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“Potential for a great Stay”
Review of Riad Karmela

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Riad Karmela
Ranked #43 of 500 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Kensington, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Potential for a great Stay”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

I spent two days at Riad Karmela with my wife and two sons. I have to say that my first night was one of the worst nights I have ever spent in a hotel but I do believe it was an anomaly.

The Riad itself is really lovely. The common spaces are peaceful and tranquil which is a great relief from loud chaotic Marrakech. Like everywhere in old Marrakech it is very hard to find but once you learn the lay of the land one realizes that the location is really quite great. Every place you would want to go in Marrakech is within a 5-20 minute walk and the staff at Riad Karmela are very helpful in giving instructions. Breakfasts on the rooftop are very good and the rooftop space with flowers and little seating coves is a nice place to read or sun.

Rooms are all quite different. My first night was in a room on the roof with a canvas tent-like ceiling. There was a DJ and party down the street playing until 5 am and cats wrestling on the roof. I am a very good sleeper but could not sleep a wink. We had two rooms, the other was completely quite as were to common areas. We switched out of the rooftop room the second night and were able to sleep soundly. The rooms aren't fancy but feel cozy and clean.

Had I been in any other room on my first night I would have had a four star experience. If I return to Marrakech I would consider Riad Karmela but would pre-arrange a more quiet room first.

Room Tip: Avoid the room with the canvas roof on the top floor
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hivedoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espelette, Propriétaire at Riad Karmela, responded to this review, May 18, 2014
Hello I am sorry about the first night experience that you had in the Roof teracce room. I understand that on that 1st evening there was ab local moroccan wedding in the area and we are dealing withy that problem. This location does NOT have a licence for weeding and there is an official complaint including local neighbours to relocate that wedding hall. I am sorry about that bad night you had and I am also please that despite that issue you keep a good souvenir of your stay. Best regards Joel
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Norway
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2014

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights and if we were to go back to Marrakech we will most certainly stay in Riad Karmela again.'
Good location with short distance to the souk and not too far to the main square, but be aware of bikes with and without motors.
Nice room, as clean as Morocco gets (!), peaceful roof top terrace, helpful staff and good food.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JessieNorway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 7, 2014

The Riad is lovely, beautifully decorated and clean. The staff are friendly and helpful.
The downside is the location and the food. Although is very convenient to walk to the Souks and main square the area is pretty hectic with narrow roads crowded with people bicycles and motorbikes. It can be intimidating. The breakfast is served on the roof terrace which is lovely however the amount of flies sitting on the food is a real put off and the food does not always look or taste fresh. The evening dinners are ok homely made which is nice but certainly not worth EUR25.00. It is convenient if you are tired and don't want to go out for dinner.
I booked a transfer with Ryanair from the airport to the Riad and return. When I contacted the Riad I was told it would be better to use their transfer because Ryanair transfer would not take me to door of the hotel. I end up paying twice for the transfer and the Raynair service was there waiting for me when I arrived and went to the Riad to pick me up by which time I had already paid the Riad for transfer costing me an extra EUR30. I wasn't too impressed.

Room Tip: I stayed at a Junior Suite, I think it was called achica. Until about 12am is a bit noisy but after...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank PalmiA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espelette, Propriétaire at Riad Karmela, responded to this review, May 18, 2014
Hello I am actually pleased to see your comment as it will be an opportunity to explain the challenge with the taxis and local agencies transfert where i am afraid i have VERY little influence.
We DO recomend to pre book the airport transfert with the riad as you are SURE to arrive at one minute walk from the property, you WILL have a driver waiting even your flight is late and you also have a fixe price ie 15 euros up to 3 people. The chalenge with the aiport drivers AND also local agencies drivers is that the drivers 90 % of the time will drop you off the car FAR away from the riad as they do not like to come inside the Medina. You then have to walk for 10 mn and IF you are lucky not to be ennoyed with locals boys who want to help you and get some money from you. In your case as there was a confusion with our drivers AND the agency you should have taken the agency and NOT ours as you already had pay for it. You should also have explained this to us as when it happens WE do NOT charge a second time so this may not have been clear. Worse case in general is to take "any" taxi at the aiport as they will definatly charge you 50 % more, drop you far away and then worse is that you are lost in the Medina and have to pay another 10 to 20 euros for local boys to take you to the riad. So sorry about the confusion in your case . best regards Joel
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Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2014

On a recent trip to Marrakech we spent our final night in this gorgeous Riad, centrally located about 5 minutes walk from the Djemma el Fna. We were delighted with the service we received from start to finish with our bags being taken from us at reception to our room and being served with a welcome drink to settle us in. We were then welcomed by the owner who told us a bit about the place and what they offer and he then showed us to our room which was beautiful and spacious.

