Anyone who plans to stay at the Riad Assouel should know what they're in for. We certainly didn't, based on the website or the mostly positive Tripadvisor reviews. Frankly I feel like rating it "average" is kind, especially for the price, but that's not to say there are no positives about the place - for us, though, they were overwhelmed by the negatives.
1. We wanted the "authentic" Medina experience, but didn't really bargain on having to walk about a half a kilometer from the only nearby parking place/taxi stand, dodging motorcycles and donkey carts as well as the inevitable touts promising to show you to the "square." Every time we left the hotel, especially to get a cab, we were hastled. Yes, it is close to the northern Medina but going anywhere else - including the mere process of getting a cab - is an ordeal.
The house itself is lovely - at least the common areas, but the area surrounding it looks like something of a warzone.
2. The room we got for 140 euros a night was extremely basic for the price. Small and no storage to speak of aside from a single closet -- if you're a couple, one of you will end up living out of your suitcase.
3. We were greeted with mint tea when we arrived after a long trip. Seems like a nice sentiment, but not so much when it becomes clear the main object is to sell you on the various tours or other services the hotel charges extra for. Can't I just read about those in my room?
4. The website says there's "an amazing view" of the Atlas mountains from the roof. We had trouble finding the mountains at all - what's mainly visible is a concrete sprawl punctuated by dish TV antennas. There are also animal hides drying on someone's roof down below and the smell comes wafting up from time to time. There is a pool in the main courtyard, but it's quite small and feels more like decoration than something to be used.
5. The staff was very nice and well meaning but you could feel the lack of a manager/owner. We stayed at the hotel for 5 days and saw the owner once, briefly. There was no one there to advise us on where to go/what to do aside from the menu of paid packaged tours on offer.
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Assouel Hotel Marrakech