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“Good hostel but terrible, insincere staff--they are not your friends!”

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Rainbow Marrakech Hostel
Ranked #34 of 287 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Berlin, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Good hostel but terrible, insincere staff--they are not your friends!”
Reviewed March 12, 2014

I did not like my stay at the Rainbow Marrakech because I did not like the staff, I would not recommend this place. But that does not mean you will have a terrible experience too. I want to be at least a little objective in this review, so let me preface by saying that this place is good as a hostel. There just happens to be a lot of cultural and personality difference between me and the staff that made me feel uncomfortable.

First, the "objective" good points. The hostel is 2 blocks from Jemaa el Fna, the only place in Marrakesh you want to be near to. They have a video explaining how to get there, and very easy-to-follow instructions. There are three bathrooms, two of which have separate showers and toilets. The toilets flush and are well-stocked with toilet paper. Breakfast is served on time, but be warned that it is just 4 different kinds of bread. The tea is the best I had in my entire stay in Morocco, and it was free all day!

Next, the "objective" bad points. It is near the center, so it can be a little noisy. The call for prayers starts at 5:30 AM-- free alarm clock I tell you! And the rooms are CRAMPED!! I have never stayed in a hostel with so little room before--there was only about a person's width between two beds. There is only hot shower if you're the first to shower, so make a run for it!

And now for the reason why I didn't like Rainbow Marrakech. From the moment I first stepped in, I had a bad feeling about the staff. They are all male (although when I left there were two lovely African girls who will join the staff for a few months), which made me feel uncomfortable. Some women would come and clean the place but they never interacted with us. The staff reminded me of the arrogant, obnoxious high school boys that plagued my teenage years. They're friendly in that "macho" attention-seeking kind of way, almost creepy, and they have that kind of smile that does not reach their eyes. BE WARNED: They are only eager to help you IF they can benefit (i.e., get money) from you somehow. They get commission from their friends if one of us takes their friend's taxi or eat at a friend's restaurant.

I will give you two incidents. First, my friends and I wanted to eat at a restaurant with a rooftop terrace overlooking Jemaa el Fna. I started to explain this to the staff, but I only got as far as saying "Can you recommend a restaurant..." before the guy waved his hand at me nonchalantly saying "yes yes restaurant." Some guy came and he took us to a restaurant a block away from the square, and they gave us a menu for set meals with a ridiculous price tag. Apparently this restaurant is owned by the brother of one of the staff members.

Next, I needed to take the 4:55 AM train to Casablanca and needed a petite taxi to get to the train station. Even at that hour, I know it costs only about 20 MAD to get there, because I had already done that when I arrived in Marrakesh at 1 AM. The guys told me that their friend's grand taxi costs 100 MAD, and that I would never find a taxi that would take me for only 20 MAD. They refused to help me get a taxi ride with a small cab because I refused to ride their friend's cab (which seats 6 people!) simply because it would be a hassle to them.

AND THEN after this little incident, they had the audacity to ask me to pay for the night, which I had already done when I first arrived to Marrakesh!

Maybe I am just too Westernized for this whole friendship-commission arrangement, but I refuse to play into this game where foreigners are seen as idiots. Most people in Morocco who interact with tourists have this mentality (which is a massive shame because I have only met lovely people outside the center!), and the staff are no different. Perhaps you will have a better experience than me--it is a pretty decent hostel after all--but I would never come back here nor recommend it to anyone else. Do not trust these guys. You are been warned!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Porporina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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Horgen, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2014

The hostel is well located next to the Place Jemaa el fna, but its although very quiet. The staff is friendly they weren't bothered to order taxis. Hicham was kind, he really like to chat with the guests.
The rooms are nice, except the room on the roof (the room were we slept) is very tight.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Regula Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

The hostel was quite oke. The location is very good, very close to the square Jamaa el Fna. It is a bit hard to find but if you follow the instructions well it will be oke. There were a couple of negative things, like on the internet is says that there are towels, but bring your own because there are no towels. The bathrooms are very dirty and there are only three for about 60 people who can stay at the hostel. It also says there is hot water, but only if you are the first one to shower because otherwise the hot water is finished. The toilet paper is also very scares, so bring your own. The breakfast is quite good, just some bread stuff with butter and honey but it tastes oke. There are some lockers but also to few for all the people.

