We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Good location but a bit run down”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Riad Al Madina

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Riad Al Madina
Ranked #28 of 74 Hotels in Essaouira
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good location but a bit run down”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2013

The location is really good, just off the main square in Essouira and a short walk to the port, the beach, the souks, the ramparts, the restaurants -- everything. It is an older property and definitely has some charm. The main building is traditional riad style with rooms surrounding an open courtyard. The rooms themselves are pretty basic and seemed a bit run down, but then this is not an expensive hotel by Essaouira standards so you get what you pay for. Breakfast is good and very pleasant too, being served in the open courtyard every morning. If you want luxury you won't like this hotel but if you just want a convenient place to stay Riad al Madina is very acceptable. I would stay again.

When I researched Essaouira online two main problems were mentioned, the proliferation of motor bikes in the medina (old town) and the deterioration of the ramparts. Supposedly motorized vehicles are not allowed in the medina but there are motor bikes roaring and beeping everywhere because the police can't be bothered to enforce the rules any more. Sooner or later (probably sooner) the streets here will be like Marrakech where so many bikes are jammed into the narrow alleys that walking around the old town is quite dangerous. As for the ramparts they seem in good condition on the town side which is the part most tourists see. I took a walk on the outside beside the sea (quite difficult to get to, you need to climb over a low wall near the rocks in the main square). On the sea side there is terrible damage to the walls and obviously nobody is fixing it. Also the rocky area outside the walls is littered with disgusting rubbish. Essaouira is lovely town, potentially world class as a beach resort. It's a shame to see the city authorities let this World Heritage location deteriorate. By the way if you get a day without strong wind then that's the time to take a walk along the beach. On really windy days it's impossible because of wind blown sand.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gerrot v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

382 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    143
    158
    49
    20
    12
See reviews for
80
161
22
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

This riad is a feast for the eye, but once you enter the room, it's a different story. Our rooms were small and dark, and the bathrooms needed renovation badly. My friend and I each booked a 30-min hammam with exfoliation session. We were asked to go together. We presumed we'd be treated separately by two ladies. When we arrived at the spa, the lady at the reception desk asked us to pay first. Then she left us in a small hammam room where we splashed ourselves with hot water, applied black soap all over our bodies and waited. Later she appeared again in swimming suit. It turned out that she was the only one to scrub us. The so called exfoliation was a joke. It lasted for 3 mins max in total for the two of us. I can do much better than that with a loofah. And there was a hygiene problem. We had to lie on a massage platform to be scrubbed. After my friend was done, the woman poured a bucket of water over the massage platform to "clean" it. Then she rushed me to climb up the slippery platform and lie face down, where traces of black soaps were still visible. My forehead rested on the towel soaked with my friend's sweat, and the woman scrubbed me with the same mitts she just scrubbed my friend with. It's so disgusting. After a minute the woman poured a bucket of water over my body and announced it's done. I wanted to clean myself with more water but the lady threw me a wet towel and signalled me to go. We were supposed to get 30 mins each. We arrived at the spa at 6 pm, and we were all done at 6:30pm, including changing. The whole experience was so unpleasant. We did not feel refreshed or cleaned. It's a total rip-off. As we could not find any management staff around, we complained to the hotel manager the next morning before we checked out, he just couldn't care less. He said he could do nothing about it. The worst thing was that both my friend and I found itchy, angry red bites all over our faces, necks and shoulders . As we did not share a room, and the other 6 people in our group did not get the bites, we're certain it's a souvenir from the spa. So think twice before booking the spa service at Riad Al Medina in Essaouira.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fatmuimui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2013

This was my third stay at Al Madina over a period of 12 years. First time was excellent, second good, this one not so good! There is a difference between 'rustic' and rundown. Rooms were clean enough but looking very tatty. Seating area on the roof terrace left lot to be desired. Staff were nowhere near as friendly as before and service was very slow and almost non existent sometimes! Shame as it's in a great location and still has heaps of potential to be as good as it used to be.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pat L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2013

We had a groupon booking for 3 nights and everything went very smoothly.

We had a lovely room (room 45) which was nicely decorated, quiet and stayed cool in the hot days and was warm enough at night. Very firm mattress, which was comfier than I expected. There is a powerful warm shower and full flushing loo (not to be taken for granted in morocco!)

We had the hamman and massage on the first day, which was quite comical as we didn't really know what to expect. We have been to morocco before and have been to local hamman's but not a hotel one, which is pretty different. The breakfasts are fine, cold buffet, tea (with milk- yes!) coffee, and really lovely fresh orange juice. The terrace up top is great, with some shady parts and some sun traps. We had a tea on the terrace on an afternoon and we had a dinner in the resturantincluded on one night - which was fine, but basic from the set menu, but I would advise upgrading to the a la cart if you are eating here.

