I am very delayed in posting this review, but, as I watch yet more snow fall from the dreary Midwestern sky, my thoughts harken back to my wonderful stay at this riad last spring. There are lots of top-flight riads in Marrakech, and this is one of them. We stayed in the room on the rooftop-- it was worth paying a little extra for that sanctuary. It's hard to add substantively to the rave reviews, but here are a few small touches that I remember. I was usually up by 7:00 a.m. and reading outside my room. The chef always brought me a tray of coffee, complete with warm milk (because you can't put cold milk in coffee!) and sugar cubes shaped like the four card suits. The homemade yogurt at breakfast was great, and when my husband asked for an omelet with cheese, the chef whipped that together (which involved a quick trip to the market for cheese, I think). Need a glass of wine? Ask and you shall receive. My only criticism is that the manager dissuaded us from leaving a big tip, under the guise that big tips disrupt the local economy. If only I held that much power! My general impression of Morocco is that Europeans like to travel there in part because it's inexpensive, sort of like Americans and Mexico. It's true that the dollar goes a long way here, but all the more reason to tip generously. The chef was there starting at 7 am, and he was usually still there when we returned to the riad after a late dinner. I think someone who works 16-hour days and provides excellent customer service should be recognized. By the way, the entire riad staff worked hard and provided excellent customer service, and we tipped accordingly. Enough of my tip rant. The other day, I asked my husband about his favorite lodgings of all time. His top choice was a B&B in Merida, Mexico, that is no longer open. This riad came in second. I concur. I recommend Riad Al Massarah without reservation.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 15, 2011
Thank you for your kind words. We are happy that you had such a good experience with us. Just a couple of points. The tipping one is so difficult here. I have seen independent guides that have recommended 10% of the hotel bill as a norm in Morocco. I think that excessive. We have looked at different ways of suggesting from a set amount say 80dhs per day per room, to 10% of the service charge, that is drinks and meals without accommodation. At the end of the day we suggest a range an leave it to guests. All the tips in the tip box get shared equally. We try to pay our staff a living wage so that they are not reliant on tips, but they do appreciate recognition by guests of the efforts and that little extra always helps. I think perhaps you are right and we ought not to have discouraged you from showing your appreciation in a very generous way.
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By the way, Abdelwahed the chef especially works hard, and all the staff do. He is a treasure and is there early in the morning, and if there is a dinner late at night. But nearly every day he goes home 11.00/12.00 and returns 17.00/18.00. So it just appears like a 16 hour day. Exceptionally he will work longer, but gets paid extra for it. And he either gets a 1.5days off a week or gets paid extra, unlike a lot of other Riads. Hope that calms you fears that we exploit him.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.