I stayed at Riad Jardin Larouss with a group of 3 other females for 3 nights. It wasn’t exactly enjoyable and left a bad taste in our mouths. Luckily we went on to 2 other cities, which helped redeem the ideas we had of Moroccan hospitality.
On the first day, we were successfully picked up from our driver (for a very questionably high price compared to other Riads and local price) who took us to an area/small square in which we were dropped off, only to walk through urine-tainted walkway then a urine-tainted passageway to our Riad. Luckily the Riad seemed functional and decent, in the least. This wouldn’t have been such a terrible fete, living like/with the locals, until a stream of events happened.
The Riad keeper when we first arrived seemed helpful when he took a map and circled a number of places we would be interested in…until, that is, we began asking questions. He answered rushed then continually asked, “Can I leave now?” He continued that he spent an exhausting amount of time the night before on facebook.
The room my friend and I stayed in wasn’t vey private for a double with 2 beds (wouldn’t they assume these are 2 people that may not be intimate?). The shower had no door (and hot water ran out) and the toilet in a closet with shutters. Generally speaking each room is roughly the same size, small. Not sure how they get away with calling things doubles or triples. At night, the rooms get extremely cold. Maybe it’s because of the cold concrete walls of the room. Since I was cold I grabbed the duvet that was provided. This was practical, however, it smelled like old feet. Basically, I had to deal with it because I was cold.
The activity that seemed most annoying was during our 2nd day of enjoying the “breakfast” (a term I use loosely since it is a hard roti/crepe and cake everyday), the Riad keeper poured water all around us and asked us to finish up our breakfast so that the housekeeper (Nadia) could clean. Smelling cleaning products with the potential of getting wet from this activity isn’t ideal; this of course was followed by him harassing us to pay on day 2 before our stay was even completed.
The 2nd day continued to be full of hits when we were forced to whisper to each other after a long day in Marrakech when after being barked at from the Riad keeper that everyone is sleeping at 10 pm. We had a 5 hour difference so it was hard for us to sleep but we, out of respect to the other Riad visitors, went to our respective rooms but didn’t much appreciate the attitude and tone. Then, the next morning, as we attempted casual conversation the Riad keeper mentioned that he wouldn’t want to visit America until it was bombed (hoping that was a misunderstanding) and that a recently deceased member and leader of Al Qaeda was in fact still alive in Mauritania. He talks about it on the internet. Great.
He seemed to be fine when interacting with the French visitors of the Riad but I am not inclined to believe this is just a language barrier. It was also a surprise to be treated this way after reading pretty solid reviews of this Riad on this site.
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