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“High Standards!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Hayati

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Riad Hayati
27 Derb Bouderba | Riad Zitoun Jdid, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #44 of 460 hotels in Marrakech
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“High Standards!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2009

We had traveled from Fes and Essaouira and Marrakesh was the last leg of our Moroccan holiday. Riad Hayati was a wonderful way to finish our stay. It's a peaceful sophisticated place with high standards in decor,service and attitude. Rooms are absolutely immaculate and extremely comfortable,airy with seductive bathrooms.

We spoke directly with Ron, the owner, to make our booking. He was very helpful about advice for restaurants and sights that were close to the riad. Hayati is located in a peaceful little cul de sac off one of the main bazaars. The location is very convenient: The Bahia Palace is two minutes away as is the Dar Si Said and two charming restaurants just across from the Bahia Palace.

The service at the riad is really extraordinary. It's warm and super efficient without being overbearing.

I dare say it was hard to leave this little bit of paradise.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2009

We are back in the London winter thinking about the warmth we left ad Riad Hayati. What a dream of a place! The entire riad is sparkling white with subtle colors coming from antique kilims and the lush garden.

On the roof terrace you can stare at the surrounding palaces or in the evening try to touch the stars. There's a small plunge pool
but January was a bit too nippy for a dip.

What we really appreciated was the wonderful quiet discretion of the staff and the privacy we had during our honeymoon. We were able to socialize when we wanted and be totally to ourselves when we wished.

It rained one of the days so we just lounged next to a cosy fire and browsed through Ron's georgeous books, play chess, or
watched a film. There's something for everybody even on a rainy day.

What more can I say except a big thank you from both of us. You made our honeymoon very special indeed.

  • Liked — Quiet efficient service
  • Disliked — Could not fault anything.
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
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589 helpful votes 589 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2009

I did a four night stay at the Riad Hayati at the beginning of November.

I'll describe the hotel, the experience (before and during) and then a couple "be aware of" notes.

To get a sense of the Riad before arriving, picture a building surrounding an open courtyard. Most of the pictures you see on Trip Advisor show the main building, around which are three of the Riad's four guest rooms. There's a beautiful fountain in the center of the courtyard, usually sprinkled with flower petals. There are also a couple cages containing some of the sing song-iest birds I've ever heard (their songs and spilled birdseed tend to attract even more small birds into the courtyard, so much so that the Riad could feel like a Garden of Eden you don't have to leave, only there's so much to see and do outside as well).

Even though the 3 main guest rooms themselves are relatively small, Riad Hayati is blessed with lots of space (and beautifully arranged seating & dining areas). You can be as private or as social as you feel comfortable with. Aside from the birds during the day, the Riad is very quiet, especially when contrasted with the noise and hustle not too far away outside the doors. I couldn't even hear the construction happening the next building over from Hayati.

The room we were given had a room safe, shelves and a closet with hangars hiding behind a curtain, along with a flashlight (or "torch" to British/Australian folks) and lint remover rolls The bathroom area had a very deep shower (with a shower plug, which I guess turns the 1 1/2' "deep" part of the shower into a jacquzi / bathtub of sorts). There was a bowl of fruit and bottles of water which were replenished daily.

I didn't discover the OTHER side of the Riad until the 2nd day of my stay. This other side is where the fourth room (the "Owner's Suite"?) is found. The sitting area in that side's courtyard is about as big as the main courtyard.

Now as to the Riad experience itself. Before you arrive, you'll be talking with Ron the owner. He handles all (or almost all?) of the money transactions, but is usually traveling off in other countries on business. The guy you'll meet at the airport with the "Riad Hayati" sign should be Abdel. Abdel is the main engine that powers Riad Hayati, closely assisted by his sister Mina. There are two other people who work at the Riad, the overnight security guy (who is very very quiet, hard to spot unless you're outside of your room in the middle of the night) and Mourad the maintenance guy (who I never actually saw).

Don't let Mr. Abdel's young looks fool you, he's very mature, smart and personable and would certainly be a prime candidate to do something senior in the hospitality industry if a Ritz Carlton ever opens in Morocco. He was always available for us to ask questions, make arrangements or provide a tray of Mint Tea and Cookies (not normally a tea drinker, even I drank at least a pot or two of this wonderful beverage each day I stayed in the Riad). The rare times Abdel was not on site were when he was shopping for breakfast & dinner ingredients or off to the airport to pick up another arriving couple. Mina doesn't speak a word of English but I'm sure both Abdel and Mina understood my constant streams of "thank you!" and "merci!" for all the nice things they delivered or did for us.

All guests are given a "welcome dinner", which for us consisted of: a starter salad of artfully arranged tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini (or cucumbers), an amazing main course of Chicken Tanjine with lemon sauce and green olives, and sliced melon for dessert. Breakfast is included in the room rate and different mornings brought different treats: Morning #1, Moroccan pancakes, #2 omlettes, morning # 3 was pastries, and day # 4 a different kind of Moroccan pancake (Beghrir pancakes, perhaps?). Breakfasts also include coffee, tea, fresh orange juice, toast and yogurt. Mina's cooking is so superb we ended up doing another dinner on our last evening at the Riad, which turned out to be Lamb Tanjine and thoughtfully prepared Chicken Pastilla appetizer with Lemon Meringue tarts at the end. The dinners are paired very nicely with included bottles of Moroccan red & blush wines.

A few minor things I wrote into my notes to be aware of (but none of this should turn you off whatsoever to staying here).

