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“Impeccable Riad” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Princesse du Desert

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Riad Princesse du Desert
No 67 Derb Habib Allah | Quartier Mouassine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 1,071 Marrakech B&B and Inns
long island
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Impeccable Riad”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Having just returned from Morocco, I would be remiss not to single out Princesse du Desert and the wonderful staff there. It is obvious from the minute you walk in that these people love their job and strive to make your stay memorable. In spending several nights in many riads, the large spacious room was well appreciated. After asking for wine glasses for us to share a bottle on the nice quiet terrace, we were greeted with a variety of olives and other tasty treats to enjoy with our wine. I can not emphasize enough how much the staff aimed to please. One would have to be foolish not to make this riad your first consideration when staying in Marrackech. Cudos to Riad Princesse du Desert!

Room Tip: They are all good and the staff makes them even better
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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251 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    236
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32
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

Great reception which included getting to the Riad through small alleys. Design is as expected from a well refurbished, decorated Riad in the traditional style. Nice mosaic fountain feature. Welcome tea was served before we unloaded in our bedrooms. The bedroom, mine was King, was absolutely gorgeous, big four poster bed, wonderful bathroom. Traditional deco. Spend some unforgettable moments in this room...

Food was fantastic, drinks on command, sight seeing on request, Shisha :)

Recommended 100% all the way !!! When I go back, this is the Riad for sure :)

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 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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Ely, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

The riad is charming as everyone says but the best bit was the family who made our stay, and I am sure everybody else's stay, delightful. Nothing was too much trouble and all done with a feeling of genuine caring and friendship. The helpfulness does not stop at the door either so there is no need to get lost in the souks if you don't want to( although it is part of what Marrekesh is about).
We did a lot of walking to the various sights and restaurants etc. and a lot of reading on the roof terrace( where when discovered were usually plied with tea/coffee cake soup etc. even when we hadn't asked). We were there for 11 days which I think for most people would be too long unless you go on a couple of trips outside the city but we were made to feel so welcome for the whole of our stay that leaving seemed to come too soon.

Room Tip: The rooms upstairs are less prone to disturbance if someone arrives late at night
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  • Stayed May 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Went in April to Marrakech with DW and 1 other couple (4 of us total, early 30s with some traveling experience, mainly across Europe, Turkey, etc) and were really very surprised at Riad Princesse du desert. While we had read a bunch of good reviews prior to going, we didn't know what to expect and the initial impression was tempered by some of fatigue getting there, as well as the relatively small size of the riad (seems much bigger on the pictures). Turns out the reviews were totally legit. I think its appropriate to think of the riads as charming b&b's - these are not luxury hotels, nor are they meant to be. these are authentic, renovated palatial homes - and the personality of these riads is in the intimacy, the location, the staff, the food and as you walk through their doors the first time, the sense that you have indeed stepped back in time. Highlights below regarding why this place gets the ol' 5 circle rating from me - and i am a stingy circle giver...

1. Staff are world class: Youssef and his crew run a tight, fun ship. He's young but has the maturity, discretion, and anticipation you would expect from a very experienced luxury hotel manager. Coordinated with our tour guides, gave us a map of the area, and learned what we like to do immediately (drink!). Mint tea on arrival - sublime. Takes a real interest in his clients and learns what you like. His girls are always in the background and working their butts off with a huge smile on their faces. Invite him to have a glass of wine, or some tea and ask him a little about his backgorund - he loves to share and his English is impeccable. Really a playful personality - even breakdanced a little for our group one night. He loves local music and American music (loves the Beatles) and will play anything for you.

2. Location is primo. Heart of the medina. Two rights and a left and you are in the dizzying chaos of the big Square. Two rights and you are in the middle of the souks (just ask Youssef) - make sure you mentally make a trial of bread crumbs, as you haggle and start shopping with your eyes, its easy to lose your way. I found the best way was to stick to major landmarks and try to stay straight until you get more comfortable. The air conditioning works perfectly in the rooms and you are dead to the world until the birds wake you up int he morning - absolutely beautiful. The showers had no problems, and the rooms are super charming. Beds are kind of hard, which I like, but even the first night it was a little much for me. Breakfast served up when you want it - always ready nomatter what time your tour guide wants you ready.

