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“Did not want to leave this little piece of paradise in 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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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Did not want to leave this little piece of paradise in Marrakech!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I fell in love with Marrakech and this was in a big way influenced by my wonderful experience staying at Riad El Arsa. Noel is the 'front of house' meet and greet person, who provides really useful practical advice and generally loves nothing more than a good natter! Fabrice by all accounts is a fabulous chef (unfortunately I did not sample his excellent cuisine but will next time I visit - which will be soon I hope).

5*+ service for accommodation and all staff - they don't feel like staff more like new friends whose only concern is your comfort and safety
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It is lovely to return from a hot day haggling in the souks to the calm and cool of the Riad - it was never a problem to take a plunge in the pool at any time (even 1.00am in the morning! after flight and walk around square - just be mindful of other guests). Each room has use of a basic mobile phone with all necessarily numbers programmed in (even numbers of the other rooms if you are travelling with friends and need to keep in touch). This was practically invaluable to me when I got stuck with no transport in Agadir and could contact the Riad to let them know I was having problems so they did not worry and Abdo was there to let me in when I returned eventually at 3.3am!

Thank you so much Noel, Fabrice, Simo, Malika and Abdo - I hope we get to meet again in the not too distant future.

Bslama a drari ou merci beaucoup.

  • Stayed August 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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179 reviews from our community

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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
bucks
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

This was totally magical. You walk through a door in a nondescript alley straight into 'heaven'.

Noel & Fabrice (the owners/guardians) are awesome. From the off, you feel more like a family member or close friend than a paying guest.

The bedrooms are gorgeous and spotlessly cleaned every day (as is the entire Riad). There's lovely little touches, like bottles of water provided regularly. Plus the joy of aircon, in every room.

Breakfast is taken on the expansive roof terrace, which is kitted out with sofas, easy chairs, sun loungers, a shower, and even a kitchen. There are only ever a maximum of ten guests, which means that there's ample opportunity to hear first-hand about other cultures and lands (or pal up for an evening meal or trip together). Don't be surprised if Noel or Fabrice joins you to ask about your day or to recommend activities or shops.

Downstairs, in the atrium, there are 'lounge areas' to relax in, together with a gorgeous plunge pool - perfect to relax in after the heat of the day (it was 50C whilst we were there). It was the norm for afternoon iced tea and pastries to be brought around - none of which ever appeared on the bill. Nor indeed was there any charge for the extensive tour of the Medina (on day one) by either Noel or Fabrice.

If you're arriving late, or just fancy staying in the Riad one evening, try the three course evening meal. It is a total 'snip' at 20 Euros. Gorgeous, gorgeous cuisine.

Noel and Fabrice will sort trusted taxis, porters, etc, for guests, making the transfers to and from the airport hassle free.

As to the Medina of Marrakech, some find it intimidating and way out of their comfort zone. But open your mind and you'll have the holiday of a lifetime.

I'd highly recommend the double-decker red tourist bus. For about £13 for 48 hours, you can do any/all of the routes as many times as you like - a great way to get to key sites or to go into the palms and see camels.

I'm notoriously hard to please, but I would give this Riad 100%. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Tim (& Sue)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Hong Kong, China
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

This is the third time I visited Marrakech and every time I stayed in a riad as I love the style, design and location in the medina. I know what to expect and I know the range of price for the wide range of accommodation on offer.

This riad is by far my favourite as it has a more than reasonable price for the impeccable rooms stylishly decorated. This riad is a small one and that's why it can always offer personalised and intimate service. We've got plenty of chances to have happy discussion on various topics with the hosts especially Noel whose English is very good. The two hosts are also excellent cooks and it is always a pleasure to dine in a riad rather than on the street.

Of course there are many more luxury riads in the medina, and you can splash quite a lot for all the extra services. But if you are more into intimate service, this one is for you.

Noel and Fabrice save no effort to improve the fixtures and facilities continuously. I have nothing more to say but all the good memories will surely stay with me.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

I've just returned from my second stay at Villa El Arsa and it was just as difficult leaving this time as last. Villa El Arsa is a very special place.

