After completing a circuit of Europe in midwinter, we went down to Marrakesh for a bit of sun , and I can't say how glad I am that I booked in at Riad Laksiba.
We were met at the airport by Mohamed and Simon (proprietor) and taken to the Riad, which - as is the Moroccan way - looks like every other house from the outside. When you get inside though you can see the painstaking attention to detail in the furniture, artwork and even the doors. It is truly a beautiful and tranquil place to be. The roof-top is a wonderful place to chill out - it's complete with a Bedouin tent and tortoises. We were immediately shown our rooms and offered mint tea.
As we were a "group" of two guys and the Riad was quiet we were given a room each and, after settling in, Simon showed us the way to the main square (a very easy walk with loads to see on the way) stopping to chat to the locals as we went by. We were introduced to the local calligrapher, Mohamed, as well as various vendors and passers-by.
Once at the square Simon left us on our own and we promptly got lost in the Souks and ripped off by the very persistent ladies. On relating our experiences to everyone back at the Riad, the guys (Abdelhamid and Mohamed, both extremely formidable blokes) took us back to the square and got us our money back!
The staff were what made the Riad what it was. From Simon taking us on a very comprehensive walking tour of Marrakesh and organizing a Berber guide to take us up to the mountains (a must-do) to Nadia making us a delicious breakfast every morning (well, usually early afternoon) to get us going. Abdelhamid and Mohamed were always around to help - even showing us where to buy size 13 flip flops and doing the haggling with the very tough shopkeeper.
Location of the Riad was perfect. While the hustle and bustle of the square is a short walk away, the Kasbah on Laksiba's doorstep is the neighborhood to be. Everyone is friendly, there is plenty to see - tombs, several palaces and the metalworkers district as well as the Berber fruit and veg markets. After just a few days we felt almost local.
Our last evening was spent with everyone on the shisha pipe eating fig ice cream and cactus fruit - the perfect way to end a perfect trip. As mentioned above, the staff and their local knowledge are what make this place - you simply could not have the same experience if you stayed in a hotel. We were both disappointed to be leaving and Marrakesh was certainly the highlight of the trip.
Next time I'm at Riad Laksiba, it won't be like going on a holiday, it will be like going home.
- Also Known As:
- Riad Laksiba Hotel Marrakech
- Riad Laksiba Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked just inside the ancient walls of the Kasbah quartier of Marrakech Medina you will find Riad Laksiba a quiet English owned Riad perfectly place for you to discover the mystique that is Marrakech. What do you want to do?• Explore Morocco the genuine way• Immerse yourself into the culture• Travel with the locals• See the natural & unspoilt beauty of this country• Make the journey part of your holiday• A memorable way to discover a country & its people• Get to know like-minded people• A step towards greater exploration• Be encouraged to appreciate a country as it should be seen.…make it an unforgettable experience Then you may well be a Riad Laksiba "Flashpacker": Most travellers have backpacked at some stage in their life. Some go for the traditional hard-core version. Sleeping on floors and roughing it in the jungle. Others have opted for the softer version, those in their early to late 20′s, staying in hostels, sleeping in large dorms; in Australia or Thailand for example. However, most have also experienced the dirty bed linen, the shared showers and blocked toilets. So now that you have ticked those boxes and are now a bit maturer what is the next step? Flashpacker vs Backpacker: You don’t want to miss out on travelling by public transport, the thought of staying in a chain hotel puts you off, package holidays are an absolute no no; you want that bit of the luxury, you have become accustomed to with age, that you can actually afford now and you have a bit more cash to spare. Welcome to being part of a very fast growing trend -THE FLASHPACKER The Flashpacker: Laptop, iPhone, Digital Camera and a little luxury on a Budget. Flashpacking as the name implies derives from backpacking. Backpacking with an upgrade, making it flash. Flash for cash, flash as in expectation of standard or even just flash with gadgets at hand (iPhone, laptop, etc). Riad Laksiba is one of the first of it’s kind, in Marrakech, to offer this unique travel experience and cater for the evident gap in the market. Over the year we have identified that our target market is travellers in their mid 20′s to late 40′s failing to find the standard within the right time frame and budget category. Riad Laksiba prides itself on being able to offer an exceptional service allowing its clients to pre book accommodation within the backpacker budget (Euro 30-60 (£25-£50)/ night/ double room). The standard of our rooms a priority. Clean linen, en-suite, towels included, Free Wi-Fi, safe locations, female friendly and suitable for solo travellers. The advantage that Riad Laksiba offers to Flashpackers is that it offers unique accommodation, not listed in any of the guidebooks therefore undiscovered and not overrun with backpackers. In addition we offer a very personal service catering for the individual travellers needs without taking away the feeling of independent travel from the traveller. Riad Laksiba encourages our guests to experience the true environment of the country and therefore works supporting local community. The Riad Laksiba experience is much about integrating into a local community. Our motto "…don’t just be a tourist" strikes a cord with most flashpacker clients. We also organise Yoga retreats, Cookery based holidays, 2 Center Holidays to Marrakech / Essaouria and also Marrakech / Ourika Valley thus City-Coast and City-Country. We are also planning City-Desert for the more adventurous. We look forward to receiving you and adding value to your own adventure. Simon Hawkesley (Riad Laksiba) ... more less