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“don't stay here” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Medina Azahara

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Riad Medina Azahara
Derb Dabachi Derb jemaa 22, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #88 of 190 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
manchester
1 review
“don't stay here”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2009

we stayed here for 2 nights and then fought to get out money back to stay somewhere else for the third night. It was a cramped dorm with 1 bathroom to share so it was always full and difficult to actually wash in the morning. things went missing from my bag - small things, nothing hugely important, but still things went missing to the point where i started carrying my valuables with me during the day which was not ideal.

We did not trust the lady who ran the place. she was not friendly unless it was to try and sell very expensive trips to the desert. Be careful if you choose to stay here - it is not that expensive but in future we would rather pay a little more. Marrakech is wonderful though.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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47 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    20
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    7
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Madrid
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2008

A low quality youth hostel rather than a riad. Place to be avoided specially in the winter. No heating at all, although it was freezing in the room. I saw a traveller sleeping dressed with her coat and wool cap on.

On the web it shows there are rooms of more than 6 people, never saying you can be sleeping with 15 people (room upstairs). Price is the same for sharing than for a double room. No invoice provided.

Only one bath and one shower for 25 people, paper and soap missing most days (I stayed 3 nights). No place to leave clothes, only 2 hangers. Shower with a scary light bulb inside going out the ceiling. Plugs looked unsafe, with cables going out on the side.

Beds were cots rahter than beds, less than 80cmts width. Sheets unclean, hairs left.

The owner, Ireally unwelcoming and cold. She looked rather bad tempered. No customer care at all. Ladies serving breakfast really helpful and nice, also the boy at the reception.

Breakfast does not include coffee, they charge extra 13 dirhams for one (rather European standard), the price for the same coffee being 10 dirhams at Café de France. It shows the place is a business to make money on the expense of backpackers and workers.

Not coming back again,

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Better ask what I did like
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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slough
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2008

riad medina azahara is a traditional moroccan guesthouse very close to the main square: on arrival we were greeted v ery warmly by moroccan staff and drank tea whilst our room was prepared. however after a fantastic start to our holiday the owner of the riad demanded we pay immediately for the room even though we had yet to change currency into dirhams. she was not sympathetic to this at all. we had booked a room advertised on the website but it was not the same room even though we were assured by the owner that it was. the room was ok but had no windows or views as promised. a real shame. for that reason we do not recommend this riad despite the kindliness of the moroccan staff. it is a shame the same cannot be said of the owner.

  • Liked — the moroccan staff
  • Disliked — the owner
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Barcelona
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2008

The fact that the owners ask for payment in cash and give no receipts suggests that this is a clandestine business which pays no tax - not such a great thing in a country like Morocco if only the property owners are making a killing out of tourism and there's no improvement in social welfare of the population. People should be more conscious of this and demand receipts - we did after we'd handed over the cash but were told that this wasn't "normal" in Morocco.
The staff were certainly friendly but we were charged an extra euro per person per day to have our breakfast on the roof terrace - probably the staff making a little extra on the side.
The rooms are nicely decorated but we had the misfortune to get the only one which has a bathroom with no form of ventilation so the room felt damp all the time - we were there in March.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — That we had to pay in cash without receipts
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Bristol
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2008

From what I can tell the Riad Medina Azahara is not so much a Riad as a loose association of small guesthouses around the Derb Debachi area. If you know this in advance then you won’t suffer in the same confusion that my family and myself endured – all of which was very disconcerting when you’ve only just arrived in a place already as “organisationally challenged” as Marrakech. And the Riad staff would in turn be doing themselves and everybody else a big favour by communicating this fact up front.

