Your car from the airport will drop you off by the big blue gates of the school as from there on in the roads and alleyways are too cramped for motor vehicles. At this point you'll wonder what you've got yourself into if this is your first visit to Marrakech! Fear not. It's quite safe and you'll observe that the locals are not one bit interested in you and are more intent on going about their daily business - at least in this area. ( by the way you'll be hassled near the square and in the souks so just don't get into any conversations! ) You'll have made a good choice to stay here though for your first visit to Marrakech. Make sure you use wheeled luggage as your guide from the hotel escorts you through the alleyways.
Tip him a 20 Dirham note ( about £1.50 ). The welcome from Miriam the manageress was warm and the complimentary mint tea very refreshing as she made us feel quite at home. We ate there the first night and the Tagines were the best we had throughout our stay - if you want to eat Moroccan do it here. It’s tasty home cooking at it’s best ( for Marrakech ) and reasonably priced too. Our suite was very comfortable with a good comfortable lounging area. Breakfast was comprehensive with plain yoghurts, three different types of pancakes ( that varied from day to day ) excellent French style coffee, a selection of teas, French Bread, Croissants, two slices of a very light and fragrant Madeira style sponge cake and Apricot and Strawberry Jams. The staff are very gentle and nothing is too much trouble. The top sun terrace is perfect for sunbathing and if the Riad isn’t too full ( it wasn’t on our visit ) it can be yours exclusively.
Once you get used to the area it’s easy enough to find your way back to where your car from the airport dropped you off. So, to get back onto the main route and back to the school’s blue gates, come out of the Riad's door, turn left, immediate right and second left. Follow onto the school gates. To get to the Souks ( and ultimately the big main square ) just follow the taxis and traffic flow to the small square that has the Pharmacie Populaire on your left. To the right of the Pharmacy is the start of the Souks. Now, you can wander through the Souks and eventually come out onto the big main square. If you want to get straight to the big main square and mosque then just keep following the taxis and traffic flow ( for about 10 minutes ) until you get to a corner where you can bear right, go down to the big and wide main road and as you look to the left you’ll see the giant mosque on the right hand side of the road. Walk towards the mosque and the entrance to the big main square is opposite the mosque on your left.
Minor gripes were a blown light bulb that never got changed, a basin plug that was extremely hard to lift up and drop down and croissants and pancakes that weren’t always warmed through. So, no major problems there and it’s important to realise your’e not paying five star Hotel Mamounia prices. All in all, with its charming courtyard and staff, it’s perfect for a first stay in Marrakech to really absorb and find out what makes Marrakech tick. If you returned again then perhaps stay in the Mamounia ( as Winston Churchill chose to do ), if funds allow, and mostly remain on site eating and drinking there as well.