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“Meticulously decorated” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Maison Mnabha

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Maison Mnabha
32 - 33 Derb Mnabha, Kasbah, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #332 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Meticulously decorated”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Perfectly located just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the medina. Absolutely gorgeous. Serene. Every detail is thought out. Breakfast on the rooftop was fantastic. Dinner was delicious. We had a room on the second floor with the courtyard right outside our door. The lighting in the room was so romantic and incredible. We spent 20 minutes trying to capture it in a picture to no avail. You just had to be there.

Peter and Aziz provide excellent friendly service.

We arranged a cooking class through the Riad with Fatima. She picked us up and we went through the market. We got to sample all of those exotic spices, meet our chicken and watch as it was quickly and expertly skinned by the local butcher, and pick out our vegetables. We drove a 1/2 hour outside the city to her berber village and spent the whole day cooking, eating and talking in the beautiful courtyard. She answered all of our questions about Moroccan life and culture. It was a wonderful cultural and culinary experience. An amazing value. We spent the entire day with her.

  • Stayed March 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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100 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Maison Mnabha was recommended to us by a friend who vigorously extolled its virtues when I asked her for a recommendation for the last night of our New Year visit to Marrakech. By the time we arrived, we had been in the city for four days so we were ready to kick back and relax. And what a venue to do just that. Everything - and I mean everything - about our experience was so close to perfection that it is almost impossible not to drown this review in gasping superlatives. From the rich and sumptuous decoration of the main salon (where we were served THE most romantic dinner for two) to the delightful freshness of our epic room (also beautifully decorated and dressed), there is absolutely nothing I would change. Every detail had been thought about and attended to from the fully stocked fridge in our room to toiletries in the bathroom and, as an ardent traveller and collector of all things Oriental, I was amazed by Peter and Lawrence's collections and the generous way that they share them throughout the Riad. The stand-out experience however was that dinner. We're vegetarians and that is no easy thing to deal with in Morocco. However, Peter and his team presented us with a three-course dinner of such beauty - and grace - that we would travel back to Marrakech just to experience that again. Breakfast on the roof was also quite wonderful - eating sweet figs in the sun, gazing at the snow-covered Atlas mountains on a January morning is a memory that will stay with me throughout the rest of the winter.

We loved Maison Mnabha. If you have an opportunity to stay there, just do it. You will be amazed.

  • Stayed January 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.
Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

This hotel/riad is a really great place to stay in. It's very beautiful and nicely decorated. Peter and Aziz provide excellent and friendly service. Peter (the owner) is an excellent source of knowledge about the Kasbah, and has lots of helpful hints about anything you can come up to ask about. We had dinner there one night, and it was really great. As was the breakfast, served on the terrace. I really can't find anything to complain about - we were even upgraded to a better room for a couple of nights since there was a vacancy.
Since this was my first time in Marrakech, even the taxi ride to the hotel was an experience. And since Marrakech can be a bit intense, it was great to have an oasis like this to withdraw to after a day exploring. Recommended!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

I arranged a surprise trip to Marrakech for my girlfriend and I back in March, where I planned to propose. After much research online, I came across this little gem which seemed to tick every box and more - how right I was! I spent the weeks between booking and arrival communicating with Peter about my plans and requirements and he couldn't have been more helpful and pleasant and provided a reassuring personal service before we even arrived. It was an extra bonus that he was English too as nothing was lost in translation. We had never stayed anywhere like this before and it is so different and unique compared with your average hotel - you felt part of the local culture as soon as you arrived. I had booked the private terrace for dinner on the second evening after informing Peter of what we would like to eat. He went to fetch the fresh local produce down the market that morning, which was a lovely touch. He also spent much time with his helper (who was also a pleasant guy) setting up the roof terrace with candles and rose petals and other additions to make the Moroccan setting even more romantic. I can't thank him enough for everything he did...he made my nerves settle so much as the scene really was perfect. The food was to die for from starter to dessert. The main lamb dish was so tender, the meat melted in the mouth...and my girlfriend said 'yes'!! I couldn't have wished for a better experience in this riad and the surrounding area is so full of history and intrigue, it made our break something we will always remember. This is my first review on tripadvisor and I meant to write it much sooner than I have but I'm glad I have now as it's fully deserved and I wish Peter and Lawrence all the best for the future - they really do have a little gem here in this magical city that I can't recommend enough.

