I've stayed at a variety of places around the world and to many to count in America, rarely do reviews. We stayed at Riad Shambala for 5 days the 2nd week of March 2013 and were very happy with our choice. We liked the location in the medina as it was easy access to areas outside the Medina and about a 20 minute walk to the center square. In this area you would rarely have someone trying to sell you something as it is less touristy as you get closer to the Souks and square the more you are approached. What makes this place truly great is Mohammed and the rest of the friendly staff. Having someone like Mohammed to give you directions and other advice was key to us having the great vacation and experience that we had. He speaks English, Spanish , French, Arabic and Berber. The rooms are very clean with great hot water in the shower. We had one of the smaller rooms which was fine for us, they also have mini suites and larger suites if you need more room. i saw all the rooms. There is also wireless. The wireless was intermittent in the room, but world great in the lobby area. Great little terrace with great views on roof. The breakfast was good, yogurt, fruit, different breads etc, orange juice and good coffee which was nice, you never know what kind of coffee your going to get around the world or in America for that matter. We ate dinner at the Riad twice and had the same thing both times. The honey tagine chicken. It was the best thing I ate in Marrakech, very good the way it caramelized in the pot. Normally would not have eaten the same thing twice, but it was so good we had to have it again. Who knows when or if I will ever get back here? If you are going to eat dinner you should let them know ahead of time or earlier in the day so they can prepare for it. It's not a restaurant. They emailed me the menu prior to our arrival. There are cheaper options for tagine all over town, but this was by far the best we had so I would recommend it once. Probably a good idea for the night of your arrival as after a long trip especially when it is dark it was nice to relax and get familiar with the area the next morning.
We always felt safe everywhere we went in Marrakech.
A couple side notes, in the center square food stalls try the sausage at stall 32. Many of the locals were there eating the sausage which was great, we had read other reviews about it. A day trip to Essaouira which Mohammed recommend as far as day trips was also good. The place is beautiful, you could consider spending one night there as it is easier to shop then in Marrakech, one day was enough there for us, but again if you want to spend more time shopping you could stay over night. If you go to Essaouira you have to eat the prawns at the food stalls near the port that you read about. They are the best I have eaten anywhere in the world, we also had them in Barcelona at the market where they are recommended on this trip, they were good, but not as good as in Essaouira.
There was a couple from Spain and a couple from England also staying at the riad while we were there. We all talked about how much we loved the place and what a good choice it was. Again we loved staying here and if we went back would stay nowhere else. Thanks Mohammed and the rest of the staff for a wonderful stay! We would stay nowhere else when coming to Marrakech! The reason for 4 instead of 5 stars on sleep quality is because of noise, but I am a light sleeper, call of prayer which wasn't to loud, roosters, birds etc, but this is everywhere in Marrakech. Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper. My girlfriend never heard a thing, but she can sleep through anything. Wonderful stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This beautiful RIAD is located within the walls of Marrakech Medina or, as it is also known, the ancient part of the city.Inaugurated in September 2011, the hotel represents the realisation of Carlos, its owner´s, dream."Carlos' Dream" as it is known (which is inscripited in Arabic on the door of the Riad) brings to life his artistic interpretation and vision of a traditional Moroccan Riad.Every single detail, from the construction, the location, style & furnishings of the Riad are recreated in the classical & traditional manner which is typically Moroccan and one that the locals would recognise and admire as a typical Moroccan RiadThis vision enables the guests to engage themselves and appreciate the beauty and passion of this beautiful city with surroundings that bring to life of an era long forgotten but brought to life by the traditional settings of the Riad.During the Riad's construction only traditional Moroccan materials were used, such as Tadelakt plaster (concrete hand polished stone), Bejmat (baked clay), all of which was hand produced individually using traditional tools producing a complete piece of artisan work.Relax and enjoy drinking cocktail's or mint tea in its lounges or by the swimming-pool; far away from the hustle and bustle of the streets in the heart of Marrakech Medina, with the backdrop of the magnificient snowed Atlas mountains, or watch a beautiful sunset over the city at the end of the day, the choice is entirely yours.Do not miss the romantic experience of arriving at night at the Riad and going up to your room with a traditional candle lighting the way, whilst in the morning awake to a wonderful breakfast which can be taken in any of the Riad's charming locations or terraces.If you wish so, book your evening dinner at the Riad, you will certainly not forget the experience of tasting wonderful original Moroccan food on the patio or one of the many terraces, all set in a complete relaxed atmosphere enabling you to forget about the worries of the world. ... more less
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