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““Fantastic, traditional Riad Dubai Hotel"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Dubai

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Riad Dubai
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   41, derb amezmiz - kasbah-bab ksiba, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #303 of 1,040 Marrakech B&B and Inns
1 review
““Fantastic, traditional Riad Dubai Hotel"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

Excellent - but make sure that you call the hotel in advance to arrange transportation. The official price for taxis from the airport is four times the going rate. 70/100 Dirhams for small/large taxis. You will need to get to the "Bab Ksiba" Gate and from there it is a five minute walk through the casbah. There are some signs but ALL the locals know where it is. Staff will meet you at Bab Kiba.

Very comfortable. We had a welcome mint tea with the manager on a beautiful roof terrace with plenty information shared with us about Marrakech and Morocco. The food that was prepared for us was excellent, the rooms very comfortable and the staff very friendly and hospitable.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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198 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (29)
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English first
Coldstream, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

We got off to a very bad start with Riad Dubai as the airport taxi booked with them via email failed to turn up. We waited patiently at the airport for someone with a “Riad Dubai” sign and made 3 expensive mobile calls to the Riad - each time we were told the taxi would soon be there. After we had waited a full hour, there was still no Riad Dubai taxi so we lost patience and took our own taxi. We had to argue over the price of this - precisely what we had intended to avoid by booking an airport transfer with Riad Dubai. We paid double the price we were told the Riad’s taxi would cost.

We were dropped at Bab Ksiba, the nearest Medina (old town) gateway to Riad Dubai. Finding this Riad is virtually impossible unless you have been there before or you are met by Riad staff at Bab Ksiba. We asked two or three of the locals and each time we were sent in different directions, they just had no idea where Riad Dubai was! After quite a time searching fruitlessly we hit lucky and a very kind gentleman was able to lead us down the correct alleyways where we eventually found Riad Dubai. The young man at reception welcomed us but, despite us telling him how unhappy we were about all the time we had wasted waiting for their taxi at the airport, he offered no apologies. We were then offered a mint tea, and were sat down for a briefing about our stay.

We were shown to our room (number 4) which seemed spacious enough to us but was very dimly lit. The bed was well covered with layers of blankets but there was no wardrobe hanging space whatsoever. There was a rather rickety old chest of drawers in which we were able to store some but not all of our clothes. The bathroom was small with a shower, toilet & wash hand basin (no bath). The plumbing and bathroom fitments were old-fashioned and a bit wobbly. The shower was a quaint Moorish-style structure which worked well enough but was rather dark when the shower curtain was pulled and the basin drained away painfully slowly which meant that at the end of your shower you were paddling ankle-deep in water. We had a nice copper sink with mirror above. The toilet did not flush well at all and the toilet seat had definitely seen better days – it was loose and lots of paint was flaking off it. Our room had no lock other than a large bolt at either side which anyone could open. This is fine when you are in your room and you can bolt it securely from the inside but when you leave your room, you simply slide the brass bolt along. After that, anyone can easily gain access to your room. We had neither lock nor key and, presumably all the other rooms are the same. We saw no evidence of any safe in the Riad so for peace of mind, valuables really had to be carried with you when away from your room. On arrival, we handed our passports over to the staff for safe keeping but we’re pretty sure they were simply put in a drawer of the reception desk.

We would have been comfortable enough in our room but for the fact that remarkably, for Marrakech, it felt cold! The absolute maximum temperature we achieved in our room was 18°C and for most of the time it varied between 15 and 17°. We had an air conditioning unit in the room which presumably is meant to operate as a heater in cold weather but although we had it on its highest setting, it did not heat the room. It was obviously not working properly. We complained about the temperature in our room on more than one occasion but the staff did nothing about it. One even suggested giving us an extra blanket to add to the 6 we already had on the bed!

