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“Great people, great location but building in need of a bit of TLC” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Amssaffah

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Riad Amssaffah
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1, Foundouk El Melha, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #273 of 460 hotels in Marrakech
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great people, great location but building in need of a bit of TLC”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

This Riad really gves you the authentic experience. Tucked away in the northern end of the Souks it is an oasis of calm in the chaotic but fascinating world beyond. As others have said you really need to know how exactly you are going to get to it initially as a) its not obvious and b) few maps cover the full detail required to be able to navigate confidently in the Souks, especially at night. The staff really were first class; both in terms of the general level of service but also the help, advice and orientation they were able to provide, especialy for a first time visiter to Marrakech. For example they were willing to show you the best way into the Souks by day and the best ways back by night.

Whilst its clear from reading some of the other reviews some people have an unrealistic view of what a Morrocan Riad is and has to offer, i.e its not a North American or European Marriot, Hilton etc but that said it clearly isn't 4 star by any stretch of the imagination. The architecture and layout of the building is superb but there are just too many things that need fixing, replacing or even repainting to really do it the justice it deserves, However if you go in with open eyes and an open mind you will not be disappointed.

Location wise its about a 10/15 minute walk to teh main square but thats no bad thing and its a very very interetsing walk both by day and night.

Room Tip: The rooms vary a lot so make sure you try and have a look at one or two before you finally decide.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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167 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

My husband and me had a pleasant stay at the Riad. The staff was lovely and Fatima in particular was able to give us great advises and helped us a lot. The installations are very antique and traditional which gives the Riad a unique atmosphere. Nonetheless, rooms could be in a better state and the beds are not the most comfortable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Midsomer Norton, null, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

On arriving at this hidden-away Riad in the middle of the Medina, I faced a bit of a culture shock. It was unlike any hotel you'd find in England. In hindsight, I was only surprised because it rained the day we arrived. However, there is a very friendly and helpful staff working in the Riad. They're willing to give you advice on everything from where to go (including hand-drawn maps), where to eat, and even how to deal with the locals.

We stayed in a twin room, which was relatively plain and simple, but did its job. There were 2 beds, a television (which we didn't use), a wardrobe, a lamp, a fridge, and a sizeable bathroom. The only complaints we had were that the bathroom door didn't close, and had to be propped closed with a waterbottle. We're not a fussy pair though, so this didn't faze us. We both slept very well, apart from the prayer call from the nearby Mosques every morning. This, however, is unavoidable no matter where you stay in Marrakech.

Breakfast was a lovely meal. With fresh bread each day, coffee and milk, freshly squeezed orange juice, and a something hot - which varied from pancakes to cooked eggs each day - we had a lovely morning, each morning.

The general consensus is that you won't be dropped off right outside of the Riad because of it's positioning in the Souqs. However, on our way there, we were guided by our representative, and on the way back Mohammed (the bell boy) was kind enough to guide us back to where we would be dropped off. He even carried all of our luggage for us.

Overall this Riad is a wonderful place to stay, with only small instances of complaint.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Booked with Blue Skies Travel, Cardiff. After being dropped off by the airport transfer in a very busy street + told to wait, I was ready to go back and book us into a 5 star hotel we had passed in the new town. When appeared Aziz the travel rep + a young lad who I called the bell boy. Carrying both cases we followed the pair for about 5 - 10 mins through a maze of busy cobbled streets, what an eye opener, this was real Marrakech. Eventually under an arch way finding the Riad.
It was an oasis of peace and tranquillity after the chaos in the narrow streets. We were shown our room, which was typical Morrocon decor, with a massive Queen size bed, hard but very comfortable, we slept like logs every night. Plenty of storage space ( loads of coat hangers in the wardrobe ). Bathroom was spacious, with walk in shower, powerful and very hot. Rooms were cleaned daily with fresh towels.
The staff were always helpful, great having the Rep there to give out the maps + advice, because you will get lost, we did, but it didnt take us long to get our bearings. Breakfast was basic, fresh orange juice, very tasty fresh bread, butter, jam, yogurts and fresh hot coffee. Be prepared to be hassled by boys in the streets trying to give you directions, and you have to haggle for everything.
Although the Riad was a walk from the main square I would not have wanted to have stayed anywhere else, we saw the real Morrocon way of life. Would definately go back again.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

We stayed at the Riad Amssaffah for 5 nights as a birthday treat from my husband. This was our first visit to Morocco, so we were rather nervous, especially when we were told the taxi would drop us at a Riad 7 mins away, and that there was no promise of anyone to walk us the rest of the way.

