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“Like staying with family!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riad Aguaviva

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Riad Aguaviva
Ranked #9 of 1,186 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Rankin Inlet, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Like staying with family!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

I can't say enough good things about Riad Aguaviva! They treated us like family right from the start.

The amazing Sara took such good care of us. More like a friend than an employee of a hotel. After we got settled in, she took us on a walk to orient ourselves with the medina. This is so important!! I was very overwhelmed at first but Sara's relaxed personality helped to ease me into this totally different world. Coming from Canada, I found the medina absolutely bonkers! Scooters, bikes, donkeys, trucks, people everywhere.... But seeing Sara so relaxed walking around totally put me at ease and I felt very safe. She walked us all the way to the main square and showed us an authentic moroccan restaurant where we ate dinner. She left us there and we found our way back home using the provided map and remembering landmarks that she pointed out along the way.

We loved breakfast every day. We were there for 6 nights and breakfast was different every day. Amazing coffee and OJ. Simo took very good care of us (bringing me a second pot of that awesome coffee). Rooftop terrace is so tranquil and beautiful. As we were wrapping up breakfast, David would help us make our plans for the day. We loved it. He would even draw customs maps every day to help us find our way. We really liked all of their recommendations. David also gave us an amazing gift. He drew a portrait of me and my wife. It's beautiful. He is such a talented artist (as you will see when you look around the riad). David is such a kind soul. He even came to work early on our last day to say goodbye and he and Simo gave us a great breakfast to eat at the airport.

This riad is truly an oasis in a chaotic city. You might feel skeptical when you first duck into the little alley for the riad but I assure you, it is beautiful. We felt so safe and secure we didn't even lock our room when we went out.

The only thing I would caution people about is the location. We were well aware after reading reviews but you should know that the riad is about 20 min walk to the main square. For us, this was a positive aspect. I wanted to be as far away as possible from the monkeys and the snake charmers!!! I loved the "real" neighborhood where the riad is. Buses and taxis are cheap and very available too.

I could go on but need to stop somewhere! It's a good sign when you actually miss the people where you stayed (hi Sara!).

I highly recommend this Riad (in case you didn't already figure that out).

Oh, and definitely book the airport transfer! You would have a very hard time finding it on your own the first time!! Driver was friendly and waiting for us at the airport.

In closing, I have never stayed at such an honest place. Never trying to up sell or send you to crappy touristy places. They booked us a cooking class that was one of our highlights for sure.

Message me if you have any questions!

Thank you, Riad Aguaviva!!!

Andrew

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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751 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Hayling Island
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013 via mobile

I never normally get round to writing reviews but this is one I really must write.

What an amazing Riad. All the rooms are fabulously decorated, comfortable and beautiful. Location wise Aguaviva is tucked away in the North of the Medina, just far enough away from the hustle and bustle to give you some calm after a hectic day. It's close to some amazing restaurants (Le Fondouk and Dar Donah are a couple) and just a 20 minute stroll from the main square. Perfect location.

But this is not the main reason for recommending staying here; that is the incredible staff!! From the minute you arrive you are welcomed into the heart of your new Morroccan family. Sara and Oti and the rest of the staff are just amazing. They will orientate you through the Medina and provide guidance and maps to ensure you don't lose your way. Sara genuinely loves her job and is truly passionate about the city! She walked with us for two hours through the alleyways and streets, through the souks to the square, all the time explaining landmarks to remember and showing us hidden secrets behind the closed doors of Marrakech. Absolutely nothing stands in the way of them ensuring your stay is as memorable as it can possibly be. They will find out from you what your interests are and help you plan each day of your trip if you want them to. Each day we were guided through new things to do and see and not once did we get lost or feel unsure of where we where.

Their recommendations for restaurants and things to see and do were spot on and we were able to walk everywhere confidently using just their maps and guidance.

We had dinner at the Riad on our last night and it was really magical. The table was set under the stars with Morroccan candles and strewn with rose petals and the food was amazing! It was one of the best meals we had during our stay. Simo definitely makes the best Tanjia in Marrakech!!

We will be back in Marrakech soon and I already know exactly where we will be staying!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Mindiemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire, UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Riad Aguaviva for three nights at the start of a recent tour of Morocco. It is a truly beautiful riad but what makes it really, really special is the staff. David, Sara, Oti and Simo were all wonderful (Manel was in Spain at the time of our trip). All seemed to know what we wanted before we did. Nothing was too much trouble. All communications before (and after - more of this later) were dealt with promptly and efficiently and in a really friendly way.

They arranged for our transport from the airport and the second the car parked up in the Medina, Simo was on hand to bring us the couple of minutes walk to the Riad. We had asked if it would be possible for some food when we arrived as we knew we were not going to feel like trying to find a restaurant at the time of night we arrived. The food was better than any we had elsewhere in Marrakech (and very reasonably priced). Breakfasts too were wonderful. Sara brought us down to the main square the following morning and ensured that we would always be able to find our way back (she was also great fun to be with and seemed to know everything about the city). David was an absolute font of information and recommended places to see (in Marrakech and elsewhere) that we wouldn't have found without him and for which we will always be grateful.

All that said however, the thing that is most indicative of my feelings about this place is my complete lack of worry when a potential disaster happened. We managed to leave our passports in the safe - how stupid is that! We only remembered them about four hours out of Marrakech and our driver phoned the riad immediately. I don't know who he spoke to but whoever it was checked that they were still there and promised to keep them secure until we could collect them after our tour. At no point did I feel worried that anything would happen. Once I knew they were there, I knew they were safe.

