This was our first trip to Marrakech and we stayed at the Maison Arabo-Andalouse. This Riad is in the old town within the Medina City Wall and close to the Saadian Tombs, El Badi Palace and Palais El Bahia. My wife and I stayed there for 7 nights and were made to feel welcomed, at ease and at home on our arrival. Mohamed was there to meet us as arranged at the Taxi drop off point so there was none of this guess work of “which way now”.
We wanted to sample the authenticity of a traditional Moroccan house and the day to day life in the heart of Marrakech - for a first time experience we could not have asked for more. There is really nothing to say or to add about the Riad that has not been said or written before (positive or negative), for us and as far as this Riad is concerned the positives far outweighs the negatives – and rightly so.
In all honesty we cannot compare this Riad to any other Riad as we've had no other Riad experience to make any comparisons against. That said, after a hot day walking around Marrakech it always felt like we were going home and it felt homely once we entered the Riad. It felt calm and it was, it's cool, it felt familiar and it felt secure and it was. Each time we entered the Riad we were always greeted by someone, normally Mohamed who would always inquire about our day and if not Mohamed then either Fatima or Zara. We did not find the language much of a problem as we got by on our limited command of French, a pocket translator and Mohamed understanding of English – which was much, much better than our French. People who go abroad and complain about the language being a problem or an issue should perhaps view themselves as the problem or the issue and learn how to tolerate and acquire a little patience and understanding.
We asked Mohamed about the history of the Riad so we got a guided tour of the place (all the other room were vacant on that day). The overall impression and expression (if one takes time to reflect) is that the place has been lovingly put together and restored with a lot of the original fixtures being retained, where repairs have been carried out every effort is made (where possible) to carry out the repair using traditional methods. This brief guided tour gave us a different perspective of the place and we could sense how much the Riad means to all who work there especially Mohamed who has got down and dirty when it came to restoration work. One gets a sense of the care and effort he's put into the Riad and is still putting in while looking after all our whim as tourists. To that end I can't praise the Riad highly enough and even more praise must be bestowed on Mohamed, Zara and Fatima and I'll take this opportunity just to say thank you (Shukran) very much for a memorable stay and for looking after my wife and I so very well.At this point I must also say thanks to Paolo with whom we communicated and who made the arrangements with the Riad prior to our departure to Marrakech.
This is a reflective and singular opinion and not based on comparison with any other Riad - so for us the Maison Arabo-Andalouse Riad gets top marks.
Marrakech itself will have to be experienced as it will mean a hundred things to a hundred different people, again it's down to experience and again there's nothing I can say or write that's not already been said or written about Marrakech. But from our own limited perception we found Marrakech to be a place of contrasting emotions, feelings and contradictions and, all the varying degrees of emotions, feelings and contradictions. That said it's a magical place and you simply have to experience it for yourself – it's a must, as experiencing is far better than any description or opinion from me or anyone else.