Admittedly, we didnt get off to a good start, this place is SO, SO hard to find, I wasnt put off when I read this as I thought it would be a bit tricky, but seriously, you can't find this hotel for love nor money. The taxi driver dropped us just outside the medina walls and pointed us in the rough direction of the riad, it's only a few minutes from the central square (if you know where you're going). Cue 3.5 hours of trying to find the place and almost considering staying somewhere else, however, another a taxi ride, unhelpful locals trying to 'help' us find our way (for a small sum!), calling the place (the number on the internet was wrong and just put us through to the answer machine of the sister hotel - so frustrating!) eventually we resorted to using a local internet cafe to look the place up online later, we made it. Even then we couldn't believe it was down the dingy, ill lit alley. There are no markings on the door, so even when you're there, you don't know you are. I've heard of hidden gems before, but this takes the biscuit.
We'd read positive things online about this place, so had splashed out the extra money to make our last days in Morocco special, we got there, at first it looks like paradise, it's a really beautiful little pool and outdoor seating area, but when we went to our room, we werent quite as taken with it. Everything looks impressive when you arrive, it definitely has a wow factor about it, but it is quite superficial. They've gone for a minimalist, distressed decor, except holes in the towels and bed sheet, chipped lampshades, burn mark on the toilet seat, mould on the walls of the bathroom and chipped paint in the bedroom were a step too far. Ive travelled a lot and stayed in a lot of places, if it was only a few things here and there, I wouldnt have given it another thought, but everything seemed to be too distressed and frankly shabby. It wasnt a pleasant experience.
The staff were friendly enough, the lady who serves breakfast is nice, although on the last night they said it would be great for us to go to an authentic moroccan evening at a restaurant just off the square. We were told by all three staff members we met that this place is amazing. DO NOT DO THIS, I think there may be some arrangement with the riad and the restaurant, it was awful and massively over priced, it is only tourists that go there, the food isnt great and the entertainment is really tacky, not authentic at all, throughout the meal, the waiters kept telling us that 'tip not included' by the end i would have paid them any money to get out of the gross three course meal we were roped into getting. Really disappointed, what was pitched as a friendly intimate dining experience, turned out to be as many tables as possible crammed in to a sad looking conference room that had been dressed up for tourists. We fed back to the member of staff at Assala and he was quite rude and didn't seem bothered at all. I wasnt taken with the other staff, I didnt find them hugely friendly or helpful.
If I knew what I know now, I would definitely not have stayed here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Al Assala’s superb location means that it’s hidden away from the rumble tumble of everyday life but is just a 2 minutes walk away from the famous “Jemaa-el-Fna” Square. It is very easely accessible and is the ideal place to stay to discover the ochre city ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Al Assala Medina Hotel Marrakech
- Riad Al Assala Medina Marrakech