On a week’s holiday in Marrakech, we spontaneously decided to visit Essaouria and stay over. As this was spontaneous we hadn’t booked a hotel so as soon as we arrived we went to a cybercafé to figure out our next stop. We found Riad l'Ayel d'Essaouira and it had excellent reviews. However, it was difficult not to compare it to the riad where we were staying in Marrakech.
We knocked on the door and were ‘greeted’ by a lady (I think she was the owner). She asked if we had a reservation and between my poor French and her poor English I tried to get across we didn’t and would like a room for the night. Throughout this she was huffing and puffing which wasn’t a great start to be honest. However, I think we figured each other out as she made a phone call and her attitude changed, and she offered us mint tea and biscuits while arranging a room.
The room itself was small, the bed extremely hard (good pillows though) and there was a window above the door with no curtain. Plus the main light bulb was broken. Didn’t report this and in hindsight I should have because the same thing will happen to the next guests.
The breakfast was good, pretty standard as to what a Moroccan riad breakfast it seems. One plus point is the Wi-Fi – absolutely brilliant, worked in the room and on the roof! Plus the location is hard to beat!
Overall, I think the high ratings TA and Booking.com lead to over expectations and again comparing it to our riad in Marrakech, it didn’t come close.