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“You wont know, if you do not go how quaint and lovely this riad is” 4 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 amenities
Ranked #111 of 1,148 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“You wont know, if you do not go how quaint and lovely this riad is”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2011

This review is as much a description of Monique and her staff as it is of our trip to Marrakech.
So my husband and I have decided to write this review as a letter to Monique because that is the way she made her wunderfull riad happen.
Dear Monique, in our travels my husband and I have never found a more comfortable, loving and beautifull "home" to stay in as you provided us. All your information and advice about how to get in and around the Marrakech Medina proved to be advice we couldt not do without.
And when we returned from our "adventures" you always found time to listen and together with Zaraś and Muradś cuisine we had a romantic setting and good food to end our day,
You have a very big heart and you use it to make us feel that we were not just turist staying on your hotel but we were welcomed guests in your home.
And you planned some fantastic trips to Ait Ben Haddou and Imlil and telouet with a english speaking driver all very beautifull places. Thank you for comming with us on the excursions we really enjoyed your company.
Many Hugs and kisses. from us.

Please stay at this quiet Riad and do let Monique book your transport from the airport or where ever you are comming from. The Riad is in a very quiet little street and you wont find it without help there are not many signs in the Medina to help you in your way,
The food is especially good, try the dish with sweet pasta or maybe a tagine with quince. All her staff always go out of there way to make sure the napkins are neetly folded and candles burning all around the riad courtyard.
Everyone allways with a smile.. Do go if not for the riad experience alone then because marrakesh is a magical, fantastic place to discover and you will shop your self silly!
In all it is a very safe "neighborhood" and we had no trouble at all but do be kind when you say no to the locals when they try to sell you something. They are poor people and they mean you no harm. A smile and a kind, No merci! or maybe later will get you far and you will not have offended anyone, everyone wins!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank Timela_kbh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 reviews from our community

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genova
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2011

A very nice location, in the old medina, near to the main attraction of the city. Good furniture, comfortable beds, a very good breakfast and good music during all the day. Monique is very friendly and available to help you with any kind of hints about the city, transportation and so on. She helped us for a one day trip to the cascade, finding us a perfect transport solution. The personnel speaks fluent English.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mariangiolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2011

My best friend and I stayed for at Riad Zara for a week and had a wonderful time. Neither of us had ever been to Marrakesh or Morocco, so we didn't know quite what to expect from the riad experience or the city, and both turned out to be great.

Because we were staying for a full week, Riad Zara picked up the bill and arranged for our transportation to and from the airport. On arrival, we were greeted by the lovely Maryline and served traditional mint tea as we discussed the details of our stay. Our room was very nice and large, and all of the rooms opened out into the beautiful inner courtyard space, which lent the whole place a very open, airy vibe.

During our stay we benefitted from a free (huge) load of laundry, excellent staff advice on Marrakesh, an arranged day trip into the Atlas Mountains, free wifi, lovely breakfast each morning and several fantastic dinners, and the great company of both the staff and the other guests. I also greatly appreciated Maryline's help when my debit card was eaten by the atm machine at the airport - she went above and beyond, insisting on driving us to the bank the next day and standing by for support.

The only (minor) downsides of note were the following (one of which, my friend would disagree with!) : 1. The showers were a little hit or miss in the hot water department - but we learned the trick, which was to shower in the evening. 2. There is a house cat, which was a problem for me due to allergies, and also because she was not the friendliest of cats (this is where my friend would disagree - she fell in love). 3. A fellow guest, and now friend, had a really unfortunate experience in Marrakesh that had nothing to do with the hotel, but is worth noting for other travellers. As two females travelling together, my friend and I had no issues, but this woman apparently encountered serious and extremely upsetting harassment walking through the streets on a daily basis - so much so that she decided to leave early. The harassment was despite her dressing completely modestly (basically covered from head to toe) and despite what guidebooks had said to expect from the solo female experience in Marrakesh (i.e. nothing unpleasant). So, if you are travelling alone as a woman, stay at Riad Zara and try to make friends with the other guests asap to avoid such an experience!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank liga622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2011

Riad Zara is a very pleasant experience. The place is decorated very prettily with a lot of wonderful touches. The owner and her assistant are both very warm and welcoming. They are also extremely helpful; giving great advice and recommendations on where to go and what to see.

The Riad is, however, located in a less touristy section of the Medina. It is not very easy to find and a bit difficult to get to. But I wouldn't necessarily consider it all negative since it does allow you to soak in a more local atmosphere.

Overall it is a great and memorable place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank w84rav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tromso, Norway
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2011

I stayed for two weeks at Riad Zara and had a wonderful time. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a personal touch as well as a beautiful place to stay with good food and service - I felt very welcome and it was like staying with a good friend.
As I was travelling alone, I very much appreciated Monique's (the owner's) advice on how to behave as a European woman walkning alone in the Medina - and she also provided at lot of other valuable advice on sights, directions, what price to pay in the souks and she also helped me organize the activities I wanted to do. I also liked the opportunity to socialize with other guests at the hotel as you have breakfast at a large table in the morning, and if you wish you can have dinner together at night too.
The food was very good and for breakfast there was something new every day to sample. You could also have Morrocan mint tea or other drinks when you wished, together with home-made Morrocan sweets that you could also buy to take home with you.
The rooms were beautiful and very comfortable and clean. The towels and bedsheets were changed as needed. There was a comfortable seating area in the court-yard/ patio and also several places to sit on sofas on the roof-top terrace. From the roof top you have a 360 degree view of the city - e.g. you see the famous Kotoubia mosque. At night the small pool (not for bathing) in the middle of the court-yard was lit up and filled with rose-petals and floating candles - this was very beautiful and created a romantic athmosphere together with Morrocan music playing.
I also very much enjoyed playing with the resident kitten, Jalla.
The riad is a 15-minute walk from the main square, Jemaa el Fna. The way is not complicated, and once I knew the way, it was no problem walking there or back, even alone when it was dark. The riad is in a residential area of the medina, so you see a little more of the real Marrakech, and also it is more quiet at night than near the sqare in the main tourist area. But as everywhere else in Marrakech you have to be prepared to be woken up at night by the call to prayer from the mosques. For going out of the medina the riad was located only 2 minutes walk from the gate Bab Aylen.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank ninafriman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Deutschland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2011

last september we spent one week in marrakech, which can be quite stressfull at times... but riad zara was a wonderful retreat after a hot and exhausting day in the streets of the city!

the house is beautifully decorated and has a wonderful roof terrace, but what makes it so special is the host: monique and her team will welcome you most friendly and offer help and advice whenever you need it. we strongly recommend this riad!

however, in order to have more private sphere we´d advise not to take one of the rooms on the ground floor as the other guests might have dinner or breakfast just in front of your window...

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank unserfilm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2011

We visited Marrakesh as a group of 6 friends and chose Riad Zara as the base for our 3 day visit. Though the decor was beautiful and the atmosphere romantic there were a number of things that turned the experience sour for us. Firstly the price we were quoted was excluding taxes- something we only discovered when we were checking out. Secondly, a morning of friendly guidance from Monique on how to find our way to the square which included a map from her (though we had our own) was also charged for! , as was the use of her Shisha/Hubbly despite us buying our own coals and tobacco. On the last morning we also needed to leave earlyish and were given quite a sour vibe and served a very basic breakfast. I'm not sure what the other Riads were like in Marrakesh as we only stayed at Riad Zara but at this point I would be more likely to try a different place.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LucyDowns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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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 #111 of 1,148 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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