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“Disappointing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Aya

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Riad Aya
41, Derb Toudgha | près de Dar el BACHA, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #200 of 1,046 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2010

This place looks great - its absolutely beautiful, but outside the riad is a rabbit warren of tunnels that are frankly, dirty and scary. I would not walk through there on my own day or night, so if you are a woman, don't stay at this place on your own.

The manager promised to send us our shirt back to Australia (because it had been stained at the Riad)....but the shirt didn't show up. We emailed the manager about it and she replied something like " we sent it from France but its weird that you didn't receive it, sorry about that".) We thought that was a pretty lame response and we wonder whether the onwer kept the shirt for himself.

We found the town of Marrakech difficult - the local Moroccans seemed hostile - we were told to "[--] off" by two promoters outside a restaurant in the open air markets at Jemaa al Fna because we decided not to eat there and we were almost mugged (we got away because I screamed) when walking towards a restaurant that the manager of the Riad Aya had recommended to us (ie: it wasn't "out of the way"). You will get hassled beyond belief in Marrakech. You cant walk a few steps without being hassled. I don't like writing a place off but I wouldn't recommend anyone to go there, especially not a female on her own.

We decided that we would stay in the Riad after the attempted mugging, because we couldn't stand the pollution or hostility outdoors. I had to cover my nose and mouth with a scarf when walking outdoors because of the dense pollution. I have been to China, Manila and Hong Kong and I haven't experienced pollution quite like this before.

There was no room service or food available (apart from breakfast) when we were there...which was very disappointing, because there was a menu but we were told they were too busy to serve us food...it was difficult because we didn't want to leave the Riad and brave the hostility and pollution outside, but we had to, to get food.

If you want to experience the desert, I would recommend Jordan instead.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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116 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Bali, Indonesia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

Riad Aya

I’ve just returned from spending an amazing four nights at the beautiful Riad Aya and waking up in rainy London I miss it already. It was a group trip to celebrate my 30th birthday so there were 14 of us, and we hired out the whole place. I know other reviewers have said that it gets noisy with different groups staying up at different times – I have to admit, we kept each other up a bit chatting and drinking into the early hours. Even the smallest cough travels up the open lobby area and around the two floors, but to be honest, this is riad life, and if you can’t beat em, you should probably consider joining them! I couldn’t have wished for a nicer place to spend my birthday. The staff were all incredible and Carole went out of her way to help us book restaurants and taxis when we needed them.

On the first night they made us dinner, which was gorgeous (we took all our own alcohol to make it cheaper) and breakfast was excellent every morning with pancakes, ample bread rolls and let’s not forget the Laughing Cow cheese triangles! The night before my birthday we requested eggs for breakfast, which they served us happily the next morning. Maria and Carole were even nice enough to get me a present of two gorgeous candles – such a sweet touch and totally unexpected! We spent a lot of our time lounging about on the roof terrace, although the plunge pool was freezing and definitely only for the brave. It made a really great base for meeting up, as we felt so welcome and comfortable there that we were happy to spend hours on end reading and chatting while waiting for the others to do their own thing, either getting ready for dinner somewhere else, or out seeing the sights. Plenty of photo opportunities thanks to the pretty plants, banisters and view over the rooftops for sunset.

The riad is a bit hidden away, like the others say, at the end of two tiny alleyways filled with kids and cats, but it only adds to the adventure and the look on people’s faces when they walk in and find the hidden paradise behind the big wooden door is priceless. At night, the staff light candles all over the courtyard and it looks like a fairyland! The souks are only a short walk away and easy to get lost in, but just remember a few landmarks along your way and ask a local to point you towards Dar el Bacha.

All the rooms at the riad are gorgeous – I chose “the penthouse” on the roof terrace but there was no squabbling as each is as nice as the others. There’s full A/C in each room, and plenty of hot water to go around. Tip: make sure you take earplugs. The call-to-prayer will wake you up between 4 and 5am every morning otherwise, and so will the chatter of your happy housemates!

I would definitely stay here again if I found myself back in Marrakech.

  • Stayed November 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2009

Riad Aya is a small cosy Riad in Marrakech, a little on the outskirts of the Medina but that makes it more accessible than the maze of streets in the Medina.

Very helpful and friendly staff, they made us a feel like family.

I must however say that the breakfasts got a bit monotonous. We stayed for 6 nights and eating pancakes and cakes for breakfast everyday wasn't exciting. The freshly squeezed orange juice on the other hand was divine.

