An beautiful riad with service that was the best I've experienced in years of travelling.
You will step out of the colourful craziness that is the medina through a little wooden door, and in to absolute cool, calm.. trickling water from the pool, and always welcoming smiles.
Owned and run by Massiliano (Italian) everyone is warm and friendly, and will go to whatever lengths necessary to ensure that you have a great stay! You will be welcomed with mint tea and bags whisked away to your room while you unwind by the pool and get shown around: Lounge (lovely fireplace for winter), pool with chairs to chillout, hammam, massage room, beautifully decorated rooms (huge attention to detail), and a great roof terrace with loungers, canvas umbrellas and large sitting area.
To give you a flavour of the service..
- They were in touch by email prior to arrival, organised our airport transfers, suggested excellent restaurants and booked for us (and which one of them escorted us to through the many alleyways that make up the medina),
- brought us breakfast (each day with different homebaked breads, cakes, omlettes, pancakes, yogurt, fruit, excellent coffee) when ever and where ever we desired, on the roof terrace, or downstairs by the pool, and made a beautiful and delicious (!!) cake especially for my friend's birthday and surprised her with it singing happy birthday arabic at breakfast,
- organised our day trip to Imlil in the Atlas Mountains (70euros for both of us - own car, driver/tour-guide) - worth it,
- arranged for massages and henna tattoos at the riad at a time that suited us,
- we got in from a day of trawling the souks exhausted and requested dinner in at very late notice - no problem - table set and an entire 3 course meal laid on! I thought the various starters were the main meal as they hadn't had time to prepare.. no no! I had to make space for two more courses. It was 23 euros I think, and 110% worth it. The food out of the kitchen is all fresh and wonderful! (and offer cooking classes),
- we exchanged mobile numbers with the staff so that if we ever got lost, they would come and find us.
The location is great.. just off a spice market in the medina, (taxis will drop you 1 min walk away), 2min from Bahia Palace, 5min walk to Bab Agnaou, 10-15min to El Fna. Highlight was El Fna by night! Amazing. And we felt safe walking home from there.
I have seen other reviews about the noisy call to prayer. This is Marrakech, there are mosques every 100 yards, you will always hear the call to prayer a few times a day, its simply all part of it.
We were sad to leave. It felt like home very quickly and we were very comfortable and taken very good care of. Certainly good value for money. I will be coming back here, and the ultimate test: Yes, I would recommend it to family and friends!
Enjoy your stay in Marrakech!
- Head to the Beldi Country Club for lunch outside, rose fields, Atlas Mountains in the distance, followed by lazy afternoon by the pool.
- Cafe de France on Djemaa El Fna - excellent views from top floor terrace - watch the sun go down over El Fna
- Haggle - ignore their starting prices (extreme chancers) - decide in your head what you would pay in your own currency, convert to Dirhams, start below, and don't go much over before walking out. They will cave in. Otherwise you will walk away feeling like you've been taken..
