Serene and elegant - full of surprises - this beautifully renovated 19th C courtyard building, its fantastic rooms, its food and especially the delightful people who staff this Raid. I loved their kindness, their being Maroccan, their pride in their professional duties in the Riad, their care in making sure I could make my way to destinations and back, and their tolerance for my French, knowing they could also speak English when I needed, and Arabic, which was lyrical to listen to, even when I didn't understand.
While people seem to think of Marrakech as a destination for shopping in the busy souks, I would suggest that Riad Ilayka should also be thought of as a destination in itself - for a time of slowing down and relaxing in the facilities it has within its four intriguing floors.
My ten day stay here, based on a World Congress, the WEEC2013, was the most cared for experience I have ever had. I would have been so content to have been able to rest here longer. Rest? Yes, once inside the cool lobby, despite the business of the souks being within a five-minute walk, Riad Ilayka was a world apart.
I woke each morning to the gentle twittering of the birds who live in the Riad. They could be heard in the day too, complemented by relaxing music in many styles and the trickle of the fountain. The courtyard itself uplifted my spirits with its trees, flowers, fountain, and the rich wood doors and windows set against the white walls of the buildings.
Returning to the Riad each afternoon, there was a refreshing a mint tea or fruit juice. The Jacuzzi on the rooftop terrace was a soft pleasant temperature to relax in after a couple of hours on my feet. Dining was provided in several open-air exquisite settings from the courtyard floor to the terraces and the gazebo, where a gentle wind played over the rooftops as the soft shades of sunset dissipated into the open sky night. The delicious 'home' cooked traditional meals for breakfast and dinner with their professional service were so enjoyable.
To all of you who make up the 'family' of Riad Ilayka - Nadia, Hannane, Assan, Halima, Loubna, and Simon - thankyou for all the acts of kindness that came so naturally from your warm hearts as you welcome guests to your part of the world. May you all continue to do what you do so exquisitely for a long time to come. Merci bien. I would love to return again some day.
Note - re review buttons ,
1 there is no swimming pool, but I used the Jacuzzi as one, as I like to lie around rather than swim, which suited me and there was no N/A choice,
2 there is no fitness centre, but for me the stairs up to the rooms, terrace, Jacuzzi, and gazebo were keeping me fit, along with walking in the Medina.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Ilayka is ideally situated for a perfect holiday in tranquil surroundings. You will be given a very warm welcome in this lovely, calm, spacious house. It is very close to the Djem Al Fnaa square and all the shopping souks. Experience Marrakech from the inside by staying with us. Riad I layka offers very good value for money and large open spaces. Staying at Riad Ilayka you will experience Marrakech from the inside. ... more less
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