After booking the hotel directly through www.riadaya.com contact email, we communicated back and forth with Michèle a few times to finalize arrangements. She was very pleasant and made sure we were picked up at the airport. Good thing as we would never have found it without Bahja, the driver! This little gem of a riad is tucked away down a couple of narrow, featureless alleys. When we arrived at the door (very striking and refined), we were welcomed in by Maria, one of the staff, and Michèle. the manager. Once inside, the beauty of old Marrakech surrounded us - gone were the dusty alleys, the traffic noises, the hustle and bustle of a very busy city. We were in an oasis of tranquility. The small fountain in the courtyard was bubbling softy, the staff was quietly going about their business, everything was peaceful. We knew instantly we had made the right choice of accommodations for our seven-night stay in Marrakech. Madame Michèle was great at providing us with maps and recommendations in the area and making arrangements for excursions and local restaurants. Majda was always puttering around doing a wonderful job keeping the place spotless and comfortable. Abdul stood ready to help make our stay more enjoyable with whatever we needed (and he is a great pastry chef, too!). The creme de la creme of our stay was Maria. She is fantastic! We ended up having dinner 5 of the 7 nights at the riad because Maria is such an excellent chef! The meals were completely moroccan and very well executed. She also put up with our endless requests for mint tea (even made the concession of not adding sugar to some orders, as my wife likes it without sugar). The Saffron room, where we stayed, was large and airy and very comfortable. The rooftop terrace was very pleasant and afforded a view of the surrounding area, being a little taller than most other buildings. We walked to Djemma el Fna several times, as well as visited the souks almost every day of our stay. The riad is very well located in the medina and close to many places of interest. I very highly recommend the Riad Aya and my wife and I are already looking forward to staying there again.
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