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Riad Africa and Spa
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Reviews (469)
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All reviewsmanager timroof terracethe main squareegg tagineatlas mountainssuperior roomfantastic hospitalitymajor attractionshigh atlasthe hustle and bustleminutes walk from the mainquiet locationlovely riadjemaa elstayed for nightsa lovely staymint tea
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Reviewed February 3, 2013

Firstly, let me clarify the local staff was very friendly and warm and tried to accommodate to our needs. It felt like home on that front so cannot complain. However, in freezing cold when there is no hot water for more than 60 seconds to bathe it does create discomfort to a long distance traveler.

The Riad is tucked away in the Medina and one has to be clear that one wants to live in the midst of it. The last stretch has to be by foot. The property is quaint and clean although the rooms are small. Our extra beds were unfinished from the bottom and nearly scraped on a nail. The last guest had left their belongings in one cupboard and they took 24 hours to remove it from our room. There is only local staff and the two young boys at the property were interns at colleges and at their best could not technically manage the property. Breakfast was always running a little late.

In conclusion, if you want some luxury, professional service and hot water this is not the place to be. If you are wiling to be patient with the very warm staff you might want to try it...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank MeenalmumMumbai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
africanick, Owner at Riad Africa and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience on Trip Advisor. As one of the owners of Riad Africa I am very disappointed to read about the discomforts you experienced, particularly as we employ a British General Manager in Marrakech to monitor quality control, carry out room checks before each guest arrives, and closely supervise our Moroccan team to avoid such problems. I travel between Surrey and Marrakech 1 week in every 4 and when I return to the UK expect the high standards we set to be maintained for all guests.

Staff and management - I am pleased that you found our local staff friendly and accommodating. It is simply untrue and quite misleading however that there are only local staff and there is no management. We employ a British Manager who is responsible for effective management of Riad Africa. It may be that you never met Peter? This is a point that I have taken up with Peter as we do expect him to meet all guests at some point during their stay, particularly at breakfast and in the early evening. He does oversee several riads, so this is a point I will monitor closely to ensure we deliver the degree of management our guests expect. The two ‘young boys’ you refer to as interns at colleges are Hassan and Mohamed. This description is also very misleading! Hassan is 23, Mohamed is 28 – both have considerable experience of working in hotels and riads. Whilst it is true Hassan is studying at college (which we approve), his role is night duty manager – looking after guest needs in the evenings and sleeping over till Mohamed arrives in the morning. Mohamed has managed a hotel in Zagora and in the Atlas in his last jobs, so is very well qualified for his role as local day manager. Our training is continuous with local staff so we will learn from your comments and train accordingly.

Breakfast running a little late – we were fully booked at the time of your groups stay over Christmas 2012 and apologise for the slight delays with serving breakfast. As our bookings have significantly increased since our first year of operation in 2012 (we opened in Jan 12), we have now recruited a full-time Moroccan chef who will prepare breakfasts, lunches and evening meals. Sakina is a delightful, bubbly lady from the medina – and an excellent cook who will hopefully only enhance the overall service we offer.

Small rooms – your comment on small rooms is very misleading and subjective. One of the many reasons why we bought Riad Africa was because of the large room sizes compared to many other riads in the medina. Riad Africa’s room sizes range from 17 sq. m (our standard room) to 38 sq. m (our family suite). 6 of our rooms over over 25 sq. m in size! The Casablanca room you stayed in is 32 sq. m. Whilst this might not seem big by American standards, or compared to 5 star luxury hotels – Riad Africa is located in the very heart of Marrakech medina, and for its location in a crowded ancient walled city our rooms are usually considered to be very spacious. Over the years I have visited 100’s of riads in Marrakech and can honestly state that rooms at Riad Africa are not small by any means when compared to the majority of other riads.

Extra beds – we apologise for the unfinished extra bed placed in your room and have removed the slightly protruding nail. Having 2 extra beds in your room as you requested may have also impacted on your impression of Casablance as being small. They do take up space, but also offer a lower nightly rate when 4 people choose to share.

