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“Lovely building but over-priced and run by dishoest people.” 2 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 #210 of 463 Hotels in Marrakech
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lovely building but over-priced and run by dishoest people.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My girlfriend and I stayed at this riad in March this year.

The staff we met were lovely and the manager very efficient but compared to other places in the city its not particularly good value. Food is very expensive and drinks quite expensive and the décor and fittings look good in photos from a far but actually are pretty dated (for instance our room had a big unbranded plasma tv on the wall but a satellite set top box from the 1990's which was unusable. Similarly there was a speaker with an ipad dock but no remote control so it too was unusuable.). Our bedding was pretty low quality, too. The place was also mostly empty and looked like it was in shut-down mode most of the time. Ask for a drink and it comes 20 minutes later and is warm, wifi not working properly, that sort of thing.

But our big complaint is this- I accidentally left my rayban sunglasses in the room and after we left emailed them asking to them to post them (and charge me for it). They confirmed they had them and would send them, then went quiet on me, then said they didnt have them anymore and for the last 3 months have been giving me every excuse under the sun not to pay me compensation (religious holiday, director being out of the country, Western Union not being open etc etc).

Marrakech has changed a lot recently and developed a lot of bad western habits. My advice to travellers: don't stay here, avoid all the generic traditional restaurants that are a fantastic rip-off, and skip the 'cultural tours' that will make you sit for hours while they pretend not to sell you expensive rugs or take you straight to an overpriced government shop in the souk, rather than let you haggle with a shopkeeper.

Instead, try a family owned small riad like the riad Souika instead, head for the square, eat BBQ for £5 a head and go hang out somewhere casual with some backpackers........

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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123 reviews from our community

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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 (8)
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English first
Orlando, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

We stayed in this Riad recently and were very pleased with the accommodations and staff. As with almost all Riad's in the old city this Riad is very difficult to find. The traffic in Marrakech is very challenging and the lack of signage makes finding any Riad an experience. This Riad is a great place to stay and have dinner and still be close to the activities in the old city.

Room Tip: If you do not have a tour guide make sure you have a plan to find most Riad's in Marrakech.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

An eventful arrival as due to Eid clocks changing and celebrations, the riad's driver was not at the airport to meet us when we arrived (not sure if this was the airlines fault or that of the riad). We couldn't get an answer from the Riad so took a cab, then spent well over an hour being walked around by a group of teenage boys ***note to travellers, check and double check times especially around Ramadan and ideally get the hotel address in Arabic and a map in advance (3G is not available so my iPhone was about as much use as a brick).

In hindsight the boys were very kind and insisted on helping us but clearly had no clue where the riad was (apparently there are nearly 600 in marrakech). We must have accumulated our own football team of local Moroccans all after a tip for their help by the time we arrived... Weary from travel and having feared for our safety wandering around the souks in pitch dark with a growing group of young men isn't the best way to acclimatise to Moroccan culture!!!

We found the rear entrance to the building and after much banging and phoning we got hold of staff.

Khalid then rescued us, wonderful Khalid! He escorted us through the derelict area and into the paradise that is lotus privilege. We stayed in the riad and sampled Khalid's taster menu which was superb and enjoyed the entertainment from the resident belly dancer (my 6 year old was captivated) and the stresses all melted away!

We had a dip in the plunge pool enjoying the riad to ourselves the next morning, a lovely breakfast of Moroccan pancakes. This was followed by a guided tour of the city which the riad arranged for us which included a lovely lunch at another Lotus riad.

Our room was spacious and had all the niceties that have been described in previous reviews. It was spotlessly clean and the staff tidied our things each day, meaning the room was immaculate when returned from a long day about town.

The courtyard was fabulous as was the sun terrace. We didn't have any problems with the riad being overcrowded or having anything but the undivided attention of the wonderful staff.

