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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 July 2, 2012

Well, where do I start? Marrakech was a place where some said I would love and some said I would hate......but guess what.....I loved it!!! And why? Because not only did we stay in a wonderful, warm and friendly riad (Princesse du desert) but also the staff were fabulous. I am honestly not kidding when I say my friend and I feel we now have another family in Marrakech. From arriving hours later than intended and having a welcoming smile from Moustapha to having the young lads (Mounir and Simo) from Samira's other riads taking us out for a meal that same night, our holiday began from the word go, despite the tiredness and fatigue we were feeling. From then on, our 10 days flew over, with getting accustomed to the small streets (allies) and our way round the square to making friends with a lot of the stall holders (even singing Justin Beibers 'baby baby' song with the music stall holder and everyone staring!) to negotiating better deals with stall holders for presents to bring back home (we were better at bartering than the guys who live and work in Marrakech!) to enjoying the glorious weather and the laughs we had. The only negative thing are the men who don't understand the word no when you tell them you don't wish to speak to them (it doesn't stop them from staring, licking their lips and shouting things at you when you walk past!) Having said that, the guys at Riad Princesse du desert were the perfect gentlemen, especially Moustapha and Manuel, Mounir and Simo, which leads me on nicely to tell you about the most positive thing about our holiday which were the people in the Raid we stayed in. Not only were there lovely guests whom were open and firendly, one couple actually joined into our festivities one night when we were celebrating my friends birthday. But the best people by far were Fatima and Khadija, whom looked after us (didn't mind serving us lazy sods breakfast at noon!) We met other members of staff from Samira's other riads including her family (sisters and brothers and kids) whom were all so fantastic - and where we indulged in the hamam and massage and manicure and thanks to Moona, for cutting my hair! The riad itself was lovely and cosy and reminded my of a perfect arabian night. There were hours in the day when my friend and I much rather preferred to hang out with the staff in the Riad than actually going out. Round the corner from the Riad lies an excursion centre - go and speak to a guy named Thalbi - lovely guy who will give you fantastic rates for excursions - we did the Ourika Valley and Eassaoiura (seaside resort). So thank you to all the people we made our trip such fun, leaving us with great memories. Inshallah we will be back to see you all again.

Room Tip: We asked for a twin room at the last minute (my friend claims snore (which I don't!)) and they were so accommodating.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank FaziaHussain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Marrakech was one of the holidays shared with my friend which i must say was superb and a wonderful experience all thanks to samira and her team manuel,khadija,fatima, and moustapha were the perfect pleasant hosts.must i add aisha,mounir and simo who we met working at riad zehar.
Our stay was incredible!i had my birthday whilst we were there and my friend and the gang at riad princess du dessert arranged a party for me in style,it was class,total moroccon style and a birthday to remember in years to come.
The riad was beautiful,we were made welcome and without sounding too soppy.......i really miss everyone. Marrakech was a holiday in a million and it was down to the amazing people we met through staying at the riad and most importantly the company of my lunatic friend.
So if your struggling and confused about where to stay look no further!
Latifa

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
2  Thank Latifa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

During my stay in Marrakech, i managed to stay in a few Riads and i can honestly say...Riad Princesse du Desert was by far the best, in term of decoration, customer attention and well equiped. Thou in saying that (it might just be me) it was a little hard to find when navigating around small allies in the middle of what seems to be nowhere.

The Riad is 24/7 manned, so you are not given a key. Manuel or Mofessis was always there with a smile to answer the door no matter what time you came back from your late night dos. You are instantly hit with amazing decoration and minty tea smell which was prepared for our arrival.

The rooms & bathrooms are moderately sized for two, which was also very clean, comfortable and airy if all the doors and windows left open. Maybe one or two decoration defects...if you're be picky but these dont present any form of eye sore.

Breakfast was ok but not great, it varied from time to time and it was mainly bread, bread and more bread!

This raid is about 10-12mins from the Jeema El Fna (JEF)and is far enough from the busy streets to have a quite night sleep. There are a few mini stalls selling water/snack which you can buy cheap and open til late (roughly 11-12pm) instead of buying from JEF.

All in all, this riad is absolutely lovely and would reccommend to anyone but my only criticisum is its location, which is a little isolated and hard to find initially.

How to find:
Taxi will drop you of a the entrance gate on fatima road (this the closest you will get by car). Go through the bab/gate and follow this road (Rue Sidi el yamani), Straight...do not vere left or right and also ignore everyone else around you trying to help with direction unless you are willing to pay. Continue and you should see a pharmacy on you right hand side, which is followed by a road to your right. Dont turn, pass the mosque and continue until you reach a cross road where you will see a toliet sign on the right corner. On this junction make a left turn and about 20meters there will a mini archway with the road name (Derb Habib Allah) over the arch (if you miss this turn you will find the famous Cafe Arabe to your right). When you walk in, it may initially look like a deadend when you see a kiosk but solider on and keep following the small road striaght and no turning. Number 67 is right at the very end of the road with a grand black door.

I hope this helps and enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Walnut_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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