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“Perfect place to stay if you want idyllic and adventure.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Charai

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Riad Charai
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   54 Diour Jdad | Zaouia Abassia, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
€99 (EUR)
Ranked #213 of 460 hotels in Marrakech
London
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Perfect place to stay if you want idyllic and adventure.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I booked Riad Charai from the views expressed on Trip Advisor, and it exceeded every expectation! A little about my partner and I (I find this helps)... We are in our late 20's, We love adventure and getting to grips with the country/city, culture and locals, but want to do it in style and expect quality/ cleanliness.
I fell in love with this Riad. It is located within the maze of the old city, North of the Medina (heart of Marrakech) near the city walls. It will take you 20mins to walk to Jemma el Fna (the main square), but there are plenty of markets and attractions such as the Museum of Marrakesh, and the tanning district close by.
Upon arrival ask your taxi to get you a guide to walk you to the door- you will not find it!!! Expect to tip the guide, but learn the route (5mins walk) so that you dont have to pay and that you fit in, this is not such a tourist hot spot. It can seem intimidating at first, but dont be fooled, the locals are friendly, and it gives a true representation of life in Marrakech, I would not have stayed anywhere else.
Step inside and the hussle and bustle is silenced by the thick stone carved walls and whisper of the luit (traditional music). Once you've made your way to the opening at the centre of the Riad, you are met by exceptional staff (who dont expect to be tipped), the smell of orange and jasmin trees and a pot of mint tea and Backlava (middle eastern treats). The pool is a good size, and it was lovely to sit here at breakfast, and enjoy fresh fruit with yoghurt, Moroccan pancakes/bread, and fresh orange juice.
The Riad mimics the streets in its maze-like layout, our room was on the first floor up a curved marble stairway, we didnt have a view out onto the courtyard but it didnt matter! The sheets were fresh and white, lots of storage, great clean en-suit and lots of Moroccan-style features. Perfect for a city stay.
Venture to the top of the building and on your way you'l find a traditional Hammam and massage suite for very reasonable prices, we indulged ourselves and it was lovely, great after a day of exploration.
Reach the top and the views are amazing- I dont understand when people remark that Marrakech has no skyline, yes, all the buildings are the same hight apart form the minaret's that break the terracotta horizon, but for us, it was a change, and a beautiful one at that! The Atlas mountains are clear and surround you. Every evening we came up here, lay on the beds to watch the sun set and the city come alive to the sound of the Mosques call to Prayer.
The food was also amazing, it's a small but perfect menu. The tagine's are all freshly cooked with fresh ingredients and you have a choice of where to dine; Rooftop/ indoor dinning area/ poolside. Cookery lessons are also available, but we didnt have time to try.
Riad Charai is no doubt beautiful, its architecture and traditional freatures blend seemlesly with home comforts, but the reason why we felt like the Sultan and Princess of this dwelling is due to the staff! They are a small team who work well together with great communication between the night and day staff, we were always made to feel safe and at ease. Some speak good English, but French is extremely useful (this is the same throughout the city) as they all spoke it. They hire a very helpful lady (Miriem) who is fluent in English, to sort out your dates of travel, transferes etc. She visits often and can arrange excursions, we felt much safer doing it through her. The staff remember the little things ie where you like to eat, if you prefer tea or coffee, and nothing is too much to ask... Our night porter gave us a tour of the riad even though we arrived very late, recommended and walked us to restaurants and even bought me a tagine on his way to work so that I wouldn't get ripped off as a tourist! One evening when we needed a cash point, he called his friend to come and pick my boyfriend up on his scooter and drive him to the nearest one.
Riad Charai is full of character, if like us you want to live amongst the locals but love the luxury of five-star treatment this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: There is a school next door, but im not sure whch side- just ask if you'd like to be far away fr...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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.
RiadShama, Responsable réception at Riad Charai, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Dear Ciara,

Thank you for your lovely comment and hope that you enjoyed your stay at riad charai
Looking forward to welcoming your at the riad again.

