We arrived by bus from Agadir. From the bus station the taxi driver dropped us off in front of Kaa El Mechra entrance, the northern part of the Medina. A teenage boy came forward and said he could guide us but he couldn't find it so we walked in circles and the boy had to ask others. Eventually we ended up at the front door to Riad Arocha. We gave him a generous tip of 100 dirham’s and then he and his two followers started to argue wanting another 200 dirham’s. We had to wait for the door to be opened and the boys didn't give up. We were let in and sat down, the lady in charge came in and asked how much we paid them and then she let the boy in and we had to face him again, by now we were exhausted. Why let him in?
Only French was spoken and when asking for directions a map was shown to us on where Jemaa el Fna was pointed out, it was only a 15 minute walk away “tout droit, tout droit”.
It was not and we were completely lost, After an hour we came to the square, we ate and only talked about how to get back. We decided to get out of the Medina and follow the wall until we came to the Kaa El Mechra entrance; from there we were completely lost again. We knocked on another Riad and asked for help which arrived after 20 minutes, another maze like walk back to Arocha followed. In the morning we meet other guests also having difficulties to find their way. After breakfast we joined forces and started walking, again we were confused in which way to go, we split and when we reached the square we took a hop-on-hop-off tour bus and got off at Guéliz, had lunch and then we turned our heads and went into another hotel and booked a room. Took a taxi back to Arocha, got our stuff and checked out.
The staff was unhappy about us leaving but we made our best to explain why. The Riad is nice and we were looking forward to this stay but it did not feel pleasant to have to worry so much about finding your way in and out. We knew we had to pay in full for our booked two nights stay and buy an extra night at another hotel but it was worth it! The description given by booking.com is not correct. The location is not in the heart of the medina, it’s not close to Jemaa el-Fna, and there is no panoramic view from the roof terrace.
I’m in the travel trade and with this experience I wouldn’t recommend to stay inside the medina. Better to stay outside and visit the medina and the square with an authorized guide.
Our visit to Marrakech left us baffled, too much hustle, no shopping at all!!! "Our escape from the Medina"on New Years Eve is something we can laugh at but we would have preferred to have an overall better stay!
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Arocha Hotel Marrakech