3. Pay attention TA junkees: Food is stupid (good). EAT here. eat HERE. EAT HERE. At least one of the nights, whether or not you are staying here, do yourself a favor and eat here. My group and I (4 of us; two couples early thirties) ate here on our second night and immediately confirmed for the next night there (while we cursed ourselves for not eating there the night before). The girls shop for ingredients each day so you have to let them know in the morning. They cook amazing, authentic food. Very gentle on American stomachs! They will set the menu and decide based on what is available in the markets that day. Kefta, Pastilla...oh God. Make it go away, its all I see now in my dreams. Great breakfasts and as I've read in other reviews - I really wish we had set up time to do the cooking class. After meeting the girls and the type of experience they provided for other things, I think this would have been really memorable and the chances of you leaving Morocco without a tagine, are pretty low - so having an idea of how to use one woulda been pretty sweet. Next time, maybe.

Some other tips:
Water in the riad was ok for stomachs. Save the included bottle of water for drinking. Only DW was brave enough to sort of drink from the tap (very little though) but used her toothbrush etc all three days, and I braved it out for last two days without any issues whatsoever.
Key can be requested - if you are going to be out late and you are staying more than 1 night you can request a key, but I get the sense that they would prefer not to do this since Youssef will wait for you to get home in case you need anything - but we always felt bad and once they got to know us, they had no problem giving us a key. It was like our own little "home" amongst the controlled madness of Marrakech.

Summary:
This Riad is top notch in its form. It is not a luxury hotel and is not the most impressive physical space. It is a boutique bed and breakfast, ancient and modern, austere and ornamental. The food is served lovingly, and is as authentic and inviting as the staff that serve it to you. Our group left after 3 nights to do 5 more scattered among the towns of Ouarzazat, Merzouga, Dades Valley, the Sahara, and Essaouira and despite the amazing things we saw and did along the way, no accomodations came close. Youssef and his staff deliver. You will be sated, you will be charmed, you will be transported back in time. Marrakech beckons.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
idaho
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

My husband and I traveled Morocco for two weeks this spring and were very fortunate to end our stay at Riad Princesse in Marrakech. The Riad is beautifully restored and lovely to return to after a day experiencing Marrakech. Our stay was most amazing because of the staff at the Riad. Youssef could not have been more accommodating. Not only did he exceed all of our expectations and needs, he anticipated them. His attention to detail made our stay pleasant and comfortable in spite of inclement weather. As other reviewers have written, the food is fabulous. Also, you must take the cooking class with Nada and Khadijah! Being a well rounded cook of many ethnic cuisines I didn't think I would gain much from the class but I was so wrong! They used local spice in creative ways and took all evening explaining all of it to us. The next day Youssef purchased the spices we wanted to take home, better than anything we can buy at home at a fraction of the price. Our dinner was amazing. We made the best aubergine salad I've ever had in my life!

  • Stayed February 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.
Olympia, Washington
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

The dinners that they prepared for us were amazing, and staying in the Medina was great. The decor was colorfully Moroccan. and gave us a real sense of place. One look and you know that you are in Morocco.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013 via mobile

Welcoming and relaxed staff who immediately made it clear that their intent was to serve us well and easily .Tasteful Moroccan decor in a clean and well manged Riad . Youssef ( Mr. Fix-it) impressed us with his attitude that " there are no problems,only solutions " and adeptly applied this attitude to sourcing local ingredients to meet our culinary desires. Khadija came into her own when she, with Youssef's support, ran a very homely cooking class. We enjoyed the simplicity of her effective, efficient but very tasty cooking class and sat down to a very, very pleasing dinner. Other staff, including Fatima were endlessly polite and efficient. Guests with children were rewarded with staff who patiently and happily entertained their children.
We would have no hesitation returning to stay in this Riad when in Marrakech
Denise and Phil
Nornalup, Western Australia

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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 Princesse du Desert

Address: No 67 Derb Habib Allah | Quartier Mouassine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 1,071 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Princesse du Desert Nothing is too good for her. Equidistant from the " Jemaa El Fna " and " Door Dar El Bacha " , the location of Riad Princesse du Desert is exceptional especially since it offers beautiful calm and tranquility. Nestled in the Medina, the small alley that leads to the riad is a wonder with warm colors that contrast with the blue sky and vegetation that is rare in the Medina which can give the feeling of a Provence in Marrakech. Additionally beautiful decoration, attention to detail , arches , columns and moucharabiehs , lace white stucco ceilings, zellij ( tiled ) walls and featuring an alchemy of colors and smells with refined bath products (jasmine and amber ) make this a wonderful place to be . Additionally, not forgetting comfort alongside the beauty, each of the 6 rooms feature air conditioning, soft bedding and luxury linens. Breakfast is included in the price and we offer complimentary Moroccan mint tea and coffee with homemade cookies at all times. ... more   less 
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