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“"A less than special honeymoon, don't be fooled by looks!"” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Lotus Privilege

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Riad Lotus Privilege
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   9, Derb Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouch | Quartier Dar El Bacha, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #187 of 461 Hotels in Marrakech
Birmingham, England
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“"A less than special honeymoon, don't be fooled by looks!"”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

As I work in the travel industry my brother set me the task of finding him somewhere special in Marrakech for his honeymoon at the beginning of September 2012 for 7 nights. I did my research and found the Riad Lotus Privilege and decided to upgrade them to a Suite as a surprise as these looked beautiful. Since their return I have learned the valuable lesson of “looks are not everything” as my brother reported that there is nothing special about staying here. Based on my brother’s experience here are the reasons why we would not recommend this riad:

1) THEY HAVE A OVER-BOOKING PROBLEM
As a surprise I had upgraded my brother room to a suite, which was very expensive but I wanted to make his honeymoon special, this was done 3 months in advance. When he arrived he was shown to his room by the manager, who he then asked “is this a suite?”. The manager told him that “all their rooms are suite’s, so yes this is”. This is a blatant lie to start with because having done my homework I know that they have 2 standard rooms and 3 suite’s each individually named and the suites are named suite’s eg suite verte or suite marron and the standard rooms are not eg crème or rouge. He was in crème and so therefore emailed me to query this. He then went downstairs to show them his booking details which says ‘suite’ and was then told that by another staff member that he had only booked a standard room regardless of what his confirmation invoice said. Mean while back home I am franticly trying to sort this out for my brother having paid a small fortune for something that we had not received.

A day it turned out that the riad acknowledged that we had paid for a suite but still had put him and his new wife in a standard room. They explained that they had over booked and that all 3 suites were taken by one family. In this day and age this disgusts me but it seems that it is a common occurrence within the Lotus group of riads as I was reading a review for Riad Lotus Pearl of a man who booked Riad Pearl and was dumped in the Riad Lotus Ambre their cheaper riad. At the time I thought this was a one off.

What I think happened was after I had booked 3 months beforehand they had a potential booking for a family that needed all 3 suites and instead of turning down this big booking they turfed my brother out of the suite instead to accommodate them. This theory can be backed up by another review I read about the Privilege where a man was thrown out of his suite on the last night to accommodate for some other guests with no apology. This disgusting service in obviously common practice but again as I had paid did not think this would happen to us.

The funniest thing was I had even emailed the riad days before my brother arrived informing them that they were on their honeymoon. They did not reply which was fare enough but in that email I stated that they had already booked a ‘suite’.

2) THE STANDARD ROOMS ARE JUST THAT, BUT AT AN EXPENSIVE PRICE!
Having booked this on behalf of my brother and sister-in-law I am aware of how much the standard rooms cost and these are definitely still not cheap compared to other riads. He was dumped unwilling in the ‘crème’ room which on their website they describe as a ‘deluxe room’, but it is far from this.

The air conditioning never worked and it took 3 days until they finally fixed it but my brother had to complain about it on several occasions before they did so. The funny thing is my friend stayed at this riad also in 2009 in a standard room and one of her complaints was about the lack of air con. This is obviously ongoing problem, but before booking did not think this would be a problem as we were having a suite anyway (or so I thought).

The shower in this room is only a hose which is not connected to the wall and so you need to hold the hose up yourself to take a shower. Why? When they charge so much for the room. I myself have been to Marrakech in a very cheap riad and had a shower that was attached to the wall, so it’s not a big ask.

The water is also very intermittent in this room and at some points in the day nothing would come out of the taps. I accept that this is a developing country and so this may be a general problem, however you cannot then charge the high price they do for their rooms when they cannot guarantee the basics like running hot water.

The dvd player did not work so my brother had to also badger them to fix this.

3) LOCATION
When I went to Marrakech I realised how important location was and so sort to find a Riad that would be easy to get to at night especially. This one is ok in that it is within walking distance to the famous square and near a main road on the outskirts of the medina. However if you were venturing out eg to the north part of the medina or the new town and wanted to get a taxi back to the road near the riad, NO taxi’s were able to find it. This was even with a business card from the riad and therefore you ended up paying extra.

4) HIT AND MISS SERVICE
My brother reported that the service is just OK, however he did feel that if you had a suite they paid a lot more attention to you, which is preferential treatment and not good customer service. He felt that he was constantly asking them to fix things, and when he asked them for example for a drink from the bar, they often forgot, so you need extreme patience.

The Lotus group have a few riads and the manager goes between them all, so my brother thought the service is was less personal than he had imagined. This is because I had told him about my experience which was of a personal service where the owners are always on site to help and talk to you and so you feel like you are sharing THEIR HOME.

Don’t get me wrong there are some positive’s about this riad such as the beautiful communal areas, the food in the restaurant and the décor of the 3 suite’s. But it seems they are lacking in so many areas that does not warrant the expensive price that they are charging. I must admit that if you read the other reviews generally they are all excellent and I have since noticed that all the bad ones are based on the standard rooms. But can you really risk it when you MAY book a suite and still only get a standard room. And yes they did refund us the price of the suite and tried to compensate with a free massage and dinner… but we paid all that money to upgrade for a reason and what with having to harass them all the time to get anything done, my brother felt like his honeymoon was hard work rather than special.

