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“An oasis of calm in a sea of confusion!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riad Villa El Arsa

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Riad Villa El Arsa
Certificate of Excellence
Folkestone
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“An oasis of calm in a sea of confusion!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2013

We stayed with Noël and Fabrice, the riad's owners, after spending 4 days living in a mountain gite and trekking in the High Atlas mountains. We had transferred from Menara airport directly to the mountain village of Imlil. Arriving, therefore, in the heart of Marrakech by taxi after such a relaxing break was a bit of a shock to the senses. Not to fear, Noël was there to meet us with a porter ready to take our bags!

The riad is luxurious and stylishly furnished and decorated. Rooms are very comfortable and ensuites divine. After 4 days in the hills all I wanted was a decent shower - I wasnt disappointed!

The roof terrace affords fantastic views over Marrakech and is the perfect place to chill out.

The plunge pool is a great way to cool off after a busy day in the souks.

Noël and Fabrice are great hosts and think of everything. The mobile phones provided to guests to enable them to call if they get lost etc are a great touch. Other staff in the riad, Abdul and Simon, are also very kind and attentive.

The riad is a mere 5 minute walk from the main square and the souks.

We had dinner at the riad. The food was super-tasty and very nicely presented; French/Moroccan style. At €20 per head it was also great value.

I have nothing but praise for this riad and feel certain I will return the next time I am in Marrakech.

Room Tip: All rooms are good!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HairyMcClairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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279 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
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English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
98 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2013

This is a wonderful riad, in an excellent location. Noel was a fantastic host and made us feel very welcome. He arranged our airport transfers and met us in the medina carpark. He provided us with a great tour of the riad itself and we were welcomed in traditional Moroccan style with mint tea on the roof terrace. The riad and our room was just lovely, tastefully furnished and immaculately clean.

Noel provided us with great advice, a map and a cellphone and encouraged us to explore the medina and get a "little lost" knowing we could always call if we needed assistance. He also took us on a great tour the next day (at no charge) and showed us the best part of the souk for the items we were wanting to buy.

The breakfasts was simply, but lovely as we also ate in one night, which was just delicious. The riad also has a small plunge pool of the courtyard, which was deliciously cool and must be real asset in the hotter summer months.

We'd definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Room on the 1st floor are more private.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

I fell in love with Marrakech and this was in a big way influenced by my wonderful experience staying at Riad El Arsa. Noel is the 'front of house' meet and greet person, who provides really useful practical advice and generally loves nothing more than a good natter! Fabrice by all accounts is a fabulous chef (unfortunately I did not sample his excellent cuisine but will next time I visit - which will be soon I hope).

5*+ service for accommodation and all staff - they don't feel like staff more like new friends whose only concern is your comfort and safety
.
It is lovely to return from a hot day haggling in the souks to the calm and cool of the Riad - it was never a problem to take a plunge in the pool at any time (even 1.00am in the morning! after flight and walk around square - just be mindful of other guests). Each room has use of a basic mobile phone with all necessarily numbers programmed in (even numbers of the other rooms if you are travelling with friends and need to keep in touch). This was practically invaluable to me when I got stuck with no transport in Agadir and could contact the Riad to let them know I was having problems so they did not worry and Abdo was there to let me in when I returned eventually at 3.3am!

Thank you so much Noel, Fabrice, Simo, Malika and Abdo - I hope we get to meet again in the not too distant future.

Bslama a drari ou merci beaucoup.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bucks
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

This was totally magical. You walk through a door in a nondescript alley straight into 'heaven'.

Noel & Fabrice (the owners/guardians) are awesome. From the off, you feel more like a family member or close friend than a paying guest.

The bedrooms are gorgeous and spotlessly cleaned every day (as is the entire Riad). There's lovely little touches, like bottles of water provided regularly. Plus the joy of aircon, in every room.

Breakfast is taken on the expansive roof terrace, which is kitted out with sofas, easy chairs, sun loungers, a shower, and even a kitchen. There are only ever a maximum of ten guests, which means that there's ample opportunity to hear first-hand about other cultures and lands (or pal up for an evening meal or trip together). Don't be surprised if Noel or Fabrice joins you to ask about your day or to recommend activities or shops.