Riad Hayati doesn't do credit cards. I paid for my Riad stay ahead of time via wire transfers directly from my account over to the owners account (I believe another option is to pay 50% as a deposit and then provide the rest to Abdel upon arrival). In any event, this policy initially set off all sorts of mental alarm bells in my head. Once I arrived in Marrakech however, and after Abdel guided us to the Riad, these worries instantly flew far far away. Ron also gave me a call at the Riad the evening of my arrival to welcome me, followed up with a "how was it?" survey a few days after my stay ended, and as you can see here on TripAdvisor, Ron is very conscientious and concerned about the Riad's impression on both past and future guests.

I was very thankful for free WiFi to keep in touch with my life back home. The signal from the 1st floor office doesn't carry very far throughout the Riad, and I was only able to connect to it from my 2nd floor room (directly above the office) only a couple times. The rest of the time I had to be on the ground floor in order to get a halfway decent signal into my laptop.

The guest rooms are somewhat intimate. The bathroom / shower is pretty much wide open to the rest of the room, except for a half height "wall" blocking the toilet from a direct line-of-sight view of the room's doorway. This wide open layout is great for intimate and loving couples; but may be a little problematic if, for example, one person has stomach issues from eating in the market square (b.t.w., I experienced no problems for myself -- food or otherwise -- at all in Marrakech). I did discover a separate W.C. just off the main courtyard with doors that close.

We did a Souk tour with Jaleel (who owns the Dune Galerie shop around the corner from the Riad) for what I felt was a great price of 200 mad. Jaleel spent between 2 - 3 hours with us, just walking around the different specialty areas of the markets (there's a leather section, a wooden crafts section, colored fabrics, jewelry, etc.). When we did step into a store with an anxious (to sell us something) shopkeeper, Jaleel gave us the freedom to linger if we felt like it or move along if we felt like it. I did not feel under any obligation to purchase anything from any storekeepers that day. The only hint to dealing with Jaleel within his shop I can provide is this (and actually this could be described as "common sense" for walking into any Souk shop): don't let the owner know you really really want something you see on his shelves. On the day of our departure, we probably ended up spending a little too much on a beautiful necklace & ring set that I found in his store and bought for my companion. And, if anything you buy is too big to pack into your suitcase, Jaleel ships containers full of stuff over to the Los Angeles on a regular basis (how to get your newly purchased large items from L.A. to your house, that might be a bit of a trick).

Try to print out a really good street (or "Derb", the Arabic word for side street) map for the area around the Riad and the main market, Djemaa El Fna before you arrive. I got the hang of the streets by my 3rd day (out of 5), by walking from the Riad into the main market, looking at the landmarks along the way (i.e. the restaurant signs on either side of the street leading towards the Riad), and then I kept my orientation by making sure I knew where the main market was, wherever I was walking within the Souks.

There's a hammam two turns (i.e. walk out the front door, make a left, then a right) from Hayati in the Riad Bab Firdaus. We thought the Bab Firdaus was a bit more expensive than Ron's original recommendation of Les Bains De Marrakech. But in any event, 60 - 90 minute hammams and massage combos in Marrakech are inexpensive (between $50 - $80 USD) compared to what you'd find in Europe or the US. Try to make appointments at least a few days in advance before showing up, otherwise you might not get in.

Overall, I think Riad Hayati and the brother/sister team were as close to perfection as one can get in a Riad stay. Next time I come to Marrakech I hope to stay at Riad Hayati again.

  • Liked — the personalized care & attention & wonderful dinners from the caretakers
  • Disliked — getting lost too easily too often before getting accustomed to the derbs
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2009

What an amazing little gem. It's handsome and urbane without a hint of pretention. The service is really flawless - not at all overbearing or phoney, just warm and utterly spoiling.

There is something for everybody. Two beautiful terraces, with a small plunge pool . Wonderful books and art are found throughout the house and there's a little library in the study with everything you need to know about Morocco. There's a TV and wifi if you need them and an interesting collection of DVD's .

There were other people in the riad but we hardly ever saw them. There was a salon for each couple. One can socialize or be quite private.

Some evenings we were just too tired to go out to a restaurant so we ordered dinner in the riad. We were treated to a candlelit supper with one of Mina's surprises. The food was delicious, very fresh and wonderfully presented.

Outside the medina was buzzing with excitement, but here it was quiet and relaxing - blissful.

  • Liked — Wonderful service.
  • Disliked — We loved it.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2009

We had an absolutely superb stay at Riad Hayati. The riad is very smart but in a low key manner with old fashioned service and every attention to comfort.

There is a wonderful courtyard and roof terrace lush with bourgainvillea,citrus and olive trees.

Refreshments were served all day long and aperitifs appeared at sundown--all compliments of the house.

This is a place for a grown up long weekend in Marrakech. We loved it.

  • Liked — Old fashioned service
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

This is an absolutely charming little hideaway where you feel welcome immediately.

Efficiently and with quiet discretion,The staff, Mina and Abdel, seemed to anticipate our needs before we did.

The attention to detail here is amazing. Hayati has got to be one of the most charming,refreshing places we've ever stayed at.

This is a find to share with people you love.

  • Liked — Charming Ambiance and Service
  • Disliked — Could not find any fault.
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2009

This exquisite little hideaway was a wonderful treat for our family during the festive season. We had all four bedrooms for our family and the riad soon became our "home" in Marrakech.

The staff provided us with endearing service and thoughtfulness.
My daughter will not soon forget her birthday celebration. She woke up to bouquets of flowers and Mina,the cook, treated us to a birthday breakfast complete with candles in the croissants..

it's one thing to offer first class service, but is really is quite exceptional to have such service with authentic warmth and charm.

  • Liked — Comfort and service
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Riad Hayati

Address: 27 Derb Bouderba | Riad Zitoun Jdid, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#27 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#42 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#144 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Also Known As:
Riad Hayati Marrakech
Riad Hayati Hotel Marrakech

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