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“Wonderful experience - from beginning to end” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Zara

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Riad Zara
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   294 Derb Ben Salek | Boutouil, Bab Aylen, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Deal
Free breakfast with your stay
Ranked #99 of 1,135 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience - from beginning to end”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

The idea of Marrakech was a bit overwhelming until I was referred to Riad Zara by a friend who had stayed here several years back. I reached out to Monique and received an immediate, very welcoming response. Monique provided details about rooms for my dates that suited me perfectly, a single male traveler. She also helped arrange a car and driver for pickup at the airport which was worth every cent and made the journey to Raid Zara that much easier. When I arrived I was shown around the Riad, provided the customary mint tea (very refreshing!) and shown where to go and how to navigate the streets of the Medina. For many, staying outside the Medina may be a choice but if you want to see the real Marrakech there's nothing better than walking and strolling the narrow streets to gain a feel and connection to the old city.

Monique and the staff at Riad Zara were so welcoming and friendly; constant smiles, friendly advice and laughter regarding the day's adventures and challenges within the Medina. The Riad is an easy stroll to the square and the Souks but far enough to allow for peace and quiet at night, which ensured I got plenty of rest from the long days. The beautiful courtyard and rooftop seating areas provided some spectacular views of the city in the evening and at night, where I read and relaxed, again after my days spent walking and strolling.

Monique was generous with advice and the offer to provide scheduled excursions but when I told her my main goal was to just visit Marrakech she did not try to 'sell' me on anything I did not want. This was a refreshing balance from the Souks where the hard-sell is a way of life.

If (when) I return to Marrakech I will most certainly stay at Riad Zara again. Monique is a wonderful hostess who is natural at welcoming and accommodating people into her home. When I thanked her for opening her home, she responded with 'I did this for all of you', knowing that she appreciates her world and had opened it to sharing with others is a very welcoming environment.

Thanks to everyone for making my time in Marrakech memorable.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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369 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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

I came across Riad Zara when browsing on Tripadvisor - the great reviews and positive comments on Monique and the place made me send an email inquiry immediately. I received a very warm response within an hour from Monique, stating availability/price and extending an invitation to share her home for the duration of my stay in Marrakech! I booked for 6 nights and upon my arrival at the airport got picked up by Monique personally. After a warm welcome and arrival at the Riad she provided me with a map of the Medina and explained the way around. She pointed out various points of reference which would allow me to find my way around and back without ever getting lost. It is a 20 min stroll through the narrow alleys to get the Jemaa el Fnaa Square and most of the other sights - this may sound much for some visitors but in fact it is very enjoyable walk throughout a residential and not so touristy area of the medina. I had booked a single room which was located on the ground floor with lovely Moroccan style decoration and which was perfect for my stay and very clean with daily service. Breakfast was served either in the courtyard or somewhere upstairs on the terrace, which offers a beautiful view over Marrakech. Internet is also available throughout the Riad which allows you to share your pictures right away with family and friends! I also booked two day trips with Monique - one to Essouira (great seafood and lovely little town at the coast, nice break to buzzing Marrakech!) and one to Ait Benhaddou/Quarzazate (fantastic scenary! Looooong day trip, if time allows I would recommend to book the 2-day trip with overnight stay). Marrakech was all I ever imagined it to be and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and all the sightseeing - but even more to return "home" after a long day of walking and bargaining in the souks!

I usually don't base my selection of hotels on reviews on platforms like Tripadvisor but this time I am glad I did! Monique is a true hostess and can provide you with lots of information and recommendations on the city and country - herself and her team made my stay perfect and if I ever get to return I will stay at Riad Zara again! Shoukran!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

We loved our stay at this beautiful riad in the medina so much so that we extended it 2 nights! Monique who runs it is friendly, genuinely cares about you and is bi-lingual (a great plus for us English speakers). She gave us a great welcome and introduction to Marrakech that we found helpful and the places she recommended turned out to be great. The room was very clean and comfortable and there was wifi.

There was also a cute plunge pool that we used to stick our feet in at the end of long days of exploring the medina.

The location is away from the hectic touristy hub but still walking distance to everything.

Overall my wife and I loved out stay here.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We booked three days/three nights in Riad Zara to get our bearings in Morocco and do a three week trip from there.