Bets regards,
Meriem
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
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English first
Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Beautiful place in the medina of Marrakech, an oasis of rest in the busy city, chill out. We were very lucky to be there all alone, nice contact with the crew, good service, good food, good vibe. We will return for sure. J&G.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Motherwell, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

Great accomodation and service, however be prepared for adventure outside the walls

Room Tip: don't worry when your taxi drops you off in the middle of the square and you get surrounded with...
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

We stayed for 6 nights, including a couple of nights with friends for their wedding. Right in the heart of the northern medina, you experience all the local sights, sounds and smells and may need a bit of help from the riad staff to find your way through the alleyways at first. Entering the riad takes your breath away. It is absolutely beautiful with garden courtyard, small pool and fleur d'orange. Quiet, stylish and clean with lovely rooms, crisp white sheets and luxurious bath towels. At night the place is lit by candles and you can watch the sun go down from the rooftop terrace looking out across the city towards the hills. The staff are great. Zahira helps you plan trips and organises activities (we had a super cooking workshop in the riad kitchen one afternoon) and the rest of the staff are incredibly helpful. Special mention for Mustafa who was a star. A real bonus - the kids loved it too!

Room Tip: Upper rooms with terrace are fantastic
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2006

We stayed there for our honeymoon. Everything was wonderful - room, food, service, atmosphere, location.

The riad is tucked away in the northern part of the medina, well away from the tourist crowds, but we felt that that added to the charm.

  • Stayed September 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
80 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2006

We stayed in suite Khamssa at this riad recently and we absolutely loved it. The decor is very simple, with dark wooden furniture, Moroccan rugs and plain, white-washed walls. In the suite there's a lobby with storage and a safe; a double bedroom with a seating area and fireplace, and a second twin bedroom leading off it. The bathroom is small, but nice, in cream taledakt and scattered with rose petals. There's a shower but no bath. The windows are small and shuttered - so the suite can be a bit dark, but there are plenty of lamps. I imagine it's big enough for a family.

The big highlight of the riad for us was its beautiful candle-lit courtyard. It has loads of nooks and crannies filled with seats and cushions, a fountain filled with rose petals and a small plunge pool surrounded with sun loungers. It's also filled with trees - banana palms, lime trees and jasmine, which gives off a wonderful scent in the evenings.

We did try to ascertani what time breakfast starts/finishes, but it seems that breakfast is ready whenever you get up! When we came down in the morning a table was always ready waiting by the pool under the trees, and cakes, bread and pastries were whisked out discreetly as soon as we sat down. We did have an evening meal at the riad one evening and the food was good - comparable to the mid-priced restaurants in the city centre. We ate at a solitary rose-petal strewn table under the trees in the candlelit courtyard which was a very romantic setting.

The staff were wonderful - discreet, polite and friendly. Most speak French but no English. A smattering of French is definitely helpful (this applies across Morocco).

The riad is located in the extreme north of the medina, in a pedestrian side-street with no direct vehicle access, around a 15-20 minute walk from the Jmaa el-Fnaa. The nearest taxi rank is a short 5 minute walk away. Taxis are cheap and it's a 5 minute drive to the Jmaa el-Fnaa. We'd pre-booked a taxi with the riad to collect us from the airport which turned out well as the driver escorted us to the front door. The location turned out to be a bonus, however, because it's so peaceful. (Other tourists we met on the train to Tangiers told us that, staying closer to the Jmaa el-Fnaa, they were disturbed by noise from the square until the small hours, and woken by the traffic early in the morning.) Our suite (Khamssa) was close to a school and sometimes we heard the kids singing briefly in the mornings but it didn't disturb us much.

Overall we found it a lovely place for a romantic short break, and strongly recommend it.

  • Liked — peaceful courtyard, small number of rooms
  • Disliked — distance from tourist sites
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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 Charai

Address: 54 Diour Jdad | Zaouia Abassia, Marrakech, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #213 of 460 hotels in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Charai 4*
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