This riad was organised for us by a friend of a friend who we were meeting later in the week in Zagora to go trekking in the desert. He had worked with the people at Hotel Belleville for some years and felt this place was safe, in a good location with helpful staff and he was definitely right.
Our first impression was that it was a bit basic, but after staying elsewhere in Morocco AND at a more expensive riad in Marrakech later in the trip that we were hoping to be more upscale (but definitely wasn't and was not worth the money) we started to realise what a good deal Hotel Belleville was.
The decor is very traditional and the riad is kept very clean. You eat breakfast (the most generous breakfast we had from any of the hotels we stayed at while in Morocco) on a beautiful roof terrace withe plenty of lovely foliage. The managers were very helpful and you are about a 2 minute walk from the Djemma el Fna - the location is perfect.
Just a word on location. We found that most things in Marrkech (excluding the Nouvelle Ville which is further way) were very close to each other. From Hotel Belleville you can be through the main square and into the souqs in 5 minutes and then north of that near the Foundouks and the Moussaine in another 10. The trick is not getting lost, which is pretty much impossible, but inevitably you get spat out somewhere and you realise, with a bit of luch, you're actually pretty close to where you were intending to go in the first place.
We stayed in December and quickly learned that, while tiling is great for hot weather, it is freezing in cold weather. There isn't central heating but there is a space heater that takes the chill off plus plenty of blankets so we were very cosy. Plus the shower was fantastic - pretty strong and plenty of hot water.
All the other guests staying here were French. One of the staff members has fair English and the other has quite good English. We speak French so this wasn't a problem for us, but even if we didn't I think it wouldn't have been a problem.
This is not a plush riad, but we quickly learned that the more luxurious, exotic riads that we see in travel magazine and travel shows probably cost a fair bit.
The riad we stayed in on the last night was Dar Pangal, which we booked as it was rated number 1 for hotels under £50 but we were not impressed. The owner and manager were lovely but the courtyard was unkept and I felt the rooms really lacked atmosphere. Plus the location was not nearly as good.
We had thought about booking Dar Taliwint, which has great reviews on here but is probably about twice as expensive as Hotel Belleville. Our friend told us this was a good place too if it's in your budget.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.