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“Safe haven in the hectic old town” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Jonan

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Riad Jonan
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   35 Derb Bzou | Rue de la Kasbah, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
50% off room rate
Ranked #76 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Safe haven in the hectic old town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Arriving at Riad Jonan is a bit daunting for a first time visitor to Marrakech, as it's situated up a narrow alleyway and the only thing that betrays it's presence is a small doorway with a plaque. Taking the hotel's transfer service from the airport is a good decision as the driver will guide you to the door. (the 15 euro fee covers the trip both from the airport and then back at the end of your stay). It's about 15/20 minutes from the airport.

Once inside, rather than standing at a reception desk, the weary traveller is seated and given mint tea and pastries, whilst the check in and luggage are taken care of, which is a lovely welcoming touch.

The building itself is two riads which have been linked together. Riads are a traditional family house with the rooms built around a central courtyard, so there are no outside views from the rooms as all the windows overlook the inner courtyard. It's worth being aware of this if you're expecting a view outside - the old houses in Marrakech were not built for outward views, it's all about being a haven from the bustle outside.

The two courtyards in riad Jonan are open air, but have retractable covers, and are used for breakfast and dinner as well as a space to relax in. There is a small ornamental plunge pool in one of the courtyards and a water feature in the other.

There is also an attractive roof terrace, which has sunloungers & parasols with towels and straw hats. It's a perfect sun trap and there is a pretty berber tent with cushions should you need some shade. The view in all directions looks out over a jumble of rooftops and minarets with the atlas mountains to the south.

The decoration throughout is tasteful, unique and there are many period features in wood, stucco plaster and mosaic - our room had a decorative wood stove. The overall effect is tranquility in what is an incredibly hectic city and you feel that you are in a traditional Moroccan home rather than a hotel.

This is a world apart from the formulaic chain hotel. Each room is unique, and ours, The Calif, was absolutely gorgeous with ornamental plaster, traditional furniture and decorative light fittings.
Facilities in the rooms are simple but perfectly adequate. Ours had a small clock radio with ipod dock & satellite TV (unwatched), a fridge with minibar, hairdryer, air conditioning and an electronic safe (free). Apart from the usual bathrobes, slippers and towels there were no toiletries or tea & coffee facilities, but the hotel staff will bring you coffee etc if you ask. There is a chargeable laundry service if required.

The hotel seemed very secure - there is a member of staff from the small team on duty at all times, and as you have to leave your key when you go out, and the front door is kept locked, they personally let you back in when you return, which is reassuring.

The staff were genuinely friendly and helpful and a great source of trustworthy local advice. The riad offers several excursions, with private and shared options. We went on two, to Essaouira on the coast and to the Atlas Mountains. Both were well worth doing, and were priced competitively.

The riad is well placed for easy walking access to the main square & souks, restaurants & various palaces and places of interest. I'd recommend visiting the artisanal department store early on in your visit. It is two minutes along the rue de la kasbah (it has two stone lions outside) and is one of the few shops in the old town with marked prices which gives you a good idea of the going rate for things, putting you in a much more informed position for the haggling you have to do everywhere else.

Staying here was a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: All rooms are different and unique but the hotel website photos show them all. Calif was spacious.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

The reviews are true: Riad Jonan is marvellous. Tucked away in the Kasbah or old citadel of Marrakech, it's a little haven of quiet in the mad flood of motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, sellers of bread and of herbs, people carriers, taxis and more shunting daily through the city. The Kasbah itself is home to the atmospheric Saadian tombs and right round the corner from the majestic ruins of the Bahia Palace, while it's a few easily walkable minutes from the Jemaa El Fna, the souks and central Marrakech. The Kasbah is also close to the airport and a taxi to the riad (bookable when you book the room) only takes 20 minutes door to door.

We stayed in Malika on the first floor, which was very quiet and ample for three as well as charmingly decorated and with easy access to the roof terrace. Hassan and his admirable night-and-day staff are on hand to deal with requests of all sorts. There are excellent excursions by people carrier on offer (we booked the Ourika Valley and Essaouira, both recommended, although spring in the valley when the trees are in flower might be a better time to go than January); you can opt for breakfast on the roof terrace (wonderful in a January when the UK and US were pummeled by terrible weather); and their skilled inhouse chef whips up delectable tajines, should you wish to eat inhouse. Even the price is right!

You have to have your wits about you when negotiating the streets of this mysterious and often heartbreakingly beautiful city. At the end of a frenetic day, it's wonderful to know that this little sliver of quiet and comfort awaits.

Room Tip: Malika makes a super triple.
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Riad Jonan is located well within walking distance of nearly all of Marrakech's attractions. Located 5 minutes from the El Fna Souks, 2 minutes from the tombs, 5/20 minutes from the Mellah & a short 20/30 minute walk down Mohammed V avenue to new town.

