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“Tranquility in the Midst of Chaos” 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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20% off room rate
Ranked #16 of 480 Hotels in Marrakech
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“Tranquility in the Midst of Chaos”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2005

We arrived in the evening and were dropped, hot, tired and wondering what we had got ourselves into, in the midst of the souk Bab Doukla in full chaos. We were led through the clamour down a dark allley to an imposing wooden door. The bell was rung and we were led into an oasis of tranquility. Mohammed and his lovely staff greeted us, showed us around and then offered refreshments in a splendid cool lounge. The Riad has been restored authentically and lovingly and our rooms were beautifully furnished in Moroccan style. The staff are very friendly and attentive and even took time out to lead us through the souk one evening to dine at the Riad Pavillion (which was excellent). We hope to have the good fortune to stay at the Kniza again.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2005

My wife and I recently returned from a 10 day trip to Spain and Morocco. The very best part was our stay in Marrakech at the Riad Kniza. The place is spectacular! It is located inside the walls of the Medina. In the tradition of the Islamic culture, the outside of the Riad was non-descript and the only sign of luxury was the massive cedar door that separated it from the street. Once inside, it was like staying in a sultan's palace.

The property was completely restored to 18th century opulence. Because the owner is a large antique dealer in Morocco, he spared no expense in outfitting the Riad with lovely pieces of furniture and fixtures from his collection. We stayed in the suite sultan, one of seven rooms in the Riad. It had the amenities of a major European or US hotel, but the charm of an 18th century luxury hotel. The ceilings were ornate, handcrafted cedar. We were awed by the quality of the restoration. Having stayed in some of the finest hotels in Spain earlier in our stay, we were so pleased the last days our vacation were in Marrakech and the Riad Kniza as it was the best!

We enjoyed several meals on the roof top terrace including wonderful breakfasts of juice, coffee, crepes, honey and assorted jams, and yogurt....all of which was included in the price of the room. We had two of the most delicious dinners of our entire 10 day trip at the Riad. They were made in the traditional Moroccan tajine, an interesting piece of clay cooking pot that is used to stew lamb, chicken and other food. When it is served, the meat, juices and vegetables are so unbelievably tender and tasty. The mint tea and pastries...also included with the room...was a welcome refreshment whenever we went back to the Riad for a break.

The manager, Kamal, is the owner's son and a most gracious host. He met us at the airport and provided wonderful advice and service throughout the stay. The other members of the Riad's staff were equally friendly and helpful. We felt as if we were visiting dignateries the hospitality was so delightful.

The crown jewel of the Riad is the owner and Kamal's father, Mr. Mohammed Bouskri. He has been a tour guide for over 30 years. We were fortunate to have him personally guide us through the Medina the day we arrived and throughout the city the following day. Having guided US Presidents, Heads of State from Europe, and several entertainment industry celebrities, he is incredibly adept at bringing Marrakech to life with his descriptions of its history and architecture. It's not difficult to see why Kamal and the others at the Riad are so attentive, polite and dedicated to making your stay in Marrakeck memorable....they take after Mr. Bouskri.

Mr. Bourkri walked with us through the Medina, oriented us to the souks and the labyrinth of streets, and described the origins of the various locations we visited. Both my wife and I are Irish Catholics and have never visited an Islamic country. We learned more from Mr. Bouskri on the customs and culture in two days than we have learned in 60 years. Since we visited Marrakech in the midst of the Islamic holy month, or Ramadan, we truly came away with a greater appreciation and more positive view of Islam.

My wife and I toured the streets of the Medina both day and night with no guide and not once felt uncomfortable or unsafe. When you visit the souks, square and bizarres, the street vendors will be persistent and sometimes annoying. They are, however, part of the flavor of this wonderful city. The photos and video we took just cannot capture the true atmosphere of street life in Marrakech as it overwhelms your senses. Our day trip to the Atlas mountains was equally enjoyable. Luck was with us as it occurred on Saturday when the small village of Asni held their weekly bizarre. Over a hundred Berbers from around the region descended on the village with their goods packed on donkeys. There was every imaginable fruit, vegetable and meat for sale.

We hope someday to return and wish that our children and grandchildren will have an opportunity to experience Marrakech, the Riad Kniza, and the enchantment and hospitality of this outstanding city. It is a most remarkable place. It is what makes a trip abroad worthwhile.

John and Barbara
New Hampshire, USA

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2005

This wonderful, sumptuous, oasis in the old medina is within easy walking distance of all the hustle and bustle of the souks and the square. Once inside the riad you find yourself in a beautifully restored and decorated riad. The rooms are opulent and spotlessly clean, the service and hospitality possibly second to none and the food delicious.

I will definitely visit there again.

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17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2005

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon in Morocco.

We used Riad Kniza as our base camp, and visited other parts of the country in between our nights there.

Our experience with this Riad and the people who work there and run it was truly the best that we have ever had.

We spent the first two nights in the Palmerie, and had arranged before our trip with Kamal from Riad Kniza to pick us up from there. Kamal arrived as promised in a very comfortable car to whisk us away to the Riad.

The building is located on a small side street within the Medina. The location of this Riad is ideal, as while there are other riads in the Medina, Riad Kniza is located very close to one of the main entrances called Bab Doukkala. This is important, as other Riads are located far deeper in the Medina and therefore are much harder to navigate from to the outside on your own. There was also a taxi stand about 1.5 blocks away which was convenient as well.

The Riad is spotless, gleaming even. All public spaces are kept in immaculate condition, and there is a true feeling of calm and serenity from the moment you enter. There are wonderful design elements, from the intricacy of wood doors, to traditional plaster designs throughout. We stayed in two of the rooms during our stay, and both were incredible. The family that owns this Riad also run a wonderful antique store, and the rooms are filled with fabulous pieces of furniture. There is a truly sumptuous and elegant feel to everything in the guest rooms. An important feature for us was that the rooms had very powerful yet quiet air conditioning units. Not all riads offer this convenience. In addition, having free wifi access throughout the riad proved to be useful as well since we brought a laptop with us.

As mentioned in previous reviews, there are many beautiful public spaces aside from your own room to relax in, as well as a wonderful roof terrace where you can eat meals, or just kick back.

In addition, everyone from the guides to drivers that the Riad arranged for us were trustworthy, friendly and extremely competent. We found this to be really comforting, esp. when you are in a new city for the first time.

I can't say enough about the lengths that the entire staff went to make our stay a comfortable one. Any request that was made was fulfilled quickly, and they were even able to predict things that we hadn't even thought of. They hapilly stored our luggage on the nights when we were away from the Riad, and deposited it in our room when we returned. They even arranged for a staff member to take us to the airport at 4:30 in the morning to make our 6:20 flight back home.

Our stay at Riad Kniza played a large role in making our honeymoon unforgettable. We are already trying to figure out when we can return for our next visit.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#7 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#10 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#11 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#29 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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