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“Luxuriate in a Centuries-Old Riad Palace in Marrakech” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Kniza

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Riad Kniza
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   34 Derb l'Hotel | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #10 of 464 Hotels in Marrakech
Austin, Texas
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Luxuriate in a Centuries-Old Riad Palace in Marrakech”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

Riad Kniza is very easy to find just inside the walls of Marrakech's old medina, with an excellent location close to most of its top attractions. This five-star palace has welcomed guests including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt, and is truly the epitome of luxury. The “Hotel de Charme” has been in the family for two centuries, completely restored by Haj Mohamed Bouskri using traditional materials and artisans to recreate c this gem of Moorish architecture, in which guests can capture an authentic Moroccan experience from days gone by.

Riad Kniza also offers eleven tastefully decorated rooms and suites, but the building and grounds are much larger. Amenities also include a beautiful and serene pool, with adjacent massage suite, sauna and Hamman bath. Four lounging salons with traditional Moroccan furnishings are delightful places to relax or take dinner; there are also three open air courtyards and a spacious rooftop terrace with sitting areas and sun beds, with beautiful views of the Atlas Mountains and the old Medina. The riad also provides modern amenities such as wi-fi service and complimentary use of a laptop.

Experiencing a hamman bath service and a meal at Riad Kniza are not to be missed. The staff often arrange exquisite evenings of gastronomy and entertainment, beginning with traditional Gnawa musicians next to an open bar in the salon, at which guests mingle and trade stories. From there an incredible four or five course meal is served in the dining room, accompanied by wine. The food is hardly to be described – everything was delicious, but my favorite during the stay was the “salad,” which was several small dishes that could present a meal in itself.

Riad Kniza is an excellent point of departure from which to explore the city. Haj Mohamed, aside from being one of the most renowned antique dealers in Marrakech, has been a professional guide for the past 34 years and has shown the best of Marrakech to many VIPs and celebrities. Various city tours, shopping expeditions (with a pro!) and excursions outside Marrakech can easily be arranged. One of my favorite things about Riad Kniza, however, is the family’s dedication to social causes. For each new booking reserved through ther website, Riad Kniza donates 5 Euros to one of three aid organizations that the guest may choose. Causes supported include disadvantaged children, education, support of rural women, disabled people and health care.

Rates at Riad Kniza range from 176 to 450 Euros, and the entire riad can also be rented. If you can spring for one of the suites, I highly recommend it. I enjoyed the privilege of a stay in the Royal Suite Bahia, and it was perhaps the single most beautiful, incredible room I have stayed anywhere in my life. However, even the standard rooms are exquisite, far exceeding those of most boutique hotels.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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1,052 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2009

The Riad Kniza was majestic in itself, within a medina full of surprises. The riad contains quieted enclaves spread throughout the grounds, from ground floor to rooftop. The location was perfect: near a main gate and near Jamma El Fna but firmly within a local neighborhood. The staff were exceptional in every detail, every request, every way to make us feel comfortable. The owner, staff (Samira, Samir, et al.), and spirit of the place represent perfection. The history of Marrakech is seen in the hotel walls, rooms, and outside its front door. The best 5-star hotel could not compete with this riad as it has character, service, and embodies the spirit of the place.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2009

Upon our 4-day exploration of Marrakech, my partner and I found the site for Riad Kniza when looking for a spa and for cooking places - - all while trying to fill our time in the oppressive Moroccan heat (suggestion - don't visit in August!). Sadly, we hadn't found it when looking for Riads to stay in, but were happy to spend a day in this lovely oasis and with some of the most friendly people imaginable.

We arrived at noon for a class and lunch, which was great. We watched and participated with the Riad's head chef in the making of a 3-course lunch (seafood, sides, etc.) which we sat in one of the riads dining rooms to eat, along with wine.

From there, at 230, the hamman (a traditional bath and body scrub), which we did together followed by leisure time at the riad's pool. We each took our turn at a short massage, followed by more time at the pool, dessert, more wine, a tour of the hotel and then Kamal, the manager and owner, offered us a ride back to our riad and a 20 min tour of his city.