  • Liked — The friendly staff
  • Disliked — The Breakfast
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Stavanger, Norway
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2009

After booking the hotel directly through www.riadaya.com contact email, we communicated back and forth with Michèle a few times to finalize arrangements. She was very pleasant and made sure we were picked up at the airport. Good thing as we would never have found it without Bahja, the driver! This little gem of a riad is tucked away down a couple of narrow, featureless alleys. When we arrived at the door (very striking and refined), we were welcomed in by Maria, one of the staff, and Michèle. the manager. Once inside, the beauty of old Marrakech surrounded us - gone were the dusty alleys, the traffic noises, the hustle and bustle of a very busy city. We were in an oasis of tranquility. The small fountain in the courtyard was bubbling softy, the staff was quietly going about their business, everything was peaceful. We knew instantly we had made the right choice of accommodations for our seven-night stay in Marrakech. Madame Michèle was great at providing us with maps and recommendations in the area and making arrangements for excursions and local restaurants. Majda was always puttering around doing a wonderful job keeping the place spotless and comfortable. Abdul stood ready to help make our stay more enjoyable with whatever we needed (and he is a great pastry chef, too!). The creme de la creme of our stay was Maria. She is fantastic! We ended up having dinner 5 of the 7 nights at the riad because Maria is such an excellent chef! The meals were completely moroccan and very well executed. She also put up with our endless requests for mint tea (even made the concession of not adding sugar to some orders, as my wife likes it without sugar). The Saffron room, where we stayed, was large and airy and very comfortable. The rooftop terrace was very pleasant and afforded a view of the surrounding area, being a little taller than most other buildings. We walked to Djemma el Fna several times, as well as visited the souks almost every day of our stay. The riad is very well located in the medina and close to many places of interest. I very highly recommend the Riad Aya and my wife and I are already looking forward to staying there again.

  • Liked — The staff and the location. Great staff and the riad is within walking distance of most everything.
  • Disliked — Central courtyard can get noisy for short periods of time and the noise does travel up to the rooms - the downside to a quaint courtyard structure.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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united kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2008

As we got out of the taxi the look on my husbands face was a picture. Stunned at what looked like a a warren of small tunnels. As we walked through the tunnels we saw the entrance to the Riad Aya.....formidable a place of tranquility with beautiful rooms and the attention we received from the staff; Maria, Majda, Abdul and the owner Madame Michelle was without doubt one of the best experiences, we are well and truly hooked by Maraakesh and the Riad Aya. Maria's care and attention to our needs was outstanding, we stopped in Marrakesh for five nights and were spoilt by the superb food prepared and cooked by Maria on three nights. We miss her already, if anyone really wants to see the real Marrakesh then Riad Aya is the place for them.
The terrace and plunge pool were relaxing and secluded and we were able to purchase drinks on site, we did leave the Riad to visit the souks and markets which were all within walking distance and took trips to the cascades seven lakes (walked to the first one only but it was beautiful) and Casablanca (courtesy of Jamel a worldly wise and interesting gentlemen who catered to our every whim). Jamel organised two meals out which were again superb. Yes we would definately stay there again.

  • Liked — Clean and very chic
  • Disliked — No dislikes
  • Stayed May 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
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Zwolle, The Netherlands
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2007

This is a hidden riad. You never will find this if you do not know were to look. It is close to Dar el Bacha, a walk of 10 minutes from the souks. Jemaa el Fna is a little further. A taxiride from the riad to the square should cost you ± 7 DHM (70 eurocents) The Riad is beautiful, very well taken care off and decorated very nice. The service and friendlyness of Maria (one of the servants) is memorable. It is also very clean. Breakfast can be served on the roofterrace.The staff speaks French. The caretaker speaks English very well.
We stayed for 3 nights. We booked directly by contacting the hotel by their website [--]
The hotel is rather expensive (for Morrocco) but we thougt it was worth it.

Although you can hardley hear any citynoise in the riad, you can hear other guests very well because of the open structure with a centered patio. But I guess every Riad will be noisy then.

When we stayed there was a group of french people also staying. One of them was one of the owners of the Riad. You think they would especially be considerate to other guests, but they were explicit present. Dining till midnight right in the patio. We waited till they finished before we went to bed because of the noise.

The big bath can hardley be called a swimmingpool (3x3 meters). The hammam is not much (we didn´t use it).

  • Liked — The memorable friendlyness and service of Maria and the beautiful decoration
  • Disliked — you can hear other guests very well
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 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.
Brighton
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2007

I had a wonderful week (and my birthday) at this new boutique hotel/riad in the Medina (old town) of Marrakech.
I found in adverised on [-]
but then contacted the hotel directly to enquire about rates and availability. I booked the accommodation by email (no deposit).
We got a great price and as we were the only guests in the riad a room upgrade too.
The hostess/manager, Michele speaks french and english and have been very helpful in giving us tips and information, also booked us a lovely restaurant.
The maid/cook, Maria speaks french and arabic and also very friendly and a great cook.
The riad looks just as it is on the website photos....it has just opened and very clean and fresh.
Only 5-7 minutes walk from the souks.

Have a good stay....

  • Liked — stylish interior, cleanliness, central location
  • Disliked — same local breakfast every morning
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Aya

Address: 41, Derb Toudgha | près de Dar el BACHA, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #200 of 1,046 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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