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“Very good riad” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Marhaba

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Riad Marhaba
3 rue Essam, Rabat 10000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 40 Rabat B&B and Inns
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Very good riad”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We spent the night here before leaving from the Rabat airport for our return home. It is located in the NE part of the medina, close to the Kasbah.The Riad courtyard is beautifully restored with detailed stucco, tiles and woodwork, and rises gracefully to the top upon elegant columns and arches. Terrace on the roof top was excellent! The room we stayed in (Chellah Family Room) was very spacious with its separate bedroom and living room, but plainly decorated. The other rooms looked more traditional Moroccan settings. Amine met us promptly to guide us to the Riad and was cheerful and helpful. One disappointment was that we did not get to try their breakfast. We got up early to catch our flight and had arranged for breakfast, but no one was awake and no breakfast appeared. Oh well. Still a very pleasant place to stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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142 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
St Helens, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This was our first trip to Morocco and I didn't really know what to expect, especially after reading the report from a previous reviewer about damp in the Bahia Suite, where we would be staying. I e-mailed Fred, the owner, and told him of my concerns and his reply was very reassuring.We could inspect the room and if we didn't want to stay he would help us to find alternative accommodation in the Medina with no charges. The room was lovely, just as shown on the website, and there was no trace of damp anywhere in the Riad. Yes,the drains in the bathroom did smell, but it is easy enough to cover them and keep out the smell. We picked up a car at the airport in Marrakech and found Rabat easily enough, unfortunately we couldn't find the Riad! All it took was a phone call to the Riad and our troubles were over when Amine came to find us and guide us to the car park. He helped us with our luggage and smilingly led us to the Riad. He is very friendly and welcoming and thankfully speaks English very well. He always made time to talk to us and answer our questions and he he gave us some excellent advice, especially about places to eat. After all the booking in formalities we were taken up to the terrace where we had our first taste of mint tea with some lovely pastries. Breakfasts on the terrace were a lovely way to start the day and the food was good and plentiful, freshly prepared in the terrace kitchen, with a good variety to choose from. Fred teaches at the local senior school but comes in to the Riad on his days off. He moved out of the Riad after his first child was born as young children are not exactly conducive to a quiet and relaxing holiday.He is a charming and cultured man who spoke to all his guests who were present at breakfast and we were delighted to be introduced to his wife, who called in as we were leaving. The Riad is very well renovated and Fred showed us an album of 'before and after' photographs and explained the trials and tribulations of living in the Riad throughout the renovation process. Altogether it was a wonderful experience to start our holiday in Morocco in this lovely Riad and the attention we received from Amine and Fred couldn't have been bettered. Amine insisted on helping us with our luggage back to the car park and if ever we return to Rabat we would have no hesitation in staying in Riad Marhaba again.

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet room as I have trouble sleeping and we were given the Bahia Suite where I slept...
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rocklin, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our first taste of Morocco thanks to Amine and Riad Marhaba. (Fred was on holiday.) We found the place centrally located to the Kasbah, dining options, souks, and gardens. We too got lost easily in the Medina....Amine smiled and saved us on more than one occasion. Rooms are large and well appointed. Nice bathrooms....tho handheld shower head. Breakfasts were a treat up on the terrace - 58 steps up. We felt we had earned that wonderful breakfast.....fresh orange juice, eggs, delightful breads, jams, semolina "pancakes", olives, yogurt and wonderful coffee. Highly recommended for travelers who wish to be immersed into this beautiful culture.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Surbiton, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Overall, our stay at Riad Marhaba was a let down.

The directions provided were good, so we were easily able to locate the riad through the mazy medina. However, in hindsight, the central medina location is not particularly desirable in Rabat compared to other Moroccan cities. The main attractions are spread evenly around the city, and there's a paucity of cafes and restaurants, which are nearly all located in the Ville Nouvelle area.

The riad has style but no substance. It's been lovingly restored internally, and the website photos are faithful to the first-hand sights experienced. The rooftop terrace is a peaceful haven, and someone obviously takes great care and pride maintaining this area. Breakfast on the terrace was a nice way to start the day.

However, the Bahia Suite (our room) was damp throughout - including all sofa's and bedding. The air con did not provide hot air (as we were advised by the host) to help mitigate the problem. No gas canisters were made available to utilise the fire provided. Finally, the bathroom drains emitted a strong unpleasant odour - while we appreciate the old medina drainage system won't help, the issue was much worse than we found in other medina riad's we stayed in throughout Morocco.

We also felt the riad host was very pre-occupied throughout our stay. A rushed check-in with a scribbled map didn't compare well to the relaxed introductions served with a pot of mint tea received in all our other riads. We struggled to get the host's attention when we wanted to check-out, and he was at a loss to help with the reported room issues.

Ultimately, Riad Marhaba charged (by far) the highest price of all our riad stays, and offered the worst experience across all factors.

Room Tip: Avoid the Bahia Suite until damp issues are resolved.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turin, Italy
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

First time in Morocco with babies (after having lived in Rabat for some time).
Riad Marhaba is a jewel in medina.
Rooms are fascinating: perfect Moroccan style high ceiling, rectangular shape.
The terrace is just wonderful: relaxing breakfast looking at the life on the roofs of medina.
Staff very friendly. Nice owner.
One of the best and most welcome-back to Morocco we could have ever expected.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

My brother and I just returned from Morocco last week. We stayed here for 2 nights. I NEVER write reviews but this place is worth the effort.

The place was not only well appointed, looked great and clean but also very welcoming and accommodating. Fred and his family did a great job remaking the place into a very cool, traditional riad. Fred agreed with Amine's restaurant recommendations so they're on the same page.

We also liked the laid-back aspect of Rabat and this place fits right in. No scooters whipping down this medina's narrow streets.

One of the best features, however, is Amine, the host ... very helpful around a tangled Medina and seriously interested in our comfort, area knowledge, etc. I think he had fun chatting with my brother who struggled with Moroccan Arabic and French - he'd been studying Arabic which wasn't so helpful in Morocco! Amine showed up all over the place - mostly when we were lost - easy to get lost.

Downsides? No hook for the shower head (saw this in other postings), longish walk from the train station - no problem for us but might be for others, out of propane for heaters (again, not a problem for us). All riad's can be noisy by nature so if you're not ready to share the experience, I'd head to a hotel (which can be even more noisy!)

I'd go back, hang out for a week and eat too much bread again.

Room Tip: There are 4 rooms, i think. We arrived after visiting another riad which was full - it had TWO room...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

There is nothing to complaint about this riad. The location is really good just 10 minutes walk to the souk and other tourist destination in medina area. 25 minutes walk to the train station. Amime the guy really make our stay comfortable. since this is an old Riad dont expect the room has soundproof system. The only bad thing is the internet connection really sucks in the first floor sabah room. other than that would reccommend this place.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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 Marhaba

Address: 3 rue Essam, Rabat 10000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer Region > Rabat
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 40 B&Bs / Inns in Rabat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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