmed and his all team join me to express you our heartfelt gratitude for staying at Riad Al Badia these few days, even if the weather was rainy, wich is a bless for us and in a way quite rare !! It has been a great pleasure for the all team to receive you. We all hope to see you again in a not to far future and we wish you both all the best for the New 2014 coming soon now !! Thank you again for everything and take good care of both of you.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Lincolnshire
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

We booked for my wife's birthday and we are both used to travelling for work so were looking for something 'extra'. We definitely found it.
This review has a mixture of advice and info which I hope will help someone like me who had not been to Morocco / Marrakech before.

First off we took up the option of transfers to and from the airport. Arriving at night in the south of the Medina and walking through small alleys to the Riad is a little daunting and I would not have liked to do this with an unknown taxi driver. We were well met by a very friendly driver at the airport and he explained some of the sights and districts on the way.

Upon arrival at the riad we immediately felt at home. The riad is small, but exceptionally clean and atmospheric. The welcome session was excellent and all the staff are a mine of great information about life in Morocco. I had no idea of what to expect in Marrakech and without the sound advice of Laurent, Ahmed and Bousta I think I may have found the hustle and bustle of Marrakech just too much. They explained tipping customs, how to avoid certain tourist traps (like the ever helpful guide who walks you somewhere when you ask for directions) and the ever perplexing customs behind haggling.

The room was delightful and breakfast was served whenever and wherever we wanted. There was more than enough food, it was all home made and it was presented in a style that would grace most five star hotels. We had two evening meals in the hotel and two evening meals out in the Medina. The food in the Riad was the best food we ate in Marrakech. The tagine we had on the first night was amazing and the food on our last night was incredible...salads we had never even though of and beef tagine with artichoke and peas!

The Hammam the riad organised at Les Bains de l'Alhambra was brilliant. Strictly for the tourists and done with brilliant over the top style (I shall never forget the rose petal bath next to my wife in a double tub.) The massages were also very good.

They booked dinner for us at the Dar es Salaam restaurant for my wife's birthday, which was beautifully kitsch with amusing waiters, good entertainment and good food (see separate review).

The Riad staff organised a ride in a Caleche (horse drawn carriage) for us and made sure the driver knew to go through the parts of town we had not yet seen. Every evening we arrived back at the Riad to a warm welcome and general interest in our day.

Marrakech is an exhausting and exhilirating city. The people are friendly in a way which requires understanding, as was explained to me by Laurent, it is all a little piece of theatre that is intended to be enjoyed on both sides. If I compared the experience of the Souks in Marrakech with Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, the Souk is so much more polite and done with an air of fun, but without this 'briefing' from Riad staff I would still have misconstrued what was going on.

Ahmed and Laurent both suggested we visit the 'centre artisanale' and this is good advice, if nothing else than to get ball park figures for asking prices in the Souk.

Two final suggestions for Marrakech - the Maison de la Photographie is amazing and the lunch on the roof was fantastic; second there is a small shop selling 'throws' on the way to Place Blanche Fer, the price is half that in the Souk and the lady is lovely. Ok sales pitch over, but get ready for more of the same in Marrakech.

Overall our stay in Marrakech was incredible. I am sure there are lots of good riads to stay at and different places suit different people. The little bit 'extra' for me at this hotel was the staff and the help they provided in being able to get the best out of Marrakech. As the saying goes life is what you make it, and in this case all the team (Samira, Hanane, Fatima, Bousta, Ahmed, Laila, Abdel Haddi and Laurent) made life in Marrakech that little bit better and easier to enjoy!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear Sir,
I thank you so much for this lovely review that went straight to our hearts. Ahmed and the all team join me to express you our heartfelt gratitude for your stay at Riad Al Badia. We all really enjoyed every moment shared with both of you during our time in Marrakech. It was a true privilege to receive you for Madam’s birthday and it was a pure delight seeing you every day discovering our culture and customs, so different from « western » and understanding our city and its people. Your true interest in our history, our culture, our cuisine, our customs, our values were very much appreciated and this is an other meeting that is over the words. You just reminded us why one day we decided to operate in the tourism and the hotel industry. Thank you so much to both of you, our very interesting conversation will remain in memories and we keep a very elegant souvenir of both of you. We all wish you the best for the nearest furture and hopefully this new year 2014 will bring you back to Marrakech, you are always welcome. Thank you for all this emotional moments you offered us and see you very soon. Take good care of both of you and please do not change a thing, you are both fabulous. Thank you ever so much.
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Bournemouth
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

