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“A nice and friendly 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 #30 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Larvik, Norway
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“A nice and friendly Riad”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We stayed at the Riad Princesse du Desert for one night at the beginning and the end of a 7 days trip to the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert.

The Riad is located in a quiet back alley just a few minutes walk from Jemaa el-Fna square. We had arranged for a pick-up from the airport and a driver was waiting for us in the arrivals hall. This is money well spent in my opinion, as the Medina of Marrakech can be a difficult place to find your way. The driver set us off at the Bab Ksour gate, and as we had quite a lot of luggage we were helped by a porter to carry the luggage to the Riad, and also to show us the way. On arrival at the Riad we were greeted by one of the managers, Mostapha and served a nice glass of mint tea.

The Riad is built around an open courtyard and the style of the interior is kept in tradition with Moroccan design. The building is old, but was converted into a hotel about three years ago. The rooms are of decent size and with a shower and wc. The furniture is traditional, and the beds were comfortable. At night the building is lit up by traditional lamps and lanterns, giving it a different look from daytime. There is a roof terrace with sitting arrangements and sunbeds. We had our breakfast up there, and it is also a great place for lounging throughout the day.

Wi-Fi is available free of charge, but signal is best at ground floor and first floor.

Apart from the breakfast, which was nice, we did not try the food at the Riad. They serve a range of traditional food, and I wish I had had the chance to try it out but we decided to eat out instead. If their food is anywhere near as good as their mint tea, which is the best I tasted in all of Morocco, then please give their kitchen a try!

Mostapha and his team made us feel very welcome, and the Riad became a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of the Medina. On our first night there, Mostapha offered to walk with us to Jemaa el-Fna square to show us the way. He explained about the Medina and pointed out waypoints to look for, in order to find our way back. With his explanation, we found the way back to the Riad without any problems.

We are very happy with our stay at the Riad Princesse du Desert, and we hope to stay there again on our next visit to exciting Marrakech!

Room Tip: Wi-Fi signal is best at ground and first floor.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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256 reviews from our community

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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
Villach, Austria
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We stayed here for several nights as a group of two families with 4 kids ranging from 7 to 12. The rooms were lovely, beautifully decorated (kids loved the 4 poster beds!) and the breakfasts were huge! The place is very clean and at the end of a narrow lane so is very quiet.
The real treat for us were the extra things that the riad offers. My friend and I signed up for a Hamam which was an amazing cultural experience. Unlike some of the more modern places, this was a traditional Hamam in the public baths. Being scrubbed down by a non English speaking women alongside two dozen women and kids in an old stone building was not the quiet, relaxing afternoon that we were expecting, but it was a unique experience that I would recommend to the adventurous!
We also did the cooking class that was offered. This included taking all eight of us out to buy produce and meat in the medina markets before coming back to the small kitchen in the riad to cook. The staff from the riad were our teachers, and the morning was spent with lots of laughs and learning. The food that we prepared was great and we have all reproduced the recipes back home, which is the true sign of a good cooking class. One of our group ended up buying a tagine from the riad since the staff felt that he would be charged a fortune in the medina.
As one last little extra, while the parents were learning to cook with tagines, the kids sat in the courtyard and had henna tattoos done.
We had an amazing week around Morocco but the staff here really made it special and left us with many warm memories!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Sispony, Andorra
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Positives - We came in the off-season for 4 nights and Oussama was really nice about giving us a good rate. All the ladies who work there are sweet and helpful and work their tails off to make it nice. The dinner we had there, beef and prune tagine, was absolutely delicious, and we licked every drop of sauce from the bowl, but I felt that for 30 euros (2 ppl) there should have been more than 3 pieces of beef. Breakfast was very good and comprehensive, and the breads and pancakes were delicious, as were the fig and apricot jams, and eggs done just right. The room was clean, the air conditioning was MARVELOUS and our saving grace in the July heat. the riad itself is just gorgeous. just gorgeous. and the roof terrace is comfortable, though i wish we could have seen over the high walls. our bathroom was enormous and i loved the open style of the shower and the brass sink. no noise at night, either.

Cons - i won't say "difficult to find", because everything is hard to find in the medina. it is actually quite easy to find -- get a cab to bab laksour, walk straight until the mouassine fountain, turn left just before, take your first left again, bear right around the curve and walk straight under the arch until you see the potted tree outside the door--about 5 mins walk total. i did find the hotel's airport transfer pricey at 20 euros plus tip, since you can get a taxi for between 4 and 7 euros [standard price] depending on your haggling ability. or call Taxi Vert, who are honest and use meters. for the little they actually cost, and even less for locals, i feel that airport transfers should be free for stays of 3 days or more. also, when i inquired about rental cars, i was quoted a price ten euros per day higher than i was able to find on my own; quoted 30 euros per day for an economy car with NO aircon when i found a midsize dacia logan for 25 per day, tax and insurance included, on my own. i won't speculate about why since I am sure having the right contacts was not the issue. finally, we got a bit of pushback about paying by credit card, but all was sorted in the end.

bottom line: this is a gorgeous, clean, quiet riad with great food and within 5 minutes walk from djemma el fna, close to the souks, but do your homework before booking any extra services if you do not want to overpay.

