I was looking for a romantic, typical Moroccan hotel to spend a week with my partner. It took me quite a while to find just the perfect place. They all look nice and they all serve a good breakfast, but Riyad al Moussika was somehow way beyond the others.
We were picked up from the airport by a driver and within 10 minutes we arrived somewhere in the middle of the Medina, in a place you wouldn’t imagine there could be a hotel or even a descent house. Via some narrow passages you actually reach a door that says ‘Restaurant PepeNero’. I had a nice correspondence with the owner and when we arrived, we got a warm welcome by him. He told us about the history of the Riad and showed us each room and place, telling all about it. I was happy and somehow surprised to hear Chopin play. They served some nice Moroccan mint tea with lovely sweet pastries after we inspected our room. The room was lovely decorated with hand painted doors and windows. Not the type of room you would like to spend a lot of time in however, because this is the smallest of them all, the Junior Al Asfar. But this was the only room available. I had set my mind on Riyad al Moussika and we got a nice discount (to be honest, any other room would not have been affordable for us, prices would have been 3 times higher).
Junior Al Asfar is situated right next to the restaurant, upstairs. Around 6 pm the staff is getting busy preparing for diner. They heat up the courtyard by using three big patio heaters and the warmth is crawling up the walls towards the small room. Every night the restaurant is fully booked. There is a really romantic atmosphere and even if you don’t enjoy diner downstairs, it’s lovely to look over the romantic scenery with all the candles burning and listening to the classical music. We needed earplugs to get some sleep, but that is just because we didn’t go out late at night nor eat at PepeNero.
It’s very personal, but the thing I loved best in the riad was the classical music. There was an Italian couple sleeping right behind the library (Al Wardi room, which has more privacy, less noise from downstairs and a lovely green bathroom) and they were, like us, crazy for the wonderful sound that was produced by the Bose speakers. In the morning they popped in ‘Adiago’ and turned up the volume so that the wonderful sound was filling everyones ears. We kept this tradition alive when they left, since the system was in the library, which was next to our door. Above our door was a Bose speaker, so this causes some extra loudness at night. If you don’t mind, there is no problem, but should you want to enjoy the silence like there is the rest of the day in the riad, pick another room. For example the suite Al Akhdar, which is situated at the other courtyard and has a private balcony as well! Very luxurious room. We didn’t get a chance to see the blue room, the Al Azrak, but since it is above the restaurant, like our junior suite, this is perhaps not the best choice (but still a very, very nice and spacy room though).
Breakfast in the morning is a wonderful little party. They heat up (February) several parts of the restaurant and spread up the few people in the hotel, so there is enough privacy. The sweet food just keeps coming… You can enjoy wonderful tasty yoghurt, fresh fruit cocktail, the best Italian coffee, traditional Moroccan tea or black English tea, eggs, toast, all kinds of bread and pastries, lovely fresh orange juice, water etc. The entire staff is very kind. Each and everyone is happy to assist you and to let you experience a wonderful time in Marrakech.
We didn’t use the free hammam, but it’s included in your stay. So are the soft drinks and afternoon tea with sweet pastries. Whenever we came back from a long walk, it was nice to relax on the roof terrace and have some tea. It’s funny how quiet it was on top of the building and inside the riad, while being in the middle of hectic Marrakech. Just the singing birds and in the distance the music of the snake charmers.
After a week in the romantic riad we had to say goodbye. Most memorable to me was that the owner himself carried our bags all the way to the small plaza near the hotel, where the taxi would arrive. We had to wait for a few minutes and instead of saying goodbye directly, a few members of the staff and the owner sat there together with us. We got a hug and a hand and so the story ends…
You feel a warm welcome inside the riad. It is a luxurious and very comfortable place to be. A perfect spot, close to the main square (Jemaa el Fna) but nicely tucked away, where you can enjoy the silence. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone who likes classic Morocco, and who can appreciate the wonderful surroundings of the riad. If you bring a camera you just keep taking pictures here. Very photogenic place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Al Moussika - For comfort, style and refinement. THE Riad experience in Marrakech! Situated in the ancient medina of Marrakech, five minutes walk from place Jemaa El Fna, the Riyad was once one of the residences of the former Pasha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, and has been refurbished to a very high standard in the Andalucian style. One of the gates of Riyad Al Moussika opens on to a garden with old cypress trees soaring to the sky, a huge bougainvillea climbing across the pergolas, a swimming pool, in the centre or, more precisely, an Andalucian basin thirteen meters long, tiled with a mosaic carpet design. Here water falls from a white Carrara marble fountain to the songs of numerous small birds creating an idyllic scenario, in spite of being in the heart of central medina. A fireplace gives the winter evenings a cosy atmosphere, as do the impressive modern paintings, carpets, sofas and armchairs. There is a hi-fi system and an art deco Pleyel grand piano perfectly tuned for the pleasure of the guests. The Turkish bath or hammam in white marble with a relax room where, on request, a professional masseur can take care of the guests. There is a unique view of the medina and the Atlas Mountains from the two terraces that are sheltered partially with wooden pergolas and surrounded by large terracotta flower vases. Tables, comfortable armchairs with cushions and teak chaises-long allow guests to request breakfast and candle lit dinner, as well as to sunbathe during the day. On one of the terraces there is a pavilion with Moroccan sofas, cushions and lamps should some of the guests prefer a more intimate space. The resident Chef, Grand Diploma Cordon Bleu, has devoted his life to gastronomy and invites lovers of fine dining to experience his repertoire of Moroccan, Italian and French cuisine at the haute Cuisine riyad's Restaurant PEPE NERO. There are 4 double bedrooms, all with en-suite bathroom. All rooms have air-conditioning / heating system, telephone with external line, television with the major satellite channels (BBC, CNN etc.), Internet wireless connection is available and DVD in the music room. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riyad Al Moussika Marrakech
- Riyad Al Moussika Hotel Marrakech