I am simply going to add to the many glowing reviews of this riad. We stayed for 8 nights in May and had a fantastic time. Having never visited Marrakech before, the pre-booked taxi suggested by the riad was a stress-free way to arrive after a very early flight. From the moment we were ushered into the beautiful, shady courtyard, with birds singing in the potted trees and rose petals swirling in the plunge pool, we started to unwind. The staff work very hard and are consistently helpful and hospitable, making each new arrival feel at home in their little oasis. We were given a map and had the basic route explained to help us find our way in and out of the local alleys, after that we just got out and explored. Other reviews have described these alleyways as a little intimidating, but we wandered around at all times of night and never felt any threat. Local residents always responded positively to a polite greeting and you just step out of the way of the numerous motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles and donkey carts that slowly weave their way through the pedestrians on the main routes.
We ate at the riad (pre-book in the morning) on 3 nights, and the food was always delicious, varied and generous enough to feed a family of four.
The whole riad is beautifully decorated and well maintained. We stayed in the Green room on the first floor. It was cool, clean and quiet, with a comfy bed, crisp bed linen, fluffy towels and great toiletries. As a tip, the Red room is probably the best room, on the first floor with a private balcony/seating area that looks out over the courtyard. There are sun bathing and shaded areas to relax on the roof terrace. Also massage and hammam areas - both of which are highly recommended.
We went on a day trip to the mountains, but otherwise spent the week visiting the various historic sites in Marrakech, wandering round the souks and people-watching whilst drinking copious amounts of water and mint tea (it was 45 degrees most days). The transformation of the Jemaa el-Fnaa square at night is amazing, becoming a mini-festival for a few hours. The one thing we noticed is the number of tourists clutching enormous SLR cameras - almost everyone and everything is colourful or worth recording. However, the local residents are understandably fed-up (and some culturally insulted) by the constant and generally unwarranted attention. If you want to take someone's picture, ask permission and be prepared to pay a small fee if requested.
We didn't buy anything until the last couple of days, having done a bit of research into prices. Depending on what you are buying, it may not be the bargain basement people dream of, but you can find good quality for much less than in the UK. Anyone experiencing aggressive shopkeepers should just walk away, we found that accepting an offer of mint tea (with no obligation to then make a purchase), a lengthy chat and a bit of humour generally leads up to a discussion of price. Have a price fixed in your mind and start well below it. Ignore all their protestations. If you are realistic and they want to sell, you'll work it out, otherwise, politely decline and leave. Language-wise, we picked up a few basic phrases in Arabic, but otherwise a mixture of French and English will get you through most situations.
We found Marrakech a great place to visit and Riad Al Loune is the perfect base from which to explore. Well worth that early morning flight.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Riad is located in Marrakech Medina's heart, a few steps from the Ben Yousseph Madrassa;few minutes walking distance from Djemaa el Fna square. The Riad has 7 rooms ( with air conditioning/heating, bathtub/shower, hairdryer),solarium,swimming pool,hammam, SPA (massages etc), relax zone,indoor moroccan dinners and parties on request (local food, music,dance).Upon request airport pick-up and drop-off.Walks and guided tours.Wi-fi ADSL. ... more less
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