We have just returned from a city break in Marrakech. We stayed four nights at this Riad.
Taxi from airport dropped us at the nearest point to the Riad and the driver was kind enough to accompany us to the door which we would NEVER have been able to find ourselves. It was through a very narrow maze of alleyways, thus this was the beginning of our Marrakech experience.
Firstly, I am being completely honest, and first impressions of the Riad weren't too good. The door opens into the reception area and swimming pool, which is more just a water feature than a swimming pool. The young man who greeted us explained about the dangers of Marrakech, which was obviously good to know but not really what you want to hear. He was of course quite correct to warn of the copious amount of hustlers and basically just guys out to cheat you out of your hard earned holiday cash. BE WARNED. DO NOT LISTEN or pay ANY attention to guys who stop and try to direct you around. Hide your maps and try to look cool and act like you know exactly where you are going, even though you haven't a scooby. We overheard a couple at the Riad and it sounded like they got lost and handed over 1000DM to get back to the Riad.
We booked our Riad through BOOKING.COM and got it for an amazing price, but the rooms we got reflected that low price, because they weren't nice rooms. Ours in particular was a dark, horrible room, with a shower room and toilet which was at window height! Very strange. We did however get clean towels and the room cleaned every day.
We had dinner at the Riad on the first night which was home cooked and lovely. The roof terrace had plenty of sitting areas and was kept clean. The cats and kittens were a delight. The flies were, on the other hand a complete pain in the neck, but no creepy crawlies.
The main square is basically in a straight line from the street at the end of the Riad. DO NOT go through the souks to reach the square. You will get lost and lots of hassle. Small children are pests and ask for money and you can't trust anyone. Do not be fooled.
The big souks are just off the main square and are absolutely worth a look. They are like Aladdins Caves full of treasure. The Square at night is a must, but only once! We visited a restaurant on the square. Unfortunately, my husband and son are STILL experiencing the effects of the meal.
Marrakech is the craziest place we have ever visited and we have been in some places! I would not recommend it for more than 3 or 4 nights. There is very little to do apart from the Square and the Souks, with the latter becoming a pest because of the constant need for haggling.
Riad Dar El Aila was good for what we paid, but we would not return to the Riad or Marrakech.
Once experienced, better forgotten!
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