Monique was an absolutely wonderful hostess, she helped arrange a ride from the airport, and we ordered a beautiful dinner upon our arrival in the evening. We were glad that we did this, as it would be very difficult for us to have found on our own in the dark (as with most riads in Marrakech).

The courtyard is lovely, the rooms are large and welcoming, and the upstairs terrace is beautiful and quite private. On our first morning, Monique sat down with us at breakfast and helped us get a sense of the city via maps and really clear and careful directions. It is about a twenty minute walk to the souks, and you get to see areas that are more residential and less touristy on your way. She also helped us learn more about successful bartering, and helped us find a deal on a rental car.

We returned to Riad Zara after a seven day road trip, and were happily welcomed back. There were few other guests during our six nights total.

I thoroughly enjoyed it here.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leeds
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We arrived on 22 December and as in previous reviews I can confirm the Riad is located in an alley in what is a residential area of Marrakech. It takes about 20 minutes walk to get to the main square but it takes you through a busy and typical area which is not so touristy, but gives you an insight into the local culture and way of life. On arriving at the square it is much more geared up for tourists. Riad Zara inside is very clean and and the atmosphere laid back and relaxing. Each day we were greeted by Monique and her small team with a smile and a welcome back. Monique is always available with advice and recommendations on the area. She organised a trip for us to the Sahara with an overnight Camp. Christmas Eve was spent with the stars for light, campfire and traditional music. Christmas Day we sat watching the sunrise before heading back to civilisation by camel. We arrived back at the Riad early evening and Monique had prepared a lovely meal which was presented and cooked to perfection. WIne is available to buy in the Riad and is of a decent quality. A lot of the restaurants in the main Square do not serve alcohol at all. We have some great memories and had an unforgettable Christmas 2012 and would love to return to Riad Zara.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Waterlooville, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

On arrival, we wondered what we had let ourselves in for as the Riad is situated at the end of an alleyway on the edge of town: however, the initial doubts soon turned into pleasures as started to appreciate both the Riad and it's location. It was quiet in this magical building, except for the Call to Prayers but then that is everywhere. Being situated on the edge of town meant about a 15minute walk through to the Place and what an education that was! Monique is great, helpful and fun. Thoroughly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karlsruhe, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We stayed in the Riad Zara in November 2012 for our honeymoon at least for about one week. I can only recommend the location. After all the excitement of our wedding we enjoyed the quiet, beautifull place and had a great romatic time.

People:
Monique, the owner of the riad is like a good friend for all the people staying there. She also booked a rental car for us and organised a guided city tour for us. Both for a real cheap price and best quality. You can always talk to her and she can tell you a lot about the city and knwos all the good places for dinner and visit. After all she was really like a mother to us, but never intrusive. If you prefer to stay on your own, it´s no problem. We also had the best marrokan dinner at the raid.

Riad:
The Riad Zara is a quit little oasis in the loud an full medina of marrakech. It has a really beautifull inner yard with a water basin an a plam tree in the middle. The rooms are sourrounding the yard on several floors and are all very beautifull. I guess monique furnished them all on her own and she did well. It really feels like an traditionall old marrokan riad. On the roof, there ist a lovely terrace with agrat view over the city where you can see all the towers of the mosques. There ist enough place for several people to enjoy romantic sunset without disturbing each other. All the furniture ist very beautifull.

Location:
The location in the city is... perfect, i can´t say anything else, it´s only a short walk to the center of the medina and also the bus-terminal can be reached by foot (or a taxi for little money) Ask monique for a city map, you will find your way easily if you follow her instructionjs. The riad is located in an really marrokan neighbourhood, and all the people on the street are very friendly. You have to except, that most of them want to sell you something or show you the way for a tip, but that´s the same everywehere in marrakech.

We really loved our time there. I can recommend the riad zara completely.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Zara

Address: 294 Derb Ben Salek | Boutouil, Bab Aylen, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #99 of 1,135 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Zara 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"If you look only for authenticity, Riad Zara could be your place... Yes ! that is right, it is "my home" and I get great pleasure to share Zara's home, a guest house somewhere in the Medina... A home from home, Riad Zara, a cozy restored riad, is situated in the east part of the medina, in the old Bab Aylen area. A real oasis in the middle of the "coloured" life ot the medina (old city). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Zara Hotel Marrakech

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