We (2 couples) went to celebrate my friends (aka Eddie) 50th birthday. It was a fairly last minute booking and we got a really good deal so wasn’t really sure what to expect. We did however research by watching ab fab in Marrakesh and decided that we (aka Eddie & Patsy) were ready to hit the Kasbah. However as we were not heading to a private villa we contacted the Riad beforehand to arrange an airport transfer and to ask if they could prepare us a meal as we didn’t arrive until late evening.
We were collected from the airport as arranged although we had a slight wait as I think they were picking other people up who subsequently didn’t arrive. The taxi dropped us of at Bab krisba and we were met by staff from the Riad who escorted us through the Kasbah. I would strongly recommend you arrange airport pickup as it would have been very daunting trying to find the Riad through the winding passages and alleyways.
On arrival we were greeted with mint tea (which is very very sweet) and given information about the local area. They had prepared us a lovely meal of Moroccan soup, chicken tagine and a birthday cake and even a bottle of Moroccan red wine.
We were in a ground floor room which was fairly large, comfy bed, hairdryer, 2 sinks and a kneel down shower. Initially the toilet didn’t flush but soon rectified when we turned the water supply on. As stated previously the rooms’ only hanging space was a coat stand with a few hangers on but as we were only there for 3 nights this didn’t really matter. We also had a large chest of drawers. Eddies room was on the 1st floor and was similar but a tad smaller. They did however have a free standing heater (but no hairdryer) which took the chill of the room which would have been nice as our room was very cold.
The Riad was in easy reach of the Jamaa El Fna and after being given initial directions we soon found our way around. Whist we like the fact that the Riad was in the heart of the local community I would imagine this could be a little intimating for some as until you get to the Mosque you see very few tourists and often locals will tell you the area is closed but you have to be persistent and say that you know where you are going.
We packed allot into our 2 days and tried to complete the DK eyewitness top 10 things to do in Marrakesh – shopped in the souks, visited Jamaa El Fna day and night, took in the view from a roof terrace, saw the snow capped atlas mountains (from a distance), visited the Badi palace (hidden down a side street so hard to find but worth a visit) , ate at a market stall (not pleasant once we sat down the service was appalling, the food was tapas style and not very nice) visited the majorelle gardens (in a calèche although we got a taxi back which was cheaper) ate with the locals at place de ferblantiers (food cheap but not great) ate at a cafe overlooking the square (food good and very reasonable) and Eddie did a little street show assisted by a flashing torch (not in DK!) We unfortunately didn’t get round to trying any fresh orange juice but we give it all a far crack in 2 days and had a wonderful time.
For those of you who like a glass of beer on holiday we did manage to find a couple of places to drink one of which was Hotel Tazi (but rough and ready but ok) on the main street to the square and we were also guided to a little gem of a place. A little sceptical at first as we were been take down a mass of alleyways but hidden away is Restaurant Dar Nejjarine a really nice place very chilled and serves a variety of alcoholic drinks. Unfortunately we had already eaten otherwise we would have eaten here as well.
For those of you concerned about the weather and what to wear etc. during the day it was like a summers day in England (trainers, jeans, t-shirt and cardigan for me) the evenings however where a little colder and required extra layers (t-shirt, shirt, hoodie, leather jacket) not very Patsy I’m afraid but when I'm cold fashion goes out the window.
We did not spend much time in the Riad however we did make good use of the roof terrace enjoying our complimentary breakfast (yoghurt, pancakes, croissant, bread and laughing cow cheese!) and our pre and post evening drinks (duty free southern comfort).
We loved the fact that the Riad was tucked away as it gave us a real feel for the local culture.
The staff were helpful and friendly although I would avoid the man who meets you in the street and claims to be the Riads gardener and offers to take you to see the ladies cooperative preparing herbs and spices from the mountains, yes we got stung by a sales pitch in a very slick operation that made it difficult to leave until you had purchased something (and had a massage but that’s another story). Not to worry thought it adds to the holiday experience and all in all sweetie we had an ‘absolutely fabulous’ time and well worth the money. Ps has anyone seen saffy?????
- 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