Thank you to all the team at Riad Al Badia, especially to Ahmed for his wonderful recommendations and assistance. The customer service you receive is wonderful including a walk to the main square on your first evening to get your bearings. Our stay here was amazing and Laurent, Bousta, Samira and the rest of the team are professional and nothing is too much trouble to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Although the bathrooms are small, you are staying in a traditional Riad in the Medina. The reason this Riad is highly rated is due to the service and welcome you receive - it is not another soul-less chain hotel. Highly recommend Cafe Arabe and the Hamman.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear Madam,
I thank you for this lovely review. It has been a great pleasure for the all team to receive you these few days at Riad Al Badia. The all team join me to express you our heartfelt gratitude. We all hope to see you again in a not too far future, you are home at Riad Al Badia you know this. We all wish you all the best for the New Year coming and thank you again for everything you gave us. Take good care of both of you
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umea
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

We had high expectations and were surely not deceived. The reception at our arrival, the service, the kindness of everyone at the Riad was overwhelming. Ahmed greeted us upon arrival and and informed us every day of what we needed to know to get the most of our stay. Samira cooked the best possible marrocan food delicately served by Bousta and Ardelhadi. The discrete and effective room service provided by always smiling ladies Hanan, Fatima and Leila was perfect.
Mr Laurent supervised everything with diligence and also told the history of the city and the customs of the country, helping us to be able to appreciate our stay much better then we would have if we only had red about these things.
We left regretting that our stay was so short and with a feeling of having made new friends.
Yves K

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear Sir,
I thank you from the deepest of my heart for this very kind and touching review. The all team join me to express you our heartfelt gratitude for your stay at Riad Al Badia, it has been a pure delight having you these few days. We keep a very warm souvenir of your stay among us, your interest for our culture, our customs, our cuisine were much appreciated. I would like to thank you for our very interesting conversations, they were very much appreciated too. Some meetings are over the words, this is another one and once again, we feel very privileged and grateful having been able to meet and receive you. We wish you both our best wished for the rest of 2013 and a very successful new year 2014. We sincerely hope to see you again soon. Take care of both of you.
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Harpenden, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

I usually save reviews on TripAdvisor for when I have something different to say compared to other reviews. This unfortunately is one of those occasions. Having booked the riad on the basis of its excellent reviews, we expected a lot and were quite underwhelmed. The riad is not bad - it's attractively decorated and the staff were very friendly (although a bit over the top at times) - but I struggle to understand the great rating.

For a start, the walls (both internal and external) are very thin so our sleep was disturbed every night by staff, other guests and noise from the street. At times it felt like there were 10 people in the room rather than 2. The breakfast was uninspiring - a yoghurt and a selection of breads - no hot option, no choice of menu and the same thing every day. Also, due to the bees on the rooftop terrace, we were driven inside to the dingy window-less dining area. The photos that appear to show a swimming pool are completely misleading - the pool is barely larger than a bathtub and situated in the middle of the reception area - probably not somewhere where many people would feel comfortable stripping to their bikini/trunks, despite the staff comically suggesting that we might like to.

My final word of warning is about the excursions the hotel offers. Although not expensive by European standards, the prices offered by the hotel are 4 or 5 times as expensive as equivalent trips offered by tour agencies in the city - so I would recommend you shop around. The one recommendation we did follow was when the day spa we wanted to visit was unavailable, we asked the hotel to arrange an alternative. What they arranged for us was NOT a spa - it was a day in someone's back garden with workmen crashing around in the background and a massage from someone who appeared never to have given a massage before. When we later discussed this with the owner, he apologised but offered no compensation.

