This was our first time to Marrakech and arrived via a taxi at the Bab Doukkala entrance. It's a local market area and its like walking onto the filmset of Raiders of the Lost Arc. Its quite a dirty area, but no different from anywhere in the madina. Dont let that put you off. A short walk through a quieter part of the madina brought us to a large darkwood door and Riad Clementine.
We were greeted by Angela and given a crash course of what to do and what not to do, and some orientation while sipping Mint Tea. After being shown around we crashed into our room, Room 6 which was beautiful. A real fantastic room with big bath, and large comfortable bed. The extras in the room extensive, but take it from me, there was so much emphasis on detail it made it very speacial.
We relaxed on the roof the rest of the day, got a bit of a tan and had a lovely swim in the small pool, drying off and supping on a few 'Cassablanca' beers.
We ate 3 main meals, and a couple of snacks during our stay. All food was fresh, and although limited in choice (you eat what they have) it was the best food we ate on the whole trip. All main meals consist of 4 courses, and there is a choice of beers and wines etc. The lamb tagine was fantastic, as was the beef and chicken. Each night we had a bottle of red and a couple of beers and we found the prices to be fair in relation to bars elsewhere. We found that the value for money for food was also very very good.
We couldnt believe that once through the door of the Riad, you were in a peaceful paradise, especially relaxing in the garden which was traditional with its fountain and trees in all four corners. Apparently if the gardens not set up like this, its NOT a Riad but a Dar... well there you go.
All the staff were attentive, and although the main language was French we got by and everything was clearly understood. Both Angela and Antoine, the owners speak English. In fact we cant praise the staff enough. They were a credit to the Riad and Morocco, and were always on hand and worked hard through the day keeping everything nice.
If you want to experience Riad life go to this Riad. Its placed in a great place. Easy walk to square and souks, and also near the taxi rank to take you anywhere else.
We have a million pictures of the Riad, and Marrakech but the same as you can see on their web site. Also, trust me, living it will be a hundred time more fantastic than a picture.
Just as a footnote. Angela arranged a guide for Marrakech. Said arrived at 9am and took us everywhere in the madina arriving back at the Riad at 6pm. It cost 50 Euro for the full day, and he does do a half day for 30 Euro, but we went into places off the tourist trail. Said is a 50 year moroccan who knows his stuff . Especially History. Its really worth having a guide, and Said is not like some of the fake guides you see on route. Said can be booked through the Riad. Speaks English and French/Arabic etc etc
Be careful not to be ripped off in the souks though. We were told a standard tagine cost 2 Euro to produce. Spices were about the same price as at home, but some are hard to get at home. Do your homework and buy from a registered spice seller in a shop. Said did have contacts in the souks which we think were partly good value. All guides are usually in on the deal, so walk away before you ever buy anything. We usually hagled to half or less of what they wanted.
We travelled to High Atlas with Légendes Evasions, bookable through the Riad.
Phillipe our driver was brilliant. French, but perfect English. We shared the trip in a 4 Wheel Drive with a Belgium couple. We laughed all the way, did a lot of off road and took in some fantastic scenery. Stopped to meet locals in villages, camel ride (optional) etc etc. You tailor make the trip to suit. Cost us 80 Euro per couple, and was well worth it. We stopped at a fantastic hotel (L'Oliveraie de Marigha in Ouirgane) for food. Excellant, cheap and a very memorable location with The Atlas in the background.
Take some sweets for the kids in the village. They dont use money.
Have a great time