SUMMARY
In conclusion I would say why risk staying here when there are hundreds of riads in the medina where the experience will be more personal, more special, cheaper, and they will honour what you pay for. You will have high expectations which are not guaranteed to be met so no, don’t risk it.

As I work in travel I will personally spend the rest of my career steering people away from this place. Thanks for nothing Riad Privilege you have taught me some valuable lessons.

Room Tip: Choose a room in another riad as they will probably over book anyway and not have what you have paid...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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120 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    92
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    4
    7
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7
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
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English first
Incedo
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012 via mobile

We enjoyed our stay, the room, the breakfast, our dinner on the first night were all excellent. The highlight of the stay was the service provided by the staff, in particular by Hicham, who went out of his way to organise things for us.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

A totally beautiful riad! The rooms are stunning and designed so luxuriously. The service was fantastic - all the waiters were very attentive and polite and the manager Farid was exceptional giving us great advice for bookings etc...I really felt like royalty staying here!

The restaurant has live Moroccan musicians and stunning belly dancers. A fantastic riad!

Room Tip: Rooms on ground floor are huge with v high ceilings!
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  • Stayed May 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cranleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

Absolutely lovely Riad! Just got back. Went with a girlfriend for 3 nights... to relax.... have a look at Marrakech... Had a downstairs suite opening onto the central bit with the pool. The room was lovely, the bathroom AMAZING! Had our own velvet L shape sofa out side and our own little table and chairs. Sunloungers were a bout 2 steps away... Was really relaxing, the only thing you can hear is the birds singing. The staff were all, without exception helpfull, smiley, unobtrusive and very proffesional. Food was lovely, they had a belly dancer come to the dining room in the evening and men playing morrocan music. Nothing was too much trouble.... they would set you a table for lunch or breakfast wherever you chose to eat..... lovely mint tea and little pastrys..... and all about 5 minutes walk from the main square. Would be lovely for a honeymoon as it is so peaceful, private, relaxing and you are treated like royalty. Even the pillows are lovely (not solid polyester ones but feather). But there were the other type in the cupboard if you prefer......If you like a very firm bed you will love it! Would wholeheartedly recommend this Riad.

Room Tip: The lower floor 2 rooms open out onto the central pool area and there are no stairs involved..... bu...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Hull England
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

A night with a lovely lady in a Riad to dine fore. Place , food and atmosphere worthy of any night out. Not cheap but worthy of the experience. If in dout please go you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

My partner and I went for my 50th Birthday this January and were very impressed with the Riad. I cannot rate the staff highly enough and nothing was too much trouble. Our suite (Blue)on the top terrace was amazing . As there are only 5 rooms/suites it was very private.
Breakfast was fantastic and was served more or less however late you surfaced.
One word of advice - I would suggest pre booking your taxi from the Airport as we didnt and no one knw where the Riad was. We were dropped off on th main square and it took us 2 hours to get there even with the help of a local.
I would definately recommend this Riad and cant wait to return.

Room Tip: I would recommend the top terrace which was perfect for privacy.
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  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2011

When I arrived in the Marrekesh Airport - my wallet was stolen - The hotel driver stayed for 5 hours like a good soldier and made sure that everything was sorted out with the police before he took us to the hotel. We were assured that everything would be fine - I had no cash or credit cards and the hotel received us as if we were royalty. My imaginary picture of Marrekesh was exactly as was our arrival - at 11 PM we were walked through these tiny alleyways - very dark and mysterious with shadows everywhere and then into this oasis of tranquility that was totally magical - when I was shown my room (Red) on the ground floor opening up to the courtyard I simply could not have believed there was such a perfect room with a fireplace (which was lit every night) beautiful bathroom with bevelled glass 4" squares everywhere - tons of closets - YES WIFI, too! The first day I had breakfast at 1:30 in the afternoon in my bathrobe on the ostrich-like overstuffed couches under the orange trees next to the pool. Heaven. The service was fantastic - always at least 5 people to wait on you hand and foot - even the macchiatos were perfect. The location is divine right smack in the middle of the medina but in the most elegant area - if you ever get lost you just ask for Cafe Arabe which the hotel also owns - Italian food/Italian owner - I did not go native and try the hammams in the Medina but instead went to Hammam de la Rose - owned by the hotel - you could have been at the Wynn Spa - perfect attentiveness to your well-being. The staff will bend over backwards to help you in any way - always with a smile. This is my new home in Morocco!

Room Tip: There are only 5 - the sunny ones are upstairs - every room is perfect.
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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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Additional Information about Riad Lotus Privilege

Address: 9, Derb Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouch | Quartier Dar El Bacha, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#75 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#168 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Riad Lotus Privilege 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
By unwrapping this new elegant and magnificent Riad, the Lotus chain embeds permanently its design in a spectacular universe of uniqueness. Positioned in an ideal location within the Dar Bacha District, the Lotus Privilege incarnates Luxury and absolute refinement. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Lotus Privilege Marrakech
Riad Lotus Privilege Hotel Marrakech

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