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“An Adventure starts here.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Ifoulki

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Riad Ifoulki
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   11,Derb Mqqadem route Arset loghzail, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #181 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
Oxford
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“An Adventure starts here.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2009

We had previously arranged with the hotel to be picked up at the airport ( 15 euros) and my wife and I were met by an English speaking driver who welcomed us. It was dark on arrival and we drove through the maze of streets before stopping after about 20 minutes down a long alley which led to the entrance to the Riad. The alley was old and gave no indication of the jewel that lay behind the doors at the end of it.

We entered into a cool exotic courtyard luxuriant with large plants and trees, coloured lanterns swung from some giving the interior a mysterious air. The manager that night, Mustapha, greeted us warmly and we were invited to sit in an alcove and given mint tea when the general manager, Mahi, came over to greet us. We already felt at home but he too welcomed us and emphasised that that the Riad was our home during our stay and nothing was too much trouble for us.

He showed us around and talked about the history of the Riad which had formerly been a stately home and was rich in history. Our room was huge with a four poster bed decorated with stars and antiques throughout. The bathroom could have housed 5 or 6 wives but one is quite enough for any man I think. It had an efficient heater as it was cool in the evening and soon warmed up. Although we hadn't booked dinner, even though it was late, dinner was arranged for us and we joined other guests in the comfortable and informal dining room where we met the owner Peter who is Danish.

Peter's approach to life reflects how the Riad is run. He is a gracious host , knowledgeable and charming who has the ability to switch languages at will so that the international atmosphere of the dining room becomes a meeting place of friends and not strangers. We enjoyed the excellent food accompanied by a decent bottle of wine whilst Peter gave as an overview of a city that he clearly loves.

Rising late the next day we took breakfast on the terrace enjoying the views., a flawless blue sky and a sun that was shedding warmth into the day. A view of the Koutoubia Mosque with the sun gleaming on its golden balls sets the scene for the day. Breakfast was simple but ample and the waiters were friendly. We planned the day. My wife later also had Hamman massage in the Riad and said that her skin had never felt so good after it.

Marrakech is not for everyone although those with a spirit of adventure will find much to delight them, as we did. Be prepared to get lost in the maze of Souks but we felt safe even out late and there are plenty of people around to help you if you get lost. It is a city to return and to discover more. If browsing interests you then the endless artifacts will hold your attention and there is much history to focus on. Art is everywhere and some is inspirational. Entertainment ? Just go to the main square in the evening and stroll around sampling traditional music, food and the snake charmers.

Then return to the Riad Ifoulki. It's thick walls create an oasis of calm and each room has its own charm. We felt completely at home within. Before dinner I would sit and play the guitar for my own amusement but before long others would join me . Staff would share their own music with me or ask me to play something. That is like being in your own home. We joined up with some German guests and shared outings enjoying their good humoured company. It is that kind of place.

We also ate out to compare the dinner and we were hugely disappointed with our choice, the Hotel Marrakchi, situated in the square. Good views, low lighting but our food was simply awful and the service indifferent.

If you want a hotel with hard edges, a reception that has little real time for you, formularic rooms, boring architecture and indifferent food then I am sure that the Riad Ifoulki is not for you.

But if you want a sense of delight , a chance to appreciate what life might have been like 300 years ago yet still enjoy modern conveniences, the ability to be in the middle of the old town within minutes, authentic food beautifully cooked, friendly and caring staff and to start your own adventure in Marrakech this is the place to do it - just relax, keep your mind open and be prepared to learn.

The key is will we return ? The answer is Yes.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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82 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Stafford, UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2009

This hotel reflected the best of Marrakesh.
Once you entered the door you were in an oasis of calm, with beautiful courtyards and rooms reflecting true Morrocan Riad style.
It is hard to fault the staff, who welcomed you as an honoured guest and like a long term friend; nothing was too much trouble at any time of day or night.
Dinner on the roof terrace was like a family gathering with the owner and some members of staff joining the guests for a splendid 4 course meal with good conversation (and sometimes informal entertainment).
truely a holiday to remember.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
New Zealand
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

We found this Riad a haven in an otherwise bustling, hectic city. The home itself is just stunning, the staff are friendly and helpful, we couldn't have wished for anything better.
Getting to the Riad can be tricky and we would suggest arranging an airport transfer to the accommodation prior to travelling. Taxi's can be a bit of an experience, especially if you haven't dealt with this culture before. The fare should cost you no more than 80 dirhams to the market centre, or 100 dirhams to the door. They will try and charge you 200 dirhams or more if you are not on your guard.
The souks are amazing and so are the market stall holders. You will learn to haggle very quickly. The Riad is close to all the action, and a most refreshing oasis to come home to after a day on 'the outside'.
We will definitely return one day with friends.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
bologna
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 May 4, 2009

Lovely place, kind staff and excellent chef...the position was ok! great to stay there!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
talkdiva
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2009

I just spent a week at Riad Ilfoulki with a friend. Both of us cannot say enough about this slice of paradise tucked into the Medina. The Riad itself is impressive combination of 5 buildings tastefully decorated by it’s illustrious owner Peter, a Danish gentleman (emphasis on Gentleman) who’s heart and soul have been in Morocco for 40 years. Peter has organized several local charitable organizations and is deeply committed to the welfare of his staff and his guests.

