I can't rate this place more highly - what a wonderful introduction to our first visit to Morocco.
We arrived around 10am, via airport pickup which was organised by Riad Alaka just hours after we'd booked just a couple of months prior to our visit. The nice driver lead us through a small market, down a long alley dotted with doors and stray cats lazing in the sun, to a door I recognised from pictures seen on tripadvisor.
We were greeted by the very kind and approachable Aziz who brought us delicious mint tea and nibbles and gave us advice on places to go during our time in Marrakech. Sofiane was the other chap who looked after us from the evening until the morning, equally as wonderful and helpful. They would be there to answer any queries we had, even making the odd telephone call on our behalf, always with a friendly smile and manner. Aziz cooked us a delicious chicken tagine on our last night, the chicken had been cooking for hours and fell from the bone - YUM!
Riad Alaka itself was exactly what I was looking for - just beautiful. Located in the Medina, heavy old doors, colourful mosaic, amazing ironwork donning the windows, dreamlike white curtains billowing in the wind, AIR CONDITIONING!! So peaceful when returning from the hectic streets of Marrakech.
We were surprised to hear that we were the only two guests staying for the first couple nights. I thought the Riad's seven rooms would be fully booked at this time of the year. Secretly, the knowledge that this was all ours was fantastic, although, i'd love to go back with a group of friends.
The area around Riad Alaka at first, felt unnerving (I must travel more!), but after the first day I realised that this was a really lovely area with a fantastic community feel. About ten minutes walk from Jemaa el-Fnaa, we were away from the sometimes forceful, but fun atmosphere of the main square and souks surrounding, but our area was still busy with local people going about their day. One of my favourite things was seeing the young kids who lived in Riads down "our" alley, wearing their Barcelona football shirts kicking footballs between the narrow walls well into the early hours.
I would recommend Riad Alaka to anyone. My only regret is that we didn't stay longer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Alaka is ideally located in the heart of the medina. It lies right at the entrance of the souks and at a few minutes’ walk from the exhilarating Place Jemna El Fna.This is a splendid property, a real haven of peace, decorated in the traditional Moroccan style. Guests will be struck by its elegant and relaxing charm. The tastefully decorated interior oozes passion and respect for Moroccan tradition. ... more less
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