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“Need to resolve some problems here” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Africa

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Riad Africa
94 - 95 Derb Sakka | Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Ranked #136 of 463 Hotels in Marrakech
Sherborne, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Need to resolve some problems here”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stayed here as part of a tour package put together by Specialist Morocco. It was apparent very quickly that there had been some issues and, unfortunately, we did not read the latest reviews on the review web sites before booking. Our comments as follows:

1. If I was a woman on my own I would have been concerned at the location of the Riad, particularly as the lighting was very poor around the alleyways you had to walk down at night.
2. The lighting above the door was not working and the entrance was not very enticing.
3. On the first night, there was no remote control for the heater and therefore the room was very cold and we had to ask for another blanket.
4. There was no hot water on the first evening and the hot water was very intermittent throughout our stay – we understand this is being addressed.
5. The bedside lamp was, I believe, in a dangerous state – the light went off when you touched the power lead – it made me very nervous so I kept it switched off.
6. The shower was very poor (that’s when you actually had hot water)
7. The breakfast area was unsatisfactory, eating breakfast on low occasional tables in the bar area was not ideal
8. There was a television in the room but no power cable connection, which rendered this useless

On the positive side, Todd, who I believe was brought in as a result of the problems that had been occurring over previous weeks, was very helpful and was obviously ‘fire fighting’, trying to resolve issues that he had inherited from the previous staff. He made great efforts to address the issues we raised with him, including the intermittent wi-fi connection, finding the remote for the heating, obtaining another blanket (without which we would have been VERY cold) and working hard to resolve the hot water problems. I think if it had not been for his efforts and the girls who cooked, cleaned and served us, who were very polite and incredibly helpful, our stay here would have been disastrous and we would have checked out without a doubt.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
London, UK
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We stayed for 5 nights in February and cannot fault the Riad Africa. We stayed in the spotlessly clean Zambezi room and had everything we needed for a relaxing stay. We ate dinner in the riad one evening and the food is excellent, and there's plenty of it. Breakfast was also excellent - varied and plentiful.

The roof terrace was a lovely place for a beer in the afternoon after haggling in the souks, and we spent several relaxed evenings in the salon enjoying a glass of wine in front of the open fire.

Redouan and Tod did everything possible to make our stay comfortable, interesting and enjoyable - in fact ALL the staff were fabulous. We enjoyed our stay so much that we are planning a longer trip to Morocco next year encompassing a stay in the Atlas mountains and a trip to the sahara, and of course we will return to Riad Africa.

  • Stayed February 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Having spent many an hour on trip advisor trying to search for the perfect raid for our 4 night stay in Marrakech, I'm delighted that we stumbled across the gem that is Riad Africa. We could not have had a more enjoyable stay, from the minute we were picked up from the airport we were made to feel incredibly welcome by Nick and both Mohammed's who work there. The location is great, a 5minute walk to the main square, and upon arrival we were given a mobile phone to use in case we got lost and Mohammed sat us down with mint tea and a map to familiarise us with the sights. On the second night when we asked for directions to a bar, Mohammed walked us over there! I don't think you can ask for better service than that. Breakfast was served on the roof terrace each morning and one evening we ate dinner there, highly recommended, it was truly delicious.
Nick, the owner of the Riad, was there during our stay and took time to chat to us each day, again making us feel very welcome. We were there just before the start of the busy season, so they were doing a little bit of work on the Riad, mainly cosmetic which wasn't disruptive to us at all, however Nick did check with us each morning that we weren't disturbed, which again adds to the excellent service received by all the staff at the Riad.
It is a shame that people have given this Riad poor or average reviews as there is definitely nothing poor or average about it. If people want a luxury 5* experience then they should go and stay at a souless branded,chain hotel, the whole beauty of visiting a city such as Marrakech is to discover a Riad such as Riad Africa which enables you to actually experience the city fully.
I would struggle to find any faults with Riad Africa and would most definitely reccomend it to everybody who is travelling to Marrakech.
Kirstin and Ashley

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Firstly, let me clarify the local staff was very friendly and warm and tried to accommodate to our needs. It felt like home on that front so cannot complain. However, in freezing cold when there is no hot water for more than 60 seconds to bathe it does create discomfort to a long distance traveler.

