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“A beautiful home in the centre of Marrakech's medina” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Samsara

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Riad Samsara
6, Derb El Aarsa | Tarzout -Médina, Marrakech 40008, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #39 of 1,046 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“A beautiful home in the centre of Marrakech's medina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2011

Thank you, Jacqueline, for being such a wonderful host, and showing us the ropes in this magical city. The house was kept spotless by Hannan, whilst Riad Samsara's housekeeper Milouda mothered us and offered us meal after exotic meal of traditionally prepared Moroccan home-cooking. Dawn is announced by the call to prayer from the nearby mosque, and breakfast can be enjoyed on the roof terrace, with magnificent views all over the city to the Atlas mountains beyond.

Staying for two days at Riad Samsara showed us the urban style of living in Morocco, before heading to Jacqueline's mountain resort Douar Samra, where we enjoyed the same level of comfort and care, in a truly spectacular location at the heart of the small village of Tamatert, overlooking the valley and the village of Imlil below. We used Samra as a base from which to hike, including an overnight excursion up Jbel Toubkal.

This was a first trip to Morocco for both of us, and we look forward to returning to explore further. We enjoyed the sophistication of Samsara and the rustic charm at Samra.

  • Stayed September 2011, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JacquelineMarrakech, Propriétaire at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, February 10, 2012
Thank you so much, promise ! we'll do our best
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171 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

Jacqueline is amazing! So warm and so kind! Staying with her is like being in Heaven - her Riad beautiful with great attention to detail. The food is delicious and the service is wonderful. I can not wait to be under the sheltering sky of Morocco again to re-live the experience.

Room Tip: A visit to Jaqueline's 'home in the Atlas mountains is a must as is visiting her 'Fishe...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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JacquelineMarrakech, Propriétaire at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, February 10, 2012
What a pleasure to meet you......hope you'll come back
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Blandford Forum, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

From our first inquiry Jacqueline at Riad Samsara was extremely welcoming and communication was friendly, informative, clear and prompt. As our first visit to Morocco we chose to organize all of of our taxis/ accommodation with Jacqueline and we were never disappointed. On our arrival we were greeted by Jacqueline and in the burning heat of midsummer welcomed with delicious mint tea. The Riad is stunningly detailed and beautifully designed; the family of staff are incredible, kind and organized and our room (with valuable A.C) was just perfect - a real palace. Thanks to the staff at Samsara we felt confident to explore the maze of streets in the Medina knowing that with Milouda's instructions we would always find our way back. The traditional meals are a must - delicious and with these surroundings it is hard to go out - there really can't be better places to eat! As a couple the experience was calm and peaceful, a family atmosphere also allowing us our own independence and tranquility. We can't thank everyone here enough. We continued our journey to Douar Samra, Jacqueline's Berber house in the Atlas Mountains. A very wonderful experience again. It is really worth taking your time to soak in the community atmosphere and details of everyday life. (see separate review) We traveled in the height of Summer during Ramadan and loved the experience. We are already dreaming of returning again soon.

Room Tip: Our room was beautiful - just trust Jacqueline
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
JacquelineMarrakech, Propriétaire at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, February 10, 2012
We are dreaming of your return.......asap
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

In the northern part of the old city, amongst the twists and turns of streets and alleyways, it was such a surprise to go through an understated entrance to find an amazing traditional house hidden behind. High ceilinged, beautifully equipped rooms, arranged around three sides of an enclosed, tiled courtyard with flowering creepers and birdsong. If summer in Marrakech gets too hot there is comfort cooling in the bedrooms The house is being restored, we look forward to going back when it has finished.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
JacquelineMarrakech, Propriétaire at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, February 10, 2012
Thank you for your kindness, we are waiting for you
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Paris, France
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2011

An oasis of peace in the midst of the Medina’s densely animated streets. A real Riad, an early 1900's farmers house, in the lively but authentic neighbourhood of Bab Taghzout, set around an iron-wrought, wood carved, rose decorated courtyard. Madame of the maison, Jacqueline Brandt, Milouda her amazing cook (not forgetting the pets) sweep you within the character filled walls like a warm embrace. The stay here is intensely traditional, yet with the comfort (s) of familiarity, a European hued greeting. Staying in Samsara is a voyage. In décor, location and spirit. From the spread of local breads, jam, yoghurt and overflowing bowls of bursting ripe strawberries to the tangines and exotic vegetable dishes in the evening, the food is fresh, flavoursome and authentically Moroccan.

In light of my experience, I would like to make a comment about the sweet and sour review, 'Beautful Riad Pleasant Stay'. Reading this review on Trip Advisor (regarding not enough food, expensive prices, and average breakfast), it does not tally with my own experience, but more surprisingly does not tally at all with the visitor book comment left by these same guests on February 25th!