On the positive side, the wi-fi worked well on the ground floor and in our room although there was no signal on the roof terrace. Riad Dubai was not expensive to stay in but, as they say, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect anything which resembles a room in a modern hotel chain as staying in a Riad is completely different. We ate breakfast each day on the roof terrace which, even in January, was very pleasant. Breakfast is the same each day but perfectly acceptable and tasty. It consists of a freshly made pancake and a croissant, orange juice, coffee, bread, butter, “Laughing Cow” speadable cheese, a yoghurt, jam, honey and olives – in fact a perfectly adequate and enjoyable breakfast. We only ate beakfast at the Riad and so cannot make any comment on the other meals they offer. Elsewhere in Tripadvisor’s reviews for Riad Dubai some visitors describe it as “shabby chic” but we feel that the shabby far outweighs the chic.
We thoroughly enjoyed exploring Marrakech throughout our week’s stay, but we suspect like many visitors, we found it quite a culture shock compared with a rural town in the UK. It was like stepping back in time, even like being on another planet! Even in January it was extremely busy and you are constantly being confronted and harassed by people trying to sell you things or entice you to their stalls and shops. You just have to be polite and firm, but it does get a bit tedious after a while. Just try not to make eye contact – it’s fatal! There are also quite a lot of people (of all ages) begging for money. Many of the people in Marrakech are obviously very poor but it is impossible to give to all.

From Riad Dubai, it takes around 20 minutes to walk to the main square, Jemaa el Fna. This huge square just has to be experienced to get any idea of the hustle and bustle and the atmosphere, particularly at night. To walk to the main square from Riad Dubai you just have to head in a northerly direction either inside the medina along Rue de la Kasbah or outside the city walls where the walk is less interesting but at least you neither get hassled nor run down by the hundreds of mopeds, carts and taxis! To get a taxi just go to the gateway at Bab Ksiba (less than 5 minutes walk from the Riad) where they are passing more or less constantly. If there are less than 4 of you, take one of the smaller “petit taxis”. They are cheaper but be sure to either get the driver to use the meter or agree a price before you get in. In Jan 2014 the maximum we paid for a petit taxi was 50DH which is about £3.80, so although they are pretty basic, they are not expensive. We had fantastic weather all week from 2nd to 9th January and we hardly saw a cloud. It got quite hot in the middle of the day (around 25°C) but was much cooler at night when you need to wrap up in jumpers and/or coats. We also loved watching the many storks which are dotted around the medina and gaze down on the noise and chaos below with a certain serenity!

All in all, a very enjoyable and interesting week but we feel that Riad Dubai is rather over-rated on Tripadvisor. Our son and his girlfriend were with us in Marrakech the same week but staying in a different Riad. Theirs was called Riad Aubrac and we went with them to have a look. Their room, although a bit smaller than ours, was much nicer with a superior bathroom, a large wardrobe, a lock and key and a heater that worked. Their roof terrace was also nicer and tidier than Riad Dubai’s. They paid much the same as us. At the time of writing, Riad Dubai is ranked 184 out of 1014 B&B’s/Inns in Marrakech whereas Riad Aubrac is only ranked at number 317. It just goes to show that you can’t always rely entirely on Tripadvisor ratings & reviews. We hope this review will be helpful for future visitors to Riad Dubai.

Room Tip: None of the rooms have a window, so don't ask for a view. If you go during November - February...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

We stayed here for tour nights from October 12. The very warm welcome from the manager Housni set the scene for the rest of the stay. We were made to feel at home and no request was too much to ask. Abdul and Hassan were very helpful and served a very delicious breakfast on the roof terrace every morning. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. After a busy day in the medina arriving back at the Riad Dubai was very much appreciated with it's good coffee and mint tea. The location in the Kasbah was ideal. We are certainly returning .

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hook, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

This riad is small and clean. The staff are friendly and helpful and really make you feel at home. We arrived quite late in the evening, but a member of staff was very willing to show us how to get around.
Having breakfast on the roof terrace is a great way to start the day.
A quiet oasis away from the madness of the medina but only a short stroll from the action.

Room Tip: We were on the first floor and our room was quiet and cool. Brilliant night's sleep every night
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tripoli, Libya
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights in September. When we got outside the entrance to The Old City we called the hotel and was greeted by a friendly member of staff. When walking towards the hotel, we were a bit anxious as it's away from the tourist areas and you walk around small streets to get to the hotel.
Although, when we arrived to the house/hotel it was so wonderful inside! It's raw and rustic but it's the real McCoy! The bedrooms were very clean and cleaned daily by the kind staff. We were given maps and advice about places to travel and the breakfast in the morning was lovely on the terrace! You could also pay a few extra dirhams to eat lovely, traditional tagine dishes for dinner. We left in the early hours of the morning (2am) and a member of staff walked us through the streets to the main road and arranged a taxi for us.
Stay here for a break for a real taste of Morocco.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

