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“Beautiful Riad with the nicest owner in the world!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad El Mess

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Riad El Mess
14 Rue Oujda Ancienne Medina | 6 Rue Sidi Ahmed Ouharoune Ancienne Médina, Essaouira 44000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #51 of 77 Hotels in Essaouira
Taunton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful Riad with the nicest owner in the world!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 5 nights and we don't want to leave! It was our first 'Riad' experience and we couldn't have asked for a more friendly atmosphere. The owner went out of his way to help us with plans and although breakfast is served between 8am-10am, he was willing to serve us anytime!! Can't recommend this Riad enough.

  • Stayed August 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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40 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    7
    20
    4
    5
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Deutschland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

stayed there one week to work on some business papers. Prices are cheap to reasonable and stuff is friendly and always ready to discuss the world's issues. Staff speaks some basic Spanish and English - although those languages are spread over different employees. You get access to WiFi in the lobby. Breakfast as usual but no dinner or room service should be expected. Three small roof terrasses with nice view on the upper one but not developed as a spot to enjoy: proper seats, tables and other facilities are missing. The interior of this Riad is nice and creates a true Moroccan charme. Rooms are spotless and nice, typically facing the inner courtyard. Really enjoyed my time!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Barcelona, Spain
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

We turned up to Essaouira without accommodation and happened to stumble upon this little gem. This traditional style riad is nestled in the heart of the medina 100m from one of the main market streets and a 5min walk to the beach. The riad has a very chilled out environment and is quiet at night time. There are beautiful views over the sea and the medina from the roof top. I have to say the best part of my stay was the local knowledge and advice received from the owner 'Hichay'. On arrival he showed us how to get around Essaouira, recommended some great places to eat and shop.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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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Reston, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2012

Poorly lit, smelly (especially the downstairs bathroom) and the promised wifi was nearly non-existent.

however the staff was were nice, helpful, and accommodating despite the shortcomings of the actual residence.

however, for the price, there are literally dozens of other options including it's sister riad (iad jehmali) that would have been much better choices.

There's just no good reason to throw the dice with El Mess.

Room Tip: try and get a non-smelly room without an attached shower. contrary i know, but the moisture is real...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

Either the previous reviewers are exaggerating or else the riad has made some vast improvements since those reviews were written..
I went to Essaouira without an accomodation booked. At the bus stop, there were some people who offered to show me some riads, so I went along with them. They showed me three and Riad El Mess was the obvious choice. It had a comfortable and welcoming aura. It is in a great location and easy to find.
The rooms were cleaned daily with fresh towels. Unlike a previous reviewer's statement, the towels were good quality. My bedroom had a outside window, so it was nice and bright inside the room. The riad itself was quiet.

There were a couple of downfalls that I experienced: I was cold but it could have been the time of year since it was March. It was also damp but probably due to the seaside location. I asked for a second blanket and it was ok. The shower was difficult to get a good temperature. It was either very hot or very cold but there was no problem with the water pressure.

For the price of my stay, it was excellent value for my money but it depends on what you are looking for in an accomodation. It was not luxury, but it was a comfortable place to rest your head.

And the staff were very friendly.. Thank you Hisham and Imad for your kindness, your conversation and your good sense of humour!

Room Tip: Room 6 has the window..
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

Like the other reviews, I stayed here as part of an Intrepid tour. I would agree with the previous reviewer with his/her advice to avoid room 8. There is indeed a white mould-like substance on the walls and the room does have a damp feel to it.

I was also unimpressed to get my laundry back quite damp. The hotel staff said that they outsourced the laundry, however I was still not impressed that they gave me my wet laundry back with no attempt to rectify the problem.

The bathroom in my room was very small and although there is hot water, the water pressure is almost non-existant.

On the positive side, this hotel is in a good location, right in the medina and within walking distance of a number of nice restaurants. The staff are friendly.

Room Tip: Avoid room 8
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

As it's name says, this place is a mess. Like the previous reviewer, I also stayed there as part of an Intrepid tour and thus had no choice in the matter.

It all started out well enough--the riad is in a great location in the heart of the medina and the lobby is very welcoming and pretty. The staff was also very friendly. The rooms are the problem. I was on the third floor, which only has two small rooms (out of the total of 8 rooms in the riad). Getting up the steep, narrow stairs is quite the experience, and no help with luggage was offered.

Once at the door, it looked more like a door to a storage room than a guest room, The room itself was small, damp and smelled very musty, The small window was actually just a opening in the wall with wooden shutters--no glass. The room was about as basic as they come--gritty stone floor, a very flimsy bed and a table without a chair. Lights didn't work and of course no heat. The walls were covered with some sort of white mold--pretty disgusting. The bathroom was basically a toilet with a shower right over it (which provided a trickle of warm water). Threadbare towels must have been decades old. Again, all was pretty disgusting and about as inviting as a prison cell. When I went downstairs to ask for a different room, I was told the riad was full (which was true) and that I was lucky, as the other room on the 3r floor was even worse (no window at all). The bedding was rather questionable and the pillow the most lumpy one I have ever seen. I so wished I had taken a sleeping bag. I inspected the mattress for bed bugs and found none, but apparently my fellow travels were not as fortunate. This is a place where you do not want to put anything on the floor, much less the bed, but you have no choice.

To be honest, there were a few positives: great location, a decent roof patio with amazing views and friendly staff. Wifi worked OK in the lobby and the breakfast was OK. They also provide a laundry service which is reasonable, but it takes two days.

I guess if you are used to staying is low-cost youth hostels, this place might look OK. For anyone else, this will likely be the worst hotel you have ever spent money to stay.

I realize that this is a cheap riad in Morocco and standards are a bit lower than in other places, but mold and bed bugs don't make for a great experience at any price. Overall, I would never stay there again and highly recommend you look elsewhere. There are a lot of riads in the medina.

Room Tip: Not sure they have good rooms, but certainly avoid the ones on the third floor.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Riad El Mess

Address: 14 Rue Oujda Ancienne Medina | 6 Rue Sidi Ahmed Ouharoune Ancienne Médina, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 77 Hotels in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
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