"The perfect place to spend our last night in Morocco ...a beautiful house (and most pertinently in light of the criticism) wonderful food".

As a fellow guest, but also as a travel writer, I can not help wonder what happened to prompt such a change of heart. Furthermore, having spoken with Milouda, the cook, she tells me 1kg of meat was served to the four people for dinner - a hefty 250grammes per person! She also served a full breakfast including yoghurt to the guests contrary to their comments on the site.

Unfortunately such a 'change of heart' voiced on Trip Advisor (but not strangely voiced at the time to the hosts) can be very harmful.

Finally I would like to add for anyone wondering about a trip to Morocco right now, do not hesitate. The political situation here seems, relatively at least, highly stable, and I have so far had a wonderful, safe week long stay.

Tamara Thiessen, Travel & Cultural writer

Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
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JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, March 8, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind and considered review. We do our best to make sure all our guests have wonderful stay and it is our pleasure you had a wonderful time. We look forward to welcoming you back to Morocco very soon.
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London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

Though we arrived at night, being dumped by our taxi driver nowhere near the riad, as he was keen to go on his own holiday, getting lost in the alleyways and being led to the riad by local boys who asked for €20 for the privilege, once the door to Riad Samsara was opened - we were soothed and led into a beautiful candlelit courtyard and given mint tea to relax. Jacqueline, the owner, made us feel so at home and Milouda the housekeeper showed us to our beautiful room - the Jacaranda. So sumptuously decorated with fine rugs, cushions and a beautiful brass bed! We were in such a daze that Milouda walked us to a local, cheap grill to have our dinner - but we were so keen to get back and enjoy the Riad than stay out for a lot longer!! So we ordered a bottle of wine when we got back and enjoyed it in the courtyard and then on the rooftop terrace. The breakfast in the morning was delicious with pastries and fresh fruit. The riad is in a great spot to go visit the Marjorelle gardens, and once we returned, Jacqueline let us rest and brought out mint tea, cake and biscuits for us! Such great hospitality and she showed us the photos of all the local craftsmen who had helped rebuild this amazing riad. A real gem - it only has three rooms so you're guaranteed some respite from the craziness of the medina!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, March 8, 2011
Thank you for your kind words, we are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us. I can only apologise for the behaviour of the boys, this is not the norm but in the past visitors to the area may have given such a sum as a thank you for helping them and subsequently it is expected.
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

We stayed just one night at Riad Samsara (having had the previous night at Douar Samra, in the High Atlas mountains, in the village of Tamatert). Both Riad Samsara and Douar Samra are run by Jacqueline Brandt (whom we did not meet).

Riad Samsara is in the northern part of the Marrakech medina, a good 20 minute walk from the main square, Place dJemaa el-Fna. Milouda, the cook at the riad, met us on arrival and was very friendly, providing us with a map and explanation of the route (in French). The riad is furnished to a high standard, very clean, and with great attention to detail, giving an overall impression of luxury. There are 3 rooms, and we stayed in Ibiscus. The large bed was very comfortable. It’s exactly as depicted on the website, and as the room was a little cool on arrival we were pleased that the heater/aircon worked. Large deep marble bath and good shower. Dinner was an intimate candlelit affair, set on a low table, in one of the alcoves on the ground floor, which requires diners to be seated on low pouffes (footstools). The meat and vegetable tagine dinner served up by Milouda was hot and tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary, and not great value at €18 per person (not much meat in the dish for 4 people). Breakfast was in the same place, perfectly adequate, but nothing exceptional: fruit juice, breads and jam, and tea/coffee. It would have been nice to have access to cold drinks on returning to the riad after a hot morning of sightseeing, but this facility was not provided. The central courtyard of the riad is beautiful, and the small roof terrace was a quiet space to sit and relax.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, March 8, 2011
Thank you for you kind words and thoughts on your stay with us at riad samsara. I am sorry you felt you did not have enough to eat, I am sorry you did not feel able to ask for more which often guests do as they enjoy Miloudas cooking. We aim to provide a high standard of traditional moroccan food as you would find in any moroccan home in favour of what you might find in restaurants. It is a really good idea for us to make guests more aware of drink facilities available, i hope that you will return to riad samsara soon so you can see our new improvement, thank you.
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Additional Information about Riad Samsara

Address: 6, Derb El Aarsa | Tarzout -Médina, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 1,046 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Samsara is a traditional riad, full of charm, quietly nestled close to the heart of the bustling Medina. Jacqueline, your hostess, welcomes those travellers in search of an authentic experience, to her meticulously hand-renovated palace. The three opulent bedrooms each have their own individual style and are full of small touches to make your stay extra special.One of the most beautiful and original homes in Marrakech. Tailored for personal service and space, this is your own secluded sanctuary, a home from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Samsara Marrakech

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