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“Unbelievably awesome” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riyad Al Moussika

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Riyad Al Moussika
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   62 Derb Boutouil | Kennaria, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #51 of 460 Hotels in Marrakech
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Unbelievably awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

i can't rate this hotel enough. From the moment we arrived till the moment we left, we were treated like royalty. Our suite was like something out of a movie. Spacious and incredibly comfortable. The extra bonus of this riad is the in-house restaurant (Pepe Nero). Delicious food and you can choose between Moroccan or Italian cuisine. The restaurant was full every night which is testament to how good it is. Our breakfasts were pretty good each morning and great coffee! The riad's location is also superb. Nice and close to the main square and basically to everything! I would encourage anyone to stay here. It was undoubtedly the best "hotel" experience I've ever had. They also arrange airport transport for you. Everything was so easy! Oh and the pool is divine. Nice and cold for those hot days. You can also sit on the balcony at night and look over the pool if your in the royal suite. This review really doesn't do the place justice or explain how incredible the staff were. I hope they read this and see how grateful we are for the last 6 days of paradise.

Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
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410 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Poughkeepsie, New York
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

The driver sent by the riad pulled into a dusty, non-descript square with no telltale sign of a hotel. We proceeded on foot through an alley off the square, soon arriving at a door with a Pepe-Nero Restaurant sign marking the entrance to the Riyad Al-Moussika. It felt tranquil inside standing in the entryway next to a rose-filled fountain in front of a pretty pool flanked by large trees and lush plants, especially after traveling through Marrakech from the airport. The manager, Hassan, greeted and directed me upstairs for a welcome of mint-tea and pastries while I filled out the required paperwork in the comfort of the library. My room was just past the library while friends had a double-room at the head of the stairs on the opposite end of the balcony.

The single room was comfortable but not large, though the bathroom was fairly good size with a large bathtub with shower. The interior feels elegant with a brass double bed and some Moroccan/European accents. But some might see it as simply furnished with a flat-screen TV on a narrow open cabinet, small side desk, nightstand, and chair. There is sufficient shelf storage and a small hanging space in the closet, but no in-room safe. The glass entry door has outer wooden doors that when closed work well to keep out noises from the hallway. A small window looks out over the inner courtyard and inside wooden shutters help keep out the noise from dinner guests at night.

The restaurant was one reason for booking our stay here, and we were not disappointed. Dinner can be 2 or 3-courses and include Moroccan or Italian dishes or a combination of both (I believe the owner is actually Italian). The 3-course dinner was enjoyed, but found to be a bit too much for us. My friend’s birthday was the day before, during our travel to Morocco, and we mentioned during booking that we’d like to celebrate her birthday with dinner at Pepe-Nero on the night of our arrival. They surprised her with a wonderful apricot sponge / chocolate mousse birthday cake, which was an unexpected nice touch (and delicious).

Breakfast was set up in the inner courtyard with its centerpiece rose-filled fountain and surrounding ornamental orange trees. We were told the fruit was very bitter and not used for the fresh squeezed orange juice at our table (so don’t pick any for a snack later). Breakfast is a mix of European and Moroccan fare with muesli, fruits, eggs made to order, Moroccan crepe-like pancakes, and pastries. Afternoon tea and cookies/pastries are offered and you can take the service on the small rooftop balcony, though we didn’t find too much of a view except for Marrakech rooftops.

The riad is within the medina and easy walking distance to the Jemaa el-Fna square. Another advantage to the riad housing the Pepe-Nero Restaurant is that there are signs along the road to the square directing people to the restaurant so it’s easy to find your way back.

There are only 5 rooms in the riad and when you see the number of tables set up downstairs, plus the fact that the entrance shows the restaurant and not riad name, you realize that the restaurant is the main focus and money maker. You need to accept this if you decide to stay here. However, it doesn’t seem to distract from the service provided for those staying at the riad. All the staff was great from the manager Hassan along with those that served us at dinner and breakfast. Al-Moussika in Marrakech set a high standard for the other riads that we tried during our travel through Morocco.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Freeport, Illinois
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