Well done lotus privilege, we had a great time... Once we got there! :)

Stayed July 2014
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Newark, Delaware, United States
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

This was not the original Riad that I had wanted to book in Marrakech, but the place I had my heart set on was booked for the dates I was going to be in Morocco. With that said, I asked my travel agent to find my a similar Riad. After reviewing her selections, I had booked this Riad based on previous reviews on TripAdvisor and on the photographs. The photographs don't do this place justice. It is truly a breathtaking dive into the world of the "1001 Arabian Nights". The building is an ancient merchant's home converted into hotel, hammam, and restaurant. Their website advertised that they have a total of 5 rooms (3 regular rooms and two suites). However, when I stayed there they had reduced the total number of rooms to 3, getting rid of two rooms to expand the restaurant at courtyard level. I had booked a suite and it was luxuriously appointed with sumptuous bedding, linens, a walk-in closet, two separate seating areas, Bang-Olufsen stereo, flat-screen TV, free WiFi, and a bathroom to outdo all bathrooms...black serpentine marble everywhere, double sinks, a jacuzzi tub big enough to fit two people with a rain-head shower directly overhead, surrounded by wall-to-wall mirror, and a beautiful stained glass window. The toilet and bidet had their own separate nook. The suites, located on the second level have their own private terraces as well as a shared terrace with a trellis, huge bougainvillea vines, orange bearing trees and roses. The Riad also has their own line of bath products that are scented with the perfume of orange blossoms. This was the ever-present and heady aroma of the Riad and it wafts you away into a land of fantasies and tranquility. The courtyard is closed off from the noise and dust of the streets outside and is laid out in black and white marble tile, a wading pool (seldom used), sofas and tables under orange trees and bougainvillea vines, bamboo, and a huge cactus. The decoration of the entire Riad is a fusion of traditional Moroccan, Arabic, and French styles that recall the classic films of the 30's and 40's. This place like most Riads located in the Medina of Marrakech, are difficult to find. Since the streets and alleyways of the Medina have no names and the houses are not numbered, it is almost imperative that you have a local guide take you there or call ahead to have a staff member meet you on the street to guide you in. I had booked a two and a half week trip to Morocco and I was going to be going everywhere, so when it came to lodgings in Marrakech in the latter half of my trip, I wanted a place that I could relax, unwind and luxuriate.

Upon waking to the gentle tunes of local songbirds, I would have breakfast in the courtyard. Breakfast varied all the time, but stuck to the Continental variety with freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee or tea, bread with butter and marmalades, and pastries. Sometimes I would get fresh fruit or fruit salad...Everything always fresh and delicious! I ate at the Riad's restaurant twice. The first time I had their Prix Fixe menu which consists of traditional Moroccan dishes prepared in the Nouvelle French style. Appetizers came as ten different Moroccan salads served in tiny little tanginess followed by Briouattes filled with forcemeat's of chicken, or lamb, or cheese and vegetables. Roast lamb, chicken tagine, and a couscous dish all deconstructed and presented so beautifully that you just wanted to look at the dishes. However, the food was exceptional! The entertainment offered was the Gnawah musicians out in the courtyard playing traditional music and belly-dancing by the Riads resident danseuse. Desserts were typically fruit laden Phyllo napoleons or fruit salads and the ever-present mint tea. The second time I ate at the restaurant with some friends I made the first time eating there, we were offered a special dinner not on the menu...since we had already had the Prix Fixe selection. The Prix Fixe menu is expensive. But if you want to dine in this style, most of the restaurants of this caliber in Marrakech also are within the same price range.

When I came back from a 3-day excursion to the Sahara, I returned dusty and tired. I took advantage of the Riads hammam and booked for a 60 minute massage and a scrub-down in the hammam. The massage was great, the scrub-down was not my expectation of what a hammam experience would be...I was a little disappointed. Compared to spa services in world-class spa resorts this just a soap, rinse and dry.

The housekeeping staff always had my room ready when I returned from a hot and busy day. The staff in general was incredibly courteous and always went out of their way to grant my every wish. In one instance, I came back from the street followed by two thugs who were trying to extort money from me just for guiding me out of the Medina when I got lost. I had given them a token of appreciation and they insisted on being pied more. A Riad staff member saw me coming and took care of the "situation". I was grateful for the intervention. A special kudos goes out to the director Majdeline and her night staff counterpart for making my staff a most memorable one.

Now here is what I didn't like about the place and I am nit-picking.

1) Wifi access while free is sporadic and most of the time could not be accessed from my suite. I had to go down to the courtyard to get any Wifi if it was available at that time. Because of the sporadic Wifi sometimes paying for a meal or for your bill with a credit card meant trying several times.

2) the cleaning staff always took my bar soap from my room and seldom replaced it. Towards the end of my stay instead of the orange-blossom scented glycerine soaps that I would find in my bath and sinks. I was presented with a bar of "Luxe" brand bath soap (probably purchased at a local sudries shop).

3) As a guest of the Riad you expect to be able to relax in the courtyard at any hour of the day. However, since this Riad now has only three working guest rooms, they have to make up the rest of their profit via the restaurant, the hammam, or hosting corporate events. Often times I would come back after a day of sightseeing or shopping hoping to relax downstairs with a drink and there would be a corporate function going on for several hours, or other tourists who came to use the hammam spread out on lounge chairs, soaking up the rays that I would have wanted to soak up in their place. Sometimes I had to resort to using just my private terrace or just showering, changing and going elsewhere.

4) While I loved the Buddha Bar inspired soundtrack that played in the background, sometimes it got monotonous. Likewise with the Gnawah musicians that played the same tune...every single night.

5) If the Riad had to clean the wading pool or prepare it for a function, all the water pressure in the guest rooms would cease to exist. There were more than a few times I had to yell out from my terrace with soap in my eyes to complain that I didn't have any water or no hot water.

Like I said, I am nit-picking. For a resort of this caliber all the loose ends should be cleaned up

Overall, this is a wonderful place and one that I would return to if I ever get the opportunity to return to Marrakech.

Room Tip: When I booked my room, the price of a regular room was the same as the price of the suite. If this...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 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.
DMinel, Digital Marketing Manager at Riad Lotus Privilege, responded to this review, June 6, 2014
Hi Mr. Carlos,
First of all, we thank you for taking the time to leave this review very relevant to the Riad Lotus Privilege. A big thank you from the whole team. We are pleased that you liked our riad and consider all your feedback. We will try to satisfy you during your next stay in Marrakech. And invite you to come back whenever you want. You are always welcome.

Sincerely yours,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 114 cities Reviews in 114 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

We were recommended dinner at Lotus Privilege and were very disappointed with the food. It was very expensive at £90 and the food was bland, not traditional style Moroccan. The best bit was definitely the service. The men were doing a wonderful job at making us welcome. Maybe the usual chef had a night off because we were not pleased with our meal...

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south england
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

We stayed at the Privilege recently on a mini break and privileged we certainly felt. It is an oasis of calm and opulence in the crazy medina. It was pure heaven to come back here each evening and have a cool drink in the courtyard. The staff were so helpful and interesting to talk with. The breakfasts under the orange trees delightful. We only ate here once and it was delicious but the chairs were terribly uncomfortable. Far too low for the tables, it was like being a 5 year old again and made for very awkward eating. There was the obligatory belly dancer, but it was a quaint experience rather than overpowering, as she discreetly disappeared after a few dances. Our rooms were cleaned immaculately every day. Best of all the manager never pushed excursions on us. The only poor service was from the spa, it was less than indifferent. My husband was a general manager in a 4 star hotel for over 20 years so he has very high standards.
Highly recommended for couples.

Room Tip: The medina in general is not suitable for children. This is a luxury escape for adults.
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  • Stayed September 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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3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013 via mobile

Ok... I read the reviews and i agree its a rip off!! But we booked with our agent once in marrakech. 800dirham for a day in luxury!!!
We did the cooking course, spent the day in the swimming pool and then had the amazing massage treatment!! That was the best!
We had an amazing day but fully payed for it... Not drinks included!!! So watch it!! ....
The manager and waiters are up their bums like the own the place.... But hey it was a day off and for us was well worth it!!!
The food was cooked by us so was lovely ... Bit dark and tables too high... People too posh for me....

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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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
Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#85 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#176 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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