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“A Riad built on deceit and lies.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Riad des Arts

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Riad des Arts
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Derb Moulay Abdelkader 116 | Dabachi, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #611 of 1,040 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A Riad built on deceit and lies.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

The stay was not bad, the rooms were clean and the breakfast was nothing to shout about. The rooftop terrace was lovely and the location of the Riad was very good as it situated near the Souks. I had to repeatedly request for basic toiletries like soap, shower gel etc.

So what went wrong to lead me to write a bad review?

I placed a booking for the Chocolate Suite, the only suite which has a jacuzzi, online and I paid a deposit for it. As a precaution I emailed the hotel TWICE to confirm my booking and I was assured everything was set up for my stay.

After spending two nights in another Riad, which was really pleasant, I arrived at this Riad and was greeted by the General Manager, Morad. Morad explained to me and my wife the local attraction but informed me that the Suite I had booked was unavailable due to renovations works which was needed due to previous guests misusing the jacuzzi. This news was not great to hear as I was really looking forward to staying at the best suite the Riad had and I queried why I was jot made aware of this before. The answer which was provided by Morad was "I wanted to email you but I just didn't". Unimpressed with this answer I asked again and this time I was provided with the following answer, "I lost your email address". I was offered the next best suite the Riad had to offer at a discount price of only 10 Euros per night which I had to accept as I had no other living arrangements organized. I queried with the Manager as to what renovation work is being completed and he then informed me he was able to provide me the suite I wanted for the final night I was at the Riad as he would "do all he can to ensure the renovation work is completed in time". I asked Morad which room was the Chocolate Suite and Morad pointed to a room which was locked up.

I was requested to pay, by cash, for the whole stay at the beginning. This seemed odd to me as the other I stayed at accepted card payments and they requested for the payment at the end of the stay and when quizzing Morad about this he informed me he will not be able to provide us with anything unless we pay at the beginning and by cash. We were then made to go to the Square to withdraw money to pay for the stay at the Riad.

When paying for my stay I was shown the original email I sent to the Riad and when asking how Morad had access to that email as he previously claimed he had lost it, he informed me had just found it now.

On the day me and my wife was meant to be getting the Chocolate Suite, we noticed a couple departing from the Raid. Morad noticed I was still in the Riad and hastily left after the couple departed. The cleaner approached me and my wife and informed us the room the couple had just departed from was actually the Chocolate Suite and that the couple who had departed from there actually came to the Riad the night before and were offered the Chocolate Suite which I had booked! Furious with this revelation I demanded to speak to Morad and I was advised he was out but would be returning shortly. A few hours passed and I was then informed Morad will not be returning to the Riad for the day and another worker will be managing in his absence. The workers went further to inform me this is a regular thing as many customers find the suite they have requested ends up getting double booked!

Eventually the supervisor for the night, Ayub, arrived and lo and behold was not able to communicate in the English language with us. Ayub managed to organize airport transfer and I was pleased to be told Morad would be dropping us to the airport!

When I confronted Morad he insisted he did not lie to me and my wife and that we misunderstood him! Morad claims he told us the room was double booked and he provided it to the other couple as they came first. This contradicts everything he told us when we arrived and this Riad clearly does not care for it's customers. Unfortunately as it was the day of leaving I was unable to organize compensation for the lies and deceit of the General Manager as we were close to missing the flight home. My whole experience of Marrakech was ruined by this Riad who are not concerned with treating customer fairly.

I would strongly advise against anyone staying at this Riad as your well being and your interest are clearly not at the top of their priorities. Do not trust the General Manager as he will attempt to swindle you out of your hard earned money.

Avoid at all cost.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Although the riad itself was beautiful, and the housekeeping staff were lovely, the manager (Murad) cheated us and soured the overall Marrakech experience for us. If you're after the Choclat suite, don't bother. We booked it months ahead due to recommendations, we emailed management twice to ensure the room was ours only to arrive and find it was being 'renovated.' They gave us a lower room, and promised to give us the suite on the final night. On the day of shifting rooms, we noticed another couple leaving, after which they cleaned their room and gave it to us. It turned out the Chocolate suite wasn't being renovated at all, they just decided to give it to another couple before we even got there. Naturally, we were fuming, however management did a disappearing act so we couldn't even demand some answers. Also, they took payment from us up front so we couldn't even negotiate some money back. When we did finally get hold of Murad, he continued to lie through his teeth (apparently the other couple didn't mind using a room under renovation) and we got no apology and no compensation. Overall, it ruined Marrakech for us.

BTW the jacuzzi in the Chocolat suite is just a glorified hot tub. Not a proper jacuzzi. The only good thing about the Chocolat suite is air conditioning, which none of the other rooms have. If you're looking for a boutique riad, you're better off paying Riad des Arts prices somewhere else. The Chocolat suite was overpriced and overhyped.

If you want to be treated with some integrity, don't bother staying here. Definitely don't pay for anything on arrival (we regret that), and don't believe anyone who tells you the room you booked is unavailable. Demand to see it. Oh and if you see Murad, don't fall for the sweet demeanour. He will cheat you if he can.