My wife and I travelled with our friends,MarkrBradford and wife. I agree with everything Mark has written. The staff deserve a special mention. Housni, Abdul and Hassan were extremely welcoming and helpful and everyone there did an excellent job and made the riad so welcome to return to after busy, tiring days exploring the sights. Do as we did and contact Housni before you arrive and he will arrange collection at the airport and you will be helped right to the front door. So reassuring and the cost was insignificant.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

This fabulous jewel is located in the Kasbah district about 20 minutes walk from the main square. Two minutes walk out to the city gate Bab Ksiba and it simply is the real deal! The Riad has been tastefully modernised such as to keep it's charm and personality. I agree with other reviewers not a 5 star hotel but if you want a taste of the real Marrakesh you couldn't do much better. Rooms are spacious and bed comfortable. We had a huge bath in our en suite our friends had a shower.

There are a couple of areas where you can sit and chill - the seating area off the main courtyard area downstairs or a rooftop terrace if you prefer a bit of a view and some sun. Both well appointed and authentic. The terrace has a shaded area formed by a bedouin tent with seating inside.

Food was all Moroccan fayre - well presented and really good. Meal times are when you want to eat (we were half board) so ate breakfast at times to suit our outings and usually ate at 8pm at night when it had cooled down a bit.

The staff - well what can I say? Housni, Abdul & Hassan made our holiday perfect. Nothing was too much trouble and they tried really hard to please all the time. Great job guys! Our cleaner did a fab job with the room cleaned & tidied daily.

Visited the Ourika Valley on an organised tour. Berber Village interesting but a felt a bit voyeuristic in someones home... Argan oil herb garden and sales pitch - well I guess you can imagine but no hard sell. The walk up to the waterfall is not for those with faint hearts or any kind of mobility issue. Health and safety not arrived in the valley yet and at times mountaineering kit would have been useful. Beautiful valley terrain but actually not too safe in my view at times. We were supposed to be going to a carpet shop and a camel ride place on the way back but for once the English, Spanish & Dutch spoke as one and we told the guide we all wanted to go back to Marrakesh direct....he wanted us happy so back we went!

Not wanting an organised trip to essaouira we asked Housni to source us a comfy 4x4 and driver to take us instead. He did this for same price as 4 on an organised trip (£100). The Pajero and our driver were both superb - thank you Mustapha and to Housni for sorting it. Long trip to a seaside town. Glad we went as we saw a lot of the country side and the town was OK. Would I go 3 hours each way again...no. Consider hiring a car like this as for a party of 4 worked well. I would not drive in Marrakesh as it is just manic!

You can spend a day ay their other Riad - free transfer. Same standards as the Riad Dubai and staff just as helpful. Nice to chill out and have a dip in the pool. Food was also reasonably priced and really good.

Obviously no alcohol sold at Riad but a trip to Carrefour resolved that issue and we enjoyed wine / beer as we pleased at the Riad. Carrefour is a 5 minute taxi ride (40 Dirhams) - Moroccan wine is actually pretty good we liked the Ksar red. Local beer Flag Speciale very drinkable.

There are a couple of places in the old city where you can get a drink too - we liked the Kosy Bar in the Mellah district next to the Bahia Palace. See my review when I do it!

Fantastic place to stay but expect a full on experience from the second you leave the tranquil oasis that is the Riad Dubai!

Thanks guys good job!

Room Tip: If you want a shower ask when booking. I'd prefer a room on the first floor to ones on the groun...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Riad Dubai

Address: 41, derb amezmiz - kasbah-bab ksiba, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #303 of 1,040 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Dubai 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the heart of the Kasbah of Marrakech is our beautiful Riad Dubai, 5 different beautiful suites with every comfort, air conditioning, safe, bath & shower, mini bar, SAT TV, internet wifi. Said the owner will prepare a special Moroccan cuisine for you, a terrace is waiting for you to relax and unwind, we organize all kinds of excursions in Marrakech and Morocco, a shuttle service to all airport transfers. Said and his wife Malika are waiting to offer you a pleasant and impeccable holiday . "Welcome to Riad Dubai" ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Dubai Hotel Marrakech

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