My fiance and I visited Morocco in May for a 4 day visit of Marrakech, followed by 10 days in Agadir. After much deliberation I booked us into the Riad Catalina, namely because they had a rooftop pool! I have mixed feelings about this Riad...
The Riad itself is quite charming, with lots of traditional features. The staff are lovely, Nadia and the other gentleman on reception were very helpful and our waiter was absolutely lovely. Our room however was very tired. It was dark with minimal natural light, dark blue walls and blue bedcovers, dusty and overall not great at all. I didn't walk around without flipflops as the rugs at the side of the bed could badly do with a clean, and my bedside lamp didnt work. The upside was the shower was strong and mostly clean, and our room had a small shared terrace that we shared with the room opposite. If you sit out there in the evening you can hear the call to prayer from the Kotoubia Mosque which is quite magical. The food is ok. We really enjoyed the breakfast which was fresh and plentiful with great coffee, however the meal we had there one evening was a little bland and quite pricey for what we were given.
The pool is really a plungepool but nice for a dip in the afternoon and the reception area is full of birds and turtle doves, very calm and tranquil.
Exploring Marrakech is not for the faint hearted and you must have your wits about you at all times. The pavements blend in with the roads and there are a contant stream of mopeds whizzing past you, whilst you will be hassled by almost everyone you meet. Bargaining is a way of life here and everything has a price. Beware of the Henna women in the main square who grabbed my hand and started painting on it before i'd even realised, and when I refused to give her money she tried to pull my engagement ring off. Awful experience. There is much to enjoy about Marrakech though and I strongly suggest doing a guided tour. Nadia booked us an absolutely wonderful guy called Abdul - (I have his details if anyone would like them) who took us on a great tour of the city, including the Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs and Souks. I would not hesitate to recommend him!
Overall the Riad was pleasant but the rooms badly need re-decorating. I wouldn't be adverse to staying here again but in all probability I would book somewhere a little bit nicer.
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Catalina Hotel Marrakech