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“Gorgeous Raid, central but tucked away from hustle & bustle.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Karmela

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Riad Karmela
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   10 Derb El Feranne Azbetz | Place Ben Salah, Marrakech 40008, Morocco   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Deal
One free airport transfer
Ranked #104 of 460 Hotels in Marrakech
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Gorgeous Raid, central but tucked away from hustle & bustle.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

We stayed here in January 2014 when my husband booked it as a surprise trip for my 40th! It's a gorgeous raid which has been converted from someone's home into a sumptuous hotel. Decor is very traditional & to a high standard. Rooms are large, clean & comfortable. Staff are friendly & helpful & will recommend local places of interest & restaurants with great local cuisine. They also gave us great advice on local etiquette & what to pay for taxis, & goods in local shops etc so as not to be ripped off. We visited 3 museum's ( Ben Youssef/museum of Marrakech & museum of photography)just round corner from the raid which was worth while to see not only exquisite architecture, but also views of the city from their roof tops. We recommend booking food with the raid for first night if arriving late in the day, ( 25euros pp for 3 courses, but well worth it) we did & it was fab food giving us taste of Moroccan food & saving us trying to negotiate the Moroccan streets in the dark on our first night! The hamman treatment offered in the hotel is amazing & a must for your stay & so reasonable at 15 euros! Don't miss going to the medina square during the day to visit the souks & shop/haggle til you drop & at night for whole new Moroccan experience! But be careful in the square day or night of taking any photos as the locals( snake charmers, water carriers, acrobats etc) are quite forceful of then asking you to pay them! The restaurants around the square are & offer great food, we visited chez chegrouni & cafe France, the later only 11 euros for bread, 2 main dishes, 2 drinks & a dessert!! & had the best tajine of our stay. We also did the Atlas Mountain trip & booked this direct from the Raid which we also recommend as we had 2 local guides who both went out of their way to give us a truly unforgettable experience. I can't wait to go again & would definitely stay in this Raid, we have already recommended it to 2 lots of friends who have booked for this May & November. Enjoy. Xx

Room Tip: Rooms to the back of the raid will be quieter away from the main courtyard, although when we were th...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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905 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

Booked a 3 night stay with my wife for a short break to hopefully catch some sun and stroll round the souks. we were picked up at the airport by someone from the Riad and the transfer probably took about 20minutes followed by a 5 minute walk from where the car had to be left. By the time we checked into the romm and had a debrief/orientation we felt we would be best off eating at the hotel rather than exploring but in hindsight this was maybe a mistake as we later discovered there were many places only a ten minute walk away.

At that point we didnt know if there were safety issues at night etc. Let me reassure you that it is perfectly fine to be walking around at any time and there is no intimidatory atmosphere etc so feel free to explore.

Breakfast is served on a great roof terrace. Its simple, nothing cooked, but really nice. The orange juice is freshly squeezed and plentiful and they have english breakfast tea so no need to bring your teabags !

The souks are so close (as are various museums) that it is practical to have a wander round and then pop back to your romm easily before venturing back out if you so wish. The aforementioned roof terrace has sun beds and comfy chairs making it a pleasant venue throughout the day. There is also a shower lhidden away in one corner which is great to ccol down if you overheat.

There are many reasonably priced restaurants nearby and we visited cafe arabe and Le Foundouk and were very pleased with our choices. The riad staff will book for you which was definitely needed for the evenings.

Riad` Karmela has a hammam and i booked a body scrub with some trepidation but hey, when in marrakech .... I would recommend this and I also had a great massage afterwards. Both together were only 45euros. Its a must.

The staff could not have been more helpful and there was a great camaraderie with all staff and guests. After we had checked out a cleaner tracked us down as we had left a credit card in the safe (which we were certain we had cleared) so as a demonstartion and recommendation of honesty and integrity that is about as good as it gets.

One slightly odd thing was that our ground floor room (in common with other ground floor rooms) have lovely decorative doors but they didnt close properly and relied on a curtain being drawn in front of them. Whilst this keeps line of sight closed it doesnt stop sound and if you have courtyard seating immediately outside your room (as we did) then iy can lead to a noisy evening. Just as we could hear every word spoken by others they could hear us too.
Bit strange but we got used to it. Requesting a first floor room would solve the problem.

