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“Sleep inside of a magical Moroccan fairy tale” 5 of 5 stars
Review of AnaYela

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AnaYela
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Derb Zerwl No 28, Marrakech 4000, Morocco   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #101 of 465 Hotels in Marrakech
Seattle
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Sleep inside of a magical Moroccan fairy tale”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2010

I chose AnaYela for the magic and the service, and both were delivered beautifully. I found the place on Tablet Hotels (always my first stop in the perpetual search for well-designed accommodations) and their review of the riad noted a staff "almost too lovely to be real," which I found to be a rather fitting description. The magic was quite breathtakingly present as well. The legend of Yela, the riad's namesake maiden, is hammered into the doors in silver and painted in artful Arabic calligraphy on the walls and the ceilings. The rooms are called chapters, there is a bedouin-style, tented "magic carpet tower" (where Yela received her first kiss and flew off above the rooftops of Marrakech with her lover), and the staff are all decked out in immaculate white and full of infallible graciousness. They really are almost too lovely to be real.

They have special drivers that are willing to navigate the impossibly narrow alleyways of the medina (which is not the done thing) in order to retrieve and redeposit you after taking you wherever you may wish to go. They give you a cellphone so that when (and I do mean when, not if) you become hopelessly lost in the labyrinth of the medina, you can call for help. They even moved the portable air conditioning unit from the office into our room after our own A/C went out after hours. Which reminds me, you really should get a room on the upper level, as the ground-floor rooms are not air conditioned at all.

The only slight glitch to do with the service was that they couldn't keep our dinner reservation in the magic carpet tower on the night of our arrival. I had arranged to have dinner waiting for us when we got in from the airport, and I had advised them that we expected to get there about 22:00. When we got in (via their own driver) at 22:30 our dinner was set up in another lovely area on the roof with a tent and a large table, and there was another couple in the magic carpet tower. We asked about it and were told that they couldn't hold the reservation because we were "so late." That was the only disappointment, and it really wasn't so bad. It just differed so tremendously from the rest of the service we received. If they'd been as spectacular about that as they were about everything else, they would have considered the standard wait time for customs (lengthier than anywhere else I've traveled) and calculated how long it usually takes for their driver to deliver guests coming in from the airport, and they would have known intuitively that we'd be half an hour later than I estimated! Really that's how en point they were when it came to every other service opportunity. So the bottom line is that I'm truly grateful that we were served a hot, delicious feast at ten-thirty at night by a wonderfully friendly and attentive waiter that we had all to ourselves for as long as we wished to linger. Plus we got to lounge like sultans in the magic carpet tower after dinner anyway!

Ultimately, I can't recommend this place highly enough. I'm a travel agent, and a very discerning guest when it comes to design and service, and Riad AnaYela was truly spellbinding in every way. The décor is luxe and earthy at the same time, full of both character and refinement, and it's hard to get both. The courtyard was completely sublime with white arches surrounding a cool blue plunge pool, white leather berber chairs, and mysterious ambient soundscapes playing quietly around the clock.

Breakfast was absolutely delightful. It's a sumptuous and splendid spread of yogurt, granola, fruit, pastries, bread, jams, juice, coffee, and tea, and it'll be waiting for you with a warm, welcoming smile whether you get up at six in the morning or at one in the afternoon. Value is a subjective thing, and I feel like I got plenty of it here. If you want an outsized and vaguely Moroccan-looking room in the swank part of the medina, and you're willing to sacrifice some of the romance, you can get loads more space for this kind of money, but AnaYela is truly one-of-a-kind, with a soul and a story, and the sort of immaculate attention to detail (in both design and service) that's not easy to come by, and that's what I look for in an unforgettable place to stay.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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77 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Anayela for our honeymoon. In summary, we enjoyed our stay, but in retrospect, we would likely stay elsewhere on our next trip to Marrakech. The high points: The hotel is beautiful and the story of the young woman who is the namesake of the hotel is enchanting and the theme is carried out very tastefully through the riad. It really is a nice quiet and serene oasis in the busy medina. The hotel is impeccably decorated and we found lots of great ideas that I would love to replicate in our home some day. The hotel staff was incredibly nice. I was sick for much of our stay there due to common food borne illness acquired while traveling and i am very glad that happened at a nice place that i didn't mind hanging out in for long stretches of the day!