The Riad is tucked away in the Medina and one has to be clear that one wants to live in the midst of it. The last stretch has to be by foot. The property is quaint and clean although the rooms are small. Our extra beds were unfinished from the bottom and nearly scraped on a nail. The last guest had left their belongings in one cupboard and they took 24 hours to remove it from our room. There is only local staff and the two young boys at the property were interns at colleges and at their best could not technically manage the property. Breakfast was always running a little late.

In conclusion, if you want some luxury, professional service and hot water this is not the place to be. If you are wiling to be patient with the very warm staff you might want to try it...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
africanick, Owner at Riad Africa, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience on Trip Advisor. As one of the owners of Riad Africa I am very disappointed to read about the discomforts you experienced, particularly as we employ a British General Manager in Marrakech to monitor quality control, carry out room checks before each guest arrives, and closely supervise our Moroccan team to avoid such problems. I travel between Surrey and Marrakech 1 week in every 4 and when I return to the UK expect the high standards we set to be maintained for all guests.

Staff and management - I am pleased that you found our local staff friendly and accommodating. It is simply untrue and quite misleading however that there are only local staff and there is no management. We employ a British Manager who is responsible for effective management of Riad Africa. It may be that you never met Peter? This is a point that I have taken up with Peter as we do expect him to meet all guests at some point during their stay, particularly at breakfast and in the early evening. He does oversee several riads, so this is a point I will monitor closely to ensure we deliver the degree of management our guests expect. The two ‘young boys’ you refer to as interns at colleges are Hassan and Mohamed. This description is also very misleading! Hassan is 23, Mohamed is 28 – both have considerable experience of working in hotels and riads. Whilst it is true Hassan is studying at college (which we approve), his role is night duty manager – looking after guest needs in the evenings and sleeping over till Mohamed arrives in the morning. Mohamed has managed a hotel in Zagora and in the Atlas in his last jobs, so is very well qualified for his role as local day manager. Our training is continuous with local staff so we will learn from your comments and train accordingly.

Breakfast running a little late – we were fully booked at the time of your groups stay over Christmas 2012 and apologise for the slight delays with serving breakfast. As our bookings have significantly increased since our first year of operation in 2012 (we opened in Jan 12), we have now recruited a full-time Moroccan chef who will prepare breakfasts, lunches and evening meals. Sakina is a delightful, bubbly lady from the medina – and an excellent cook who will hopefully only enhance the overall service we offer.

Small rooms – your comment on small rooms is very misleading and subjective. One of the many reasons why we bought Riad Africa was because of the large room sizes compared to many other riads in the medina. Riad Africa’s room sizes range from 17 sq. m (our standard room) to 38 sq. m (our family suite). 6 of our rooms over over 25 sq. m in size! The Casablanca room you stayed in is 32 sq. m. Whilst this might not seem big by American standards, or compared to 5 star luxury hotels – Riad Africa is located in the very heart of Marrakech medina, and for its location in a crowded ancient walled city our rooms are usually considered to be very spacious. Over the years I have visited 100’s of riads in Marrakech and can honestly state that rooms at Riad Africa are not small by any means when compared to the majority of other riads.

Extra beds – we apologise for the unfinished extra bed placed in your room and have removed the slightly protruding nail. Having 2 extra beds in your room as you requested may have also impacted on your impression of Casablance as being small. They do take up space, but also offer a lower nightly rate when 4 people choose to share.

Belongings in wardrobe – I am afraid I am guilty of that. As there are two sizeable lockable wardrobes in Casablanca, I have always used the difficult to access one behind the door to store my belongings. It was clearly padlocked and not accessible to guests. Our staff did call me in the UK to advise me that you had forced open this clearly locked wardrobe. Future guests can rest assured that I now keep my things locked in a suitcase in a private store room !

