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All reviewsmint teael fenaroof terraceexploring marrakeshan ideal locationenjoy your staythree nightsquiet oasisairport picka lovely staybreakfast and dinnertucked awayyogurtsimomoroccoriadsquare
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Reviewed May 15, 2012

The Riad Princess du Desert is one of several riads owned by someone whom we never met. I realize from all the other reviews that there is someone named Samira around, but I think it’s odd that we were there for three days and never saw hide nor hair of her. This makes me suspicious of the authenticity of some of the other reviews here, to see her mentioned with such great familiarity.

Moving on, a word of warning, which I can know from our own experience (and can discern from the experiences of several others who have written here): the owner (whomever she is) does tend to move one around among her riads without prior warning. In our case, it was not when we arrived, but rather in the middle of our stay. It was claimed that there was a misunderstanding. I don’t think so since our tour was otherwise meticulously planned by our tour company. I believe that the owner will move one if it suits her overall booking benefit (e.g. someone coming for a stay longer than yours). What is most concerning about this situation (it happened to us once in Rome) is that the hotel doesn’t quite tell you while you’re around but only after you’re off on a daytrip or something, so that there’s nothing that you can do about it. Besides, they’ve already moved your stuff, you are told.

That said, both of these Marrakech riads in which we stayed were nice enough. Not top drawer, but fine, nicely decorated, etc. The Riad Princess du Desert had smallish rooms and a small bathroom, but the facility was relatively newly renovated and so was very nice. Breakfast food was good as was the dinner we had ordered for one evening. What were especially good were the folks who worked there. They were very friendly and very helpful and when the unsolicited move to a new riad occurred (no doubt ordered at a higher level of the riad administration), they helped as much as one could imagine them helping. Unlike in my Rome experience, nothing was stolen during the move that occurred in our absence. The second riad (I think it was called Riad Habib) was considerably larger and, I would suspect, more expensive. Our room there was strikingly large, although not quite as recently painted or decorated. The people there were nice as well. As we got ready to depart the next day, the folks from the first riad came over to say goodbye. VERY nice people!

Both riads are located near each other and fairly central in Marrakech, about a 10 minute walk to the Djemaa El-Fna, which is the main square where one can see all manner of behaviors (snake charmers, food booths, transvestite storytelling, etc.). The restaurants nearby while variable are also good enough. Again, these riads are not top drawer, but they are also not the most expensive, nor are they inhospitable. Fine places to stay, so long as you don’t run up against the booking optimization policies of the owner, whom we never, to our knowledge, met.

Room Tip: Make clear that if they decide to move you in the middle of your stay, you expect some kind of compensation (a free night, a free meal). Again, they were nice, so they did not charge us for the dinner we had the night before and we never even had to ask.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank GEDLosAngeles_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

Stayed at other Dar/Riads in Morocco all of which were excellent, but this one was the best. Beautifully restored, clean and comfortable. The decor was so colourful and the smell of various oils wonderfully exotic whilst the welcome and the staff were outstanding. Unfortunately I was ill (bad reaction to an insect bite) for the 2 nights we stayed here but the staff couldn't have been more kindly and helpful. The food was really good (so my wife says!) and very reasonably priced. The riad is well situated - quiet but only a short walk to the Jemaa El Fna Square. Without doubt we would love to stay in this Riad again.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dadyha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2012

We had an absolutely wonderful stay at the Princesse du desert. We travelled all over Morocco, and we could not beat this Riad , for its hospitality, decor, great position, and wonderful service. The Riad is beautifully decorated,( we stayed in the Yasmina room which was stunning) and we felt that we had stepped into a scene from the Arabian nights. The staff could not have been more helpful, and even organized an exquisite dancer for our sons 18th Birthday, as well as a cake and a beautiful meal. It was a fantastic night for all of us! The Riad had a really happy family atmosphere, and the staff were always having fun with each other and with the guests. This is the first time I have ever written a review in my life, that is how much I liked it! So Thank you To Samira and the staff for making our stay so memorable. Also my daughter and I had a great massage. Sheridan

Room Tip: The Yasmina room was very romantic, my pick.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Sheridan_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

We spent a week in Morocco and this was definitely the best riad we visited. The rooms are clean, large, and comfortable. And they had good wifi. The staff is helpful. The location is good. And the place itself is very beautiful.

But the true star is Fatima. Her cooking is exceptional. I was only half joking when I asked if we could take her home with us. The tagines, the couscous, even the breakfasts, were all delicious. The lemon chicken was definitely the best we had. We highly recommend this riad.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jordan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2012

Before I arrived Samira had sorted everything out for me travelling alone. It was my first time in Marrakesh and Samira and team made it so comfortable. When I arrived had a warm welcome and then Samira organised a bespoke set of activities that I wanted to do over a short period of time (ballooning, trip to desert, quad-biking etc) . Finally, that first day after having an excellent dinner at the Riad Princesse du Desert, we enjoyed dancing wow. I was wowed again by my room and the overall riad's deco. Mustafa who works at the riad was a great friend and help. The rest of the team were more than helpful and welcoming. When you are there please try the massage and hamam, one of the best in the world and I have had them all over the world. Thank you, thank you and thank you Samira and team for making my trip so wonderful. I will be back soon.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Istalifi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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