If you are looking to avoid the chain hotel experience and have a more authentic stay with a great welcome and nice surroundings in a central location then stay at Riad Karmela and I am sure you will not be disappointed.

I would definitely return and recommend to friends.

Room Tip: avoid ground floor room as it can be a bit noisy and is less private
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

We stayed at Riad Karmela for a four day break, the Riad and its location is excellent, just a two minute walk from the souk and less than ten minutes from the main square. Down a winding alley through almost unnoticeable doors, you find the very pretty Riad Karmela and smaller ‘Petit Karmela’ which is directly opposite. We took the entire smaller riad for our group and had six rooms leading to a beautiful central living space/covered courtyard which was ideal for us all to gather together and relax. Breakfast was taken in the main Riad in another gorgeous courtyard setting amongst orange trees and a fountain.

Joel, the owner and Bouchra were extremely efficient and helpful throughout the booking process, assisting with plans prior to arrival. During our stay the whole team were friendly and accommodating – they organised taxis, transport for our day trip, gave honest advice and happily assisted us to organise a drinks party one evening on the beautiful roof terrace. When we asked for directions to a tailor for a small mend on a dress one morning, they arranged this immediately, returning the garment to us a few hours later with compliments!

Overall a great find and affordable too – their excellent service made things very easy for us and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

Our group of 7 ladies stayed with Riad Karmela last week (April 2014) and enjoyed it very much. We actually stayed at Riad El Nour, 5 metres down the same alley as Karmela and for our stay had it to ourselves - the rooms are set around a central enclosed courtyard which was very peaceful.

The staff team were very helpful before we arrived and during our whole stay they could not do enough to help. From helping us book excursions, to boiling water for tea in the evenings, arranging taxis and escorts back on foot when we wanted to be accompanied to and from evening locations. The party visited Karmela for a special occasion and the guys on reception helped us set up drinks and balloons on the roof terrace - they even blew up the balloons before we got there! With a view of the city and mountains beyond, the setting was fantastic.

The rooms are very pretty, although some of the beds vary in comfort, for the price point we were very impressed. The Riad itself is fantastically central (a little tricky to find but marked with frequent signs on street walls), with just a 10 minute walk into the heart of the souks.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

We booked Riad El Nour for seven ladies travelling to Marrakech for a break in the sunshine.

Right from the start the communication was excellent unlike many other Riads that we emailed.
Joel runs a tight ship, all of the staff were very helpful and could not do enough for us; anything from arranging trips to the Atlas mountains and bringing us irons and various other items
.
I would highly recommend booking any taxi's though the Riad, the price would have already been agreed and the cars safe to travel in. The taxi that we booked from the airport was a blessing as we would never have found the Riad. It was so nice to come back to a relaxed environment away from the hustle and bustle of the City.
Riad El Nour is the smaller of the Riad's which we had all to ourselves which was amazing.
My only feedback would be to have more and better quality towels in the bedrooms.
Rooms are basic but comfortable and the level of customer service makes up for the lack of things like really nice towels, etc. I must thank Siad who did so much for us and Bounchra for arranging everything so efficiently on our visit.

We will be back again!

Room Tip: I preferred the rooms on the first floor.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

A group of ladies keen to sample the sights smells and sounds of the souk. And then retire to a welcome quiet space. The view of the snow capped mountains over the rose coloured town from the Riad Karmela rooftop terrace as the sun went down was simply breathtaking. The staff were very helpful and able to arrange taxis out to nearby spa country clubs and smarter cocktail bars and restaurants in the evening. We had a great time!! Thank you.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

I will start this review by stating that if we have originally booked the Riad Karmela, and stayed in the room we were finally given, then this review would quite probably have been for 5 stars. However this wasn’t the case.

Our original booking was for the Riad El Nour, a smaller Riad but part of the same group as the Karmela. One week before we were due to arrive we received an email stating that the Riad El Nour wasn’t available and were we prepared to stay at another Riad, the Riad Zineb. We were offered a free airport return and a bottle of wine for our inconvenience. We looked at the details for the Riad Zineb and it looked fine, so we accepted the offer.

