Firstly, as other people in their reviews have said, although we had arranged via email (with written confirmation) to be collected from the airport, this didn't happen. We called many times before someone reluctantly agreed to come and get us which meant we waited for over and hour & half at the airport. It was around 38dgs with nothing to do at the airport ... not a good start. The taxi / driver dropped us in the main square and we weren't warned that it was a 30min walk to the Riad, with luggage, through the tiny streets. Talk about sitting ducks! The Riad is quite complicated to find and road names don't exist so if you do stay, take note of how to get around.
The Riad, as someone else has also mentioned, had a constant smell of sewage. We don't know where it came from and no-one ever explained the source of the smell or made an effort to disguise it. This alone was enough to make our stay unpleasant. The Riad is small and could do with some updating in areas. There were three of us, we had booked a 3-bed room but were led to a tiny room with one double bed and one really small seat which was supposed to be the third bed. We complained about the room but were told that the Riad was full so we couldn't move until the following night which we did to a suite which was lovely and twice the size. However, they charged us extra for this even though it was their error. Many arguments ensued and none of us were impressed with their attitude. We were then told that this suite was booked for the last night of our stay so had to move yet again!! Appaling given that we had pre-booked well in advance. The plunge pool was tiny and quite dirty with leaves and muck so none of us were brave enough to go in. We sat there one evening and all of us had scarves over our faces to block the smell of sewage so I can't say that Riad was a relaxing oasis of calm.
The female worker was lovely and worked so hard by herself. She was up before dawn to make the breakfast then spent ALL day cooking, cleaning & preparing rooms. The breakfast consisted of yoghurt, fresh orange juice, tea, breads & jams, fresh pancakes then got a little less with cooked food each day but was really nice. We didn't eat there in the evening so I can't comment on the meals.
I agree that many charges were hidden. We were given a welcome glass of mint tea on arrival but weren't told that it would be charged to the bill (am not being picky but we were on a budget and already charged extra for a bigger room even though we had booked for 3, not 2). We also weren't told, despite booking & paying a deposit by credit card, that final settlement of the bill had to be in cash, no credit cards accepted. No-one wants to walk around with that amount of cash and machines aren't close.
The roof terrace is OK but nothing special and it wasn't easy to get drinks etc during the day. The owner wasn't particularly helpful and even less so after the fiasco with the rooms. We also asked about booking trips but these were much cheaper organised elsewhere.
Marrakech is a fantastic place and don't miss going to Les Bains Spa for a truly pampering relaxing day, it was fantastic. However, if you want to escape from the hustle & bustle back at your Riad, this is not the place to do it. I wouldn't go back there if you paid me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in historical quarters and typical of the medina of Marrakech, the ryad Houdou is a masonry of the XVIIe century, middle-class old property of a rich family astronomers. Associating traditional architecture and a contemporary furnishing, the decoration of the riad reflects Morocco and our personality. Living on the place, we want to give again all his direction with the concept of guest house. Here, you will discover expatriation all while feeling you as on your premise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Houdou Marrakech
- Riad Houdou Hotel Marrakech