Upon arriving, Peter tells every guest “Please treat this place like your home” . He didn’t have to say that twice to us pushy New Yorkers. We made our way into the kitchen regularly, to ask for fresh squeezed orange juice (from the trees in the Riad’s courtyard), tea or to pester the lovely women in charge for cooking tips and recipes. We were always greeted with nothing but smiles. The ladies are happy to provide you with a cooking lesson if you schedule it beforehand.

The staff in general was outstanding and after a few days we felt they were not only like a family but part of ours. A special mention to Mustafa the hotel manager. He bent over backwards to accommodate our every whim and even personally escorted us on a day trip to Essouira rather than disappoint our request for an English speaking guide. He also provided great shopping tips and travel information in general.

Our room was gorgeous. Full stop. The lovely roof terrace is the spot for breakfast or luxurious lounging especially after a visit to their in-house hammam.

If you don’t have the energy to battle it out through the Medina to find a restaurant after a long day of shopping and sightseeing, I recommend joining Peter in the salon for dinner at the Riad. The food is outstanding. 27 Euro gets you soup, appetizer, main course and dessert, tea, water, etc.and the conversation is wonderful.

Peter is opening a complex of shops and restaurants in the Mellah (old Jewish section) which should be ready soon. It will contain a spice shop, designer store, soup bar and a collection of small tasteful restaurants.

I am someone who would never stay in the same hotel twice . The exception is now in Marrakesh where I would not stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2009

Recently I spent a few days in the Riad Ifoulki, which as a whole was an enjoyable experience (although dampened by the weather, but that does not really fall under the Riad’s responsibility). A summary:

The place is a bit difficult to find; the main entrance is at the end of a small galley and is not marked – you really want to take a taxi there to show you the way (although you will have to walk the last bit – the taxi can’t get all the way to the door). Once there, it is easy enough to get everywhere – the staff (which is very friendly and really multi-lingual – we found French, English and German were spoken by all key staff) will indicate an easy way to get to the main square (some 10 minutes walk), and give indications to other places of interest (including good shopping opportunities).

The rooms are quite different from each other; initially I had one “superior” that was next to the kitchen and as a result somewhat noisy, but on request I was changed to another one that left no wishes open – spacious, tastefully furnished, quiet (as is the whole place – you are woken by the muezzin and the birds in the morning, nothing else disturbs the tranquillity of the neighbourhood during the night). My parents also stayed in the Riad (in “junior suite”), and complained that their room would not get fully heated up (we were there during a cold spell), but that was rather an exception – no other guests had that problem. The room – as all others we saw – was again very nicely decorated and spacious, and opened to a semi-private terrace.

The house (or rather: palace) itself has various beautiful courtyards, is tastefully decorated and planted, and offers plenty of spaces for sitting and relaxing; from the generously sized roof terrace there with sunbeds and umbrellas is a wonderful view over the city and the mountains. Breakfast can be had the whole day (from 9 to 18.30 h), and wherever you wish to have it (in the breakfast room, your own room, the roof terrace, etc.); contrary to other visitors we always easily found staff that would attend us – it’s as simple as going to either the kitchen or the office.

As indicated by other guests, the breakfast is a bit simple (bread, butter, jam and a piece of cake, plus tea or coffee), but you can actually have more (e.g. eggs, muesli) – you just have to ask… If you want you can have dinner (to be ordered before 12 mid-day – the cook will then go and buy the ingredients fresh on the market), where you will be joined by Peter, the Danish owner of the place; the food was always good (if somewhat steep at € 27 plus drinks per head for a 5-course meal), and Peter certainly has a lot of things to tell about his current activities (he is involved in various charities and is somewhat of a local celebrity) and his life in general.

The place has a private hammam and offers massages; I thoroughly enjoyed the former but felt the latter was a bit “soft” – although my mom (who had a different masseur) reported the opposite, having been stretched and kneaded thoroughly. The drawback is the cost - € 25 is way above what you pay in a public hammam, so you would have to think about how much the privacy and convenience is worth to you.

Depending on your objectives for your stay, the communications facilities in the Riad could be a plus or a minus: There are no telephones in the rooms, and internet access is only possible at the reception (where you have to ask the staff to leave them their computer for a while, so not really meant for surfing for hours – but it’s free, so no complaints). Still, there is an internet café just some 100 m from the entrance (go out the galley and turn left at the first corner – it’s on the right side of that street), so that can be covered, and mobile phones work just fine – but maybe you come for relaxing anyway, and that’s what the place is perfect for (if you have the necessary funds for it, that is).

  • Liked — Central location, views from roof terrace, decoration, friendly, multilingual, helpful staff
  • Disliked — Hard to find / no car access; prices
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2008

Staying at the Riad Ifoulki was a charming experience.
A nice, calm, spacy oasis in the middle of the medina.

Only one thing did not work out so perfectly. The last morning we had to leave very early. So the hotel offered to deliver our booked breakfast early in the morning before we had to leave. Nobody appeared though...
I hope we are the only ones with this experience.

Stayed March 2008
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 Riad Ifoulki

Address: 11,Derb Mqqadem route Arset loghzail, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#71 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#71 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#168 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Ifoulki 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riad Ifoulki Marrakech

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