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“Enjoyable but terrible location”
Review of Riad Shama

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Riad Shama
Ranked #170 of 500 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2010

My wife and two children aged 19 and 22 stayed at Riad Shama for 5 days between Christmas and New Years. We have lived in Canada, US, Africa and now the UK. Because of our Africa expereince we realize that culture and history on vacation does not always mean 5 stars are available. Riad Shama was an enjoyable small riad. Inside the doors it is somewhat of an oasis with a center coartyard with a small pool. The coartyard was covered when we were there so only average light could get in. The pool was reasonable clean but I would not say pristine. The bedrooms are good size all with practical and resonabley equipped self contained bathrooms. We stayed in the junior suite which as a good size. Although the rooms were clean you could feel a film on the blankets (likely just due to poor water for washing). The service was very good. The hostess was attentive. She at times was a little pushy but not over the top. A young man by the name of Adi assisted her and was marvelous. He derserved every bit of the tip I left him. The roof terrace is nice and confortable in good weather. The Riad is close to a mosque to the morning prayers may bother you if you are a light sleeper (they did not bother me). We ate breakfast every day there which was very nice and we had two dinners at the Riad which we good local cuisine. You can tell them early in the day that you will eat there and can request the menu (fish, chicken, etc) The issue is location. As soon as you open the door you are in a very small alley way in the far corner of the Medina. Although we did not get accosted in the alley way if was filthy and dirty. Also it is a fairly long walk to the Medina Square through small streets with crazy traffic wizzing by. The Medina is not the cleanest place so the alley filth is less of an issue than the location. I have not stayed in other Riads so I can not compare. Despite liking the Riad if I was to return to Marrakech I would likely find something closer to the Square (but not too close). If you do not like a third world setting I advise you stay outside the Medina in a traditional hotel and walk into the square everyday.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Canadian_Nomad22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 - 82 of 253 reviews

Reviewed July 2, 2009

Riyad Shama scores top points in every respect.
Our stay there was magical.

A glorious setting by the ground floor pool
– for dinner, surrounded by lanterns and candles,
lunch, or drinks.

The bedrooms are beautifully decorated and
spacious – as are all the public areas. The
staff are delightful and helpful – nothing was
too much trouble. The cook is excellent.

A wonderful atmosphere and sense of calm.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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Thank Maryhakn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2008

After touring Morocco for a week and having several excellent stays in Riads in Fes and Rabat we were expecting the same quality level as we found in the other locations. Unfortunately that was not the case. Shama is located in particularly out-of-the-way location in the Medina with difficult access. The rooms were small and stuffy due to the use of the wood burning fireplace and incense to cover-up the odor coupled with virtually no ventilation. There was in fact one small window in the bathroom and windows on to the common walkway in the front of the room which, for privacy, could not be opened. We remained only one of the four nights we had booked as we found the place unacceptable. Since we had prepaid we suffered a financial loss as Shama would not grant us any credit even though we had expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the rooms. We had dinner and breakfast at the riad which were not up to the standards we had experienced in other riads. There was no management staff on site and the place appears to be run by two young men who do the cooking and all other required services. The riads proximity to the local minaret is another issue as the first call to prayer is before 4am.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Princeton_traveler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2008

I hate to rain on everyone's parade but we thought this place was awful. Just to put this statement in context, this was the 5th stop on our recent trip to Morocco that included two other riads - villa manderine in Rabat and Riad Fez , both of which we loved (see my TA reviews) and this was the only place we hated. In fact, we had booked and pre-paid for 4 nights but after one night elected to move to another place and risk losing the money (which, in fact, we did). The room was dark, dreary and very small. The only window opened out on to the corridor and so if you wanted some air it meant people could easily look into your room. We had dinner that night and breakfast the next morning before we left and both were, at best, mediocre. The roof terrace that everyone else seems to like had lots of close-up views of satellite dishes on nearby buildings. On the positive side, the staff of young people were lovely and extremely helpful. However, there was no management person on site for most of the time we were there. And, oh yes, you should know that there is a mosque right next door. So, at 3:45 am, be prepared to be awakened by the Iman chanting the call to prayer as if he was standing at the foot your bed! As other people have mentioned, it is out of the way, hard to find and in a pretty lousy section of the medina.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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6  Thank TeamMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2008

just returned from amazing trip to Marrakech, stayed in the above riad and even hubbie , tough Geordie had a tear to leave.
They say a riad is an oasis and it is so true.
Even having read up so much on the subject and visiting the city before, I must admit had a few nerves as we drove through the medina.
then you come to these huge doors and open them up to a little piece of heaven.
Candles and lanterns squishy settees and lovely rooms.
Inscence and rose petals on the bed and through the room !
Breakfast up on the roof in what had to be high 20 degrees cos I burnt my nose.
Staff spoke mostly french, but I quite enjoy remembering those classes 20 plus years ago, we always got hthem to understand.
Room was kept so clean and must admit that lovely big bed was a luxury, cafe au lait sat on the veranda just outside the doors was one of my highlighrs may of been the morrocan pastries.
It was about a 15 minute walk to the main square and souk along normal marrakech lanes, got lost first time but hen walked both ways for rest of weekend, part of the fun and culture.
I am sorry to say that I felt safer stood outside a shop here than I do in most towns and cities in the Uk at night , locals love the tourists and always welcome you !
I loved it all can't wait to rerturn !!!
i f you are thinking of going have an open mind, except that it is a different world, if you want a beach holiday stay with spain !!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank mikedeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2007

The Riad Shama and its staff are a delight. Although a little way away from the Main Square, my niece and I found it no problem to walk to and from all major tourist attractions. As two women travelling alone in Marrakech, the Riad Shama was a little bit of heaven. Comfortable rooms, good food (although you are definitely paying a premium to 'eat in') and great staff. Nothing was too much trouble when we stayed there. The roof terrace is great for breakfast, and there's plenty of other little nooks and crannies in the Riad to hide away with a good book to chill out. The weather was perfect, warm and dry - the locals were walking about wrapped from head to foot in thick material, whereas we were in our T-shirts. One drawback - the credit card machine wasn't working when we went to settle our final bill, so a hasty trip to the bank was required. The only glitch in a perfect break.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2007

My partner and I took my brother and his wife to Marrakech for their wedding present. We stayed at the Riad Shama and before we arrived we had no idea what to expect. What a wonderful surprise as the place is absolutely charming. The staff are extremely helpful and amenable and the rooms are tastefully and authentically decorated. Made such a difference from the usual souless atmosphere of a large chain hotel. On the first night we were provided with a delicious meal on the roof terrace which was included in the room rate. Every morning the staff laid out a wonderful breakfast of traditional Moroccan fare. I would wholeheartedly recommend this hotel for it's charm and lovely atmosphere. Will definitely go back.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JoelLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Shama

Address: 22 Taht sour Ikbir | Zaouia Abbassia, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#94 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#120 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#157 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: $58 - $132 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Shama 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riad Shama Marrakech
Riad Shama Hotel Marrakech

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