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“Amazing!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Catalina

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Riad Catalina
4.0 of 5 Guest house   |   21 Derb Allal Ben Hssaine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #372 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

A haven of peace and tranquility in the busy centre of Marrakech. The staff are lovely and willing to help out with any questions you may have. Breakfast is served in the beautiful courtyard surrounding by the tweeting of birds and tortoises scurrying around you, what more could use ask for first thing in the morning?! It is easily within walking distance of the medina, souks and any other attractions you may want to see. For a bit of extra relaxation book a treatment at the hammam les bains de Marrakech a great way to massage away the day. A great trip at a great riad - I would definitely go again!

  • Stayed July 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
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217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (47)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

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.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013 via mobile

After feeling a little apprehensive about staying in a traditional Riad, as opposed to one of the larger resorts, we have to say it was great and would definitely do it again!

Although not a luxury resort, it has traditional beauty. And you have to remember it's at least 18th century. The staff at Riad Catalina are meticulous about tidying and cleaning, and spend the entire day making sure the courtyard is maintained.

All in all we would definitely recommend it if you want to good access to the main square and a relaxing escape.

People mentioned the morning birds and prayers, if you are staying near the mosque, then the praying is part if the deal, as for the birds they are lovely who can complain about that...

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London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Riad Catalina is ideally located. We stayed in a blue room which I don't think is listed on their website. It was very small and the walls were stained and grubby considering the price we expected better.

The courtyard was pretty and the breakfast was good. Noise insulation in the room was pretty non-existent so we were woken up every night at around 5am for morning prayer from the mosque nearby and at 6am by all the birds who roost in the courtyard. So needless to say we didn't get much sleep.

The staff seemed friendly enough. However we asked to book a tour of the waterfalls outside the city we were quoted 700MAD when we went to book there was a different member of staff who asked for 1000 we told him what we were quoted before and after he'd spoken with them he agreed on 700.

We were driven out there by our driver/guide who spoke little English (I didn't expect him to except for the fact he was a paid guide so I'd assumed he would) He stopped off at different locations along the way trying to get us to buy stuff which we clearly weren't interested in.

2 hours later we arrived and were introduced to another guide who showed us the waterfalls and mountains which I really have to recommend as the views and scenery were amazing as this wasn't peak season so it wasn't very busy either.

At the end I tipped our guide 100MAD he declined and said he wanted 200! I explained that it wasn't payment it was a tip as we'd paid at the hotel for the tour. He explained that apparently he doesn't get paid through the hotel and to take it up with them he then called the driver over who obviously confirmed this.

So there was a small Mexican stand-off but considering me and my girlfriend were 2 hours away from Marrakech we had no choice but to pay up.

When we arrived back I told this story to the guy behind reception he seemed surprised by my complaint and said that we did have to pay extra for the guide! I explained that paying 700 for basically a driver was a rip off as a taxi would have been around maybe 400-500 and that if I pay for a tour then the tour guide should be included. I got fobbed off and he thanked me for bringing to his attention.

To be honest I'm pretty astute to people trying to con me but I guess I was caught off guard this time because I'd trusted booking through the hotel. I wonder if the receptionist just got his mate to drive us and kept the money for themselves? Just a theory but whatever the reason it marred my trip slightly.

Due to the above I would recommend looking else where for a place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Thirsk, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

The Riad Catalina is a characterful building, centrally located handy for most of the attractions of Marrakech. We were on a budget and got the cheapest room. It was cheap for the reason of being tiny! It also was windowless but very quiet! Not for claustrophobics or the very tall (Can't stand to pee in the miniscule shower room) That said it was clean and the bed was comfortable but we had to sit in the courtyard. The staff were very friendly and would have moved us if they had not been so full and we had been more insistant (my husband liked it!) The view from the roof pool over the rooftops to the Atlas Mountains was fantastic. We also shared our doorway with one of the 3 tortoises living in the garden!

Room Tip: Pay more for a bigger room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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South East England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

The Catalina is a gem, tucked away down a series of alleyways but only a few minutes from the main square and the noise and madness that tipifies Marrakech. We stayed for 7 days. The courtyard in the Riad is beautifully decorated, cooled by a water fountain and inhabited by fancy pigeons and many small birds who will cheekily try and steal your food! On one side is a large room for breakfast and dinner, the room was kept comfortably warm as the early January mornings were cool. Our room was compact but clean and the shower worked well, the room had an effective heater/air-conditioner. There is a roof sun terrace with a shallow pool - no doubt great for cooling off in during the hot summer. The staff were polite and very attentive; we were ill for one day and the staff ensured we were kept supplied with drinks and went to get medication for us. We would happily stay here again.

Room Tip: As others have said, two rooms on the 2nd floor share a balcony.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ramsbottom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Riad Catalina is a tranquil oasis within the chaos of Marrakech.
I have just returned from 4 days there with a friend and am so happy we decided on the riad over one of the large soul-less modern hotels away from the hustle and bustle of the Medina. I am not disregarding those hotels but one wouldn't get the same taste of the true Marrakech unless you are part of it all (just my thoughts).
The atmosphere was fabulous, although only February the temperature was up in the mid 20s, a welcome relief from the dreadful year we have had in Britain. Dusty, hot and hearing the bustle of busy city mopeds, car horns and the prayer towers all add to the atmosphere. Sitting in the central atrium of the Riad Catalina is so relaxing with wood pigeons and other birds twittering, the riads tortoises pottering about whilst sitting quietly with a gin and tonic in the dappled sunlight (me not the tortoise) . . bliss.,
Staff at the Riad Catalina were really lovely, friendly and helpful like having your own personal butler!
Food was simple but lovely - I am a pescetarian and didnt have any trouble, vegetable tagines and salads.with their lovely breads and olives
Wine was available but limited to one red, one rose and one white. Ice cubes were made with mineral water.
The souks are a MUST, I was a little apprehensive to start but one has to embrace the lifestyle and as long as you are sensible you will be fine, much fun haggling for goods (we were advised to start at around 50pc of the asking price!).
I would definitely re visit Riad Catalina, fabulous place.

Room Tip: there are two rooms on the top floor with their own terrace so if you were two couples travelling fo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Riad Catalina

Address: 21 Derb Allal Ben Hssaine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #372 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Catalina 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riad Catalina Hotel Marrakech

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