Room Tip: Upper level room is quiet and out of the way - your own little sanctuary!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Reykjavik, Iceland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

What a good place to be in at your first nights in Morocco. Peter, Lawrence and their staff treated our group as they were relatives. All our wishes were fullfilled and much more. Clear and good comunication before the trip with Peter did help a lot. What a nice house they have and they pay a great respect to it's history. Peter spent time with us to explane a little bit of Morrocan arcitecture and political history. Lawrence put a constant smile on our faces and if there was a problem he did fix it even if it was outside of his territory.They are very experienced hosts and know exactly what they are doing and do it well. It was a good feeling to stay at Maison Mnabha. Food was good and the house is nicely decorated and on the top of that Maison Mnabha was filled with roses... what a heaven...

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

It's tough to choose between hundreds of riads. So we went with some recommendations from Lonely Planet, and we came up with this one.

Traveling to Morocco isn't easy. So we were happy to get a riad with English owners who were great at e-mailing back and forth. That made this trip very easy for us.

I was really happy with the drivers they scheduled for airport pick-up, the excursions they had set up for us, etc. They made the trip very easy. And they gave us some great recommendations - glad we hit the artisan market with fixed prices, great restaurant on top of a roof, etc.

And the meals at this riad were great, too. And it's a great option. It's pretty overwhelming when you first pull up from the airport and get bombarded with local kids. But that quickly goes away.

This place made this very exotic city super easy.

Room Tip: Probably spend the top dollar for the upstairs room up top. Looked nice.
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  • Stayed March 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2012

Where to start…well, there were good bits and bad bits about this riad and our stay so I will endeavour to write a fair review.

Good bits were:
• Location . Next to the Sadian Tombs, Bab Aganou, Les Bains de Marrakech and only ten minutes walk to Jamaa el Fna - so good if you don’t want to be right on top of the main square.
• Staff. Friendly and helpful. Thanks to Aziz who arranged our day trip to Essaouira.
• Drivers. The drivers that are used by the riad are helpful and friendly.
• Breakfast. Particular thanks to the staff who made us a substantial, delicious and healthy breakfast every day (at least two types of freshly prepared fruits each day, croissants, cereal, yoghurt, amazing freshly squeezed orange juice, and great coffee).
• All the communal areas were pleasant, well maintained and kept very clean (although you may choose not to sit on some of the soft furnishings if you have an objection or an allergy to cat hair). The roof terrace is a nice little sun-trap and it does have a view of the Atlas mountains in the far distance.

The not so good bits:
• Cats. If you don’t like cats, this is not a great place for you to stay. The owners have several cats that seem to have access to every area of the riad. My partner is allergic so this isn’t ideal and should be mentioned somewhere. Also, see below re noise.
• Noise. Ok, so some degree of noise in Marrakech is a given. What I was not prepared for was just how noisy our room was and the noise from the owner’s cats and the other cats who came onto the roof terrace. But this wasnt the only issue. Our room was located directly below the roof terrace. To access the roof terrace you use a pair of metal staircase. Every step on this staircase reverberates around this particular room. So from the cats running up and down it at 3, 4, 5 am, to the staff starting their work at 6am in the morning, to other guests enjoying the moonlit sky at midnight, you hear everything and this is a major problem if you are a light sleeper. During our 5 night stay, on two occasions, the cats kept me awake until 4am…and then call to prayer starts at 5am – so not conducive to a good nights sleep really. I can only suggest that the owners sleep in each of the rooms to experience the riad as a guest does to fully understand this.
• Booking and poor communications – I had to chase to get an email response on two occasions whilst making the reservation and again when trying to organise a taxi transfer and a meal for our first evening (I understand that on the second of these two occasions, the owners were on holiday themselves, but in this day and age when you are running a business you either continue to answer your emails via your smart phone or you delegate and allow your manager to deal with enquiries – rather than make customers wait over 24 hrs for a response). Peter did arrange a taxi to collect us from the airport, but I would expect this as standard. More about the meal below.
• The owners. Other reviewers have commented on the ‘perfect owners who want to enrich your stay’. I can’t say that either me or my partner felt the same way. The first time we met Peter, he didn’t introduce himself, a fellow guest actually had to tell us who he was (also see issues around email communication below). On another occasion when we asked for a cocktail, this appeared to be a bit of a chore and rather than getting freshly squeezed orange juice in our cocktail (which is how it was sold to us), we were given grapefruit juice – I suggest, because Peter couldn’t be bothered to squeeze some fresh orange juice and gave us what was to hand. I don’t like grapefruit juice and wouldn’t have ordered a cocktail that had grapefruit juice in it. I thought this was just lazy.