Upon arrival at Marrakech airport we were met by the driver, a bit later than expected but no big deal, and driven to the Karmela. This is an adventure in itself, negotiating tiny streets, dodging the mopeds, people, donkeys and carts etc. As recommended elsewhere I would also advise this option is taken as the car cannot drive right up to the Karmela leaving a walk of a couple of minutes, if you were making your own arrangements it would be extremely difficult to find, although there are plenty of locals who would show you the way for a fee.

We were greeted at the Karmela by Bouchra (I believe) and given mint teas and pastries whilst having the local area explained to us, a useful map was also given to us with places marked for later reference. At this point we were told that our room at the Riad Zineb wasn’t ready, this later changed to there was nobody at the Zineb, to finally being told that a mistake had been made and we weren’t booked into the Zineb until the following night so we would have to stay at the Karmela for one night, although if we chose to continue our stay at the Karmela we would be upgraded to a junior suite.

The room we were given was situated on the roof terrace, quite a nice room with a tented appearance, although the bathroom could do with brightening up as it was quite gloomy with plaster coloured walls. It did get quite chilly in there overnight as it’s quite exposed on the roof, the air con could be used to give heat and I think there were extra blankets in the room too.
After an expedition into the local area we returned for some relaxation on the roof terrace which is a nice peaceful area and fortunately the sun was out too.

We had pre-arranged for our first night evening meal to be at the Riad which I must say was delicious, although at 25 euros per person it’s quite expensive going by what we paid at various restaurants in the following days. But as the quality and service were very good we enjoyed it.
The next morning we went down to breakfast which is served buffet style. There was plenty of choice, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, ham etc. Orange juice, tea, coffee etc etc. Fresh bread and pastries were also available. Breakfast was fine in our opinion.

After breakfast we enquired at the front desk as to when we would be moving rooms as previously discussed as we hadn’t been given any further information. We then found out that we would be moving to the Riad Zineb as there were no rooms available at the Karmela anymore! We weren’t happy about this as it meant packing everything up again and moving. We were offered a free hamman (which we never took advantage of) and given the choice of staying at the Riad Zineb or returning to the Karmela, and, having breakfast at the Zineb or Karmela. This break was meant to be relaxing!

Upon arrival at the Riad Zineb we found the owners to be cleaning the tiled floors and preparing it for us as it had been closed for a week. The Zineb is another nice Riad, much smaller than the Karmela. We were given a room on the ground floor beside the patio, plus front door and room keys. We then found out we were the only guests staying at the Riad Zineb.

We had decided to have breakfast the following morning at the Riad Karmela as we didn’t want to put the owners of the Riad Zineb to any trouble just doing breakfast for us two.

We spoke with Joel and agreed to return to the Karmela for our last two nights stay as we weren’t keen on staying at an empty Riad, although the total peace and quiet may appeal to some, to us it was too quiet.
The room we were then given at the Karmela was the junior suite Kaiss which overlooks the main patio with its own balcony. This was a lovely suite and would recommend it.

I must add that during all changes of Riads our baggage was transported by the Riad staff with no fuss.

For those not familiar with Marrakech, as we weren’t, it may come as a bit of a surprise as to the location of the Karmela and the route taken to access it. If people are expecting a touristy area then they’re in for a shock, it really is in the heart of the local community. We are well travelled but were still surprised at the maze of narrow streets and alleyways in the vicinity. The constant call of “it’s closed that way” by the locals hoping to show you another way for money loses its novelty very quickly too (p.s. the streets aren’t closed.) It took us a few goes to feel comfortable about finding our way to and from the Karmela, even with a map.

So overall the Riad Karmela is a lovely Riad, the Riad Zineb is also a lovely Riad, both with cool courtyards and nice roof terraces. It would have been nice to stay in one or the other for the duration of our stay.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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Additional Information about Riad Karmela

Address: 10 Derb El Feranne Azbetz | Place Ben Salah, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#42 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#75 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riad Karmela 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The riad Karmela has 19 bedrooms and family appartments located within 3 houses and courtyards connecting together. You can also enjoy a hammam, massages, summer jacuzzi, large terasse. We are located 8 mn walk from the Pace Djemma El Fnaa and 1 mn from the souks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Karmela Marrakech
Riad Karmela Hotel Marrakech

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