Talk about gracious; Kamal's team not only made us feel like VIP-guests during our 5 hour stay, but encouraged us to stay as long as we wanted to and then drive us back to our hotel!!! Unheard of but true.

Given the opportunity to do it over, we would not think twice about checking in here. I'm not sure I would even leave the riad grounds!

Kamal and company - many thanks. We'll see you again soon.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2009

Words cannot describe this Riad. The inside is like any ancient palace you will see in Marrakech, opulent yet tasteful. The rooms are gorgeous and clean and well-maintained. The staff is so helpful, it is ridiculous. Mohamed, Kamal, and Samira are all wonderful hosts. In short, this is the best place to stay. It deserves all the accolades it receives.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2009

The TA rating of this Riad is spot on. The rooms and facilities are first class and the location of the Riad is excellent. But above all, our experience was made all the more special because of the Riad Manager Kamal. He was so attentive to our needs. Riad Kniza is a very slick and well run hotel. Bravo Kamal!

Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Hong Kong
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2009

We stayed at Riad Kniza on the back of TripAdvisor reviews and pretty much agree with all the good things that are said. The end of June is low season (we also stayed at Amanjena which was definitely at low-season occupancy) but despite that Riad Kniza was full before we arrived and then full again a couple of days after we left having stayed for 3 nights so it's clearly popular. easy to boook by email and they arranged a transfer from Casablanca airport for us. It's just inside the medina but once you've been met by one of the staff members from your transfer on the first occasion it's very easy to find again and we also never felt at all worried about late nights, the area around it is generally very busy with both commerce and families. Very friendly and helpful staff, nice spacious junior suite with living area and bedroom, certainly clean and air conditioned (although slightly noisy a/c but zero noise from outside in the street in the evenings), breakfast on the roof (or anywhere else you want) and a new extension with a swimming pool and hammam. They offer a free half-day guided tour of the medina, which is a good idea as it's a one-to-one tour and some of the groups we saw walking around looked very large, although our guide seemed a little unenthusiastic and we forgot to mention that we didn't need a carpet so we saw one shop towards the end before he realised we weren't going to make his day in commission. We did buy some interesting bits and pieces in the Moroccan chemist he took us to though. As we were leaving the riad to go to Amanjena, we asked for the best place to stock up on soft drinks for the journey and were immediately loaded up with free drinks from Riad Kniza. While they're complementary while you're there, we weren't expecting to get a carrier bag full as we stepped out the door. In summary, friendly, clean, simple and elegant, reasonably located and a popular place to stay.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dunblane, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2009

We stayed at Riad Kniza for 4 nights for a short October break. I probably don't have the vocabulary to describe our wonderful experience but I'll try. The airport pick up, and short drive to the Medina was perfect. We were greeted by the owner who ushered us into a quiet side room in the Riad while our bags were placed in our rooms. The obligatory mint tea and cakes arrived and we were left to enjoy the riches on display (the family have a fantastic antique shop in the new town). We ordered dinner to be prepared in the Riad and it was absolutely fantastic. Tagines, nuts and fruits, sweet and sour. Quite fabulous. The breakfasts were similarly terrific, authentic and tasty.

The Riad staff were excellent at organising trips and guides. Firstly we has a very patient guide who took us round the souks for 6 hours and then we had another guide to take us to the Atlas mountains. Both trips were fabulous, informative and visually stunning.

Don't miss out on taking a trip to the family's antique shop. The shop isn't cheap but is an amazing Alladin's cave of beautiful art and craftsmanship. We hot tailed it back home with a silver and camel bone table, expertly shipped over to us by Mohammed.

You really have to experience Riad Kniza to believe it. The best of everything in the most magical of cities!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Kniza

Address: 34 Derb l'Hotel | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#2 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#7 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#9 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#39 Business Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Riad Kniza 5*
Number of rooms: 11
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

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