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“A real oasis in the heart of Marrakech” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa El Arsa

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Villa El Arsa
18 Derb El Arsa | Kennaria, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
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Bristol, England
Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
115 hotel reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
267 helpful votes 267 helpful votes
“A real oasis in the heart of Marrakech”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We spent five nights at this riad in the heart of Marrakech. The riad is several alleyways back from the main streets, but this is part of its charm. Once you've found it the first time, it is easy to find again, and it is a really quiet oasis away from the bustle of the medina and the square. Rooms were comfortable, with nice bathrooms and good wifi. Tea was regularly served after a busy day sightseeing. Breakfasts were served on a nice terrace overlooking the city. We had dinner there one night: it was delicious, the best food we had in the city.The two owners are very helpful and charming. All in all, a great place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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157 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Riad Villa el Arsa in Marrakech was just delightful. Noel & Fabrice have pitched the level just right, they are there to help as much as you wish, providing maps and info and even putting a mobile in your room in case you get lost in town – very comforting if this is your first trip to Marrakech! The room was superb and breakfast very good. I wish we’d eaten there as I gather the food is fab (Fabrice was a chef in France before) and does offer cooking lessons which you will need to book ahead of arrival. Wonderful fires lit at night in the sitting area where you can swap daytime experiences & good company. They recommended a superb little restaurant in Essaouira with good food and music.

Room Tip: There are only 4 rooms and all equally nice.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

This is gem of a Riad ideally situated in the heart of the Medina, making it an ideal place from which to explore the great atmosphere of the Square and markets.
We stayed for three nights and the rooms are very clean, comfortable and beautiully done up. The breakfast on the terrace, was a delight ! Noel, Fabrice and his staff were very helpful - particularly the tea on arrival and fresh sweets in the room everyday, made us feel so welcome. From meeting us on our arrival, to showing us the way to the Square and suggesting restaurants, organising transport and porters - Noel was a perfect host.
We loved our stay enormously, and hope we can go back someday.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Berkshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We stayed at Villa el Arsa for 2 nights in mid-December as a short break. We had arranged a transfer from the airport as part of the booking and it worked out well, being met by Noel at Cafe de France and then walked back to the accommodation. This proved to be invaluable as Noel pointed out some of the landmarks to make sure we can find our way back, and although we found it easy to find our way back and forth after Noels help, it would not have been easy to do it first time around. And not as relaxing!

Villa el Arsa itself was lovely. Four bedrooms on the first floor looking down to the courtyard below, with a lovely terrace at the top, which was plenty warm enough to have breakfast in the sun in December. Our room (La Bahia) was great - a beautiful bed, plenty of space and a traditional Morrocan bathroom. Heaters were provided for the evenings which we used a couple of times just for a blast of warmth. People say that when staying in riads noise can be a problem because of the central courtyard design but on the first night we didn't hear anything and were not even aware of the call to prayer (but maybe that was more to do with being tired and having left the children at home with the grandparents!) We did hear the call to prayer the second morning but we did not find noise a problem at all.

The breakfasts were lovely on the terrace - a selection of pastries, pancakes etc. with jams, fruit, yoghurt and juice/tea/coffee. It set us up nicely for the day and gave a nice view of the Atlas mountains on a clear morning. It happened to be my wife's birthday on the second day and although I hadn't mentioned it, Noel surprised my wife with a bouquet of flowers in our room in the afternoon. We had arranged to eat in the Riad on the second night and we had a great meal with another couple who were staying there, in front of a log fire in the lounge. Fabrice had made a lovely meal and I would definitely suggest eating in one night.

We found the the riad very peaceful but so close to the main square that we could get from one to the other in 5 minutes - in fact, when in the main square with everything going on around you I was very surprised by just how quite it was on the roof terrace considering it was a matter of minutes form the square! It was very easy to walk around to all the main sites in the old town. We never felt unsafe walking around and having accommodation so close to the action was an advantage. On our last day we bought some freshly cooked lamb from Mechoi Alley, some olives and bread and went back to the riad to enjoy our food on the terrace - another highly recommended meal. On our last day we checked out in the morning but we were free to come and go as we pleased in the riad until we left for the airport in the evening.