The riad is beautiful, exquisitely decorated with Moroccan art, crafts and textiles (most of which are for sale without the hassle of the souk). It is also spacious; comfortable; peaceful; and clean. It's perfectly located, just five minutes from the Djemaa El F'naa. There's a huge roof terrace for breakfast, sunbathing, or late-night talks over orange flower tea - after a reviving plunge in the ground floor ice-cold 'bain oriental'. Also on the ground floor is the large central dining area; a cushion-strewn library and games room with fireplace, music, DVD and TV; and a cosy, romantic, curtained alcove, with a comfortable couch. There are huge potted plants everywhere and the central atrium is shaded from the sun, so it's a haven in the heat of the Marrakech summer. But I'm keen to stay here in winter, too, to sit by the rooftop and ground-floor fireplaces. There are fireplaces in some of the rooms.

But what makes the riad outstanding is the welcome from Fabrice, Noel, Malika and Simo. They are generous with their time, knowledgeable not only about Marrakech and its attractions but also about Moroccan history, culture and contemporary life. I've learnt so much in my breakfast and late-night talks with them, adding hugely to my experience of Morocco. They'll arrange pretty much anything for you, from taxis to laundry to asking their gnawa musician friend, Omar, to perform. This year they booked a fantastic Atlas trek for us, welcoming us for one night, before looking after our luggage while we went off to the High Atlas. All this is fuelled by their obvious love of Morocco.

I feel at home here - it's like staying with friends! They fully deserve their excellent rating.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

Noel and Fabrice were very nice hosts. We felt extremely well in this Riad and enjoyed the stay a lot. The location could not be better: Less than 5 min from the square but nonetheless very silent. The roof-top terrace is very nice and perfect for relaxing in the hot afternoon hours. The room we stayed in was spacious and very well equipped. RECOMMENDED TO THE FULLEST.

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Whether El Arsa is the best riad in Marrakech we cannot say, as we have stayed in only one. But for us it will be very simple when we come back to Marrakech, Villa El Arsa is top of the bill! This riad is run by two Frenchmen, Noël and Fabrice, and their equipe, Simo and Malika. They offer excellent hospitality: showing you around the city when you arrive, providing room service day and night, arranging excursions and they even do your laundry. Breakfast is served each morning on the roof terrace: coffee, tea, fresh juice, yogurt, pastries, pancakes, marmalade's, etc. On request they will cook you an excellent four-course Moroccan dinner for only E 20. Fabrice knows how to cooks, as he has been the Chef in several high rated restaurants in France. All five rooms are beautifully decorated and equipped with Moroccan furniture. The bathrooms are spacious and supplied with amenities. Everything is impeccably clean.
To conclude, Villa el Arsa absolutely merits its high ranking on Tripadvisor's list of hotels in Marrakech!
M and B, The Netherlands, 15 June 2013

Room Tip: We stayed in the biggest room, the room Royale, which is spacious and accommodates three persons. Th...
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  • Stayed June 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.
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I stayed with a girlfriend for two nights in April following a trekking adventure into the Atlas Mountains. We arrived late on our first night but Noel met us at the door and, realising that we were tired from trekking, led us to our very comfortable room so that we could shower and change for dinner that we had pre-ordered. The food was excellent - orange blossom soup, chicken tagine and a saffron and chocolate fondant. The location of the Riad is excellent and around a five minute walk from the main square.

The rooms were nicely furnished and it was very clean. Breakfasts were lovely and simple and served on the roof terrace.

My only comment was a slight "lost in translation" issue with the owners. My french is not brilliant and we were leaving at 1.30pm to get a taxi back to the airport. We had presumed that we could stay in our room until 1.30pm following a conversation with Noel the day before, but at 10.55am, whilst we were sitting on the roof terrace Fabrice informed us we needed to be out of our room by 11am (rather brusquely). Luckily we had packed up most of our stuff and this was fine. We did go out to the market and came back and used the cold, but refreshing plunge pool and changed before our porter arrived.

We had not been given any information by Noel or Fabrice on check out times, and it was only when we were leaving did we see information about the Riad by the front door (it was very dark).

Perhaps the Riad information should be put in the rooms for guests to see more clearly.

This communication issue would not stop me from thoroughly recommending this Riad. I would definitely consider coming back to this riad again.

Room Tip: All rooms are nice and furnished in true Moroccan style. It is slightly noisy with the Call to pray...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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 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 ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 195 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
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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