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“Exactly what we were hoping it would be.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Noor Charana

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Riad Noor Charana
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Houmat Ben Sahl | Derb el kebir n°31, Marrakech 40008, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #122 of 461 Hotels in Marrakech
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Exactly what we were hoping it would be.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

My sister and i recently spent a week at this riad and had a fantastic time in Marrakech. Before going we had so many worries and apprehensions about morocco and staying at a riad, and now that i have been i want to share a detailed and honest account so that someone who is maybe equally apprehensive can read this and have all their questions answered!

Location:

Before booking we had debated to some extent about whether to stay in a riad or in a bigger more commercial hotel in the newer part of Marrakech outside the city walls. I am so happy we decided to opt for the riad. Staying in the Medina means you are living in the very heart of Marrakech and are truly experiencing the place and its culture first hand. Another time i might be open to an all inclusive establishment, we did crave a pool, but for an all-round-first-time-moroccan experience i would definately recommend a riad. This riad is in a pretty great location, a stones throw from all the souks and a ten minute walk to the main square, Jamaa El Fna, where we found ourselves most evenings. Before going we were a bit apprehensive about finding our way back to the riad every night, having heard some horror stories about getting lost and being harrassed in Marrakech, and were worried about having to navigate small dark alleyways back to the riad late at night, we even brought a small torch in preparation. As it turned out after a day we had found our bearings and found our way to and from the riad everyday without problem, and the little street the riad is on, even though it could be described as alleyway-ish was still well lit and other tourists and locals were often around so we never felt unsafe. We did proceed to get exceedingly lost in other parts of the medina, but this is another story and is all part of the fun of exploring Marrakech! We organised in advance an airport transfer to take us to our riad on the first night. Which i would thoroughly recommend, it took so much unnessecary stress out of arriving. We spent an hour going through passport control and became concerned our taxi wouldnt wait but when we got through to arrivals our driver was waiting patiently with my name and riad on a sign. It was a simple 15 minute drive from the airport and was such a comfort we would be arriving safetly and promptly. He drove us as close to the riad as he could and then carried our suitcase and took us the remaining 5 minutes by foot. This is because at night the streets are filled with locals and stalls and shop sellers and dont allow space for a taxi. We took a transfer back to the airport too, again straightforward and hassle free.

Rooms/appearance:

Its not an uber luxurious or modern riad, but it had a pretty charm about it and was well presented and felt clean. At night the courtyard in the middle was often lit with candles or lanterns and really did look lovely. It has a couple of nice lounge/social areas as well as a little rooftop terrace. I was expecting a tiny bit more of a view out onto the city from the terrace, you cant see out at all really, but again it was pretty and well presented. The bedrooms are quite small, we only took one suitcase and i think having two in their would have compromised our space a lot, but they do the job perfectly well and most importantly they had air con which i don't think we could have survived without. Shower/bathroom again pretty small but clean and fine for what we needed. We never locked our door and didn't feel unsafe leaving it open or leaving our belongings in there during the day, there didn't seem to be a safe in our room but i imagine there is probably one to use in the riad if you request it. Our beds were made and our rooms tidied a little every day for us which was always nice to come back to!

Food:

The breakfast is overall a sugary feast. I have a sweet tooth and am vegetarian so was perfect for me but if you're used to beans on toast or a bacon sandwich you might be in for a bit of a sugar coma surprise. It generally consisted of moroccan pastries, cake, bread, jam, honey, fruit, yoghurt, tea and coffee. You eat your breakfast up on the rooftop terrace which really was a lovely relaxing way to start the day and we really did relish sitting up there planning our day over pastries every morning. It's up to you when you have breakfast, we ended up making it to the terrace for 9am every morning, although one day we had an excursion booked and our breakfast was prepared for us at 7am! It is all beautifully presented and is plentiful enough to keep you going until lunch. We only had dinner once at the riad, we had arranged it for the night we arrived, as we were getting there late. It was delicious, bread, dips, tagines, noodles, ice cream, mint tea, but we were quite tired and hot by this point so maybe didn't savour it as much as we should have. Radia, the cook, has a little book at the riad with photos of all the dishes she can prepare, after a flick through and in retrospect there were some delicious items i would have liked to try but obviously we weren't aware of this when organising our meal in advance for our arrival.