Room Tip: the turquoise room was gorgeous, amazingly comfy and firm bed, great aircon, spacious bathroom.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Firstly, the prices were so reasonable that I did not expect to get as great service as we did.
The rooms and Riad are beautiful and the air conditioning at the end of a long walk around the souks most days was very welcome! We spent most days having breakfast on the roof terrace, and occasionally dinner, which was very peaceful and serene.

We then come to the food: I had tagine in three different places in Marrakech and the Riad's tagine was by far my favourite and the portion sizes were very generous.
Breakfast was lovely and was especially nice to start each day eating al fresco on the roof terrace. My only critism would be that I started to get bored of eating the same breakfast every day, although there was still some choice: Pancakes, crepes, cake (yes, cake!), fig/apricot jams, honey, yogurt, fried eggs, butter, etc and occassionally fruit.

The service from 'the girls' as we called them, was great. They couldn't have been more polite and helpful and nothing seemed to much of an effort for them. We ordered dinner one night after an excursion and they had even laid rose petals on the table, which is the attention to detail that really makes trips like this special. The only problem we had as lazy english people was the language barrier, a few of the girls spoke enough english to get by but I saw this more as a fault on our behalf that we didn't learn more of the language before we went.
You could tell the girls would have been more friendly and talkative if we could understand each other better so if you're french is up to scratch, this won't be a problem.
Oussama however, speaks English fluently and was extremely helpful in difficult situations for us (our pet bearded dragon at home had gone missing and we needed to arrange a search party but had stupidly forgotten a travel plug to charge my mobile phone) and he let me use his laptop to contact people in England and even lent us a phone for the rest of the week so that we could contact friends and family easier.
We also had an excursion booked with a different company and we asked if he could do a better deal and he knocked 12 euros off the price.
The excursion we took through him was the best day we spend in Marrakech at the Cascades L'Ouzouds.
Point being that they all went the extra mile to make our stay as hospitable as possible and I would happily reccommend this Riad to anyone I know going to enjoy Marrakech.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Whilst arranging our trip to Marrakech I researched Trip Advisor with great interest trying to discern which riad had the best reviews but was still in our price range. Luckily I opted for the Princesse du dessert as it was exactly what we wanted. Brilliantly situated near to the Souks and the main square we were able to find our way around easily (once you get used to the tiny streets and alleyways that is!)

The staff were all fantastic, nothing was too much trouble and they really did their best to ensure that we got the most out of our short stay. First a cooking course then a guided tour around the city was arrange both really great experiences giving us a real feel for the cuisine and an understanding of the city that we might not otherwise have had. We then arranged a trip to the Berber which was very interesting.

We didn't meet Samira but Oussama was fantastic translating everything we needed and helping us plan whatever we wanted. Breakfast was always a lovely experience too, sat up on the roof terrace breakfast was always bought quickly and efficiently no matter what time we got up. I can not speak highly enough about the staff.

If you are heading to Marrakech I would highly recommend this Riad. A great place to stay.

Room Tip: We staying in the turquoise room and it was really lovely, a good size with a lovely bathroom. As sa...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Olympia, WA
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We were a little anxious about ending our 2-week trip in Marrakesh, thinking we would be inundated with touts and that it would be a big, loud city. Luckily, we stayed at this Riad and quite enjoyed walking down long dusty alleyways to the warm welcome of this Riad. Oussama was a wonderful host who made sure we were happy. Fatima and her sister provided good meals and helpful service. It was wonderful to come home here after bargaining our hearts out in the souks! Thanks, Oussama!

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

This was our first stop after we arrived in Morocco. From the first moment, everything was terrific: tea (of course) served with bisquits/cookies, and the kind support of the staff were equally welcoming. Oussama and Fatima were generous hosts, smiling and helpful at every moment. Breakfast was great; the rooms and all the public spaces were gorgeous and clean. I had tassels on my bed! The peaceful riad is a great escape from the intensity of the souks. The roof is quiet and a lovely place to start the day with a plentiful and delightful breakfast. You will not be disappointed!

Room Tip: The two rooms I saw were one flight up and both excellent.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 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 #30 of 1,080 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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