I spent 4 days with a group of 11 girlfriends at Riad Karmela in November 2011. We were actually in Petit Karmela which is adjacent to the main Riad. All I can say is, look no further for an affordable & beautiful Riad in Marrakesh. This is truly a wonderful establishment and because of Joel, Bouchra & Kamel's kindness (& other staff members who's names I don't remember), we had a fantastic and memorable holiday. No request is too big or too small at Riad Karmela, the team will suggest and book excellent restaurants, tour guides, day trips etc at very reasonable prices. As suggested in many of the below reviews, I would definitely recommend that you book airport transfers with the Riad as it would be difficult to find on your own and apparently the local taxi drivers rarely drop you off in the correct place.
The location is excellent & only a 5 minute walk into Marche des Epice (the spice market) & the Souks. Joel will give you all the directions you will need on day one, on how to get around by foot - so pay attention, he certainly knows his stuff!!
The hotel has a small spa and a few of my friends used the hammam and had massages & they really enjoyed it. For a true 5 star experience/afternoon of indulgence, make sure you book Les Bains Des Marrakesh: http://www.lesbainsdemarrakech.com/spa-en.html. It is an absolutely sensational spa, with the best massage I have ever had & the most delicious Moroccan biscuits! I would go back to Marrakesh for a weekend, just to visit here again & Riad Karmela of course!
My absolutely favorite restaurant of the holiday was Palais Jad Mahal: http://www.bestrestaurantsmaroc.com/en/restaurant-maroc/palais-jad-mahal.html. Really amazing food if you want a break from eating tagines & fantastic ambiance, live music, belly dancers & there's a club downstairs. A little bit pricey, but worth every penny! Steer clear of the tourist trap Chez Ali, it was a total waste of money for us! The Al-Fassia restaurant is also excellent for Moroccan food: http://www.bestrestaurantsmaroc.com/en/restaurant-maroc/al-fassia-gueliz.html. The portions are ABSOLUTELY HUGE though, so go hungry or share one between two!
The Riad has a beautiful roof terrace with lots of little niches if you want privacy. Even in November we were able to use the terrace for a few days of our stay and we had a wonderful aperitif on the main terrace on one of the nights. This was for my birthday and the staff made it look beautiful with candles everywhere, a beautiful table cloth, gorgeous Moroccan tapas, grilled sardines etc. I was also offered a free bottle of wine and a beautiful bunch of flowers in my room.
Honestly, look no further for a truly amazing Marrakesh experience, you will be treated like royalty at Riad Karmela. You won't want to leave & I can't wait to go back!
Merci mille fois Joel, Bouchra et Kamal!