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“Lovely Riad - Shame About the Manager” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Bahja

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Riad Bahja
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   24, Derb el Jdid , Bab Doukkala | Medina, Marrakech 40008, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #177 of 463 Hotels in Marrakech
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Lovely Riad - Shame About the Manager”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2011

We booked our weeks holiday through LastMinute.com to stay at the Riad Bahja, flying EasyJet with airport transfers. On arrival there were lots of people with signs waiting to meet their guests and whisk them off to their hotels or
Riads. Ours was nowhere to be seen. We asked a very helpful driver from another Riad who phoned ours, to find they didn't have us booked for a transfer. On arrival at the Riad the manger said that this was our fault - a theme that continued throughout the holiday.

A lot of reviews say that the Riad is hard to find, especially as the drivers can't drop you very close. When we were dropped off the car was quickly surrounded by locals pulling our bags into a cart and we were led through the melee down some very dark alleys. However, once you get the know the location, it's not quite so daunting. I'm sure we'd have felt better had we been collected from the airport as we paid for.

The Riad itself is lovely, a real oasis amongst the chaos outside. The owner (who transpired to be only the Manager), comes across as extraordinarily helpful. He isn't. Our first morning at breakfast we ate whilst a Moroccan travel agent shouted at us, repeatedly suggesting we hadn't read our paperwork and didn't know who we had booked our holiday through. He was adamant we hadn't booked through Lastminute and took great offense when we disagreed with him. Breakfast was rather awkward. The Riad manager did not intervene. It was clearly outlined that the absence of a transfer was our fault for not reading the paperwork / not reading signs in the airport / not knowing who we had booked our holiday with. I understand some Arabic and his language was not polite.

The other staff in the Riad are brilliant - Omar and the lovely lady who cleans the rooms. The Manager lets the whole place down. You don't get a key, instead you will be assured that someone will always answer the door. We started to doubt this on the first night when we returned after an early meal to get no response to increasingly louder knocks. It's not the nicest place to stand outside at 11pm. A fellow guest thankfully let us in, however when we mentioned this at breakfast the manager said this could not have been possible and was evidently our fault. An so it was the second evening when yet again we couldn't get a response to our knocks. The third or perhaps fourth evening of this we went to a lovely neighboring Riad and had them call the manager. Apparently he was in all along and it was our fault...

The room was lovely, but 6 inch gaps around the door mean there is a distinct lack of privacy. You can hear everything going on outside the door, and they can hear you too. So much for our romantic holiday!

Breakfast finishes at 10am. Remember that, because the manager won't tell you, but if you miss it then he will tell you how much overtime he had to pay his staff to sit around waiting for you to get yourself out of bed. You'll hear the arrival of breakfast crockery and furniture movement through the 6 inch gaps around the door anyway, with pointed coughs and pointed knocks on your door to reinforce the noise.

The Manager will try and make as much money out of you as possible through day trips. We didn't bite, much to his annoyance. What could be a fabulous Riad is spoilt by his attitude. We are seasoned and respectful travelers who wanted to enjoy and experience the City. Maison Arabe just down the road became our much needed retreat with wonderful staff. Stay there instead if you can afford it!

We would recommend staying in a Riad, they are beautiful and grand retreats where you can authentically and individually experience Marrakesh. Just don't stay in Riad Bahja.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else and enjoy the amazing city....
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    36
    18
    5
    2
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
South Oxfordshire
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2011

The Riad was set right in the centre of the old city walls so everything was in easy walking distance. Rafik, the owner, made us feel very welcome straight away and had gone to a great deal of trouble to arrange all the excursions we wanted to undertake during our stay. The rest of the staff were friendly and courteous and helped mae our stay memorable. The Riad itself was comfortable, quiet, clean and it really did feel like you were staying as one of the family. They made mint tea for us whenever we wanted, they sorted out any slight problems quickly and gave good advice about how to stay safe and enjoy our visit. We also learnt a lot about the culture. Loved every single minute and would definitely return.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2010

This was our first time in Morrocco and we decided to opt for the Riad experience having read various reviews on Tripadvisor. We arrived at about 10pm, the closest the taxi can get is to the mosque which is about a 3 or 4 minute walk away. The area is inhabited by the locals and it is full of tiny shops selling anything from sweets to fresh meat and poultry. It is extremely busy with motorbikes, cars, pedestrians and donkeys travelling in both directions. The riad was down a dark alley and at first we thought that we were very dubious and were reluctant to follow a local man who offered to lead us to the Riad from the taxi. However another local standing in the alley noticed our apprehension and confirmed that we were being lead to the Riad Bahja.