The breakfast was nice and varied and was extremely fresh and we also booked a massage and hammam and scrub (Total was about 50€) through reception which was a great way to end the trip and was well worth the expense. If there was only one negative thing I would say it is to do with the Mosque located just a few metres away which would probably wake lighter sleepers like myself. Understandably they are loacted all over Marrakech but this was the only place that I stayed in here that I was woken up by it or could hear it as clearly. In saying that though the place is most certainly worth staying in for the service and general tranquility alone.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Stuart C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 28, 2014

We stayed here in January 2014 when my husband booked it as a surprise trip for my 40th! It's a gorgeous raid which has been converted from someone's home into a sumptuous hotel. Decor is very traditional & to a high standard. Rooms are large, clean & comfortable. Staff are friendly & helpful & will recommend local places of interest & restaurants with great local cuisine. They also gave us great advice on local etiquette & what to pay for taxis, & goods in local shops etc so as not to be ripped off. We visited 3 museum's ( Ben Youssef/museum of Marrakech & museum of photography)just round corner from the raid which was worth while to see not only exquisite architecture, but also views of the city from their roof tops. We recommend booking food with the raid for first night if arriving late in the day, ( 25euros pp for 3 courses, but well worth it) we did & it was fab food giving us taste of Moroccan food & saving us trying to negotiate the Moroccan streets in the dark on our first night! The hamman treatment offered in the hotel is amazing & a must for your stay & so reasonable at 15 euros! Don't miss going to the medina square during the day to visit the souks & shop/haggle til you drop & at night for whole new Moroccan experience! But be careful in the square day or night of taking any photos as the locals( snake charmers, water carriers, acrobats etc) are quite forceful of then asking you to pay them! The restaurants around the square are & offer great food, we visited chez chegrouni & cafe France, the later only 11 euros for bread, 2 main dishes, 2 drinks & a dessert!! & had the best tajine of our stay. We also did the Atlas Mountain trip & booked this direct from the Raid which we also recommend as we had 2 local guides who both went out of their way to give us a truly unforgettable experience. I can't wait to go again & would definitely stay in this Raid, we have already recommended it to 2 lots of friends who have booked for this May & November. Enjoy. Xx

Room Tip: Rooms to the back of the raid will be quieter away from the main courtyard, although when we were th...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sarahcoleman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2014

Booked a 3 night stay with my wife for a short break to hopefully catch some sun and stroll round the souks. we were picked up at the airport by someone from the Riad and the transfer probably took about 20minutes followed by a 5 minute walk from where the car had to be left. By the time we checked into the romm and had a debrief/orientation we felt we would be best off eating at the hotel rather than exploring but in hindsight this was maybe a mistake as we later discovered there were many places only a ten minute walk away.

At that point we didnt know if there were safety issues at night etc. Let me reassure you that it is perfectly fine to be walking around at any time and there is no intimidatory atmosphere etc so feel free to explore.

Breakfast is served on a great roof terrace. Its simple, nothing cooked, but really nice. The orange juice is freshly squeezed and plentiful and they have english breakfast tea so no need to bring your teabags !

The souks are so close (as are various museums) that it is practical to have a wander round and then pop back to your romm easily before venturing back out if you so wish. The aforementioned roof terrace has sun beds and comfy chairs making it a pleasant venue throughout the day. There is also a shower lhidden away in one corner which is great to ccol down if you overheat.

There are many reasonably priced restaurants nearby and we visited cafe arabe and Le Foundouk and were very pleased with our choices. The riad staff will book for you which was definitely needed for the evenings.

Riad` Karmela has a hammam and i booked a body scrub with some trepidation but hey, when in marrakech .... I would recommend this and I also had a great massage afterwards. Both together were only 45euros. Its a must.

The staff could not have been more helpful and there was a great camaraderie with all staff and guests. After we had checked out a cleaner tracked us down as we had left a credit card in the safe (which we were certain we had cleared) so as a demonstartion and recommendation of honesty and integrity that is about as good as it gets.

One slightly odd thing was that our ground floor room (in common with other ground floor rooms) have lovely decorative doors but they didnt close properly and relied on a curtain being drawn in front of them. Whilst this keeps line of sight closed it doesnt stop sound and if you have courtyard seating immediately outside your room (as we did) then iy can lead to a noisy evening. Just as we could hear every word spoken by others they could hear us too.
Bit strange but we got used to it. Requesting a first floor room would solve the problem.

If you are looking to avoid the chain hotel experience and have a more authentic stay with a great welcome and nice surroundings in a central location then stay at Riad Karmela and I am sure you will not be disappointed.

I would definitely return and recommend to friends.

Room Tip: avoid ground floor room as it can be a bit noisy and is less private
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2014

We stayed at Riad Karmela for a four day break, the Riad and its location is excellent, just a two minute walk from the souk and less than ten minutes from the main square. Down a winding alley through almost unnoticeable doors, you find the very pretty Riad Karmela and smaller ‘Petit Karmela’ which is directly opposite. We took the entire smaller riad for our group and had six rooms leading to a beautiful central living space/covered courtyard which was ideal for us all to gather together and relax. Breakfast was taken in the main Riad in another gorgeous courtyard setting amongst orange trees and a fountain.

Joel, the owner and Bouchra were extremely efficient and helpful throughout the booking process, assisting with plans prior to arrival. During our stay the whole team were friendly and accommodating – they organised taxis, transport for our day trip, gave honest advice and happily assisted us to organise a drinks party one evening on the beautiful roof terrace. When we asked for directions to a tailor for a small mend on a dress one morning, they arranged this immediately, returning the garment to us a few hours later with compliments!

Overall a great find and affordable too – their excellent service made things very easy for us and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank 396WendyS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Karmela

Property: Riad Karmela
Address: 10 Derb El Feranne Azbetz | Place Ben Salah, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#28 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#39 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#75 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Karmela 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The riad Karmela has 19 bedrooms and family appartments located within 3 houses and courtyards connecting together. You can also enjoy a hammam, massages, summer jacuzzi, large terasse. We are located 8 mn walk from the Pace Djemma El Fnaa and 1 mn from the souks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Karmela Marrakech
Riad Karmela Hotel Marrakech

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