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“Traditional riad with wonderful hosts” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Zahr

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Riad Zahr
derb El Baroudi | Sidi Ben Slimane, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #167 of 1,037 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Manchester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Traditional riad with wonderful hosts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

A beautiful and traditional Riad with a central courtyard and roof top terrace. Whilst difficult to find first time (the offer of a taxi from the airport and being met by Nicolas on arrival at the nearest vehicular access point is worth taking up), once you have been taken to the riad and also to the main square, navigating the twisting alleys of the medina after this is easier. Riad Zahr is a 20 minute walk from the main square and is in a very quiet location away from the chaos of the souks and square.

Nicolas and Jean-Remy are excellent attentives hosts, and nothing is to much trouble. The provision of a mobile phone to contact them if required is a nice touch. The breakfatss were always fresh and tasty and even in February it is warm enough to eat breakfast on the roof terrace.

The room and riad were traditionally decorated and very comfortable. The ensuite bathroom always had hot water available for a shower. Wifi was also very efficient.

We would recommend this beautiful riad to anybody visiting Marrakech. Excellent value for money in a homely setting.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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133 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
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English first
Keighley, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

There is overwhelming choice for places to stay in Marrakech, but Riad Zahr is definitely a safe bet for a thoroughly enjoyable stay. Nicholas met us from the taxi (a necessity, as Riad Zahr is well hidden and not sign-posted) and gave us a mobile phone, map and a tour of the area to ensure we could safely navigate our way around. Nicholas and Jean-Remy are perfectly attentive hosts and we couldn't have asked for more from them. The meal they prepared for us on our arrival was superb, and they were only too happy to arrange a day-trip to Ourika-Asni for us.

Our room (the superior double) was clean, simple and tastefully decorated, with a private toilet and shower. There isn't a key for it, but it is a secure building and our belongings were safe there everyday. Breakfast on the roof-top every morning was a treat - the weather was beautiful even in February, and the various pancakes, breads and jams were delicious. The coffee was the best I have ever tasted, and the location of the Riad means that it is very peaceful and quiet, but still only a 15-minute walk from the main square.

They also have a young cat, which was a plus for us feline-lovers, but might not be if you don't appreciate loud meowing in the early hours of the morning.

We paid 45 euros per night for the superior double room, including breakfast, which was excellent value. I would happily stay here again, although there didn't appear to be any air conditioning which might be a problem in the height of summer. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2011

We stayed at this lovely Riad for 4 nights, as a base for exploring Marrakech. We had already seen many great reviews about this place, and we weren't disappointed.
The Riad is a beautiful place, hidden away amongst the tiny streets and dark passageways. The peace and quiet, the decoration and the attention to detail were all wonderful, as were our charming hosts Nicolas and Jean-Remy.
We were collected from the airport by private taxi transfer, arranged by Nicolas, who was waiting to collect us at the end of the street ready to lead us to the Riad. He then, very helpfully, walked with us to the main square to show us the way through what is a very confusing and complicated place..! He also gave us a Morroccan mobile phone to use in case we got lost, and this was a really nice touch.
Our room was comfortable and nicely decorated, as was the rest of the house and roof terrace. Breakfast each morning was served in the sunshine on the roof terrace, and we had a different type of bread, pancakes etc each day, as well as orange juice, coffee etc.
Overall, we greatly enjoyed our stay at Riad Zahr, and would recommend it to anyone visiting Marrakech - a wonderful place, lovely hosts and great value for money. Thank you...!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

On my 5th visit to Marrakech, I was accompanied by my 8 year old son and husband. Conscious of the lack of enthusiasm of guests in hotels to accept the presence of children, as has sadly been our experience of hotels where guests have airs and graces about them, I specifically searched for a hotel that would be small enough for the presence of a child to disturb the smallest number of people. I was so very happy to have found Riad Zahr, and I would describe it as almost too good to be true!
Nicolas and jean-Rémy welcomed us and made every effort to ensure that our stay was happy in all aspects. Our son was fed according to a menu that he could manage, whilst the loyal Icham produced the most astonishing meals of the highest quality, whether served on the terrace or downstairs in the courtyard. We dined every day for an entire week and no meal was the same and each was brilliant. To compare a home-cooked meal produced on the spot, with delicious odours wafting up through the orange blossomed inner courtyard as the meat slow-cooked in a pool of savoury fruit, with the variable quality of the food served in restaurants at much higher expense or the cheap meals to be bought from the stalls in the souk, is to really miss the point of Riad Zahr. Every detail of the experience, including the food, is thought out and exceptionally tasteful. The value for money is exceptional. A definite must for those with a taste for the arab world and its culture, a desire for peace and tranquillity far from the roar of the souk and the main square, and simply the kindness of the kindest of hosts. Unmissable.
As for the city itself, it clearly is not for those bothered by being in the third world or in an ancient arab city with less than modern amenities or for those seeking air con. The reviews below on being in the medina are so abjectly politically incorrect that it makes me ashamed to be a westerner!

