We booked an out-of-town hotel for our week in Marrakech as we felt that the pool and other facilities would be better suited to a long stay. We wanted to experience a night in a Riad so after literally hours of researching online, I found this Riad and what a find it was! We paid around £45 for B&B for one night and would have happily spent double this!
Location - We did struggle at first to find the Riad (and were duped by some children looking for cash) but once we knew where we were going, we got back to it no problems. It is in the Riad Larouss area of the Medina and if you can navigate to the area's square (a big car park with some official looking buildings), the Riad is down a couple of small winding alleys from there. Best to email for directions in advance! The lovely owner Charlotte walked us back to the square once we'd found our way and showed us some points of reference so that we could easily get back later that day and at night. The Riad was well placed to visit all of the sites and was within easy walking distance to the Majorelle Gardens and the main square. A taxi to the square cost less than £2/EUR2.
The Riad - Quite simply a beautiful place! It is a traditional layout with the rooms built round the courtyard. There are only 5 bedrooms and there were no other guests when we stayed so it was very peaceful. There is a fab roof terrace, on which we enjoyed a couple of beers late afternoon, despite the thunder and light rain. The staff were all very pleasant, especially Charlotte (the owner) who was really kind and full of great tips about the city and the area and the night porter who went out of his way to ensure we were happy (offering us beer when we arrived home from dinner at night - which we enjoyed on the roof terrace again!). We were served mint tea and pastries upon our arrival and the breakfast in the morning was a selection of pancakes and pastries with coffee and juice served in the living room (it was raining, otherwise we woudl have eaten it on the roof).
The Room - We chose the Cafe room and of all the rooms, I think it was the best. We saw the other rooms when we arrived and they were all different and very nicely decorated. We were on the ground floor with windows out to the courtyard and a giant wooden door which I took great glee in bolting shut (I felt like I was in a palace!). Our bathroom was amazing, fully tiled with soft towels and toiletries. The shower consisted of a large basin built into the floor - a great alternative to a bath! We had a great night's sleep and although we heard the call to prayer, it didn't bother us. There was a safe in the room and plenty of room to hang clothes. The room was quite small so might have become a little cramped for a long stay but for a few nights, would be perfect, plus you are made to feel at home in the Riad and can use the living room and roof terrace at your leisure.
Overall - As I mention above, this was a one night stay in the middle of a week in Marrakech and was by far the best part of our trip. We chose to get our hotel's shuttle in to town in the afternoon and return the following evening. During our night away we visited the Majorelle Gardens, went for cocktails at the Mamounia, had dinner at Al Fassia and then spent the following day in the souks and round the main square. We found this experience much less stressful than our one-day visit to the centre earlier in the week as we could easily nip back to the Riad for some peace between our activities. I found the noise and bustle of Marrakech very stressful and quite daunting but the Riad was a perfect haven. The transport around the city is so quick and cheap (which we hadn't realised the first day we visited).
I fully recommend staying in a Riad for your trip to Marrakech, either for your full stay or for one night like we did and I would whole heartedly recommend Maison Belbaraka, Charlotte and her team. Without this night, our trip would have been much less enjoyable so many thanks to them for making it so special.
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