Room Tip: Don't believe them if they say the room you booked is unavailable, demand to see it. The best ro...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riad d, Directeur général at Riad des Arts, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Hello
we had a problem with the manager who was in bad times, we have solved the problem by firing is now we have a new director, we have gained serious and quality
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

Riad Des Arts was a great base for exploring Marrakech. Peacful retreat in the middle of everything. I loved our tent on the roof here(had amazing air-con). The staff were very helpful and if you speak French(we don't) it would be even easier!! You have everything right on the doorstep- a complete culture shock. Its a place to stay if you want to be n and see the real Marrakech- Breakfast was lovely- had a mall stock of wine/beer(very hard to get around the main sqaure) so very handy if you like a nice drink on the roof terrace to end your day.
Only downside- was woken on 2 nights from the loud prays being said on the speakers- all part of the experience I'd say!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Hillerød, Denmark
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

We spent 2+1 nights in this lovely, peacful little hotel in July 2012. The room was comfortable and we enjoyed the aircondition (outside was up to 45 deg.). The staff was very friendly and helpful and the breakfast great. If (when?) we return to Marrakech, we will certainly stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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London, UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

My friend and I stayed here in May 2012, and this place was a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Marrakech souks.

Located just off round the corner from the Djeema El Fna market, as you turn down the walkway to towards the riad, away from the market, it was amazing how the noise was suddenly gone. It really was peaceful.

Inside the riad, its beautifully decorated, our room was small but adequate. They say air-conditioned, this a little bit of a lie, they have a big floor-standing fan in the room, but not what I would call air-conditioning! But somehow, even though one day the temperature outside was 50 degrees celsius, the riad remained quite cool, and with the help of the fan I found it quite comfortable.

The staff are very welcoming and accomodating. We wanted to leave early one morning for an excursion so they got up early for us to provide our breakfast, which was very appreciated to set us up for our long day out.

The only bad point about the hotel is trying to initially find it, we ordered a taxi and driver said he would take us there. When we got to the market, it was too busy to drive a car through, and he told us he could go no further but the hotel was "just up there". In actual fact, it wasnt particularly near where he dropped us, but that's not the riad's fault, it was us being a little naive and trusting. And any stander-by offering to help you find somewhere will expect to paid once you arrive. We found this out the hard way. Again that's not the riad's fault, that was us being two naive 20-somethings expecting someone offering to help was doing just that.

Once you know where the riad is, its very easy to find again. I would highly recommend a stay here!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Zagreb, Croatia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

We stayed there 3 nighits in total on two separate occasions, it is not easy to find at first, but it is accutualy very near Jemaa, maybe 3 minutes from the square. Go to the opposite end of Jemaa to the Derb Dabachi street and turn right in to it, once in the Dabachi street just walk for maybe 200 m, and on your left side you should see an entrance to the Derb My Abdelkader Dabachi street, it will look like an garden entrance, ther will be an arch at the beginning facing the Derb Dabachi street with grapes making the shade after it, go in and walk for 100 m, turn the first street left and you are there. The ground floor room was a bit small but nicely decorated as is the whole of riad, nice location near the souks and Jemaa, take the time to chill on the roof in the evening after a hectic day around Marrakech.

Our room was dark and stuffy, ac would be welcomed instead of fan since it gets up to 40 during the summer, we were the only ones in the riad but were not even offerd an welcome drink. You can hear people talking (staf and there friends late in the night) since the room has a very thin door and windows, the reception had small windows connecting to our bathroom so we could hear people talking on the phone, plus the mosque is near so you will need every minute of your sleep, poor plain breakfast...there is room for improvement since it is really a nice riad with a very good location.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Accra
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

Firstly, the transfer from the train station was 17euro (cost us about 2 euro in the taxi on the return journey) and really not worth it. We chose it as we were concerned about finding the riad in the winding alleyways of the medina, but the transfer van merely drove us to the edge of square and dumped us there, in the pouring rain.
After paying a local to take us there, there was no one to receive us (even though they knew what time we were arriving as they arranged the transfer). Eventually a cleaner opened the door and pointed to a room, then left us.
It was not until our third day (when it was time to settle our bill) did we eventually have any conversation with the staff. Our only conversation with the owner was as were leaving, when he chastised us for leaving breakfast uneaten. We told him we were told nothing about breakfast and pointed to our booking which makes no mention of it.
The room was very noisy on the ground floor as there is a large gap between the door frame and the wall, you can hear every sound from the courtyard (and vice versa I am sure). The shower was also poorly constructed meaning the whole bathroom floor was permanently flooded.

Room Tip: Do not take the ground floor room if you value any level of privacy or want a peaceful sleep.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Riad des Arts

Address: Derb Moulay Abdelkader 116 | Dabachi, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Hotel Style:
Ranked #611 of 1,040 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad des Arts 3*
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Also Known As:
Riad Des Arts Marrakech

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