Omar opened the door after a couple of minutes of waiting and we entered the courtyard and met Rafiq, the owner. It was fairly dark, our party of three adults and two young children were told by rafiq that the he was only told about the suite for two adults and one child! So we all ended up bunking the suite. Rafiq was very helpful and arranged for an extra double bed in the Suite. The other room became available on our third and final night. The rooms were large and beautiful. They were very morrocon in decor with rose petals scattered over the beds and in the bathroom. However, for Decemeber they were cold and the shower was a warm trickle but it did the job!

Breakfast in the courtyard fresh orange juice, tea/coffee, croissants, yoghurts and the morrocon crumpet style panckaes. Although rafiq and Omar were lovely and very helpful one couldnt help but feel reluctant to make specific requests it felt as though we were causing inconvenience. The Riad was very intimate unlike a hotel where you meet many guests at breakfasts, here, we were the only ones.

The room was always cleaned by Rashida and fresh rose petals scattered. Rafiq arranged a for a driver to take us to the Atlas mountains and to the airport. His drivers were punctual and very reliable. I asked rafiq about certain spices and he went out of his way to get them for me. On our departure he gave us a box of delicious morrocon pastries.

The Riad was very pretty but for a family with children i dont think it was very appropriate. If i was a lone female travelling with friends i'd reluctant to stay here due to its very location.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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london
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2010

We stayed for three nights a couple of weeks ago. Raffik, the owner is an amazing guy. He made our stay even better than we expected. The Riad is a haven. It's fifteen minutes from the Jamma which we were very pleased about as it is pretty noisy there at night but great fun. Riad Bahja is absolutely charming. It's like stepping into your own castle. We were the only guests there for several days which made it even more special. Forget the western owned riads which have been renovated to bits and have lost their original charm. If you want something authentic with rose petals strewn across the bed and in the water fountain, look no further. We will definately be going back. James and Kate S

  • Stayed April 2010, 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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UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

Accomodation - Very Good indeed (ambiance, room, bed, hot water - all 1st rate)
Breakfast - Good, with plenty to eat and drink; a bit carb-heavy and became predictable.
Locale - Excellent; within the Medina, and felt quite safe. Most of the city (souks, squares, museums, and gardens, all within easy walking distance of 10-20mins)
Staff - The house-staff provided excellent service during our stay.
Management - Very helpful, arranged trips, travel, and booked restautants upon request, but quite disappointed to receive an "extras" bill for 200Dh about 30 seconds before departure. Not an issue 'per se', simply disappointing at the end of great stay.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Taunton
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

Spent 3 nights from 5th to 8th of december. Wonderful hospitality from Rafik and Mohamed. Very helpful in advising about places to see, eat, organising guided trips in and out of the city. Hope to be back to experience a night in the desert.
From Milan, Italy

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

I stayed in this Riad 4 years ago and as we stayed for 7 days, an evening meal was included. The food was excellent. This time round, still the same staff, same manager, although he says he isn't the manager! As the food was great last time, I thought it would be a good idea to eat in the riad again, but this time we had to pay for it as we were only staying 5 days. I keep telling my friend that the meal would be excellent - nearly on par with Tobsil (one of the best restaurants in Marrakech), unfortunately the food was so poor, the cheapest produce you could find, basic vegetables for starters with a bit of sauce, the cheapest lamb, on the bone, with hardly any meat... then dessert and mint tea - the charge, 200 dirhams on top of this we had wine, so eventually we were charged for 2 people 700 dirhams - over £50 - a total rip off!! I think the Riad is let down by the manager (the one who says he isn't), he seems to want to make as much money as he can from the guests. Unfortunately I realised that he did the same to me 4 years ago, trying to get 100 dirhams out of us to tip the boy who helped us with our luggage.. when it should have only been 10 dirhams.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Bahja

Address: 24, Derb el Jdid , Bab Doukkala | Medina, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Marrakech
#71 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#72 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#192 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Bahja 4*
Number of rooms: 3
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Also Known As:
Riad Bahja Hotel Marrakech

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