Service:

Elisabeth who runs the riad is very friendly, welcoming and speaks very good english. She greeted us on our first morning, talked us through a map of the area, recommended places to go and things to see and generally put us at ease on our first day in a strange place. She made the effort to chat to us every morning after that to offer any advice and check everything was ok. She even booked an excursion for us, a day trip to Essaouira, as it turned out we were a tiny bit disappointed with the arrival and departure times of the trip, we got a lot less time there as advertised by the poster, but this doesn't really fall under Elisabeth's responsibility. Radia speaks no english, but was very pleasant and helpful towards us and as already mentioned the breakfast and food was of a high standard. You could obtain bottles of water any time from the riad and one afternoon we had mint tea in one of the lounge areas, probably the best we tasted in Marrakech.

I would recommend this riad whole heartedly. And wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. Although it's in the heart of the bustling medina, once inside it is unbelievably calm and quiet and a perfect retreat after a busy day sight seeing. The interior is pretty and Moroccan, staff helpful, food tasty and air con all for such an excellent price! One bit of advice i would give, as already said it is in the heart of the medina and the streets get busy at night, on the saturday evening we made our way to the main square but the streets were EXTREMELY busy, like rush hour, tube delay, central london busy, and making our way took nearly double the time and wasn't a pleasant experience. If your heading out on a saturday evening, go out earlier, or allow much extra time, and be prepared to shuffle along!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    56
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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 (9)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vestby, Norway
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

Stayed at this riad for a week in march. The place is difficult to find but people were very helpful. This is a nice place to relax after a day in the noisy medina. Its very quiet, and several places to sit and maybe have some tea. The rooms are nice and clean, and the personnel are very service-minded. The rooms does not have a key so it was not possible to lock the door when you sleep and when you're out in daytime. This was not a problem for us. We kept our passports, computers, phones and wallets in the rooms when we were out, and nothing was ever stolen. But the privacy is limited. The service in this riad is close to perfection. The nice personnel made breakfast whenever we were ready (we were up from around 8 to 10.30), and the food was very good. One of us is gluten-intolerant, so we corresponded with Elisabeth in advance about the breakfast. The employees made bread with cornflour and nice dried fruit etc. You can also have your clothes washed (and ironed) for about 50 dirham. Our clothes have never looked nicer. This really feels like a home.

I would recommend this riad to everyone.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

Had a lovely time in a very homely and calm environment! The homemade breakfast (prepared by Radia) was great. It is close to the Souks and the square. (Had quite a hassle initially getting there in the 1st place - so get them to arrange for a taxi to collect you - I only found this out when we left and the taxi collected you right outside!)
Really a sanctuary in the bustling Medina. Elisabeth and Radia were great! really helpful with anything we needed.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

I had never been to a Riad before, and was not disappointed. The place is calm, rooms are of an OK size and OK cleanliness, the breakfast is great (everything locally made, good quantity and perfect service). Location is great, close to everything in the medina, but getting to the Riad the first time is not easy. If you don't know Marrakesh, ask for the riad to book you a Taxi that will take you there, or run the risk of being lost for and needing to call for help :)

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014 via mobile

We really loved this riad! It is such a nice home in a bustly neighbourhood.
Rooms are nice and clean. Elisabeth is a very nice hostess and very helpful.
Only one small thing to consider: the riad is thin-walled.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

This riad is wonderful! Very close to the main square, and souks...but a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of the action. Elisabeth and Radia were wonderful hosts. Amazing breakfast (all homemade by Radia!) Beautiful courtyard & rooms...lovely sunny roof terrace. Staff was very helpful with anything we needed. Couldn't recommend this place enough. We won't stay anywhere else in Marrakech. Thank you!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

We have just come back from little break in Marrakesh and wanted to share our experience. we stayed in Riad Noor Charana for 3 nights and OH MY GOD!! WHAT A PLACE! Rooms are clean and tidy, modern with an arabic feel, you can smell arabic incense through out the riad, it's has nice roof terrace, breakfast is served in a cosy room with chilling music and staffed by fantastic girl, Radia, who seem to do everything in this riad, including home made yoghurt! delicious! by the way....everything is home made, jam, juice, bread, cookies, everything! also she is very helpful, willing to go shops with you if you are not sure which bottle of argan oil you want to get for your hair!!

Place is run by French lady, Elisabeth, who is an absolute star!!! If you are not sure about something, you don't know what to do, where to go, what to buy, just stay in her place and she will be your lonely planet guide.

We would be very surprised if any one left here dissapointed

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Noor Charana

Address: Houmat Ben Sahl | Derb el kebir n°31, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#30 Best Value Hotel in Marrakech
#94 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#127 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Noor Charana 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riad Noor Charana Marrakech

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