Belongings in wardrobe – I am afraid I am guilty of that. As there are two sizeable lockable wardrobes in Casablanca, I have always used the difficult to access one behind the door to store my belongings. It was clearly padlocked and not accessible to guests. Our staff did call me in the UK to advise me that you had forced open this clearly locked wardrobe. Future guests can rest assured that I now keep my things locked in a suitcase in a private store room !

Last, but most importantly, hot water – to be perfectly honest when we bought the property in late 2011 we inherited a hot water system that had been put in place 10 years ago when the riad was first redeveloped into a guesthouse-hotel. The system was probably not designed to cope with a small hotel regularly running at full 100% capacity. We have been painstakingly tweaking and monitoring the system over the past 12 months to see if it can be improved to give absolute maximum reliability. We do ask our staff to brief all new guests to leave their hot taps running for about a minute as it takes this amount of time for the hot water to work its way through the system from the boilers on the roof terrace. We will also put a notice in each bathroom to ensure all guests are fully aware of this simple step to take to avoid the unpleasantness of an initial burst of cold water. I can confirm to future guests that we do have hot water at Riad Africa and that we wil do our very best to ensure 100% reliability if that is at all possible.

As an update to the last point, 10 days ago we commenced a new project to install a new solar-powered hot water system, improving Riad Africa’s environmental footprint whilst replacing the old hot water system we inherited. This system will be in place within the next few weeks.

Overall we are pleased that you felt at home at Riad Africa – this is exactly the ambience and feeling we aim to create and will work hard to maintain. We are not a 5 star luxury hotel and have no desire to be one.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we do apologise for the inconveniences you experienced. We do hope that if you ever return to Marrakech you will consider us again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I can't fault Riad Africa for great location in the Southern Medina, we were able to walk to all tourist attractoins in the old city and soak up the atmosphere. The staff are fantastic, nothing is too much trouble. The rooms are very comfortable and very clean. My daughter and I stayed over Christmas and at all times felt we were being very well looked after and as two woman on our own, very safe. Great breakfasts taken on the roof terrace with endless cups of coffee! The frame of my reading glasses snapped and the staff got it invisibly mended one evening for about £2. That is what I call service.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Good location, clean, comfortable beds, friendly. OK breakfast and terrace - lacking fruits and views. But, and in winter this is a big but, never had shower with more than 1 minute of hot water. Took complaining to get this minute of hot water. If they get the hot eater problem solved, I would have no problem recommending this Riad. As it is, I am being generous in giving it a "good."

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank RocketrobMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Beautiful riad. We were given a very warm welcome. We were treated with a lot of care and respect, just like we were the staffs own family. We had the whole riad to ourselve, which was a bonus. The atmosphere of the place made us feel right at home. We got a lovely breakfast every morning as well as Hearbal tea for sickness on a day we were I'll, which made us better with in an hour.I had the Casablanca room with my husband and 3 kids. The decor is tradition but finished to a very high standard. The rooftop was wonderful and warm. We went in November so the weather wasn't really hot. It's literally 2 mins away from the square which was really good if your a shopaholic like me. We were out all day leaving everything behind with no problems. Safe in every room, which was very easy to use. Would recommend to others (",) x

Room Tip: All rooms were very comfortable so any room is good but Casablanca room is very good for families that want to keep their children in the room ;-)
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Saira A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Stayed at Riad Africa for my sisters birthday and eleven of us hired the whole Riad for a long weekend. Fantastic value with breakfast every day. The staff could not do too much for us, and were always there and helpful. Organised trips, anything we needed, they even picked us up from the airport and arranged food in the first evening. The rooms were spacious air conditioned and so clean. The Moroccan style bathrooms were amazing.. Some of the girls had some treatments which they really enjoyed. The centre court pool was a welcome at the end of the day, with a lounge to relax in. I highly recommend this to anyone and it is just a short walk to the main square. The staff even walked us there to make sure we were safe. Fantastic short stay and amazing staff and food.

Room Tip: All rooms are lovely but the top room with access to the terrace was my favorite.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank helenloveshotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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