The Riad offers many excursion activities which are priced very competitive with reputable companies. Myself & my girlfriend chose the afternoon Camel ride and also a trek into the Atlas mountains. Both were fantastic days out and memorable parts of our holiday.

The staff are curtious and very helpful, always willing to offer good advice on travelling about the city and what are good prices to pay for items within the souks. They speak very good French or English so can always help you out.

The only downside to the holiday was that we were woken every morning at the break of dawn by a nearby rooster but this isn't necessarily the Riad's fault although even with the window shut the noise couldn't be muted in any way.

The rooftop terrace is a great place to sit either to relax in the day or to watch the evening sky and burn some time at night. Drinking Morrocan tea while whittling the evening away with games and conversation was much fun.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

Excellent location in the Kasbah, an easy walk to the main square. The front door is in an alley so it's not easy to find - best to use the Riad's own taxi service. Staff very polite and helpful. A wonderful welcome with tea and pastries. The rooms were beautiful and the roof-top tent a lovely treat. We booked the Atlas Mountains excursion through the Riad as we knew they would be more reliable than the ones on offer in town. We had breakfast by the pool every morning which was lovely.

Room Tip: Meknes has a very firm mattress, not soft.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

Wifi - yes!
In the Kasbah, within the bustle of the ancient Medina - enter through a simple alley door and feel like Alice as a new and wonderful wonderland world opens up in front of you. It has traditional Moroccan style, global panache and exciting magical colour and decor.

It is not five star, but the TLC is: the rooms are unique, characterful and exquisite, some smaller than others, but plumbing is good and beds very comfy.The staff are extremely attentive and informative - and can arrange trips (maybe slightly dearer than if you book on the street, but you can be more sure of good, tried and tested, safe standard. We were browsing excursions in the streets and a policeman came over yelling and snatched the leaflets from the guy and told him off.

The Riad Jonan's restful lounge areas - including water features - give a tranquil, exotic flavour and the peaceful roof terrace is great, with sunbeds and eating/drinking tables set out, as well as a traditional tented seating area. Views over the Medina and distant Atlas Mountains and a nice place to sup a bottle of wine and escape the bustle of souks!

Although the riad is relatively small (does have a spacious feel with the traditional open roofs) and thus not set up as a full scale public restaurant DEFINITELY have the tagine meal on offer -order ahead. Probably the best in town, maybe Morocco, maybe Africa! The flavours were awesome and their claim to be 'perfectly spiced' is no word of a lie!
Lunch/ snacks are available and they will rustle up what you fancy. The table served breakfast is delicious.

All in all an excellent place to escape for a few days and enjoy the Medina....I'll be back!

Room Tip: Three standards of room - we were shown to our small standard twin, adequate and cute, but not being...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Had 5 nights at riad jonan in November 2013. Had pre-booked a car to take us there from the airport - very easy. Small but beautiful riad. Rooms not large but very comfortable and provided all we needed. No TV but that wasn't a problem. Breakfasts were excellent. Only had one dinner which we had pre-ordered before leaving uk - good as far as Moroccan food goes! Staff were great - spoke fairly good English and couldn't have been more helpful. Quite willing to arrange tours, taxis etc. Very attractive roof terrace and communal areas. Other reviews talk about a pool on the roof and a hammam. There is now no pool but there is a small splash pool on the ground floor. There is a traditional sitting area on the roof but this is not a hammam. a hammam is the traditional Moroccan bathing house - bit like a Turkish bath. There is a good one not far though. Sells wine and beer - a big plus!
Don't be put off by rather seedy approach road. Once inside, it is like another world - typical of many places in Morocco. Well situated for sight seeing although route to Djemma El Fna (famous main square) is not the most pleasant. Would thoroughly recommend for a good introduction to Marrakesh.

Room Tip: Believe rooms in the newer annex are bigger and more luxurious
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Montreal
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

Wonderful clean place to stay with lots of local character. Breakfast was delicious. Dinner was even better! We had two small children with us (ages 4 and 2) and the owners and staff were incredibly helpful with advice and bookings and extras. Very central location for 5 days of activities. The rooftop sundeck was another pleasant surprise.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Jonan

Address: 35 Derb Bzou | Rue de la Kasbah, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#32 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#47 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#60 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Jonan 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Jonan is a traditional house of Marrakesh recently renewed. It offers you all the comfort of a modern hotel in a sumptuous decor . You have the choice between 10 comfortable rooms complemented with hand made furniture from the craftsmen of the Medina. All rooms are en-suite and have heating and air-conditioning. Some have satellite television, English speaking channels and music system, a safe and a mini-bar. The breakfast is a delightful moment at Riad Jonan, and is usually served in the courtyard around the fountain or on the roof terrace. Our cook can prepare all kinds of delicious traditional Moroccan dishes (couscous, tajines, vegetable salads... ) All homemade with fresh products, or little snacks. Our staff, all English speaking, can help you in any situation and can advise you excursions and visits,and book them for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Jonan Marrakech
Riad Jonan Hotel Marrakech

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