We really enjoyed Marrakech and if we return we would definitely stay at Villa el Arsa again.

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

We stayed at the Villa el Arsa on a last minute booking in the middle of January - Noel and his team were extremely accommodating and friendly every step of the way. The building is absolutely beautiful, a real oasis in the madness of Marrakech, and we ended up staying in two of the rooms both of which were divine. There is a luxurious lounge on the ground floor with a fire which was a perfect place to relax and regroup at the end of the day. On our first day Noel took us into the city to help us get our bearings and recommended several wonderful restaurants and museums, and was always around to answer any questions we had. The breakfast was delicious every morning, and we would really recommend having dinner at the Riad one night - gorgeous meal in a beautiful setting.

In short, we couldn't recommend this Riad more, it really did make our trip and we would not hesitate to send our friends!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Look no further if you want a fabulous place to stay for your time in Marrakech. This city is confusing, dusty, dirty, noisy, and a little nuts and you will need a genuine oasis to return to each day. We spent a week at Villa El Arsa in the Royale room, a huge room by typical standards with high ceilings painted in a colorful traditional Berber motif and a working fireplace! This ryad (or guest house) has four wonderful rooms and has been completely renovated (early 2012) by two super charming French guys, Noel and Fabrice. (English spoken.) While maintaining the authenticity and character of the traditional Morrocan Berber home, they transformed this ryad into a most comfortable, impeccably clean, and lovely place to stay. Modern comforts, elegant traditional Moroccan decor, minutes to everything, peace and calm.

You WILL want to have chef Fabrice cook for you there and enjoy eating an elegant three course Moroccan and/or French meal in a special room off the central courtyard by the crackling fireplace, with candlelight, lovely music and privacy. Seriously the best food we ate the entire week there. And sooooo reasonably priced compared to other good places nearby. Breakfasts (fresh fruit, yogurt, breads, pastries, jams, butter, coffee, tea) are lovely in the roof garden.

You are two minutes walk to the main square (Djemma el Fna) and entrances to the souks. They give you your own Moroccan cell phone if you get in trouble or lost and need to call them. Great wifi, solid firm (really firm) beds with lots of pillows, lovely bathrooms, slippers, flowers and a host of little touches that make you feel so welcome. If you travel there in warm weather, the cooling plunge pool off the courtyard would be a welcome relief. We were there in February and we noticed room air conditioners but we used the room space heaters in the evenings only cause it only got chilly then and in minutes we were totally comfy. We ran into a few issues with blisters and a minor reaction to the experience with the hammam, and we were looked after like family.

Noel gives you a brief walking tour of the area your first day (if you want) so you can get your bearings. Take their advice on everything: restaurants, excursions, negotiating, museums, hammams, and other places. Don't try and find this place on your own, especially at night - have Noel arrange a taxi for you and meet you at the nearby taxi stand or at the Cafe de Paris up on the square. Easy to find once you get your bearings however.

Seriously the best hospitality and the best value for the money we have ever encountered in traveling which we do a lot. Arno and Patrice from the Netherlands.

Room Tip: Four rooms, all on the second floor accessed by stone stairs. The Royale room was fab!
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  • Stayed February 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.
Loose Kent
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We have just spent 5 wonderful nights at this Raid.
Noel Patrice and their staff made our holiday extra special.Nothing was too much trouble.
Raid only minutes from the main square and souks.
The Raid was spotless. The breakfast on the roof terrace each morning was lovely.
We would definately go back.

Room Tip: All rooms wrer good
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa El Arsa

Address: 18 Derb El Arsa | Kennaria, Marrakech, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 187 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the Medina of Marrakech, with easy access, 5 minutes’ walk to Jemaa el Fna and other mythical places of Marrakech.Villa El Arsa is an oasis in the midst of excitement and wares of magical red town.Fabrice et Noel welcome you in this bed and breakfast with four rooms,accommodating up to 10 people (2 double bedrooms, one with fireplace and 2 triple rooms, bathrooms tadelakt).We will accompany you in your first visit to the Medina and we can present you the main palaces or places. ... more   less 
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