In conclusion, this riad is a pleasant enough place - the rooms are nice and the location is good for the southern medina sights - but I simply do not understand the great rating this hotel has and I am sure there are many other hotels in Marrakesh that offer better quality for a similar price.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
I thank you for this comment and I feel very frustrated that you did not mention anything while you were at the Riad. Riad is a traditionnal Moroccan house, in the genuine area of the city, the Medina, staying in a Riad is to experience the true everyday life of Moroccan Family. I will not comment breakfast, size of walls, or the refreshing bassin, I suppose that you did not expect a Riad to be a Riad but would have felt more comfortable in a standardized hotel . Many others guests who stayed at the Riad could raise the quietness, the varied continental breakfast with different breads and or venoiseries… One extra point that you maybe misunderstood is the excursions. We do provide with our partners all sorts of day tour or activities from the Riad including the hammam. Our partners are selected carefully for the quality of service as we do provide on an everyday level, what you felt like beeing sometimes « a bit over the top », once again it does depend on what you are looking for and what your expectations are. All our partners provide, in their speciality, service of quality. Excursions, will be just for you and not joining a group of tourist, with your private car and private english or french speaking driver, providing you informations or for other options, it does include lunch and private guide on site. We do not push anybody, we do propose these excursions or activities to any of our guests that is interested and we do redirect our guest with a more limited budget to agencies where prices will be lower, as you join a group, have to go to a certain place to meet the group… we have no problem at all in proposing these agencies doing a good job there again in what they do propose. We can recommend or give orientations when we know what you think and what you are looking for. Regarding your SPA experience, you did not mention that you decided last minute to organize this hammam day, at a period when Marrakech is very busy and all our partners were full. My colleagues proposed you a last place, in the country side that we often recommend for the swimming-pool in summer time, for our guests that are avoiding the very « trendy » places where you go to be seen, but our guests who just want to relax and enjoy a quiet place to swimm outside in a garden. There again our guests who visited this place where happy. They did add recently a spa, simple one, and yes maybe this was not to the top yet, but this is not the first choice, all hammam were full for this last minute request. There again, planning a bit ahead, we can book and at the best time the hammam we do recommend and any of your choice, we do not earn our lifes on hammams or excursions, no commission but we do require our partner, not to bring our guests into shops during city tours, or stop to Camel or Argan cooperatives during 1 day trip, this will make a difference for us and we just let our guests know that this option is available. We feel very sad that you did not enjoy as much as expected your stay at the Riad but be assured that it was a pleasure for us to receive you.
We wish you all the best for the coming year 2014. Take good care of both of you.
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We had a fantastic time at Riad Al Badia. Laurent and his team are so professional and make each and every one of their guests feel extra special. Samira's food is to die for - a level above all of the restaurants we tried, and the yoghurt at breakfast was really special. Ahmed, Bousta and Abdul-hadi were so kind to us and so good at their jobs. We'd definitely go back.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear Madam,
I thank you for much for your lovely review, Ahmed and the all team join and would like to express you our heartfelt gratitude for your stay at Riad Al Badia. We keep a very warm souvenir of both of you and we all hope that this new year coming will bring you back to us ! Take good care of both of you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Despite an unpreposessing approach, this Riad is truly excellent, and exceptional value for money. Its location in the Medina makes it ideal for those wanting to walk around, and get to know the old city. It's worth arranging a pick-up from the airport with the hotel, as the taxi driver will guide you to the Riad, which you would have difficulty finding for the first time.

Ahmed was on hand to brief us and give directions to get everywhere, and was extremely helpful throughout our stay. We had dinner at the Riad the first evening, and it was as good as anything we ate outside. All the staff were very helpful.

Our room was perfectly comfortable, but had a very small bathroom; it's worth trying to get one of the bigger rooms, but this was the last room available when we booked at the last minute.

The roof terrace is a great place to rest after a day in the Medina, and surprisingly quiet, given the mayhem outside. Breakfast was served on the lower terrace, which was very pleasant, except for the bees which were quickly attracted to the jams and marmalade.

Restaurant bookings were very efficiently made by Laurent, and local recommendations were generally very helpful.

The call to prayers at 4am every morning was the only downside, but not specific to this hotel.

In summary, it's hard to beat for location and price.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Laurent O, Gérant at Riad Al Badia, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Dear Sir,
I thank you very much for such a lovely review. Ahmed and the all team join us to express you our heartfelt gratitude for your stay at Riad Al Badia. It has been very pleasant to count you among us during with these few days. Once again and thank you to mention it, we can not recommend enough any potential future traveler at Riad Al Badia or any Riad in the Medina to contact us ahead and we can organize our driver to come and collect our guests at the airport or at the train station, or we can send some directions to make things easier on arrival. When you get your bearings, it is very easy. We all hope to see you again in a not too far future, we wish you both all the best for the rest of 2013 and a very successful 2014. Take good care of both of you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Al Badia

Address: 135 Derb Ahl Souss, Marrakech 40040, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#13 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#30 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Al Badia 4*
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Also Known As:
Riad Al Badia Hotel Marrakech

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