Despite reports of its difficult location and no sign on the door we found it straight off. Then the farce began: we knocked…and knocked…and knocked. 10 minutes later and not a little worried, we were saved by a woman a few doors up who beckoned us inside. She explained how the Riad Medina Azahara was closed for redecoration, but that she was in charge of our booking (showed us her copy of our reservation). She would take our money (paid only deposit at that point) and then take us to rooms in her riad. We were plonked in a beautiful room with a “bien venue”, and mustered enough French to say “Erm, I booked two rooms...where’s the other one”, at which point we were left you to stew for an hour. Next thing it was “Bonjour, Allez avec moi”. In the following ten minutes we all saw a lot of Marrakech alleyways before we ‘found’ our new destination…which it must be said was bijou and beautiful, and we could relax, though I could have done without the previous hour and a half. Without some passable French I would have been stuffed. And how did I, just 3 days earlier, manage to book rooms in a riad that was shut for redecoration? At that point I was ruing booking with them and wished I had just gone with a normal riad…are there any? Most people we spoke to who stayed in any kind of riad said that they or others staying in the same riad as them had similar problems.

The organisational chaos of the Azahara continued. We were due to do a three day tour and then return to the Azahara. Given the previous chaos we wanted to confirm with them that they had our booking for this second stay. The best I could get out of them was an “I don’t know but it will be no problem”. We did have rooms when we got back – in a different (and equally nice) Riad close to the Derb Debachi, and after a few hours the showers were fixed (quite handy when you’ve just spent 3 days in the desert)…though the next day the entire medina lost its water supply. Bit of a theme developing…They are not keen on alcohol in Morocco - that's coz they couldn’t organise a… etc. Quaint though. I’ve been there 3 times and love the place.

As for the quality of rooms, cleanliness, breakfast and service in the riads we did stay in – they were excellent.

One general thing: If you book this or any other Riad by deposit only, with the balance to pay on arrival, make sure you have enough cash to cover (several days of) it on arrival as many/most riads won’t take credit cards. If the price was originally quoted in euros, I also suggest you take enough euros to cover it as they will “round up” the dirham/euro exchange rate so you’ll be paying a bit extra in dirhams. If you must pay dirhams be aware that you can only get them in Morocco, so you may have to get quite a lot out of the ATM on your first day to pay the balance on rooms. Make sure your ATM daily allowance covers it. And let your bank know you’re going to Morocco, as many of them see large foreign cash withdrawls as suspicious and will put a stop on your card…they may call you at home to let you know…but you aren’t there!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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northants
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2007

Not a bad little Riad for the money.....(There are 3 Riads in this chain, all next door to each other, so depending on which one you get... ) 5 Mins from the famous Jemma El Fna square, Situated off a very busy derb (Street), off the square at the bottom of a long narrow alley (Which has only 1 street lamp at night, so quite spooky......very wonky cobblestones & in great need of repair ! )) the alley has very high walls & Large Brown doors with fancy knockers along the way........ No 22 is Riad Medina Azahara, the rooms are beautiful & ornate but to be honest in need of a freshen up/redecoration. Acceptably Clean with an En Suite Shower & Toilet & Sink. (Not all rooms here are En Suite) Towels are supplied & maids/cleaners visit every morning. Breakfast is included & is served from 8.30 to 11.30 which is a very basic Moroccan breakfast of Crepes & Jam + Cheese & Mint tea (which they drink everywhere in Morocco ) Very nice too, it is said to lift your spirits & is poured from a height.
There is a sun terrace with loungers & lovely flowers & a chill-out area with tele/dvd player.
The owners have very limited English, though they do speak French & are very friendly. They organise a couple of trips to the Atlas Mountains etc. & have a couple of Moroccan nights at the Riad (Wed & Sat) with a meal & Moroccan dancers. (Cannot comment on thiese as we didn't go to them ! ) The square was very disappointing as all the famous story-tellers were there sure enough TELLING THEIR STORIES IN MOROCCAN !! The Snake charmers were there too, but sadly you only had to look in their direction & they demanded money from you. To be fair there is lots going on in the square, & lots to eat/drink.....The Culture is very diffent in Marrakesh, lots of beggers of ALL AGES, & everyone wants to guide you somewhere or get you into their shop !! BE PREPARED to be HARRASSED in one way or another !!. All in all a very memorable experience.

  • Liked — Mysterious/Ornate Decor
  • Disliked — Dark alley to get to it
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Medina Azahara

Address: Derb Dabachi Derb jemaa 22, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Hotel Style:
Ranked #88 of 190 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
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