We stayed at the riad for four days in February, and agree with what has been written before. The rooms are very nice, with a wonderful Morrocan feel and decoration, although given the nature of any riad, I would expect, of somewhat irregular shape and not with ideal closet space or dresser space. The common areas are also beautiful (and the Riad has a nice selection of books on Morocco). It is hard to tell what is a good versus bad location in Marrakech, but the Riad is about 15 to 20 minutes by foot from the central square.
What sets the Riad apart, however, is the hospitality. I have never in all my years staying at hotels throughout the world had service this friendly and welcoming, and this hospitality stretches from the top, Abdess, down to everyone who works there. For example on our last day, our flight did not leave until evening. Most hotels and bed and breakfasts would hold your luggage. Here they not only did that but let us essentially stay in one of the rooms, almost appologizing for not letting us have two.
Such hospitality is particularly nice because one needs a place to relax after all the sensory overload (and hassle) that is Marrakech, it is nice to have somewhere that no one is trying to sell something or take advantage of you (by which I do not mean haggling in the souks--you strike your own bargains--but where, for example, restaurants in our experience routinely inflated prices or made things up to jack up the bill when they thought they could get away with it)--you can truly let your guard down and enjoy.
We ate several nights at the Riad, and the food is fantastic (and there is too much of it, in a good way). Although we generally never eat in hotel restaurants, here is a place to make an exception (see previous paragraph).
We took two day trips arranged through the Riad., one to the Ourika valley and one to Essouria (the Riad has a set list of excursions and prices). Yes, the prices are a little higher than you could probably get elsewhere, but you get the convenience of asking for something and having it happen. Yes, the driver will stop at this or that place on the way where he is almost certainly getting his comission, but if you don't want to stop, you can just say so, and if you do stop, you really don't have to buy if you don't want. to. Both places are definitiely worth visiting, although the trip to Ourika definitely gives you the feeling that you are on the tourist trail. In the valley, which has waterfalls to hike up to, you probably do not absolutely need a guide if you are a good hiker and can follow a path. If you have children under age 10 or are not at all good at climbing, a guide is essential. My wife and I did fine on the trail, but for fair stretches the guide more or less carried our young daughter. Essouria is also fascinating and a welcome respite from Marrakech.
We am glad we went to Marrakech. We are not sure how soon we would return. If we did, we would absolutely do whatever we could to stay at this wonderful place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad El Mansour is a six bedroom, award winning Riad. This boutique hotel is situated a short stroll from Place Jemaa el-Fna. We offer the highest levels of service and hospitality with a Jacuzzi, Spa, Hammam and GymWe have a full time resident cook and can arrange airport transfers for you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad El Mansour Marrakech
- Riad El Mansour Hotel Marrakech