Last, but most importantly, hot water – to be perfectly honest when we bought the property in late 2011 we inherited a hot water system that had been put in place 10 years ago when the riad was first redeveloped into a guesthouse-hotel. The system was probably not designed to cope with a small hotel regularly running at full 100% capacity. We have been painstakingly tweaking and monitoring the system over the past 12 months to see if it can be improved to give absolute maximum reliability. We do ask our staff to brief all new guests to leave their hot taps running for about a minute as it takes this amount of time for the hot water to work its way through the system from the boilers on the roof terrace. We will also put a notice in each bathroom to ensure all guests are fully aware of this simple step to take to avoid the unpleasantness of an initial burst of cold water. I can confirm to future guests that we do have hot water at Riad Africa and that we wil do our very best to ensure 100% reliability if that is at all possible.

As an update to the last point, 10 days ago we commenced a new project to install a new solar-powered hot water system, improving Riad Africa’s environmental footprint whilst replacing the old hot water system we inherited. This system will be in place within the next few weeks.

Overall we are pleased that you felt at home at Riad Africa – this is exactly the ambience and feeling we aim to create and will work hard to maintain. We are not a 5 star luxury hotel and have no desire to be one.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we do apologise for the inconveniences you experienced. We do hope that if you ever return to Marrakech you will consider us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woking, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I can't fault Riad Africa for great location in the Southern Medina, we were able to walk to all tourist attractoins in the old city and soak up the atmosphere. The staff are fantastic, nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are very comfortable and very clean. My daughter and I stayed over Christmas and at all times felt we were being very well looked after and as two woman on our own, very safe. Great breakfasts taken on the roof terrace with endless cups of coffee! The frame of my reading glasses snapped and the staff got it invisibly mended one evening for about £2. That is what I call service.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Good location, clean, comfortable beds, friendly. OK breakfast and terrace - lacking fruits and views. But, and in winter this is a big but, never had shower with more than 1 minute of hot water. Took complaining to get this minute of hot water. If they get the hot eater problem solved, I would have no problem recommending this Riad. As it is, I am being generous in giving it a "good."

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Beautiful riad. We were given a very warm welcome. We were treated with a lot of care and respect, just like we were the staffs own family. We had the whole riad to ourselve, which was a bonus. The atmosphere of the place made us feel right at home. We got a lovely breakfast every morning as well as Hearbal tea for sickness on a day we were I'll, which made us better with in an hour.I had the Casablanca room with my husband and 3 kids. The decor is tradition but finished to a very high standard. The rooftop was wonderful and warm. We went in November so the weather wasn't really hot. It's literally 2 mins away from the square which was really good if your a shopaholic like me. We were out all day leaving everything behind with no problems. Safe in every room, which was very easy to use. Would recommend to others (",) x

Room Tip: All rooms were very comfortable so any room is good but Casablanca room is very good for families th...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Africa

Address: 94 - 95 Derb Sakka | Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #136 of 463 Hotels in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful refurbished first category guesthouse hotel in heart of Marrakech medina with large dipping pool and tropical roof garden. English-Dutch owned and locally managed. Riad Africa is very centrally located in a safe and peaceful residential neighbourhood in the Riad Zitoun Lakdim area of the Medina. Riad Africa has 16 spacious bedrooms and suites themed after Africa's most evocative and fabled destinations. Each room is equipped with air-conditioning, iPod docks, bath robes/slippers, a hair-dryer and personal safe. High speed wireless internet access is available throughout the riad. Guests can cool off in and relax around one of the largest plunge pools in the medina. A tranquil palm-filled courtyard, a comfortable dining room/salon, a massage room, heated plunge pool, juice bar and private roof garden/terrace offer a choice of public areas in which to unwind. A range of health and beauty treatments are available including a massage/treatment room and nearby hammam. Offering easy access (just a 2 minute walk from the taxi stand and bank) it takes just 5 minutes to walk to the bustling Djemaa el Fna square along the popular/easy to navigate Riad Zitoun Lakdim street. An excellent choice of local restaurants, cafes and shops is located within a 5 minute radius on foot, including the highly rated and atmospheric Kosybar. Other attractions located close by the riad include the Mellah, Kasbah and Dar Si Said Museum. Popular with couples, groups of friends and families with older children. ... more   less 
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