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Riad vs hotel

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Fairfield...
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Riad vs hotel

Hello,

I am planning my first trip to Marrakesh for next fall and am trying to get a feel for what to expect from a riad versus a hotel. We are two couples traveling together and would like to stay in the heart of the Medina and love the idea of a riad for its flavor and Moroccan experience.

Do Riads offer services like hotels or are they more like a B&B? For instance can you get a cocktail at the end of the day to enjoy on the roof deck of most riads? I am just trying to figure out how they work and and from most riad websites I get the feeling they offer beautiful common spaces and guest rooms but services seem to be a mystery.

thanks!

London, United...
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1. Re: Riad vs hotel

Hi

We have been to Marrakech a number of times. We have stayed in all sorts of accomodation and without a doubt Riads for us, wins hands down. We recently stayed at Riad Assakina (just search forum) and the service including drinks on the terrace was excellent.

hope it helps

Keith

Fairfield...
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2. Re: Riad vs hotel

Thank you Keith! I will look into that riad. Would love to hear from others and would love riad suggestions. So if you are reading this and have a favorite in Marrakesh, please tell!

Shannon

idaho
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3. Re: Riad vs hotel

the riad is the best. you can have a hotel in any city, but a riad is so moroccan. go inside a plain door, and wa la, the most beautiful, serene garden areas. yes, many drinks can be had on the roof top decks. most riads have great food, as well.

marrakech
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4. Re: Riad vs hotel

Hi,

You really need to have a look in the hotels tab on the left of the page, set parameters to narrow things down and then maybe send a message to a few reviewers with specific questions regarding what you are looking for in a Riad or Hotel. The reason I say this is because asking such a broad question on the forum is just going to get you lots of posts from people who have maybe only stayed in one place so though it may well be great they have nothing to compare it with.

I'd go for Riad every time.

idaho
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for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
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5. Re: Riad vs hotel

yes, some of us have only stayed at a riad once, but lucky us!!!i wasn't as happy with our riad, loved the inside setting///just not our room, so i wouldn't mention where we were. on our 14 day trip, we were in 6 different riads, loved them all , but the last.

check out the service from the riads , as well...ours in marrakech had a great spa, would have had a scrub at each place, had i known about them. very surreal and lovely.

Cardiff, United...
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6. Re: Riad vs hotel

I have stayed in 3 big hotels around the city and two different riads (all on seperate trips).

The riad experience is more personal, the riads usually have between 5 and 10 rooms (compared to hundreds of rooms in a large hotel). The service is much the same as the hotel but a lot quicker, when you ask for something to be done, it gets done (rather than having to wait around). If you want a drink late night, then it is not a problem, somebody is there to look after you 24 hours.

My choice of riad is Riad Dar Najat, I have stayed there twice and I have booked it again for my latest trip (which is at the end of next week).

Edited: 23 February 2012, 19:56
Marrakech, Morocco
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7. Re: Riad vs hotel

I think that the answers above summarise the possible responses to your questions, picklepiepean...

Riads in general offer far more in the way of personal attention than any establishment from a chain of international hotels can. What facilities they offer will depend on their size and location. Most riads are located within the ancient walled city, the medina, and most (not all) of the hotels further afield. These of course are generalisations but the advice from KADLondon, shimmin and MIB15 is sound.

Drinks on the roof terraces (often with incredible views), dinners made to request, personal shopping, cookery lessons, on-site informed recommendations for day excursions and tours, the list goes on. There are so many choices that I'm afraid a little more homework is in order!

One final suggestion from me: as two couples journeying together perhaps narrow your choices to a smaller riad where you can feel that it is your own traditional Moroccan "home from home" and where staff are discrete but available to help at all times. I hope that this helps a bit to narrow down your multitude of choices.

London
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8. Re: Riad vs hotel

If you are a couple Riad are definitely the best

You have to pick the right one and the choice is vast .

It is all depend on your budget and the style of decor you like .

Riad are traditional family houses so you aill always have the same layout but some owner have decided to keep avery traditional decor and some other went for more minimalist and modern look.

Choose a riad which is mange by the owner or where at least the owner spend a considerable amount of time, as you will have a better service that way .

Hotels can be a recommendation if you have children and want an easy acces to the place you stay and take advantage of a swimming pool , but they are more impersonal.

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9. Re: Riad vs hotel

I have just been back from Marrakech last week . I definitely agree with the majority opinion that favors a riad over a hotel especially for the first time visitor to the city. I am planning to return next year and I would probably stay in a hotel in the "new "city , Gueliz . From there , it is easy to walk or take the bus(3.5 dirhams) to the medina . Even taxis are cheap for short trips . Enjoy your trip !!

Thornton Cleveleys...
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10. Re: Riad vs hotel

Would the OP be better off contacting riads directly regarding the cocktail question?

Bearing in mind that a majority of Moroccans don't drink alcohol, would cocktails necessarily be on the menu at a riad? Our riad offered to get wine or beer for us if we wished but it wasn't kept on the premises

I know I'm making a sweeping generalisation here and I really don't want to offend anyone but I don't drink and I wouldn't know how to make more than a mojito or a screwdriver!

As far as hotels go, they don't come anywhere close to touching the spirit and soul of a riad and I would never recommend anyone to stay in one in Marrakech BUT perhaps the best thing for Shannon to do is make a list of all the things a hotel provides that she can't live without and then see if a riad can offer the same thing?

Edited: 31 March 2012, 23:39