All I can say is that when we go back to Marrakech we will stay at Riad Aguaviva. I wouldn't dream of looking elsewhere. I really can't recommend it more highly than that.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank holidayfairy_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

I would recommend this riad wholeheartedly to anyone visiting Marrakech for the first time. After a guided tour on the first evening, we were able to find our way around the city for the next few days with ease! Having got to know us personally on the first evening, Sara, David and Manel were exceptional in helping us plan our days, ensuring that we visit all of the necessary highlights and hidden off-the-track gems. They made sure we ate well, reserving us seats at beautiful restaurants, ensures we were truly relaxed after booking us into a stunning hammam and taught us the tricks of bartering for cheap souk deals and low taxi fares. In addition to all of this, the riad and our room were both beautifully decorated and exceedingly homely, much needed after a day of Marrakesh trekking. Thank you Sara, David and Manel for your wonderful hospitality, friendly faces and top rate advice. We hope to see you again!
Matt and Emily

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mtcki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013


If you are looking for a hotel you can reach by taxi right to the doorstep, this place is not for you (though I would recommend booking a transfer, at least when arriving and while you've not developed your orientation skills). The ever so enthusiastic staff are more than willing to supply you with a very useful map of their own and walk the medina with you so you successfully identify the landmarks you need to navigate the old town. They will offer you invaluable advice about sights, entertainment and shopping, but nevertheless you will have an adventurous feeling, as the riad is located on the north of the medina, and you'll have the chance to visit the authentic souqs and streets, whereas most tourists do not venture farther than Djmal el-Fnaa. Actually, one could just hop on a plane for Marrakech without knowing anything about the city, and leave it to the lads in Aguaviva to best organise your time there, regardless of how many nights you are spending. And if you are also travelling somewhere else in the country, I'd leave the artefact shopping until you've heard where they recommend you to go.
The riad is a familiar (though not necessarily family oriented) hotel with only 6 rooms, small but tastefully decorated. Breakfast is in air conditioned jaima tent in the terrace, and you can go for a dip in the pool in the centre of the patio after a long hot day.
Sara, Manel and Mohammed (we only got to know David by his fine paintings) are the most helpful and enthusiastic staff we've found anywhere else.
Muchas gracias, chicos.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank onmary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

I joined TripAdvisor just to write this review. You should not stay anywhere else in Marrakech. David, Manel and team take such fantastic care of you it's unbelievable - I'm not sure I would've enjoyed Marrakech as much had it not been for them. When you arrive, they will discuss your itinerary with you, and find out whether you'd like their help/recommendations. First, they will get you oriented in the medina which is a really big deal. They have spent years making their own map of the medina, where they mark off certain "landmarks" so you know whether you are going the right way or not -- this is a HUGE help as it is incredibly easy to get totally lost and not in a fun way. They will go out with you (if you want) each morning of your trip and walk you to a different part of the medina and show you their markers on the map and in real life. They will teach you a lot about the culture and tell you stories about the various shops and locations. And then they will leave you to find your way back. One of the best things about going on a walk with them is that they know their neighbors well, and when they take you out, you minimize the amount of people that will haggle you. They will also take you to see a real souk, that locals shop at, versus the very touristy one. They will find you the best restaurants for what you want - super fancy, mid range, local and cheap - the options are endless. And they are amazing hosts - they will sit and chat with you in the evenings and take fantastic care of you--it's like hanging out with friends. Breakfasts by the way, are super delicious. I've truly never had a better experience at any hotel or B&B ever before. All the rooms have their own a/c. David and Manel have Apple and Mac product chargers that you can borrow if you need them. And they will help you decide what you should and shouldn't do with your time in Marrakech - they will also tell you what you should tell taxis you are willing to pay. I have to say I was really dubious about getting transfers from the train station and over email, David was pretty clear that he thought it would be a mistake to forgo the offer. Turns out he was exactly right, I don't know how we would have found the place without him. These guys know what they're doing and they take excellent care of you.

Room Tip: Smara room worked out great for us! Very romantic and comfortable!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nita C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level Contributor
78 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

We were a group of 9 seasoned travellers who made our way to Morocco for a birthday bash. Marrakech can be a crazy and overwhelming place to land, but we loved every minute of it. A key feature of this was our stay at Riad Aguaviva.
Aside from being a truly beautiful building, the service we received was simply outstanding. The riad is around 15 mins meandering north of the main square, which means that you need to walk through authentic Marrakech before arriving at the tourist heart. We all agreed that this was a real plus as we saw (and smelt!) the city as it truly was.
Aguaviva is a gem of a place. Classily decorated with a glorious plunge pool and cool inviting interiors. The breakfasts were plentiful and different each morning, with sweet orange juice and delicious coffee flowing plentifully on the rooftop terrace.
As we were such a big party we stayed in pretty much every room and each was carefully appointed with lovely furniture and stylish objects.
To be fair though, despite the loveliness of the building, it was the magnificent service that really stayed with us. Manel, David and their team couldn't have been more attentive. Each day they suggested things for us to do and then went out of their way to ensure that we were having a good time. This sort of hospitality is very rare and we were made to feel very special guests because of their kindness. Sara was a real gem, an attentive hostess with great ideas and an infectious laugh, who made our stay all the better.
It's little wonder this place gets such a great write up on Tripadvisor. It deserves it. Now I have stayed I can see what the fuss is about and it's all warranted. This riad is one of a kind and if you want a luxurious but affordable stay in Marrakech anytime soon, then get booking. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank drewmqSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Aguaviva

Property: Riad Aguaviva
Address: Sidi Ghanem, Derb Derraz 3 | Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 1,186 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming Riad in a traditional and quiet neighbourhood in the Medina. A place to relax after an exhausting day in Marrakech. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Aguaviva Hotel Marrakech

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