After suffering problems with both Expedia & Lastminute.com, my wife & I (both early 30s) decided to give the package operators a miss and book directly with a hotel. We chose the Riad Maipa after reading reviews on this site, and then contacted Eric directly by phone (his English was rather better than my French).
Everything went very smoothly: the reservation was very easily arranged with a small deposit, and Eric arranged transport from the airport with his driver. Entering Marrakech from the airport and then walking down the narrow streets to the entrance, my heart sank as we saw the scruffy alleyway and the door into the Riad; but appearances can be deceiving, and upon stepping through the doorway, we were greeted with the wonderful, clean tranquility of the Riad itself. The room was fantastic, and Eric and the other staff went out of their way to be helpful.
However, my reason for not awarding this 5 stars is the noise. Although we were more or less the only guests staying in the Riad, it was often quite noisy, with the maids chattering as they breakfasted around 5 or 6am, and the phone ringing from about the same time every day. Fine if you are a very early riser, but otherwise quite annoying. I resorted to ear plugs on more than one occasion. However, my overall impression was good, and I would go back there.
Concerning Marrakech itself, look out for two things: Firstly, the pickpockets. Both my wife & I found foreign fingers in our pockets at least once - surprisingly, each time they were not small children but old women in traditional veils, who appeared the image of propriety. Secondly, beware locals offering you helpful directions: although the souks and old town are confusing, I found getting lost to be less irritating than 'helpful' locals who offered to escort you somewhere and then demanded payment for their services. On one occasion, despite my saying that I was not going to pay for a guide, a young man took it upon himself to accompany me around town, giving a running commentary, and then getting very cross indeed when I would not pay him for this, which left a very sour taste in the mouth. Be firm, and just tell them to sod off.
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Maipa Marrakech
- Riad Maipa Hotel Marrakech