The guys who run the hostel are very creepy, don’t stay here as a girl alone or two girls.. They always want to touch you and are waiting for you down the stairs or they just happen to walk by your room when you are changing. They are very unkind, when we asked for a restaurant in the neighborhood they said we should eat at the hostel and didn’t want to help us, they also told as that the Jardin Menara was only 20 min walking but it turned out to be an hour… Don’t trust these guys, they also charged us for the deposit which we already paid for the booking. They play loud music until late in the evening which is very rude to all the guests, it is also weird that they are sleeping in a hostel room, they live in the hostel…. WATCH OUT for all the positive reviews here, because they actually force people to wright a good review! A friend of mine was put behind a computer when he checked out and when he wanted to say the truth the guys got very angry at him. This is the truth: the location is great, the breakfast is oke, the beds are oke, the shower and toilets are very dirty and the stuff is very creepy. For a couple of nights it was oke to stay here, but I will not be coming back.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LL1175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

This accomodation is superb value and in an excellent location, just a few minutes from Jeema El Fna square and therefore close to numerous restaurants, the market and of course the souks.
The management were very accommodating and helpful, made us feel very comfortable and offered very good advice on restaurants, trips and prices we should pay in the souks.
Thoroughly enjoyable stay and would definitely return

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Chewy1314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rabat, Morocco
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 7, 2014

The manager took us in without a reservation (we were not planning to stay the night at Marrakesh ) . The hostel is very clean and cozy . The rooms are great and super cheap ( 60 MAD in the first week of January ) You will meet people from all over the world . Some have been traveling for a couple of weeks , some for many years . Members of the staff speak many languages and are easy to chat with . You can ask them about what to do in the city or where to go to for excursions ...
Stayed the night with a friend before heading to Ourika the next day . I don't think I'll ever stay anywhere else in Marrakesh, this place is awesome.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hajar M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 13, 2013

From day 1 the hospitality has been 110%, Perfect location - 2 mins from the square. Both Hicham and Badar will go out their way to assist you with your travels. Fantastic family atmosphere! Hicham organised a delicious meal for everyone one night. The quality of the food beat all the restuarants anyone had been to. Now officially my home in Maroc ;) Merci!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 786travelling123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2013

I must thank to the management at the first place, for Checking me in at the last moment, I reserved place at another hostel but it turned that the Owner's are on vacation, In Marrakesh its common if you ask any one for address they turn out to drop you till your desired destination for few tips.. I was desperate to reach and lay down after guided to Riad.. I liked the atmosphere it was calm and quiet in middle of souk.

At cheap price I was given a single bed room with attached Toilet, I couldn't have expected anything else for that price. Near to the Hotel you can find a delicious breakfast with Mint tea, Jama Al Fana the favourite place to hear local music and people waking by, I strongly advise not to eat on Tourist Menu offered at smoky Jama-Al fana they are not friendly at all, just to Rip of the tourist on top they demand for Tips in the end.

IF you ask the Receptionist, they guide you well and speak simple English, easy to follow.

Room Tip: If you like to walk up stair take rooms on Second floor early in the morning, I liked to walk up the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank RohitJoban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rainbow Marrakech Hostel

Property: Rainbow Marrakech Hostel
Address: Rue Kennaria, Derb Laadam, 13, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 287 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
By Place D'Jeema el Fna, Rainbow Marrakech is the colourful antidote to the madness of the markets. A true backpacker’s hostel for adventurers, trekkers, hitchers, sun seekers and shoppers looking for a place to relax and socialise. Rainbow Hostel Marrakech will give you a base in Morocco - enjoy the best tea, best dinners, great advice, great company and delightfully free Wi-Fi. Enjoy your stay! ... more   less 
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