We booked a private (rather than group) transfer to the Riad, and the driver took us most of the way by car, then walked us the rest of the way, for which we were hugely grateful wheeling our suitcases which was hugely appreciated.. we were exhausted after a long days travel. We tipped him of course.. everything costs money here so try and get some bits of change before you fly out, or at least get some small notes in the airport)

The room was a bit odd because there were no outside windows, just wooden shutters that opened into the court yard. The bed was huge, and comfortable, we slept well with the help of the extra blanket that was in the wardrobe. The power sockets are in the most unhelpful places you could imagine (behind the huge bed head, high above the shower in the bathroom, and behind the huge dresser near the door) but we managed :-D The shower did get lovely and hot if you waited a while for the hot water to come through!

The staff - Fatima and Aziz were very polite, helpful and quite friendly.. all we had to do was ask for help and it was given. Fatimas map was very useful - we found the "after 8pm route" was the best way to go, as it was straightforward.

The breakfasts were simple but good, and we had our evening meal there one night. They didt have a veggie Tagine on their list, but they made one for me, which was appreciated!

Hamid the holiday rep who visits the Riad every morning was wonderful!!! He speaks good English and fluent French, is very friendly and happy just to sit down and chat, as well as helping with tours or evenings out, like Fantasia.

We went on the Fantasia trip, which was unintentionally hilarious, partly because it rained, so the display poor and soggy (would have been poor anyway but the heavy rain just made the whole thing funny!) The food at the evening was Ok, and they created a veggie option for me.

The building itself is 300 years old, but was made into a Riad about 12 years ago. It is a really beautiful building, with lots of traditional (and probably original) decorations, so staying there was a pleasure.

I would love to go back at some point, its a City that assaults your senses, and is so very different to the UK!

Tips for Marrakesh.. learn a few important phrases in French if nothing else "Non Merci" is useful, tip waiters, ignore people (or say no thank you) to people who offer to help you find your way, be polite, smile, and haggle hard, decide on your price in advance, and if they are not willing to go down that far, just walk away. There are LOADS of stalls all offering the item/s you are after!

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, ask for the room away from the Mosque unless you want to get woken by th...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

We stayed at the Riad Amssaffah in February and found it to be an ideal place to experience Marrakech. We had our transfers organised by the Riad and were met at the airport, a slight word of caution the transfers guy (not connected with the Riad) might try and sell you 'experiences' these are at over inflated prices dont book them!

The Riad is right in the heart of old town so you have to walk a little out of the van - great introduction to the crazy small streets of Marrakech. The Riad itself is a wonderful traditional 300 year old Riad and we were made to feel very very welcome.
Fatima the hostess was lovely and helped us out so much - from sourcing us food when starving from the plane to helping us not get lost. Our room was a large double with a massive bed and good shower (decorated in that classical embellished moroccan style) and we had no complaints.

The breakfasts were served each morning with either a fried crepe (Beghrir) or Morocoo style pancake (Rghaif), amazing fresh orange juice, bread and yoghurt. We found the dinners to be very nice too and good for if you just wanted something without any hassel. You can find better value out in the city but the Tagines at the Riad were very tasty, we also highly highly recommend their Chicken Pastilla's which Fatima made for us on request, amazing.

The location is easy to find once you know your way round the city, its right next to the Souks and a short walk to the main square. Just following the instructions the first few times and you get to know it pretty quickly.

Lastly one of the highlights of the Riad was just the open feel to the place, it was great being able to read on the rooftop as the sun went down. The whole place felt like a little haven while still being quintessentially Moroccan.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Haslemere, United Kingdom
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We have just come back from three nights stay at this riad.Whilst the staff were friendly and helpful the hotel is a cold dark and uncomfortable in the extreme. Our huge bed with its greying linen was like a block of concrete. There were no windows in the room. IT was like an underground bunker. The tiolet seat was hanging off. Towels thin and grey. Breakfast passable. Our friends room had no working bathroom light so they were moved up a floor. The aircon/heaterdidn't work and they froze. They had trouble gettng into the room but Aziz managed the lock. The next morning,unable to unlock the door he had to climb out of the window (at least they had one!) no glass just shutters to raise the alarm.My advice would be to stay in the ville nouvelle at a modern hotel. You'll be glad to get out of the medina after a days harrassment and grime!

Room Tip: somewhere else
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Riad Amssaffah

Also Known As:
Riad Amssaffah Hotel
Riad Amssaffah Marrakech
Riad Amssaffah Hotel Marrakech
Address: 1, Foundouk El Melha, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Hotel Style:
#259 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riad Amssaffah 3.5*
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