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“Great place, but avoid the guides!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Julia

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Riad Julia
14, derb El Halfaoui | Bab Doukkala, Médina, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #500 of 1,040 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Edinburgh
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Great place, but avoid the guides!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

We had a great stay here--the rooms we had were extremely comfortable, the air conditioning worked well, and it was lovely. Each day it was such a pleasure to come back in the sweltering heat of the mid-afternoon for a break and a dip in the plunge pool.
To speak to some of the other reviews here, we were very happy with the breakfast--excellent coffee and fresh orange juice, bread, crepes and jam beautifully presented in the courtyard.
We arranged to have dinner on the roof one night and it was the best food we had in Morocco. You have to arrange it in advance, and it's absolutely worth it!!
The one complaint we had was with the guides who met us to take us from the airport shuttle to the riad. We'd arrived at night, and these young men were absolute bullies. They shouted at us and demanded 20 Euros--several days' wages for a Moroccan worker--just for leading us about 3 blocks, and shouting the whole time back and forth with their friends. Once we arrived there was no one else there--no manager or staff--and we were very confused. We assumed it was just bad luck, but then we witnessed the same bullies leading another couple to the riad, and demanding 40 Euros. Really obnoxious. The management really needs to sort that out.
Oh and the TV room--ha, we didn't know that was even supposed to be a public space. We thought that was the manager's room.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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71 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2010

Three of us stayed here for three nights in the Amir room, then for a night in the Wazir room. The Wazir room is far nicer than the Amir room, though neither were worth the 750dh we were paying per night.
On arrival we received mint tea, but no real welcome. Our first room had a broken toilet that leaked everywhere, and one night we had to kill a cockroach that had decided to camp in the bathroom. The second room was lovely and much more of the level that you'd expect from a decent riad, it's just a shame we only stayed there for one night. The manager spends most of his time topless, lying in the living room watching tv and smoking with his friends, so we were not able to use this room.
Breakfast was rather poor, fresh orange juice and coffee (sometimes) with traditional pancakes and rather greasy fried french bread with sugar on.
The roof terrace is very nice, if a bit dusty, and altogether the riad is in a quiet location and its standard would be brilliant for a few hundred dirhams less! Takes about 10 minutes to walk to the Jemaa el Fna, and 5 to get to the souks.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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London
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2010

Better than any 4* hotel in the Palmeraie!!! Ideal for a romantic week break; you couldn't be further from the hecticness of the Medina and yet you are still right in its heart. This amazing family-run riad provides an astonishing breakfast of local delicacies and pastries, an elegant open courtyard with exquisite archectiture and dream-like poster-bed bedrooms. Drinking mint tea in the Berber tent on the roof terrace is memorable - this space is perfect to sun-lounge in the afternoons, taking a well-needed break from the intensity of the main square Djemna El Fna. The staff were very welcoming in English and in French, and very approachable for a social conversation over tea. True Sofia is tricky to find at first; it is advisable to get an airport transfer or manager Omar to meet you somewhere near Koutoubia, and yes the swimming pool is more of an ornament decor than an actual facility but this Riad is one of the most luxurious guesthouses you could stay in worldwide.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

Stayed here for 2 nights. The bed was comfortable enough, and the room OK space-wise, but it didn't seem that clean either in the room or on the terrasse and courtyard areas. One of the rugs had a funny smell, and there were damp spots in the corners on the ceilings and walls where the bed is. The shower has very good pressure and lots of hot water, but the water doesn't run down the drain that well. The breakfast was mediocre and during the day there seemed to be long periods when there was no staff around at all.
This place is OK if there is nothing else available, but you can get much better places for the same amount of money. This riad looks like it might have been very nice once upon a time, but that it has not been looked after properly.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san jose, ca
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2009

This riad is located about a ten minute walk from the Djamaa El Fna. This riad is beautiful and has a small plunge pool in the courtyard. On the roof there is seating and a tent for feeling the atmosphere of Morocco. My room did not have airconditioning, but I was provided with a fan which did keep me cool. My breakfast was more than ample and promptly served when I sat down. The girl that tends to the food and rooms was very pleasant and most accomodating to my requests. I would highly recommend this riad to anyone visiting Marrakesh.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hereford
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2009

We stayed in this riad in July last year. It's not the easiest to find if you are on your own, but there are small signs on the walls pointing you in the right direction. We had arranged for a taxi from the riad to pick us up from the airport, this arrived as planned and dropped us as near to the riad as possible - there was no access for cars down the few alleyways we had to walk to get to the riad. The taxi driver showed us the way. The couple of alleyways that lead to the riad from the road don't feel unsafe as such, but they are darkish and you occasionally get odd looks from the locals leaving their houses. There are also stray and ill-looking cats and kittens littering the alleys! There is however a very nandy shack/shop at the entrance to the alley leading to the riad, which is very convenient for stocking up on water - it's nice not to have to carry havy bottles miles!

We were given the impression that the manager of the riad (Omar?) would be on hand to meet us and indeed throughout our stay to help us with our trip (I think he was the only one who spoke good English). In reality he was there for the first five minutes when we arrived, and we didn't see him after that. He didn't even take our payment - it was the maids/housekeepers who did, and like someone else mentioned, it didn't seem as official as it might be - they didn't give us a receipt and seemed surprised when we asked for one. We didn't have any problems though, it's not like they tried to take payment twice or anything.

They gave us lovely mint tea when we arrived, and we sat in the beatutiful central courtyard while we arranged payment and they took our passport details. The riad is beautiful and traditional. The decor is pretty and unique, if a little tired in places. The small plunge pool is beautiful lined with lights at night, but way to small to swim in, and looked as if noone even went in there for a dip.

Our room was nice - rustic but pretty. There were gorgeous sequinned bedspreads and traditional old Moroccan furniture. There were three of us so there was a double bed and a temporary single bed set us by the side of the double. It was a bit of a squeeze for three of us - two would be fine though. The bathroom was fine. The room and bathroom however were quite dark - the only window was onto the central courtyard, so the room received no natural light. Not great for doing makeup!!! Also as mentioned by someone else, the rooms didn't lock. Maybe this is normal here, but it did worry us slightly, as there was no safe or anywhere to lock valuables. Nothing got stolen, though.

The breakfast in the courtyard was nice - juice and coffee, bread, crepe type things, and jams and butter. Be prepared to eat a lot of bread products in Morocco as they're with every meal! We never got the opportunity to eat breakfast on the roof terrace (although we never asked) - breakfast stuff was always laid out on the tables in the courtyard. We were also never offered mint tea again, which the website makes out is always available. We did ask one day when we came in from sightseeing, and the maids prepared it for us, but they did seem like it was a slight inconvenience.

The location was good - once you figure out where you are, it's only a 10-15 minute walk to the main square, and there are a few restaurants and shops closer.

All in all I would recommend this riad - if you're looking for a cheap-ish, central, pretty riad, but not if you are looking for luxury or great service.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harpenden, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2009

During our stay the riad was very quiet - there were very few other guests, no sign of a manager, but a very helpful member of staff who was there some of the time and served us mint tea and breakfast. The beds were comfortable and there was a very pretty roof terrace. I was researching other riads at the time for a future visit and we agreed this was the best for the price - the only problem being the lack of hot water. At evening it does get chilly and our showers were very brief! I would only recommend this riad for summer when the lack of hot water would be less of an issue - which is a shame because in every other way it was very good.

  • Liked — Pretty and Quiet
  • Disliked — No hot water
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Riad Julia

Address: 14, derb El Halfaoui | Bab Doukkala, Médina, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #500 of 1,040 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riad Julia Hotel Marrakech

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