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“An simple, intimate Riad in a good part of town” 4 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 #165 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“An simple, intimate Riad in a good part of town”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

The highlights of this Riad are the people who run it. Raffik (excuse my spelling) and Abdul were always available but never intrusive and made us feel very welcome and well-looked after. Their calm and understated approach made you feel at home instantly in this quirky little Riad within the old City walls.

The rooms were clean and generously decorated and the inner courtyard was shabby but chic. We stayed in November, so maybe if it was a little warmer I could imagine it being enjoyable to use the courtyard for relaxation but we found ourselves only using the Riad for sleeping and breakfast and were out for the rest of the time. For that it was perfect, but don't expect a typical European hotel experience with television and swimming pool, there is none of that here so bring your own entertainment or go out and find some.

As others have said, yes it's hard to find at first, but once you're orientated the Riad is in a brilliant location, 15 minutes walk from the main square, 5 minutes from the City walls and it's easy to grab taxis to the Kasbah and beyond. It's not in the usual cluster of tourist Riads and the surrounding 'streets' are pretty rustic places where the locals go to shop, so you might want to prepare yourself for the fish gutting and chicken plucking around every corner but it's worth it to also see the piles of herbs and fruits and Marrakesh residents going about their daily business. You also won't be pestered to buy things every five feet like you are in the more touristy ends of town. We felt quite privileged to be staying here when we walked past goggle-eyed travellers who had clearly journeyed to the area just to take some photos.

No toiletries, so do take your own and a word of warning - this seems to apply to nearly all indoor spaces in Marrakesh - it is very dark in the rooms so putting on makeup etc. can be a real challenge!

Breakfast was delicious every day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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63 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (5)
Date | Rating
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English first
Manchester
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

This riad is or the tourist route slightly but its very safe but like others have said it can be off putting first night. The welcome is supreme the staff attentive and warm. Marrakech is wonderful and for me this place straddles the balance between wanting to travel but not wanting to end up on the tourist route. Very good deals on laterooms including gatwick flights.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

I'm not going to lie - it is a bit dodgy getting to this place and the culture shock can take some getting used to. You'll need to take a cab from the airport to get to the Riad and it will drop you off outside the mosque. From here there will be a series of narrow streets - it's not hard to find your way once you get used to it but for first time travelers, forget it - you WILL need a local to show you where it is. Make sure you have some small change on hand or else they won't leave and insist that they will break your bills for you, which can be pretty stressful. If you're trying to find the place, keep your eye on the walls of the street where you can find some fish painted - the Riad is located down the closest side street and has a large black door with a little plaque that states its name.
The Riad itself is very beautiful but chilly inside so bring a sweater. Rafik, the owner, is really helpful and gave us some good insights for places to visit, local restaurants and even other cities to venture to. The breakfast was top notch and it was really wonderful to be able to come in after our flight and sit down to some mint tea. It is a bit expensive, especially considering we met a woman who was staying at the hostel for a quarter of the price, but it's a nice treat and it was really helpful for us to be able to chat with Rafik and learn more about the city and culture.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

We arrived in the evening, expecting a warm welcome, clean rooms & a hot meal. We stood, in a dark, dirty street for over an hour, banging on the door, unable to gain access to the Riad. There was no answer on the telephone and eventually, our driver took us to stay somewhere else. We had paid in advance for 3 nights, half board and I am reclaiming this amount from Thomas Cook. Very disappointed - do NOT book this Riad!!!

Room Tip: Can't comment as we never got to see them!
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Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2011

We enjoyed four nights at Riad Bahja and found the staff, Omar and Rashida to be most helpful, polite and pleasant at all times. Rafik upgraded us to a suite because we were the only guests in the riad for our stay. Very tradional riad in authentic Morrocan style. The only downside was the walk from the mosque to reach the riad. It was only a five minute walk but through very narrow passageways in not very pleasant surrroundings. Luckily our taxi driver escorted us to the riad as it would have been very difficult to find on first arrival with suitcases.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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....
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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 Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Casino Hotel in Marrakech
#62 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#64 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#180 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Bahja 4*
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Also Known As:
Riad Bahja Hotel Marrakech

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