With regards to organising a meal for our first evenings stay, this was clearly too much trouble as we couldn’t guarantee what time we would be arriving. Instead, we booked into Dar Najat and had a lovely experience there. What kind of business owner wants to turn their paying guests away so they have to go to eat at another riad? We didn’t find this hospitable at all and it certainly doesn’t make good business sense. In our experience, we felt that customer service didn’t come naturally to Peter.
• Although it had some nice features (in particular the ceiling detail), we thought our room was quite average. It has some of the mod cons you would expect but not all. You don’t have in room wifi/telephone/television for example (there is a laptop you can use in the lounge between 10am-10pm). The toiletries and towels were not high quality. The coffee/tea selection was not good.

So in conclusion, we would not stay here again and felt a bit mislead by previous reviews.

It was okay, but not amazing. We felt that this place was let down by the owners and it is such a shame as it could be really very good indeed.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the room below the terrace if you want a good nights sleep. An accessible room ava...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lumpini, Owner at Maison Mnabha, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
I appreciate that ‘historyboys’ was happy about some aspects of his stay at Maison Mnabha but naturally I was concerned by his overall dissappointment with the experience. I was also surprised and frustrated when I read his review: his partner had throughout their stay remarked on how happy he was at Maison Mnabha and with Marrakech generally. ‘Historyboys’ said nothing to suggest that he felt otherwise. Indeed throughout their five night stay ‘historyboys’ made no reference at all to any of the negative points that he raised in his review. This is a frustrating situation to be in. There are of course features of Maison Mnabha such as its location that cannot be changed but otherwise we endeavour to respond to individual needs and requirements of guests as they occur. To take a detail in his review, he complained that he had been given a cocktail that had been mixed with grapefruit juice instead of orange juice and attributed this specifically to my laziness and lack of concern. I had recommended a ‘Genoa Vodka’ to him explaining that it is a drink in which vodka, Campari and orange juice are mixed. It is a classic cocktail and I mixed it for 'historyboys' as I always do with freshly pressed orange juice. Perhaps he wasn’t able to tell that it was orange juice in his drink because a Genoa Vodka is pink in colour rather than orange through the addition of the Campari and he relied on what he thought he saw rather than what he tasted. Whatever the reason for his mistake, he drank and later paid for the cocktail without comment. He had every opportunity to say something at the time and isn't this what anyone would normally have done? As I had specifically recommended the cocktail to him I could have offered him an alternative or not charged him if he had told me after first tasting it that he didn't like it. Instead I now find he went home harbouring a misplaced prejudice that he had been 'palmed off' with grapefruit juice. The point of focussing briefly on a cocktail is that his jumping to the wrong conclusion and his failure to question it at the time seem to be symptomatic of a retrospective 'critique' in which unfounded assumptions devalue its credibility. I think that most regular travellers acquire some skills and techniques to get the most out of their trips. I wonder whether ‘historyboys’ has. It seems to me that wherever you are a basic skill in making a stay in a hotel a pleasant rather than a potentially disappointing experience is to communicate any concerns or questions on the spot so that they can be addressed and hopefully resolved immediately or at least as soon as possible. If I or anyone else at Maison Mnabha had failed to listen or to respond to concerns or questions from either of them then there would be a legitimate cause for serious disatisfaction with the way in which Maison Mnabha is run but this did not happen [and revealingly was not brought up as an issue in the review]. If they were as disturbed by noise in their room as much as was claimed, they could have said so and been offered a change of room if they wished. I am not saying of course that they were in a soundless room or environment. If anyone asks me before booking at Maison Mnabha to guarantee them a quiet room I tell them that normally it is quiet but it is a historic townhouse and total silence at all times can't be assured. Morocco is a Muslim State and there is a call to prayer five times a day starting very early in the morning from all Moroccan mosques: the call is intended to be heard by everyone in the neighbourhood. We are not located particularly close to any mosque so the call is always audible but not overpowering and is part of the experience of being in a different culture. I can state with certainty that staff were not disturbing them at 06:00 because they don’t come to work until much later. As regards noise from the cats we could have contained them at night and managed the situation as we do for anyone who lets us know that they are allergic to cats or have an aversion to them. For other noises including disruption from other guests all I can say is that in TripAdvisor and other independent reviews there has been no previous observation about that or about noise in the room they occupied. On the contrary our guests regularly tell us say how much they enjoy the serenity and calm of Maison Mnabha after the busy street life of the city – a view reflected in many reviews.

