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“Incredible authentic experience” 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 #411 of 1,115 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Incredible authentic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

I almost want to write something negative, to ensure that I can always book a room.

The Riad Dubai is excellent.

Perfectly located for a trip to Marrakech. The rooms are spacious and fitted as you would expect from an authentic Moroccan Riad.

Mustafa is a very welcoming host and provides wonderful hospitality.

The breakfast fills you up until dinner.

I look forward to returning soon.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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.
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235 reviews from our community

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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
    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 (34)
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

Riad Dubai was everything and more that we expected from the descriptions we had read before we left to go to Marrakech. The manager was so very helpful and we were made to feel at home straight away. The rooms were clean and decorated in a beautiful traditional way, we had an upstairs room, but they all looked lovely. We stayed at the end of February and the evenings can get quite cold although we were not ever cold in bed as we had been provided with plenty of snuggly blankets. We were given a feast for breakfast everyday, that included, pancakes, croissants, yoghurts, olives and more bread than we could ever eat, with syrup, jam and cheese. We chose to eat in the courtyard most days but we did eat on the upstairs terrace once, although made friends with lots of bees!! The walk to Jamaa el fna took only ten minutes, and went past a vast array of stalls and local shops, which provide you with a true medina experience. If we ever go back to Marrakech we would be very happy to stay at Riad Dubai for another week!
Make sure you contact the Riad in advance to arrange transfers, as they will make sure you get escorted right up to the front door, the Riad is situated in a maze of alleys that are a bit confusing to begin with, although we never got too lost!!! The manager gave us a decent map on the first day, but there are no maps that will ever be able to guide you through the souks, so don't even bother trying, just go with the flow, and make sure you ignore the young men telling you that the way ahead is closed! We had really good WIFI service the whole time we were there, which was a bonus, although some of the restaurants near the square have free wifi too. Rooms are all situated facing into the courtyard and do not seem to have any other windows other than the inward facing ones, this is due to the way the buildings are inside the medina- all very close together. We opened the shutters when we were in the room during the day and closed them at night, and never had any problems with not enough light. I think most tripadvisor readers will have taken the time to look into what to expect from a traditional Riad, so I am amused and perplexed at the reviews that are anything other than positive, due to poor location or basic décor in the rooms...If you enjoy staying in sterile looking hotel chain style rooms then do not stay in a Riad. If however you are looking for a unique room in a house that is furnished with locally crafted furniture, that may have a bit of peeling paint to add to the charm stay at the Riad Dubai. We also had room number 4 which we absolutley loved. We did not find it dark as we had managed to locate and open the shutters- and were provided with a padlock to keep the room secure whilst we were out, however we never felt anything but safe when in the Riad, or at any time in Marrakech. Previous (less than complimentary) reviews have seemed shocked that visiting Marrakech is "a bit of a culture shock", and that it is like "stepping back in time". I would suggest that in future they stay in the UK. We went to Marrakesh with the intent to experience all the sights and sounds that seem to have offended them, and we loved it!!

Room Tip: I think rooms upstairs would be quieter, although the whole Riad is not very large so I am not sure...
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

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?????

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
1 review
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coldstream, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hook, United Kingdom
Reviewer
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
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 Dubai

Address: 41, derb amezmiz - kasbah-bab ksiba, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
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 #411 of 1,115 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Dubai 3*
Number of rooms: 6
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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