Some years ago while researching Marrakech and looking at different styles of accommodation I became intrigued about “Riads”. My only knowledge of accommodation back then was hotels, bed and breakfast cottages, motels and camping grounds so I started to find out as much info as I could about this traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. That is when I came across the Riad Kniza.
From that moment all those years ago I decided that one day I would visit Marrakech and stay at the Riad Kniza for my 50th birthday. Well that dream turned into a reality recently and I have just returned home from the most amazing time staying there and I am proud to say that we are part of the 98%+ people that find this “gem” excellent and you should believe the wonderful reviews about this very special place.
Chawki and Hanane who both spoke perfect English handled my initial enquiries by phone /email and were always very prompt in coming back to me on a number of questions prior to our arrival. At the time we booked it turned out that the only room left of the 11 on the property was the Royal Suite Bahia…I decided to book the great 4-night package which was on offer that also included airport transfers.
At the airport we were met by Rachid who was not only prompt and courteous, but had an impeccably clean van and offered us bottles water for our journey. He was also happy to fill us in on some history as well as cultural information on our way to the old city where we were staying, approximately 15mins away.
Once there we were met by one of the Riad ‘s staff and escorted from the Medina gate on a short walk through the cobble stoned market ( full of merchants selling anything and everything) to a small walled alley and a very imposing door. Behind that door lies Riad Kniza, an oasis of beauty that is a sanctuary and a perfect retreat from the heat, noise, hustle and bustle of the market atmosphere, sightseeing and the sometimes strong odours of the old city
Upon check in we knew we were in for a special time when we were treated to mint tea and delicious pastries in one of the air conditioned salons while the staff organised our paperwork. Kamal, the owners son, joined us to go over the details of our stay and any special requests that we might of had. He also suggested our walking tour be taken the following morning (part of our package) so that we would feel more comfortable getting around in the old city. His advice was spot on.
Riad Kniza is situated in a great location within the old city and it was very easy to navigate our way around after we enjoyed our guided tour with Moustaffa. The Medina is full of alleys so this handy location allows you to make use of a main thoroughfare that is close to the Riad. This gives you the option when exploring to walk the short distance to the fork in the lane …..left to the Souks or go straight on to the Djemaa el Fna, both about a 15 minute stroll away. Getting a taxi is also quite easy outside the Medina gate.
During our stay we were very fortunate to run into Mohamed, the owner and his son Kamal on numerous occasions. Both always had the time to chat, have a laugh, give some advice and share some history about their beautiful Riad, which has been in their family for over 200 years. We found being surrounded by such Moroccan authenticity with both the hosts and the Riad an amazing experience especially when appreciating the fine antiques that have been collected over time. Their company was most entertaining and we were very humbled when they welcomed us to enjoy their Riad as if it were our own home.
That was very easy to do with the beautifully air-conditioned suites that include modern amenities and free wifi, rooftop garden, (you can take breakfast, lunch or dinner in one of the cabanas or enjoy relaxing on the sunbeds) gorgeous indoor swimming pool and intimate sitting rooms where one can get easily get lost reading, in the tranquillity of the Riad. We even enjoyed a relaxing massage from Saida.
Our Royal Suite Bahia was located on the first level and we were certainly not disappointed….it was absolutely beautiful, spacious, luxurious and so tastefully decorated in a traditional Moroccan style. Upon arrival it was adorned in rose petals which was such a nice touch. I did get to look at some of the other rooms during my stay and they too were equally stunning
The staff are very special and we can’t speak highly enough of them. From the welcoming smile, to the outstanding service and the genuine care for their guests…it really is exceptional! My husband had a bad headache and needed to know where the pharmacy was one evening to go and get some paracetamol. When he explained to staff what he wanted to do, they insisted he return to the room to rest and they would go and get it. Within 15 minutes they had returned with the paracetamol and refused to take payment for it. Their only concern was that he got better.
Other gestures were the surprise birthday cake that arrived to our room after we had retired from our beautiful dinner in the Riad. Not only was it delicious but it was a touching way to end a very special day. The yummy pastries, complimentary water/sodas / fruit that would greet us in the suite on our return from exploring Marrakech and the beautiful room that the staff allowed us use of on our day of departure because of our late plane flight.. We could go on and you should believe the other gestures that past guests have made reference to because the staff at Riad Kniza are that thoughtful ….we have never experienced service quite like it and we have stayed in many hotels around the world.
We did eat in the Riad. Once we enjoyed lunch of Chicken Tagine, traditional salads and bread which I had cooked with chef Amina as part of my cooking lesson. One of the other guests highly recommended it and I am so glad I had the opportunity to take the lesson while I was there. The experience was great from beginning to end….. even shopping with Amina for the fresh ingredients in the souk. On the other occasion we enjoyed a traditional style Moroccan dinner which was delicious. Those meals were over and above the daily breakfasts and the optional room service that we often ordered. There is no room service menu but the staff are only too happy to accommodate whatever you desire so we ordered chicken sandwiches or kebabs from time to time.
On a final note, Riad Kniza made my Marrakech experience and 50th birthday a dream come true. From booking transportation, tours and restaurants to respecting our privacy but always being there when we needed them, the impeccable service and kindness….. as well as the other things that I have mentioned in this report
You could not go past this very special place to stay on your visit to Marrakech and that is the reason I have taken the time to share our experience. Our family, including our 16 year old son will certainly head back to Riad Kniza when the earliest opportunity arises for us to return to Marrakech.
Thank you so much to everyone for such a memorable stay.
John, Carla & Andrew P
Australia & Usa
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This perfectly located 18th-century riad has been in the Bouskri family for almost 200 years and offers the complete package of traditional architecture, authentic furnishings, exquisite cuisine and, above all, overwhelmingly hospitable service. The owner, Mohamed Bouskri, having been a guide for the rich and famous for 34 years (Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, former US presidents and others) is a mine of information and is always glad to share his knowledge and passion of Marrakech. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Kniza Marrakech
- Riad Kniza Hotel Marrakech