We were not able to serve dinner for them on their first night or on their last night as our kitchen is closed on Sundays. It was explained to them before their arrival and when they were at Maison Mnabha that we don’t have a restaurant but we do cook to order very much on an individual basis for our guests (we don’t take dinner reservations from anyone not staying at Maison Mnabha). We have achieved an enviable and I think hard won reputation for our food but ask that the order is discussed in the morning so that we can do the market shopping and then start cooking: our food is based on fresh seasonal produce and slow cooking that often takes many hours. On both occasions they were informed well in advance and ‘historyboys’ said at the time that they were happy to make other arrangements (“please don’t worry about dinner”) but again not in his review. They chose not to have had dinner at Maison Mnabha on the other evenings when they were staying with us. I would be the first to agree that they would be justified in feeling aggrieved if they had made a reservation for dinner and had then been told at the last minute that dinner had been cancelled but this was not the case. It is regrettable that it was taken to be my inhospitality; it is such a cliché though to ask how we can afford to turn trade away. The majority of restaurants and riads serving dinner in Marrakech are closed one night a week (as elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe). Indeed unlike Maison Mnabha many restaurants, hotels and other businesses in Marrakech are closed altogether in August every year.
We are continually striving to maintain and improve on all aspects of Maison Mnabha and fair critical comments are constructive in that respect. The room they were in does have access to the internet through free wifi but the signal is sometimes weak and it does depend on the device. I am attempting to extend the range of the wifi access throughout Maison Mnabha, not an easy task in an old building with walls more than a metre thick in places. Their room doesn't have a tv or telephone (television and telephone are not listed as an amenity in that room on our website and ‘historyboys’ had checked out our website before booking) as we have concluded rightly or wrongly that in general our guests are not looking for a room with television or telephone. We provide other amenities in the room such as complimentary coffee / tea making facilities (not an expectation in Morocco) and many of our guests do appreciate that. We have however extended our range of teas etc. in response to the comment from ‘historyboys’ and this has proved popular. We also reassessed the quality of the toiletries provided in the bathrooms and have acted on it. As regards e-mail correspondence the comments are a reminder to me how irritating it can be not to get prompt replies to e-mails and I now aim to get back as quickly as possible and at least within 24 hours to all e-mails received.

It is evident from the review that for whatever reason I unknowingly made a poor impression on ‘historyboys’ from the outset. My recollection of our first meeting differs from his: when I saw them for the first time I was already conversing with a guest who was telling me about a trip that he had been on. I was waiting for him to finish what he was saying before introducing myself to them. In the event his partner interjected and after brief introductions we all continued talking, including I remember a shared appreciation of Maison Mnabha by his partner and our other guest. I wasn’t aware that ‘historyboys’ was piqued and certainly meant no slight to either of them. Whatever my personal shortcomings I have never before been accused of being socially inept with our guests.

My frustration with what ‘historyboys’ has posted on TripAdvisor is that by not revealing at the time his disatisfaction with aspects of Maison Mnabha he didn’t give us the opportunity of attempting to make his stay a more positive one. They left Maison Mnabha after being given a very late complimentary checkout offered by us in sympathy for his partner who needed to rest all day (he had an upset stomach from eating at a fish restaurant the day before). On departure ‘historyboys’ didn’t give the slightest indication either to me or to any of our team about his reservations about the quality of Maison Mnabha and I said goodbye to them genuinely believing that we had as usual fulfilled or surpassed our guests’ expectations. I hope that I have been able to indicate a different perspective to his review. What I found particularly disappointing in this guest’s review is that it read to me as though motivated by an aspiration to write a 'professional hotel inspector' style report but without a matching level of informed enquiry.
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Additional Information about Maison Mnabha

Address: 32 - 33 Derb Mnabha, Kasbah, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Hotel Style:
Ranked #332 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Maison Mnabha Hotel Marrakech

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