We arrved and were met as planned by Ali, who we assumed was the manager. A lovely meal and a bottle of wine had been prepared as requested by his colleague Naima, a wonderful young lady who seemed to work from morning till night non stop keeping the rooms clean and preparing breakfasts and any evening meals required. She prepared yet another amazing 3 course meal during our stay, which surpassed anything we'd eaten in Marrakesh!
The Riad is a perfect location for access to the Jemaa El Fna Square. Be prepared to be pestered by shopkeepers as soon as you walk outsiide the security of the house. You daren't even make eye contact as you wll be immediately "pounced on".
We were warned by Ali not to be drawn into negotiations if we wanted to purchase anything, or to eat out, as he had "family and friends" in business locally. He could introduce us to these people, who would "give us the best deal as he was a local".
He later told us that his comissions from other activities has depleted because of the drop in tourism.
Therefore when we wanted a nice restaurant, we asked for his advice. He was only too pleased to personally take us to a restaurant which was virtually on the doorstep. He had a long conversation with the waiter and personally presented us with a five course set menu, and then departed. This menu had 5 courses, which was far too much food for us, and much too expensive for the surroundings (a table set rather sparcely in a vast empty restaurant which felt like eating in a furniture store, as they also sold rugs and artefacts).
I asked the rather nervous waiter if there were any simpler dishes we could have, and after a lot of confusion on the waiter's part, we were FINALLY brought an a -la -carte menu which had a better choice at reasonable prices per dish. The three of us shared a first course of Morrocan salad, and each had a main course and dessert (no wine available of course) - which came to approx 850dm including a tip - approximately a THIRD of what had initially been offerred!
At the end of the trip we again asked Ali about his suggestion of accompanying us to buy some souvenirs for "the best price". Once again he took us to a huge emporium just round the corner from the Riad. He had a long converstion with one of the staff, and then announced we would be now "looked after" and he would meet us later for anything else we wanted.
We chose a djellaba ( a cotton Kaftan-type garment) and four tin wine/water bottle holders. The "best price" offered for us to purchase these items was 3000dm!!!
I expected to barter and eventually bought the djellaba for 300dm - I declined the other items as I had seen them for 180dm elsewhere, and not 400dm which I was being asked to pay.
I had hoped Ali's "introduction would have saved my rather heated discussion with the shopkeeper, as I didn't expect the "best price" would be TEN TIMES what was still obviously a profitable amount at 300dm!!!!!!
I told Ali on our return that I thought his "friends" were dishonest, and after that he could harldy look us in the eye, as my remark obviously implied he was too, and was only after earning as much commission as possible from us via his "introductions"!
This spoilt our experience at Quenza, as I felt Naima had been excellent, and genuinely was concerned for our comfort, even coming to see me in my room when I was unwell to ask if she could do anything to make me feel better. I just felt that Ali should have concentrated more on whtever his role was at Quenza, which from what we observed didn't appear to be very taxing.
I would recommend this Riad, but would not advise accepting any "help" from Ali.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Priceline so you can book your Riad Quenza reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Riad Quenza Marrakech
- Riad Quenza Hotel Marrakech