My first visit and travelled with three others, all who had been to Marrakech before. We arrived on 31.01.13 for three nights. The taxi that we booked through the Riad was waiting for us at the airport and payment to the luggage boy who takes your luggage on a cart to the riad from the taxi went smoothly at the pre agreed price . We were welcomed with mint tea and biscuits and a very helpful Lhoussine (pronounced Hussain) who was invaluable to us throughout our 3 day stay. Absolutely nothing was too much trouble for him and he went out of his way to please us as well as being very good company. The Riad is in a very good location very close to the Square. We were also shown around the other two riads that belong to the same owner which looked great and we would have been happy to stay at any one of them. We took a horse and trap ride which worked out around £8.00 in total for all four us and we went on a round trip of the Medina, the driver stopping of course at the obligatory pharmacy in an effort to sell us something! This is is not a problem is you make it clear you do not want to buy anything or perhaps mention that you had already bought the same item the day before, many of the vendors like to have a bit of banter and and practice their English, we heard the phrase "cheap as chips" called out to us a few times! The Italian restaurant Pepe Nero can be recommended, beautiful surroundings and lovely food, probably around £30.00 ahead including ample wine! The rooms at the Riad (we had the Onyx room) were dark and fairly small but functional and absolutely fine for a three night stay. They opened into an airy courtyard space, we were on the first floor. Our friends were in the Turquoise room which had a much larger shower/bathroom area. Breakfast was taken up on the room terrace at our request which was initially a bit chilly in the morning sun but soon warmed up. We asked for poached eggs extra to the cakes, mint tea, yoghurt and bread/jam that was already provided and these turned up cooked perfectly and we can recommend a shake of cumin on the top! We also had pancakes with honey one morning and chocolate au pain on another. On our first night, we asked to eat at the Riad and the lady in the kitchen (I think her name was Fatime) cooked us a lovely meal, local Harira soup and a tagine, couscous and salad, it was traditional, freshly cooked and extremely good. We would also recommend the local Morrocan red wine Ksar. During our stay we also went on a camel ride and negotiated a taxi for around £16.00 total and a camel ride for 45 mins for around £11.00 per person whilst the taxi driver happily waited for us. The camels were called names such as Justin Beiber, Claudia Schiffer etc! I think the area was called Palmeraies? You do have to barter quite hard to bring the price down. Whilst at the Riad we also asked for a trip to the local Hamman baths. We were accompanied to the female baths by Fatime the cook at the Riad who must have spent a couple of hours with us, scrubbing us down, covering us with various potions, washing our hair, and slooshing us down with several buckets of water, she worked very hard and it was a brilliant experience to be amongst the local ladies who initially looked at us suspiciously but soon were laughing with us as we were subjected to our deep cleansing treatment. We also had lunch in one of the tagine cafes in the alleyways, we had no idea what was in the tagine, we think probably rabbit but it was delicious served with a big piece of bread and costing only around equivalent to £2.50 per head. We would also recommend stall 14 in the Square for freshly squeezed orange juice probably just over 30p for a glass!. The entire stay was perfect, the weather, the Riad, the transfers and especially the wonderful service from the Riad staff and I would not hesitate to strongly recommend a stay here.
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