We packed a lot in and eat at some lovely places - a bar a short walk down the beach with outside seating (used to be cote plage I think, now called 'fanatic'); a vibrantly coloured 'pizzeria' on a square off rue laalouj and il Mare on Rue Yamen. If you are looking for good Argan oil go to 21 Rue Laalouj… It think it is called 'Babouka' or something similar. Taros on the main square is good for a drink and music.

Essaouira is well worth 3-4 days if not more and Riad Al Medina was a great base for exploring and retreating back to for some quiet and down time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nikki M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

This is the second time I have stayed. This time for a week. A historic and traditional raid with very green and pleasant open core on the edge of the walled inner city. Whilst rooms are traditional and so to some extent are basic, the en suite and the flooding of the bathroom at every shower, with only a tired shower curtain , is a pain. Bed is comfortable but room small. Biggest bug bear is the poor breakfast with limited selection and nothing hot , no omelette etc staff are helpful in a distant way.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paul r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
162 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were on a 2 week trip all over Morocco, so my comparative ratings are based on Moroccan experiences. The location was the best thing about this hotel, right inthe Medina, easy walking to shopping, restaurants, port, beach. Very pretty entrance courtyard. We were with a group and apparently the rooms varied in size and amenities. Ours had a platform bed that we had to climb steps to get to, surrounded by curtains! Had to be careful in the middle of the night! Bathroom was oldish, with a tub that seemed made of concrete, painted bright turquoise. Space heater did OK. Narrow stairway with LOTS of stairs to climb to get to rooms. Basic cold continental breakfast. They do serve lunch/dinner but we ate elsewhere. The hotel was in the process of remodellng, so maybe our section will be impoved over time. There are more modern hotels right outside the medina, but probably without the charm.

Room Tip: Lots of stairs. Request lower floor if you don't do well with stairs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dayhikers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

We arrived at this Riad at 11am with a Groupon voucher for a three night stay. We had tried to book via email as the voucher stated but got no response despite trying multiple times. Instead we used the Riad's online booking form and stated we had a voucher for the stay in the comments box.
On arrival a rather abrupt woman told us there may be a problem but they would try to resolve it by 3pm that day and we should return then. At 3pm we returned and the woman was nowhere to be found instead we explained the situation again to the man on reception. We found him to be very rude and hostile. He told us he would look into it and to wait in the courtyard. 45 minutes later we were still waiting. He then told us we needed to cancel the online booking via email and then just use the voucher. He refused to accept our face to face cancellation and told us to go find an internet cafe, although he could not tell us exactly where to find one.
Once the email was sent he told us to wait again. Throughout this time we were not offered refreshments of any kind. An hour later we again had to chase for an update at which point we were told there was nothing that could be done and that we now had no reservation at all and would need to pay the full cost again (whereas before we apparently had 2!) I asked to speak to the manager but was told he was out and he did not know when he would return.
In the hope of reaching a resolution I suggested we pay for one nights stay and speak to the manager in the morning. I was told speaking to the manager was not possible. In the end we left the Riad and found alternate accomodation not wanting to spend our money with this one.
We stayed in 3 other Riads in Morocco all of which were under half the price of this one, with far far friendlier staff and in just as good a location.
I have never complained about a hotel before but our treatment here was really appalling. The staff we encountered were so rude and unhelpful and the whole experience really threatened to ruin the entire holiday!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Aimee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Essaouira hotels
0.1 mi away
Riad Al Zahia
Riad Al Zahia
#24 of 74 in Essaouira
4.5 of 5 bubbles 296 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Les Matins Bleus
Hotel Les Matins Bleus
#14 of 74 in Essaouira
4.5 of 5 bubbles 481 reviews
1.1 mi away
Riad Zahra
Riad Zahra
#8 of 74 in Essaouira
4.5 of 5 bubbles 761 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.2 mi away
Dar Al Bahar
Dar Al Bahar
#33 of 74 in Essaouira
4.0 of 5 bubbles 178 reviews
0.1 mi away
Essaouira Wind Palace
Essaouira Wind Palace
#31 of 74 in Essaouira
4.5 of 5 bubbles 104 reviews
0.1 mi away
Les Terrasses d'Essaouira
Les Terrasses d'Essaouira
#34 of 74 in Essaouira
4.5 of 5 bubbles 260 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Riad Al Madina? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Riad Al Madina

Property: Riad Al Madina
Address: 9 Rue Attarine, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 74 Hotels in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riad Al Madina 3.5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
this elegant owned is located in the heat of essaouira.200 metres from the beach ans near all the attractions and souks.it has a central courtyard with fireplace and stream room on site or you will be offered massage and sauna.Also restaurant Riad El Madina served both traditional moroccan cuisine and intarnational dishes.free wifi,bar,patio and panoramic terrasse. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, HostelWorld, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Riad Al Madina reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riad Al Madina Essaouira
Riad Al Madina Hotel Essaouira

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing