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“Quiet getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Shemsi

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Riad Shemsi
194 Derb Chtouka, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #236 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
dorset
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Quiet getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

After the hustle and bustle of the streets, this is very tranquil and a perfect place to get away. I even decided to continue working on my book one morning - no children, telephone calls and just more haggling to look forward to.
Some local teenagers showed us the way to the riad when we were lost and proceeded to ask us for money every time we came back. Be warned that this is a precedent that the locals wish to avoid. I told them that if they asked for directions in England I would have given then happily without expectations of a reward.
In the main square, we practically had 200 dirham snatched from our hands by the snake men. Nothing is free! Someone died two months ago from a bite from a cobra whose teeth had not been filed so therein lies a warning. Riad Monceau provided a wonderful patisserie course, the highlight of this trip for me.
Haggling is both exhausting and fun so be prepared! What an experience this has been. Stay here, feel at home, maybe ask for a large room as ours, the pink room, was a little small but comfortable, and enjoy. Highly recommended as the closest to a home away from home as you may get.

Room Tip: Maybe not the pink room as a little on the small side.
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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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254 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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Harrogate
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

What a little gem. Prior to going I contacted Riad Shemsi and they replied very quickly, and this efficiency was just how the Riad was run. We stayed at the Riad Shemsi for three nights. Arrived at 10pm and was greeted with mint tea and cakes, very welcome. We stayed in the turquoise room, which is really spacious and has a very big shower. The bed and pillows were very comfy and the air conditioning unit was the quietest unit we have ever had. Breakfast was simple, bread, pancakes and home-made yoghurt, jam and cheese with tea. Enough to see you through to lunchtime. Mohammed was very accommodating with our early start on two days and had breakfast ready for us. The pool was an added bonus after a hot day out we spent a couple of hours each evening relaxing before going to dinner.

Tea and water was available free of charge any time day or night. On our last day we were not due to leave until 6pm and they let us keep our room on. A tax was organised by the Riad and was there early to collect us for the airport.

Well done Riad Shemsi you are up there at the top of my list.

  • Stayed June 2014, 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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London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

Road Shemsi deserves to be much further up the best list of places to stay in Marrakech. It was stunning. There are a few twists and turns down narrow alleys to reach it but when you do there is an oasis of calm behind the large wooden door. Spotlessly clean, stylish and such lovely staff. Make sure you check out the lovely roof terrace. The breakfast was great and the mint tea and pastries much appreciated. The room was lovely with a really comfortable bed and good shower. The aircon wasn't hugely effective but that would probably more of an issue in hotter months. The lovely pool area provided such a contrast the madness of the streets of Marrakech. I would definitely encourage you all to stay here.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

We stayed at Riad Shemsi for 2 nights and really enjoyed our stay. It feels like you are staying on someone's home. The decor is beautiful, our room was on the ground floor- which we didn't mind, it had a small but adequate shower room and the rooms decor was traditionally Moroccan which was nice. There is a pool but we didn't use it- we did use the roof top terrace which provides a peaceful getaway from the busy streets. Being in the south of Marrakech it is close to some of the main tourist attractions and only a 15-20 minuite walk to the souks. I would recommend staying here if you like boutique B&Bs :)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 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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St Albans
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

My husband and I with our 2 teenage daughters stayed here for 5 nights in the Berbere bedroom and the Orange bedroom which are next to each other.
We travelled in early April as we were expecting the temperature to be around 25C but summer came early which meant most days it was around 35C!! This made us extremely grateful for the pool (definitely a swimming pool NOT a plunge pool at 1.2m deep and roughly 20ft x 10ft) which we used a lot to cool off in.
The Riad is truly beautiful, only 6 rooms, very peaceful, each room traditionally but stylishly decorated with air conditioning, great showers, delicious Bains de Marrakech soap, shampoo, shower gel and body milk, a safe in each room and very firm matresses! Plenty of towels for the bathroom and by the pool and large towelling robes which we used by the pool as well. Most importantly for our 2 daughters, free Wifi throughout the Riad!
The roof terraces are both beautifully done with the tented area a great shady place to sit or plenty of smart loungers to lie in the sun, surrounded by potted plants and flowers.
We had pre booked a meal for the first night at the Riad as we knew we wouldn't be arriving till 8pm. I'm so glad we did as our flight was delayed and we didn't end up getting to the Riad till much later but it was no problem for the cook, who had waited for us and then proceeded to cook us a beautiful Morrocan meal - I would thoroughly recommend having a meal there.
Breakfast, which is served from 8.30 till 10.30am every day was delicious - freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade yoghurt, jams, breads and Berber pancakes and eggs cooked to order. I know one reviewer commented that there was no variety in the breakfast and whilst the above was on offer every day there was also sometimes dried fruits, sometimes fresh fruit then either croissants or pain au chocolate or homemade Maderia cake, I also had scrambled eggs which were beautifully cooked and spiced with cumin - with so much choice it would have been hard to be bored with the food! Oh and hot chocolate every day for my daughters.
Mohammed, who is there from about 5pm till about 10.30am each day is a quiet, gentle soul who is very helpful and will book or sort out anything for you - I was a bit of a pain - booking treatments and taxis and then cancelling them when our plans changed but he never batted an eyelid or made me feel I was being difficult!
The ladies who run, cook and clean the Riad during the day are charming - very little English,but if you don't speak French you can make yourself understood. The Riad is spotless and even though my daughters were a quite messy in their bedroom the maid tidied and cleaned their room every day always with a big smile. As other reviewers have mentioned it is incredibly quiet at Riad Shemsi as it is tucked away down a back alley at the bottom of the mainly residential area of the Kasbah, this means there are very few tourists around, however it is still only a 20 minute stroll to the main square (Jemaa el Fna).
This meant that on several occasions we felt very comfortable leaving our young teenage daughters there sunbathing and swimming for couple of hours whilst we visited some sights they weren't interested in.
Having visited the much busier, noisier far more touristy North Medina I was so glad we weren't staying there.
I don't think Riad Shemsi would be suitable for large, noisy groups unless taking over the whole Riad.
Mint tea, coffee, juice and water are provided free of charge and we would often have coffee on the roof terrace when we returned at night which was lovely. I honestly can't fault Riad Shemsi, it offered far more than I was expecting for the price and I think its only fault is underselling itself - I didn't realise until I got there that I could have had a cookery course there, massage treatments there and many trips can be booked from there including guides round the city! Would definitely return. I just hope all these comments get passed on to the staff?

Room Tip: Orange Room is a good size with large walk in shower. Berber Room is on the smaller size with a sma...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, Ca.
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

The entry way and (small/very cold) plunge pool are beautiful. To lounge there after the noisy market (medina) area you need to pass through every time you come and go anywhere is a real pleasure. The suite is on the third floor (no elevator) and feels like you have the entire roof area to yourselves as the terrace is there too. (Maybe noisy if guests are partying in Summer?) The owner was not there apparently having a baby and the relief staff were nice enough but dropped the ball by having breakfast ready AFTER we were scheduled to be picked up by our city tour guide. No breakfast, big tour, not good ! Mohammed (nice guy) the night man forgot it was Sunday (stores open later apparently). He also locked himself out for an hour until I happened by. There was no food service offered and that's not a bad thing as the Les Jardins de la Medina riad is steps away and has a great restaurant, atmosphere, full staff and they change money for guests---at the official rate.

Room Tip: Chocolate suite big and has an extra single bed. A safe too.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Chichester
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

After deciding to take a break before the madness of Christmas, we settled on Marrakech as our destination. A friend recommended Riad Shemsi so we checked it out on line and booked it up 18th - 23rd December.

We were picked up from the airport and as we drove to the Riad, I did have to question had we made the right decision, which was reinforced when the driver stopped in a busy, seemingly run down part of town, without speaking, got out of the car, dragged our bags out and headed of into the maddening crowed! Keeping up with him as he ducked down ever narrowing allies I did start to worry. After a few minutes we came to a dead end with just a big door in front of us.......All my fears were allayed once we entered, Riad Shemsi was a beautiful, peaceful haven far from the chaos we had encountered outside.

We were greeted by Noura and served mint tea with nibbles by the pool then left to relax and take in the calm before she came back to provided a map,several recommendations for places to visit and take us to our room.

The room was a little on the small side but perfectly adequate, although we did have a few issues with the heating not working and the electrics playing up but that didn't detract from our enjoyment, and the staff were very helpful in resolving the issues without delay.

We could not have been better located, once we learnt our way around we found we could walk to the Square, Souks and New town, also it is in a quieter part of the Medina, which you will appreciate as Marrakech gives new meaning to the words "hectic" and "chaotic", but don't be put off by this you really do learn to embrace the madness and roll with it.

The thing about Marrakech is that you never know what is behind the rundown facades and trust me you will always be surprised by the opulence it hides. It was a great place to visit full of sights and smells (not all good!) and never a dull moment. Alcohol is pretty much banned in the old city although there are a few hotels that serve drinks but you will pay a hefty price for the privilege - around 140 dirhams for a bottle (same wine costs about 8 dirhams at the airport) , in fact one place we went into charged 130 dirhams a glass.....yes a glass! and the Riad does not have a bar. Needless to say it was a very health holiday lots of walking and little alcohol, and one we truly enjoyed.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Riad Shemsi

Address: 194 Derb Chtouka, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #236 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Shemsi is a beautiful and elegant Riad in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. Situated in the Royal Kasbah, it is in easy walking distance of all the principal sites including the main square and the myriad souks. All the suites are delightfully presented in traditional Moroccan plasterwork and Marrekchi furnishings. The views from its elevated terrace are stunning. The celebrated Shemsi cuisine is sourced locally everyday from the freshest ingredients. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Shemsi Hotel Marrakech

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