The Riad Safar was absolutely amazing. The Riad itself was beatiful. The room we stayed in (the Pacha suite) was fabulously decorated and entirely adequate to our needs. And, to boot, the bed was extremely comfortable. Though we were from the States and there was a little bit of a language barrier, the staff's accomodations were suberb. Our flight was delayed and we didn't get in till 3 am, but Hamid was there to take our luggage and make us mint tea to soothe our travel woes. The location is excellent: about a 5 minute walk to Djamaa El Fna square. It's a little bit reserved from all the action of the square, but as you walk through the alleys that lead up to the square, you encounter a bunch of small shops and venders that makes you feel as if you've lived in Marrakech for years. Also, Riad Safar will set you up with your own on call taxi driver (Rahim I think) to take you to see the various gardens of Marrakech, and a tour guide (Mohammed, he's the man) to lead you through the square and show you all the souks and give you the inside scoop to the shops. For only 30 Euros, this guy catches you up to speed on what's what in Morocco and is an absolute necessity to anyone visiting Marrakech. With him on your side, you get special treatment at all the shops...like massages in the pharmacies and Berber whiskey while you are delivered an excellent sales pitch by a man trying to sell you rugs and tapestries (one of which we bought).
Anyways, back to Riad Safar. While our entire 3-day stay in Marrakech could be indirectly linked to the Riad Safar since it had all the transportation and tours set up for us, our last day was spent exclusively in the Riad, which was absolutely amazing. Every day you get a wonderfully arranged breakfast which consists of traditional Moroccon cuisine: freshly squized orange juice, some kind of delicious pancakes with multiple fresh jams, and croissant-like breads which are amazing, and mint tea to boot! However, you also have the option of having the lady of the house prepare a meal for you, which I would highly, highly recommend! You need to do this a day in advance to allow her to gather fresh ingredients from the marketplace, but it's definately worth the wait. It comes out to about 40 Euros, but it was one of the Top 5 meals I've ever had! My wife was a vegetarian, and when they came out with a huge salad bowl and two fantastic vegetarian dishes, I thought we were done. However, she soon brought out an enormous tagine dish, a Moroccon pot used to cook a variety of customary dishes. This one was a type of chicken stew, spiced to perfection, and by far the best meal I had in Marrakech. It was enough food for probably 5 people, and to say it was delectable is an understatement. If that wasn't enough, we then had a dessert of freshly diced strawberries in some kind of Morrocan spiced sauce, a perfect light end to the meal. If it wasn't so good, I wouldn't have eaten it because I was absolutely stuffed.
After this fantastic meal with a few Moroccan beers (Especial), we decided to have a Hammam, or Turkish Bath, in the Riad. This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. The Riad has its own room used for the hammam, and I would highly recommend this pampering to anyone about to embark on the long trek home. My wife and I didn't really know what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised! After an initial cleansing, we were exfoliated and re-rinsed within the marble room. When we were done, we went to the exquisite roof of the riad to dry off and take in our final views of Morocco. When it was time to go, we met Rahim and had him drive us back to the airport, thus ending our fantastic tour of Marrakech. I am definately going to return to this amazing city, and when I do there is no other place I would rather stay than the Riad Safar.
The location, staff, and amenities provided by the Riad Safar made our trip entirely epic. Without the Riad and its provided support, my wife and I would have felt lost and the trip would have been a hassle. Instead, I feel that we saw all of Morocco in only 3 days, and experienced all of what it had to offer. Even though our third day was spent entirely in the Riad itself, we got an insider's look into the best of Marrakech customs and cuisine. I would highly recommend the Riad Safar to anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful riad close to all the action of Djamaa El Fna square, while having all the amenities to create a relaxing vacation when you're not out exploring. The best possible place to stay in Marrakech. Period.
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