I stayed at this riad in Feb. 2014 with my 7-year-old son. We stayed 2 nights, went to Rabat for 2 nights, then came back and stayed another night. We contacted the hotel to have them arrange for someone to pick us up. Unfortunately for us, we took a long time to pick up our baggage and exchange money, so when we finally came through customs, our driver was nowhere to be seen. There were tons of drivers holding up signs and I scanned all of them and none of them were for Riad Dubai. So we went outside to the line of petit-taxis and were told that all of the drivers would have been in the area we just passed, so we went back inside and I asked to use a phone, found out that the only public phone was upstairs next to a store and I was headed upstairs (with all of our luggage), when one of the drivers stopped me and asked if I was looking for Riad Dubai. Apparently, he saw me asking everyone about it. He said he knew the driver because they all knew each other and had his number on his phone. So he called him, spoke to him in Arabic, and then told me the driver would be arriving in 10 minutes and for us to have a seat and wait. So my son and I waited and sure enough, the driver showed up and he was holding a Riad Dubai sign. He asked if we could wait for a little while because he had passengers to pick up. From what I gathered, the hotels contract with their drivers and tell them who is coming and on what flights, so the drivers are coming and going all the time. The other passengers we waited for arrived shortly and rode with us most of the way, but we were dropped off first.
We were met by one of the guys from the riad and shown to the riad, after several turns in an alley. At first, it seemed confusing to me, but by the 2nd day, we knew our way around. The riad is in the old part of town, so it might seem kind of grubby to some people, but this is exactly what I like about. We heard roosters crowing and saw mopeds zooming past us in the alleys and we initially got lost, but that helped us figure out where we were overall.
The guys at the riad are very nice and helpful. I had trouble turning on the heater in the evening and one of them came up to show us how it worked. Then I had trouble figuring out how to turn the channels on the TV and 2 of them came up to show us how it worked. Then I told them I was taking the train to Rabat, but I didn't know what time, so one of them printed off the train schedule for me. Whatever it is you need, they will help you with it. Even on the evening before our departure, I wanted to get in a carriage ride tour of town the following day and it was arranged for us. I didn't have the cash to pay for the ride the evening I arranged it, so they arranged for the driver to stop at an ATM the day of the ride and they took the money afterwards! Very accommodating! It costs a little more to arrange excursions with the riad, but it is so worth it because then they arrange the pickup near the hotel and you don't have to walk very far and rush.
The breakfast was very good, although I am not a fan of bread and pancakes, However, when in Rome, do what the Romans do! And there was always mint tea, so that made it even better!
My only critique of the hotel was that the locks on the door are just simple small padlocks. When we left for Rabat, I left some luggage in the room because we had paid for the whole week, and I took the key with me. When I came back, I found the door unlocked because presumably, the maids also have access to the padlocks. Nothing had been taken, but in retrospect, I should have communicated with the guys at the front desk, that I was going to take the key with me and that I was leaving stuff in the room. Normally, you wouldn't have to do this in a large hotel, but the maids probably don't expect people to pay for a room and not stay in it, like we did.
Overall, the atmosphere of the riad was very charming and authentic and I would recommend this hotel if you have an adventurous spirit!
- 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