I can undestand why the reviwer who stayed one night was not happy, it is a huge culture shock staying in the old city in Marrakech. We were very apprehensive when we first arrived, the maze of narrow streets, no sign posts, not knowing the place, not being sure of the locals. The first night we came home by time and did not go out, what a mistake!
The staff are great, Mohammed took us on a tour as soon as we arrived showing us how to get in and out of the Riad, how to get to the main central square, pointing out reasurtants. This did give us some reasurance but it is not until you start getting about on your own that you realise how wonderfull the place in.
Ishmael also speaks great English and did everything he could to help out backed up by two ladies making a team which do everything they can to make your holiday.
The next morning started with breakfast cooked to order served on the roof over looking Marrakech in the sunshine, a great start givning you confidence that everything will be allright.
A Riad is difficult to imagine if you have not seen one, you go down a series of alleys with high walls on both sides which get narrower the further you go, you then come to a door in the wall which gives very little clue as to what is behind it and you are wondering if you should go through. When you do through it is an incredible contrast and you could go for this alone.
Once you set off into the rabbit warren of alley ways your confidence grows firstly when you realise the locals are friendly and trustworty, at no time day or night did we feel even a little bit threatand. You have to watch for motobikes, trolleys, donkey carts as well as all the pedestrians all moving at once in the narrow alleys. They are all lit at night and we went out each night in the dark with no issues. You do get a bit of hassle from the stall holders and shop keepers but this is generally fairly light and not too persistant. This is more than balanced by generally tennagers offering advice and directions if you are looking lost.
Head for the big square where Mohammed has taken you to as so much seems to happen in and around this. It is a hive of activity day and night, watch out around 4pm when all the food stalls arrive and set up in a very organised manner ready to serve until midnight. There are several roof terraces which you can get to for the price of a drink and watch the unfolding events. Looking up is a good piece of advice for Marrakech, often you see an empy reasturant only to find a bustling roof terrace three floors up.
Reasutants are very plentiful but similar to UK prices, they vary from being good wholesome Morroccon food through to great dining experiences, we had some great meals. Alchohl is available in some reasurtants and bars but is at London prices.
Overall we really enjoyed our three nights in Marrakech.
Top Tip, if you want to travel about in Morrocco, we went to Essouria for two nights, there is a very good bus network run by SupraTours which has a bus depot just behind the Main Railway Station in Marrakech. 1st Class is similar to UK standards and Comfort Plus is better than anything I had travelled on before. It is an efficient service, reasonably priced, several departures a day which do seem to change often. Book the day before and all the taxi drivers know where supra tours are. I you want a day trip to Essouria, well worth it you can pay 40 euros for an organised trip on a mini bus, 20 Euros for Supra Tours Comfort Plus(one return trip per day), departing 9am retuning at 5pm(Jan 13) or 14 Euros for Supra Tours first Class(several trips per day)all return and stopping at the Oil Coperative on the way, but supra tours do not stop at the Goats in The Trees!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enter Riad 58 blu, discover this little treasure, this relaxing oasis in the very earth of the lively medina, just a few steps from the excitement of the famous Jema el Fna square.Let yourself be captivated by the magic of its Moorish style and by the warm welcome of Paolo and Cinzia: Paolo Lombatti, its Italian owner who, after ten years experience in Morocco, will suggest you to take advantage of your stay in Marrakech and how to discover its surroundings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad 58 Blu Marrakech
- Riad 58 Blu Hotel Marrakech