Just returned from a 4-night stay at Maison Arabo Andalouse. Centrally located, it is a convenient base from which to explore the city, but it is a bit difficult initially to navigate the narrow maze of streets leading to it. I would suggest using their transfer service as some taxis don't seem to know the street, although having said that, we had difficulty locating the driver for our airport pick-up - my friend and I walked around for a full 15 minutes looking at each sign being held by a driver and did not find ours. Eventually, we went up to some men sitting on benches holding signs on their laps, and just kept repeating 'Maison Arabo Andalouse'...after a few minutes of this, finally one of the seated men stood up and nodded his head - he actually had been holding a sign for a different Riad...anyway, while the start was not very positive, the drive was okay. We also had a problem with our room (we had confirmed a triple room with 3 single beds for 3 women), but the room they gave us had a double bed and a twin in an adjoining room....lucky for us that one of our friends was unable to come at the last minute, since we were told the room we booked wasn't available...The rooms are basic, but adequate. However, they are incredibly dark and in order to even be able to see enough to pack, for instance, we needed to turn all of the lights on and open the curtains - crazy dark! We even went out on our cute little terrace to put make-up on because there wasn't enough light in the room. Both the sink and the shower leaked a bit - we tried to call their attention to it, but because of the language barrier, I'm not entirely sure they understood. Breakfast was simple - breads, fruit, tea and juice, but upon requests we got eggs a few times too - and guests can eat either in the small interior entry/office/reception area or on the terrace (but again because of communication issues, the time and location we requested for breakfast got a little confusing a couple of times). Mohammed was wonderful. His English is very limited (and our Arabic and French were non-existent), which made things challenging. He was helpful and spot on in suggesting places for dinner (Cafe de France has great veggie fare and a nice sunset as well as great for people-watching in the square from the terrace above, and Oskar had simple, but cheap and descent food). He also was great at providing maps, trying to explain places to us, and even led us out to the main street the first time, to be sure that we could find our way back. He also made a reservation for us at a Hammam/Spa and even walked us there! We did not have good luck, however, when we asked for his help finding a local guide to give us a 1/2 day city tour. First of all, the guide showed up 1 hour late, then, when we tried to verify the itinerary (on a hand-written list that Mohammed had given us), he told us that it was impossible to do all of those things in 1/2 day, but rather that our list was his usual full-day programme. When we insisted, he said he could do it all, but that he would charge us double the agreed price. When we refused, and said we would leave him and find another guide, he reluctantly agreed to what had been previously agreed between his agency and Mohammed. Then, he literally ran us through the city, rarely looking back to see whether we were still behind him, and was rude and agressive the rest of the trip. Back at the hotel, when Mohammed asked about the tour and the guide, we told him it was not his fault but that it had been miserable and we would suggest that Maison Arabo Andalouse does NOT use that guide in the future! He apologized (though not his fault), clearly felt badly and said he would call the company and be sure to not recommend that guide in the future. One last thing - we were 2 women travelling alone -we are in our early 40's and are very well travelled, but still had a few mildly annoying experiences in Marrakesh...particularly after 9 on the way back to the hotel. Nothing overtly horrible, but just had a few men clearly following us one night. We kept crossing streets (the big ones are horrible to cross by the way between the cars adn motorbikes - it feels like a game of human 'Frogger'), tried to look confident, walked into crowds, held our keys between our fingers in a fist in case we needed to use them and used every other trick we knew for losing unwanted attention. I just want guests who stay here to be aware that after dark, the little narrow streets do get a bit dodgy - so just don't forget to pack your street smarts - especially if you're women travelling alone! Overall, a descent place in a central location with a very helpful, well-intentioned Mohammed on hand! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sumptuous,Traditionally Stylish,With An Italian Fashion Appeal This house of traditional Moroccan architecture was built next to the buttresses,an amazing building which hundreds of storks allocate as their nesting place. It has maintained its original building and decorations: stuccos,tiles,cedar wood and geometric floors laid on clay for maintaining a constant temperature. within the old walls of the "Medina" (old city) a sumptuous Riad residence,next to the buttresses of the Palace "El Badi" of XVI century,certainly a priceless spot. All rooms have a private bathroom with shower,air-conditioning.furniture in traditional Moroccan decor,wrought iron beds,furnished in Italian silk ,local cotton,and a different coordinated colour in each room with access to terraces. 2 suites of 42 sqm and 6 suites between 26-30 sqm. Location infos: 7-minute walk from Jemaa El Fna Square 10-minute walk from Koutoubia Mosque 4km from Marrkech-Menara Airport ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maison Arabo Andalouse Marrakech