We had very high expectations for this riad as we had read many reviews and it came highly recommended. It was beautiful but seemed a bit dated and the rooms a bit small especially for the price and compared to other places we had stayed. Overall the focus seemed to be on the restauarant and the rooms an afterthought. Our first night in town we were tired and just wanted to relax and unfortunately every public space was filled with restaurant guests. In the library guests were waiting for their table and unfortunately they were loud and drunk and we felt unwelcome. We could not really relax in our room as it was small with only one desk chair. There was nowhere to relax on the first floor at all in or in any of the courtyard areas. In addition because the courtyard is part of the restaurant it was very noisy and the noise lasted until 11-midnight, including a singing of Happy Birthday that woke us up. We knew there was a restaurant on the premises we just didn't expect it to be the focus. Also on our first day we couldn't get anything to eat at 3 pm because they were getting ready for the restaurant and there was always a constant bustle going on in anticipation of the evening. The roof top terrace was also not inviting, there is no view and all of the furniture was covered up. The welcoming sweets and tea were very good as was the breakfast food. Unfortunately the service at breakfast was extremely slow and unattentive and we felt very awkward. We finally had to ask for coffee after sitting there for 30 minutes and breakfast itself took almost 45 minutes even though there was only one other couple there. We weren't asked if we wanted anything like eggs although they were available. Unfortunately the staff seemed very indifferent. On the other hand,the manager was very helpful and friendly and went out of his way to make sure we had a nice visit. He seemed a little overworked and was very understanding when we said the riad was not what we were expecting and wanted to move. If you want to eat at the restaurant every night and be a part of their rhythm this is probably a nice place to stay, just make sure you know what to expect. We wanted a nice serene, romantic place where we could relax and unfortunately were not able to do that here.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

Riyad Al Moussika is the most gorgeous place to stay that I can imagine. You enter down a small alleyway through a door marked PepeNero (the hotel's restaurant) and are immediately in an open courtyard with ornamental fountains and pool, tall trees and bright flowers.

We found this place online and booked with Chahid one of the suites......... totally perfect with it's own Loggia and access to the roof terrace. We also booked dinner the first night at PepeNero. ~The food is perfect and they cooked a vegetarian meal for me on request.

Hassan and the staff here are delightful, efficient and can't do enough for you. The Hammam at the hotel was a wonderful experience followed by a massage which we did twice during our stay.

The building itself has been lovingly restored and is a work of art. The photos tell all. This is a place to relax, feel pampered and totally enjoy. It's location is perfect and you can walk anywhere in the Medina from here. Hassan also arrange for a day trip out to the Atlas Mountains which is a must.

I can't thank everyone at Riyad Al Moussika enough for a memorable, perfect holiday.

Room Tip: The suites are lovely but as there are only 6 rooms (I think) any would work.
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
cambridge, england
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

My wife and I endorse all the praise that is heaped on Al Moussika, and particularly the praise heaped on the staff. Hassan the manager was exceptionally helpful, friendly, and attentive, and in the restaurant his waiters were among the most efficient we've ever encountered. Their professionalism was extraordinary. Hassan and a couple of the waiters taught us more about Moroccan politics and manners than we could acquire from the guidebooks. They helped us feel as connected to the country as is possible in a five-night visit.

The hotel reviews in tripadvisor don't immediately link with the restaurant reviews - but in this case the two shouldn't be separated. Before we got there we hadn't realised that the PepeNero restaurant was in the Riad and that we could eat there every night without running the gauntlet of the medina's streets in search of good food. We did eat there every night bar one. Whereas the riad was half-empty in our time there (there are only 5 bedrooms), the restaurant, seating about 40, was always full of customers from elsewhere. You must book beforehand, and make sure you have a table in the courtyard under the orange trees.

The food wasn't cheap, but it was cheaper than London, and the some of the dishes (Italian as well as Moroccan) were first class - as one would expect in what tripadvisor classifies as the 2nd best restaurant in Marrakech. There were a couple of uninteresting pasta dishes; but at their best (the Moroccan lamb) they were superb. Only Moroccan wine is served, but it was good stuff on the whole.

Altogether a very happy stay, to be repeated should we ever return to Marrakech. And our warmest thanks again to Hassan and his wonderful staff.

On the one (Monday) night when the restaurant is closed we ate at Les Jardins de la Medina: second-rate food at exorbitant prices, and service that was a little too pleased with itself - altogether a pretentious rip-off compared to Al Mossika.

Al Mossika is hard to find on foot, though taxis can make their way through the medina maze to deliver you a couple of hundred yards away from its not very well signposted door. Still, one soon learns, and most places are within walking distance, if you're fit.

Although the bedrooms and courtyards are beautiful, they are quite small, so the whole experience is rather 'enclosed' - as riads of course are meant to be. This guarantees peace and quiet as well as freedom from the petrol pollution of the alleys (scooters!), but after a while one does yearn for vistas and space. Bedroom lighting tends to be puzzlingly dim.

