Riad Noir d'Ivoire is one of the few hotels in the world that I have fallen in love with at first sight, and it delivered through the rest of the trip.
We arrived late at the riad thanks to a 5 hour delay on Royal Air Maroc. We were informed of 4 hours of the delay 2 days in advance and were able to warn the riad, but we still had trepidation that our driver would be waiting for us even the extra hour late. No problem. He was there, and quickly whisked us away from the airport in a comfortable van, telling us about the different areas of Marrakech along the way. Rebeca, the manager, had already told us that CousCous, the donkey, would not be able to take our bags through the small streets at that time of night, but no problem, we were assisted by a member of the staff through the small streets of the neighborhood to the riad. I will admit that I was a bit nervous at night my first time in the neighborhood--the streets are not well lit, but after being introduced to the neighborhood in the daylight I felt much better. Entering through the unmarked door on the small street in Bab Doukkala you would never know what an amazing guesthouse awaits you. A huge open courtyard, with an enormous chandelier, and a small pool. At night, the riad is absolutely magical, lit by the warm glow of dozens of Moroccan lanterns (we were so impressed, that we had to bring back one as a souvenir).
At the riad the first night we were well-taken care of by Hicham, who was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. If there is an award for employee of the year in Morocco, he should get it. He is so genuinely nice and welcoming. He showed us around the riad, and our beautiful room. We settled in one of the restful and romantic booths near the larger pool and enjoyed a late dinner, which we arranged earlier since we had late arrival--chicken tagine, which was delicious, although in retrospect, I think it may have been quail or pigeon, since it was quite bony. After dinner and a couple of Casablanca beers (which I highly recommend), we settled into our room, Gazelle. Gazelle is one of the two smallest rooms in the riad without any outdoor space, and due to being at full capacity, unfortunately, we could not upgrade, but it was just fine. Not very large, but spacious enough, with a sitting area, lovely rainfall shower, and a lot of charm.
After a wonderful rest, the next morning, we had a lovely breakfast (included in the price) on the rooftop terrace, and met with Rebeca to get a little introduction to Marrakech. Rebeca is nothing short of amazing. First of all, she speaks no less than 5 or 6 languages perfectly. We sat on one of the comfortable couches in the enormous foyer and she walked us through a map, made especially for the riad regarding the neighborhood, the souks, and the medina. Thanks to her map, we never got lost coming back to the hotel at all, and we felt very comfortable walking in the neighborhood, despite the fact that at night it is quite dark (we got lost in the souks, but as you will see, that is inevitable).
Another great perk of the hotel, they give you a local cell phone with Rebeca and Hicham's numbers programmed in, should you need it when you are out. Fantastic! We had a great three days staying at the riad. The only downside I see at all, is that it gets a bit crowded by poolside mid-afternoon (end of June) when the temperature soars and it is impossible but to do anything by lie by the pool. Of note, they do have several cats, which also lounge with you, making it feel a bit more like a home (a very luxurious one at that), but something to note if you have allergy. There is a hammam at the hotel, which we highly recommend. A great experience, and very relaxing. Madame Coco is the only masseur, and she was fantastic. In the words of my husband, "one of the best massages I have ever tried, anywhere in the world." I fell asleep during mine, but just note there is no such thing as a "couples massage". If you both want massages, one person will have to wait, but there is mint tea waiting, and I didn't find it to be a problem.
I will say we visited another riad once for dinner, with the assistance of Rebeca, who helped us to make the reservation, and it was lovely...dinner was fantastic, but it had more of a "home" vibe. I was definitely happy with the more posh 'digs' at the riad noir d'ivoire. Also for comparison, we also visited the Mammounia for a drink, but again, were quite content with our decision to stay in the riad--I feel like we got the best of both worlds--the authentic riad experience, without giving up the luxury!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Noir d'Ivoire is a romantic destination composed of five suites, three of which have private roof terraces and jacuzzis, two junior suites and two double rooms. Services include Spa with traditional hammam, Boutique, fully equipped gym, library, restaurant and a heated pool. All suites have fireplaces and all rooms, have air conditioning, heating, mini-bars, hairdryers, wall safes and flat screen televisions. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Riad Noir d`Ivoire Hotel Marrakech
- Riad Noir d Ivoire Marrakech