Downstairs, in the atrium, there are 'lounge areas' to relax in, together with a gorgeous plunge pool - perfect to relax in after the heat of the day (it was 50C whilst we were there). It was the norm for afternoon iced tea and pastries to be brought around - none of which ever appeared on the bill. Nor indeed was there any charge for the extensive tour of the Medina (on day one) by either Noel or Fabrice.

If you're arriving late, or just fancy staying in the Riad one evening, try the three course evening meal. It is a total 'snip' at 20 Euros. Gorgeous, gorgeous cuisine.

Noel and Fabrice will sort trusted taxis, porters, etc, for guests, making the transfers to and from the airport hassle free.

As to the Medina of Marrakech, some find it intimidating and way out of their comfort zone. But open your mind and you'll have the holiday of a lifetime.

I'd highly recommend the double-decker red tourist bus. For about £13 for 48 hours, you can do any/all of the routes as many times as you like - a great way to get to key sites or to go into the palms and see camels.

I'm notoriously hard to please, but I would give this Riad 100%. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Tim (& Sue)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank eelbrook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

This is the third time I visited Marrakech and every time I stayed in a riad as I love the style, design and location in the medina. I know what to expect and I know the range of price for the wide range of accommodation on offer.

This riad is by far my favourite as it has a more than reasonable price for the impeccable rooms stylishly decorated. This riad is a small one and that's why it can always offer personalised and intimate service. We've got plenty of chances to have happy discussion on various topics with the hosts especially Noel whose English is very good. The two hosts are also excellent cooks and it is always a pleasure to dine in a riad rather than on the street.

Of course there are many more luxury riads in the medina, and you can splash quite a lot for all the extra services. But if you are more into intimate service, this one is for you.

Noel and Fabrice save no effort to improve the fixtures and facilities continuously. I have nothing more to say but all the good memories will surely stay with me.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank watakeet_boris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

I've just returned from my second stay at Villa El Arsa and it was just as difficult leaving this time as last. Villa El Arsa is a very special place.

The riad is beautiful, exquisitely decorated with Moroccan art, crafts and textiles (most of which are for sale without the hassle of the souk). It is also spacious; comfortable; peaceful; and clean. It's perfectly located, just five minutes from the Djemaa El F'naa. There's a huge roof terrace for breakfast, sunbathing, or late-night talks over orange flower tea - after a reviving plunge in the ground floor ice-cold 'bain oriental'. Also on the ground floor is the large central dining area; a cushion-strewn library and games room with fireplace, music, DVD and TV; and a cosy, romantic, curtained alcove, with a comfortable couch. There are huge potted plants everywhere and the central atrium is shaded from the sun, so it's a haven in the heat of the Marrakech summer. But I'm keen to stay here in winter, too, to sit by the rooftop and ground-floor fireplaces. There are fireplaces in some of the rooms.

But what makes the riad outstanding is the welcome from Fabrice, Noel, Malika and Simo. They are generous with their time, knowledgeable not only about Marrakech and its attractions but also about Moroccan history, culture and contemporary life. I've learnt so much in my breakfast and late-night talks with them, adding hugely to my experience of Morocco. They'll arrange pretty much anything for you, from taxis to laundry to asking their gnawa musician friend, Omar, to perform. This year they booked a fantastic Atlas trek for us, welcoming us for one night, before looking after our luggage while we went off to the High Atlas. All this is fuelled by their obvious love of Morocco.

I feel at home here - it's like staying with friends! They fully deserve their excellent rating.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ThursdaysChildLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
-
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

Noel and Fabrice were very nice hosts. We felt extremely well in this Riad and enjoyed the stay a lot. The location could not be better: Less than 5 min from the square but nonetheless very silent. The roof-top terrace is very nice and perfect for relaxing in the hot afternoon hours. The room we stayed in was spacious and very well equipped. RECOMMENDED TO THE FULLEST.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank northeastwestsouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Villa El Arsa

Property: Riad Villa El Arsa
Address: 18 Derb El Arsa | Kennaria, Marrakech 40040, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 266 Specialty Lodging in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the Medina of Marrakech, with easy access, 5 minutes' walk to Jemaa el Fna and other mythical places of Marrakech.Villa El Arsa is an oasis in the midst of excitement and wares of magical red town.Fabrice et Noel welcome you in this bed and breakfast with five rooms,accommodating up to 11 people (4 double bedrooms, one with fireplace and 1 triple room, bathrooms tadelakt). Official Guest House n°239/2004 - Travel in security! ... more   less 
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