- While we felt very safe in Marrakech (they have plain clothed policemen so no one knows who they are), DO NOT let anyone come into your personal space and distract you with 'where you from' while trying to sell you 28 things at once - they are pickpocketing you. (this was en route to Imlil, and luckily had unzipped an empty pocket).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Riad Azoualy is located in the Medina of Marrakech, in the middle of the Mellah, the ancient Jewish quarter of Marrakech, a few steps away from the Bahia Palace and a 10 minute walk from the legendary Jemaa-El-Fna square. The Riad Azoulay combines the comforts, the traditional ambiance and the charm of old riads. The building has been restored to its former splendor of the past using the traditional materials, finishes and techniques. The Riad Azoulay has five spacious rooms, all overlooking the internal patio and all furnished with air conditioning and heating, roomy wardrobes, small safes for personal effects, Internet and WI-FI connection, mineral water and fresh flowers daily. Soft plump pillows and sheets of Egyptian cotton will help to make your nights comfortable and dreamy! All the bathrooms are ensuite, and are equipped with hair-dryers, soft towels and top rate ecological toilet and beauty products. Each suite has an individual theme, giving them a unique and unforgettable character.Some of the rooms can be provided with a third bed. The African, Mauritanian and Syrian rooms have matrimonial beds which can be made into two singles. The Riad Azoulay boasts two magnificent junior suites, the Favorita and the Tibetan Suites, and two large sumptuous suites, the Sultana and Royale Suites. The suites, which have been decorated with great care and attention to detail, come equipped with air conditioning and central heating, spacious wardrobes, private safes for the guests' personal effects, Internet and WI-FI connection, and a daily supply of mineral water and fresh flowers. Soft plump pillows and sheets of the finest Egyptian cotton have been provided to ensure the guests with all one needs for a relaxing night's sleep.All the bathrooms are ensuite, and are equipped with hair-dryers, soft towels and top rate ecological toilet and beauty products. The typical Mediterranean breakfast, included in the tariff of the room, can be served "al fresco" on the patio or terrace, or in the winter months, in the ground floor dining area. Guests will able to begin their day with freshly baked bread, homemade marmalade and jams, boiled, fried, or scrambled eggs or omelettes,oven fresh cakes and biscuits, yoghurt, fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, and of course coffee or tea. Light freshly made snacks are available throughout the day. Thus while you are basking in the sun on the terrace you could enjoy a Moroccan yoghurt made with honey and nuts, or a bowl of fresh fruit salad, or if something a little more filling is preferred, a "trio" of Moroccan salads, or a perhaps a sandwich of grilled vegetables, with goats' cheese and a touch of mint. Our dinners are the result of a fusion of Moroccan and Italian cuisine, served by candlelight, and followed by a relaxing herb tea. We never use processed foods in our kitchen, and all our meals are prepared using traditional methods. Our chef plans a delicious menu of the day with typical traditional Moroccan dishes, prepared with love and the freshest of ingredients. Try our "briouates" (small pastries with savoury fillings) or the famous "pastilla" with pigeon and almonds, Moroccan salads and soups, and our delicious tajines and couscous, and we are sure you will be delighted! As we are only a small hotel, guests are kindly asked to let the staff know if they would like to dine with us. The chef will make every attempt to satisfy any dietary requirements the guests may have. Vegetarians are made most welcome. Moroccan Cuisine is a perfect combination of various traditional cuisines and is one of the best in the world. Its fascinating mixture of flavours, aromas and colours, combined with its capacity to amalgamate vegetables, fish and fruit with delicate and refined spices, have made it renowned and appreciated the world over. Mediterranean, African, and Oriental cuisine have been fused with the local Berber traditions; the bitter-sweet tastes are inherited from the lands of Arabia, whereas the tradition of combining fruit with meat is Persian. The desserts, full of sugar and spice, are instead a Turkish passion. In order to know a country well, the is no better way than to study its traditional cuisine, taste its foods, and enjoy its flavours and aromas. Thus, with this aim in mind, the Riad Azoulay offers its guests the opportunity to join the chef Saida, who will reveal to them all the secrets of the Moroccan cuisine. During the course the chef will teach the students how to recognize and choose the correct spices for each dish, how to cook using the traditional methods, and how to prepare some true Moroccan meals to serve to their friends and family when they return home. Amongst other things students will be taught how to make cous cous with lamb stew and vegetables, how to use the terracotta tajine to braise meat with vegetables and fruit, and how to make some very special Moroccan desserts. The ritual of the Hammam, which heals the body and relaxes the mind, is available to our guests in our Wellbeing Centre. Guests can enjoy a relaxing steam bath or an invigorating body scrub in the candle lit hammam, sitting on the benches of Italian Carrara marble. Or maybe they would like to book a soothing massage by one of our qualified masseurs, and experience the exotic qualities of the locally sourced but world famous Moroccan Argan oil. ... more less
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