The lower points: the hotel is very expensive and i'm not convinced we got the value for the price. We received great service at lower price point hotels during our time in Morocco. We had dinner at the hotel our first night on the roof top. the dinner service was beautiful and the food portions were large, however, the food was a little bland and I actually got sick for the first time the next day after eating at many a less elite and clean establishment throughout the country on our trip. Also, they were unable to accommodate different food choices for dinner. If they were making beef and you didn't eat beef, you had to go out to dinner because they only planned for one meal a day and you had to tell them you were eating there very early in the day, so there was not much room for change of plans. Also, the food at the hotel was very expensive. The staff was wonderful about bringing snacks for us (their snack included a large tray of breads, tasty cheeses, olives and sometimes a mixed salad), however, when we checked out we realized the "snack" cost 15 Euros a person. We read about other hotels that included a bit more in that price range (like free snacks and cocktails each day etc.). Also, we originally booked the honeymoon suite and we were switched to another suite upon arrival. The second suite was beautiful, but we originally booked the romantic suite because it was our honeymoon so that was a bit disappointing that that was done without much apology and there wasn't really anything extra done for our honeymoon as advertised. Also the staff was getting ready for the owners to visit and were very busy preparing for that, so that could have lead to less attentive service at some points than we expected when we booked the hotel. The hotel was supposed to help book a spa appointment and we didn't ever end up going nor did we hear from the hotel about whether we were able to get an appointment. They did book dinner reservations and a taxi for us one night and that was great. The services was spotty but when they executed things for the most part they did them well. The hotel does not sit in the most fancy area of the medina which we liked, but with the price tag equivalent or higher than riads in the more posh area in case that is something that you are factoring into your riad selection.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mandalay, Myanmar
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2010

The Anayela Hotel in the heart of the medina of Marrakesh is a totally special and surreal place: you leave behind you the hustle and bustle of medina life and surrender to the total peace and tranquility of this sensual oasis! The service is wonderfully attentive and kind! All in all a fantastic stay!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Berlin, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2009

my buddy and I were totally blown away from anaYela... the service is awesome, the interior design fantastic. we really enjoyed our stay.

Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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Berlin, Germany
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2008

I am often in Marrakech. If I travel just with a business purpose I prefer the Sofitel, having Spa relaxation in mind I rather go for the Amanjena and when I am looking for inspiration and the real Marrekech feeling I defenetly go for the Anayela.
Five Rooms/Suites only, a Pool in the middle, a fantastic roof terrace , a superb location and greate cuisin make it my personal hot spot in the town. What I like most is the design. Everything feels like Marroco and modern at the very same time. Hope the owners will be clever enough to sell the stuff soon (it even beats what ever you can buy at Musttafas famous place...) to avoid me stealing it bit by bit everytime I stay there :-)

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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stockholm
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2008

My wife an me just came back from a stay in the anayela which was one of the most outstanding experiences we had so far (and we travel a lot). we found the anayela through an article in the neue zürcher zeitung, where the author mentioned also the excellent cuisine which is off course as promoted a traditional morrocon cuisine and it was simply superbe! staff was very friendly, and you overview the whole medina while sitting on the "flying carpet"- but all those "hard facts" cannot describe what you "feel" inside this little palais- an oasis in the middle of the colourful medina, where you really can relax or even work on creative things because the whole atmosphere is very inspirational. we loved the anayela and will certainly come back!

Stayed May 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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London
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2008

My husband booked our 3-night stay at the AnaYela riad after having read an ad about it in a magazine. there were no online reviews of the riad yet but we’ve found other advertising articles online, praising the place, and were excited about our choice.

In short, we have enjoyed our stay, however, in real life this place turned out nothing special. On our trip in Morocco, we stayed at a much more luxurious and interesting riad in Fes for about 25% less of the AnaYela price. The riad is rather small and cozy, with a totally modern decor throughout. In fact, it’s so small that there’s no nice dining place, except for the terrace (the other two tables are right by the small pool, so you are to watch closely other guests splashing around while having a dinner – which I guess shouldn't be a problem if you are traveling with a bunch of friends). I had to stay for one day at the riad as had some urgent work to do on my computer and couldn't find a comfortable place for study either. The wi-fi didn’t work at first, so I had to ask staff to fix it. The terrace is nice, although doesn't provide that much of a spectacular view, as advertised (the riad is only two stores high). The covered “carpet tower” is a good place to have dinner. However, we didn’t enjoy the food which was prepared for us at the riad – again, too simple and not much of a taste. Breakfasts were also very limited – croissants, bread and jams. Next days we had lunch and dinner at the Sofitel hotel in Marrakech (very good food) and felt sorry we were not staying there instead.

We stayed in a suite at a rate of 400+ euros. The room was nicely decorated, with a comfortable big bed and a really huge stone bath. However, after filling half of the bath hot water completely stopped and we had to take a cold shower. Another annoying moment was when bottles of mineral water were constantly removed from our room by room service. We purchased large bottles of water at the riad every evening and they were taken away (almost full) every morning. Something that you never expect from a place at over $500 per night.

The best thing about the riad is the service provided by waiters – local guys who are extremely friendly, attentive and considerate. The management is friendly as well but seems rather amateurish.

Stayed May 2008
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 AnaYela

Address: Derb Zerwl No 28, Marrakech 4000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#35 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#41 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#91 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — AnaYela 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AnaYela is a small 300 year old palace in the heart of the medina of Marrakech. The real sensation of the Anayela is its unique atmosphere and its extraordinary architecture. Real new luxury - special experiences for special guests. The Anayela has 3 rooms and 2 suites - each with a different design and all the services and comfort you need. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Anayela Hotel Marrakech

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