Room Tip: Of the three rooms, we chose the red suite.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2011 via mobile

I was collected from the Mosque by Nicholas who walked me to the Riad where i met Jean- Remy, after a breakfast of pancakes Nicholas then gave me a map and directions to the square, he walked me to the main square the first time to get my bearings and he gave me helpfull tips ( it will help if you add your own landmarks on the map, im bad with maps, especially from the Mosque) Nicholas even showed me a second time how to get to the square. You do have to haggle even for taxi's and be aware they don't always drop you where you originally intended to go and try to appear as if you know where you are going even if you don't. The resturants around the square are great for people watching. I would definately go again to the Riad Zahr it's peacefull and authentically charming and both Nicholas and Jean-Remy offer great service without any hassle they let you get on with it, i didn't have dinner but breakfast is plenty.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 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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Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

All Marrakesh riads are not equal. Some are essentially Travelodges with a hundred rooms handily situated next to a petrol station, others are bejewelled with the many treasures of the souks leaving you unable to see the wall behind them and nursing a migraine. Riad Zahr is neither of these.

It is the home of Nicolas and Jean-Rémy, who have created a stylish and tasteful environment that is a pleasure to share with them. The riad is understated, contemporary and does not attempt to dazzle you for dazzling’s sake. Its considered simplicity is quite beautiful and an absolute pleasure to return to day or night (okay, night may be a little more beautiful once a few cleverly placed candles are flickering away). But the real pleasure of staying here can be found in Nicolas and Jean-Rémy themselves, for they are both charming, witty and interesting. They also make an excellent breakfast that will happily see you through to a late lunch.

The riad has three guest rooms and a huge amount of communal space including a rooftop terrace where breakfast can be eaten and warm nights enjoyed. I recommend lying on a lounger and watching the sunset colour the clouds overhead, then wait as they melt away to reveal the stars. Lovely. Our party of three stayed in the Rouge room, which is massive, about 30’ by 10’, and with plenty of space left over even with a very good double bed at one end, an extra single bed at the other and a four-seater Moroccan-style sofa and table, where we permanently set up our laptop for Jr. to watch dvds.

I say permanently because in the whole of our twelve day stay we never once felt the need to hide our belongings in the name of security, or even shut the door to our room. We opened the door when we arrived and closed it when we went home. We’ve never felt so safe and relaxed whilst staying away from home. The Rouge room also has two large cupboards and a bathroom big enough for three, with a roll-top bath and plenty of hot water. Also in its favour, the walkway outside the Rouge room ends at a wall, consequently no one passes by and you effectively have a balcony ideal for crafty late night cigarette and stargazing sessions.

Given the obvious effort Nicolas and Jean-Rémy have taken in creating their home, it is unsurprising that everywhere is kept very clean; that the many power sockets all work and are safe; towels and sheets are spotless. Other reviewers have written positively about the help Nicolas and Jean-Rémy can give you to arrange whatever you need outside the Riad, the mobile you are given to summon assistance should you get lost coming home, the torch for navigating the alleyways at night (although it is only needed for a few short areas, street lighting generally being very good), the 15-20 minute walk to the Main Square (a journey which felt safe to all of us at any time) and the quiet residential area in which the riad is situated. All of this is true. But I would add that the riad is ten minutes’ walk from at least six excellent restaurants/cafes (Chez Fatima Berbere being a favourite), fifteen minutes from the Aswak Assalam Hypermarket (which looks like the end of the world but is handy for picnic supplies) and a few minutes from three tiny general stores and a tabac, all of which sell sensibly (i.e. not tourist) priced cold drinks and bottled water.

Marrakech is lovely, plenty to do and see, souks are the confusion you imagine until you learn to read your map properly (I recommend the Rough Guide city map, practically indestructible and drawn accurately to a high level of detail), some restaurants are closed during Ramadan but the majority are open, likewise the timings of some attractions are curtailed but nothing too inconveniencing. The people are lovely, there are honest taxi drivers and the rest will negotiate to reasonable prices if you threaten to walk away, a strategy that also helps when buying useless stuff you don’t need, but must have, from the souks (handmade brass cockroaches are apparently my weakness).

But ultimately this holiday will be remembered for our wonderful stay at Riad Zahr and the friends we made there. At this price I consider it unbeatable and we would all definitely stay here again. In fact we can't wait to return. Thank you Nicolas and Jean-Rémy, we had the most amazing time.

Oh, I almost forgot. They’ve got a gorgeous kitten named Siwa, don’t forget to bring him a toy.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Southsea, UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2011

We stayed at Riad Zahr for 4 nights in April 2011. The Riad is a little off the beaten track (a 10-15 minute walk from the main square) but well worth the extra walk for the haven that you find inside. The decor is beautiful, a tasteful mix of traditional moroccan and modern. The roof-terrace, equipped with loungers, is a particularly lovely spot to relax or enjoy breakfast or a beverage. Nicolas and Jean-Remy (our hosts) really made our stay and were extremely friendly and helpful. After being met from our taxi transfer, we were provided with a local mobile phone and a map with lots of specific landmarks to reach the riad, then Jean-Remy kindly walked us (in the dark and the rain!) to the main square as well. We would highly recommend the dinner option that can be taken at the riad - the food was delicious and the nicest we had in our 8 days in Morocco. Our stay at Riad Zahr was a really memorable one and I feel gives a much better appreciation of Marrakech than staying outside in a big impersonal hotel. There may not be a pool on site but a 10 minute taxi ride will take you to a very pleasant waterpark for some cooling relaxation time. Thank You again to Nicolas and Jean-Remy.
Jo & Ryan.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Riad Zahr

Address: derb El Baroudi | Sidi Ben Slimane, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #167 of 1,037 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming traditional home in Marrakech, you dive in the heart of moroccan traditions in a relaxed atmosphere.Let us guide you and taste the joys of Medina.We want your stay is a timeless moment ... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Zahr Hotel Marrakech

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