I visited Riad Elizabeth for a 4 night stay at the beginning of the month with 3 of my girlfriends. Prior to booking I had trawled through A LOT of great reviews for this place so had very high hopes indeed, and thankfully they didn't disappoint!
At first I was slightly apprehensive at the idea of a girls holiday to somewhere so very different from home, but the reviews for this place did help to put my mind at ease a little, and as soon as we arrived it was plain to see why the reviews are so great. Prior to our stay we organised the finer details of our trip with Elizabeth and John (transfers to and from the airport, a traditional Hammam, a guided tour of the medina etc - all HUGELY recommended!) and so as soon as we arrived at Marrakech airport, there was our driver, ready and waiting for us. He whisked us off to the Riad (about a 30 minute drive - it's not very far away but the traffic is madness! Genuine madness; it included donkeys, people carrying babies on mopeds, buses whose doors would open randomly as they drove and at one point even a man pushing his grandma in a wheelchair..! Has to be seen to be believed). As soon as we arrived at the Riad we were greeted by the Riad Manager Samira, and it has to be said, she is absolutely the reason this review gets the full 5 stars from me. She couldn't have been more helpful to us throughout our stay. She really takes the time to sit down with you and take you through the itinerary of things that you've already booked with them, and she'll arrange all necessary transfers, let you know timings etc. She also finds out what it is you're hoping to see/do during your stay and then gives you her recommendations. Once you've made your plans for each day, she'll go ahead and book everything for you (taxi transfers, table bookings etc). There's absolutely no pushiness in her recommendations, if you know exactly what you want to do then she'll just go ahead and book it for you, but if you're open to suggestions (as we were) then her vast knowledge of the city is incredibly helpful. I can't praise Samira enough, she's an absolute asset to Riad Elizabeth, and I imagine a lot of the fantastic reviews they've received on here are in large part down to her. Elizabeth and John are also very lovely people of course, but Samira is who you have the most contact with.
The Riad itself is beautiful, and the rooms are fairly simple/basic but elegant, and offer everything you need. The very best part of the riad is the sun terrace! This is a wonderful place to relax, and believe me you need that after a day of hustle and bustle in the crazy Souks! Every day we'd find ourselves up early doors, and off out to explore after a big tasty breakfast in the Riad, but come about 3 - 4 pm we'd find ourselves seriously waning, tired of the constant chatter from the locals and people shouting random English at us like "Spice Girls! Fish & Chips! Lovely Jubbly" - amusing the first few times, but after a day of it you can find yourself longing for the unsociable streets of London where no-one talks to anyone..! It's at this point in the day that we'd gleefully bound back to the Riad and set ourselves up on the sun loungers for the last few hours of sunshine - Bliss!
Another serious worry of mine when booking this trip was that it's supposed to be a 'dry country' - a holiday with no booze is most certainly not a holiday in my eyes..! But fear not! The Riad operates an honesty bar, stocked with wine and beer. Phew... In fairness it's not as easy to get a drink as it is on your average European holiday as it's all a little hush hush, due to the strict drinking laws. This means that booze is only delivered in small quantities to the Riad each day at around 4pm, and given that we drank them dry most nights (!) this meant no more boozing till gone 4 every day. However, surprisingly I think this was a restriction that we actually quite enjoyed as it meant lively days of sober exploration before the drunken nightly shenanigans! There are also very many restaurants that serve alcohol at night time (seemed near on impossible to find one serving alcohol in day light), and again Samira's knowledge was vital to us for this!
Finally, make sure that you eat dinner in the Riad at least one night of your stay because the food is out of this world, and it works out about £18 a head for 3 courses - bargain!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Elizabeth is an elegant and chic riad located in the heart of the ancient medina of Marrakech. An oasis of style and a calm refuge from the feverish pace and excitement of the souk.British-owned Riad Elizabeth offers modern comfort and facilities whilst maintaining an air of exotic Moroccan charm and romance.The riad offers six en-suite bedrooms, each tastefully and individually furnished to a high standard. For your comfort, all rooms are equipped with controllable air conditioning/heating as well as crisp Egyptian cotton sheets, complimentary toiletries and an iPod dock. Just a short walk from the Medersa Ben Youssef and Musée de Marrakech, Riad Elizabeth provides everything needed to make your stay in Marrakech enjoyable and relaxing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Elizabeth Marrakech
- Riad Elizabeth Hotel Marrakech