Room Tip: we asked to be (and were) moved from the double room over the kitchens because of noise.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Carmel, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014 via mobile

I cannot recommend Riyad Al Moussika more highly. We were two friends traveling together staying in a twin bedded room. All of the rooms were beautiful with hand painted doors and ceilings in Moroccan style. The public spaces were light and equally as inviting. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted and offered delicious mint tea and pastries. The manager Hassan was incredibly gracious at all times and arranged for a traditional hammam experience in the hotel, and arranged other tours and reservations that we were interested in as well. We had the opportunity to dine in the hotel's popular courtyard restaurant "Pepe Nero", serving Italian and Moroccan dishes, and it was delicious. Breakfast was included in the price, and was served in a lovely dining room. We had fresh squeezed orange juice daily, as well as fresh baked pastries, crepes, fresh fruit, yogurt, and omelets. As wonderful as the meals and atmosphere were, I think the thing that was most outstanding was the service of everyone that we encountered at the Riyad. If I have the opportunity to visit Marrakech again, I would certainly return to this lovely Riyad. It was an oasis of calm and beauty in the Medina.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Mumbai
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

My husband and I spent 5 days at Riyad Al Moussika this Valentine's. We had an amazing experience -- the place is absolutely lovely - nice done up, and comfortable. It was fully booked when we went, so we got a tiny room, but it was still worth the experience. The common areas were really beautiful as well - the courtyards, eating area, library, etc. It felt like staying in a royal yet home style accommodation. I also spent a lot of time in the terrace, soaking the sun. What bliss!

The staff is very warm, welcoming, and helpful...always smiling! As others mentioned, Hassan (the manager), is extremely nice, resourceful, and helpful. The hammam's great too (we went twice).

I especially liked the food at Al Moussika - the two dinners we had at Pepe Nero restaurant were superlative experiences / meals. As others mentioned, the breakfast can get a bit repetitive (we had it four times, which was just about enough), because it's the same menu everyday, but I must mention that unlike what other reviewers said, you can actually order stuff over and above the set yoghurt, fruit, and pastry menu. We ordered omelettes, Moroccan coffee, etc. and loved it all. Try the omelette with tomatoes and onions - it's delicious! I also loved the mint tea and Moroccan pastries they offered us everyday - it's really good. And the drinks (water, juices, tea, etc) were free, so we didn't feel ripped off!

We had such a good experience at Al Moussika that I really hope to go back soon, and do it all over again.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riyad Al Moussika

Address: 62 Derb Boutouil | Kennaria, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#42 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#140 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Riyad Al Moussika 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Al Moussika - For comfort, style and refinement. THE Riad experience in Marrakech! Situated in the ancient medina of Marrakech, five minutes walk from place Jemaa El Fna, the Riyad was once one of the residences of the former Pasha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, and has been refurbished to a very high standard in the Andalucian style. One of the gates of Riyad Al Moussika opens on to a garden with old cypress trees soaring to the sky, a huge bougainvillea climbing across the pergolas, a swimming pool, in the centre or, more precisely, an Andalucian basin thirteen meters long, tiled with a mosaic carpet design. Here water falls from a white Carrara marble fountain to the songs of numerous small birds creating an idyllic scenario, in spite of being in the heart of central medina. A fireplace gives the winter evenings a cosy atmosphere, as do the impressive modern paintings, carpets, sofas and armchairs. There is a hi-fi system and an art deco Pleyel grand piano perfectly tuned for the pleasure of the guests. The Turkish bath or hammam in white marble with a relax room where, on request, a professional masseur can take care of the guests. There is a unique view of the medina and the Atlas Mountains from the two terraces that are sheltered partially with wooden pergolas and surrounded by large terracotta flower vases. Tables, comfortable armchairs with cushions and teak chaises-long allow guests to request breakfast and candle lit dinner, as well as to sunbathe during the day. On one of the terraces there is a pavilion with Moroccan sofas, cushions and lamps should some of the guests prefer a more intimate space. The resident Chef, Grand Diploma Cordon Bleu, has devoted his life to gastronomy and invites lovers of fine dining to experience his repertoire of Moroccan, Italian and French cuisine at the haute Cuisine riyad's Restaurant PEPE NERO. There are 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite bathroom. All rooms have air-conditioning / heating system, telephone with external line, television with the major satellite channels (BBC, CNN etc.), Internet wireless connection is available and DVD in the music room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riyad Al Moussika Marrakech
Riyad Al Moussika Hotel Marrakech

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