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“Great start to the holiday...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riad Azoulay

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Riad Azoulay
Ranked #28 of 505 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great start to the holiday...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2011

We were planing on just staying staying here for the first 2 nights in morocco, but have now changed our trip so we can get another night here. The people are great, rooms nice with boutique style. would definitely recommend to stay here.
To be balnced the only negative is that it is quite loud, but that is what you get if you want to stay so central in the city...

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bestman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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761 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
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Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
126 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2011

I could probably find more than 1001 delights if I were asked, but will content myself with just these few, and hopefully encourage you to go and find the rest for yourselves!

We booked for 14 days and had chosen the room we wanted online, from the Riad's wonderful website. Upon arrival we were told that we were not going to have that room....no!..... but a moment's despondancy was quickly dashed by the many smiles that accompanied the words 'We have a secret'.... and the secret was that because of the length of our stay, we had been upgraded to The Royal Suite, which comprises 4 rooms. To say you could have knocked me down with a feather upon being shown our room is a huge understatement. The bed in the bedroom alone - a four poster - was at least 6' across, and it did not dwarf the room which was also huge, complete with a vast cupola over the bed. There was just masses of space, and as it is an old building, our rooms still retained some wonderful ornate plaster and wood work, and we were able to study it at leisure. We also had a sitting room, a dressing room with plenty of hanging space, a day bed and a bunk bed, a huge bathroom with bath, shower over, and 2 basins, and a loo and bidet in a room off that. All was very tastefully decorated, with flair and attention to detail - and there were rose petals scattered in the bath, bathroom and on the bed when we arrived, such a lovely touch. At night, a curtain was placed around the cupola on the outside, to stop the light coming in, and all the other windows had shutters. We saw all the other rooms, and each is charming and beautifully furnished - all with amazing bathrooms. The terrace is a suntrap and has sunbeds and straw hats so you can shade your eyes to read. You can watch the storks flying about and try counting the satellite dishes on the roofs of the houses below you, while sipping tea and nibbling more biscuits, brought on a tray to you wherever you feel the need. Occasionally Meti the little dog may come and grace you with her presence, or lick your bare foot while sparrows hop about helping you with your crumbs.

Other reviews have suggested that you should pay to be met at the airport and I think this is a must, for more than one reason. You cannot obtain diram outside Morocco, and so you need to change money at the airport (which is very photogenic), so the man who met us off the plane stood guard over our luggage while we got our money changed. He then handed us over to a driver who took us the 15 minutes(?) to the spice market, the nearest a car can get to Riad Azoulay. Ibrahim and Hussein from the Riad were waiting for us, and took charge of our luggage and told us to follow them; they then dived headlong into the craziest place you will have been for a long time. I was completely unprepared for the sights, sounds and SMELLS of the line of souks we walked past, and very much regret that I did not slow down and take more notice, but I was disorientated, trying to keep up, and trying to hold a stilted conversation in French. Nevertheless it is an experience I will never forget! The way to the Riad through the market is not long, but the area gets dingier and poorer until you really begin to feel you are in the wrong place. Just as you hope it doesn't get worse, you stop at a wooden door down a cramped little alleyway - which opens onto an oasis of calm and beauty - you have arrived.

Inside is another world; it is calm, sophisticated, ordered, clean - and with tea and homemade biscuits to be had at any time of the day, and probably night. It has an overwhelming sense of calm, and all the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. French is more understood than English but we got by with a happy mixture, well punctuated by sign language and much laughter. Massimiliano is a wonderful, engaging and helpful host, and all his staff are superb.

Breakfast is divine and huge. It comprises homemade cake, yoghurt and usually fruit, an omelette and various 'bready' things with 3 types of homemade jam. Plus freshly squeezed orange juice and tea, coffe or chocolate. An evening meal can be ordered with a little notice, and is served by the plunge pool (if you request it) which is heaven, as the pool is lit, plus there are candles and lanterns aplenty. We did this after having spent time with Zahira in the hammam and massage area. She is a wonderful woman and her hands on your back and down your spine are worth every penny and more. To have that facility on site is a Godsend as you can wander down in your dressing gown (provided), and then saunter back on air, a little while later.

On other occasions we ate midday and then picniced in our room in the evening. This was mostly because Morocco is 'dry'. If you go to a restaurant which serves wine, you pay extra as it is a tourist trap. We found a supermarket - Acima - and brought bottles of wine back for each evening. Tip of the day - take a corkscrew - and a plug as Moslims believe you should wash in running water and the basins have no means of keeping the water in them (although the bath did).

The other thing to mention is the call to prayer which most upsettingly requires Moroccans to get up at 5.30am, and goes on a bit in case they should be naughty enough to nod off again. The tower from which the call comes is right next to the Riad and although it woke us on night one, by night three - even my husband who sleeps lightly - found he could ignore it and snooze on. The beds are hard but not uncomfortable and I slept better at Riad Azoulay than I normally do at home, hence my 5 star rating for sleep quality.

The bedrooms have no locks, although there are strong boxes in the rooms (not screwed down!). We were dubious about security before we went, and did not take a laptop, but there was no need to be so cautious. The main door to the Riad is openable only from the inside only and so no one can enter unobserved and there are always people about, who would notice anything untoward.

We were delighted to have stayed in the area we did, as everything we wanted to see was reachable on foot. On one occasion we used a taxi and it cost £2 to get across town, and once we used a caleche, a horse drawn carriage which was very flash and most enjoyable, but cost £10. But it's all part of seeing Marrakech, as is a ride on the tourist bus. You can get a 1 or 2 day pass and hop on or off as many times as you want within 24 or 48 hours. They have 2 circuits and it is the most stress free way to see the city. The roads are crammed with mopeds by the 1000, donkey carts, caleches, buses, lorries, cars, bikes - and no one stops for you, so you develope the habit of the locals, and casually weave your way through three lanes of traffic. They expect you to - and if you don't, you'll still be on the pavement 6 hours later!

This was a wonderful holiday, we did not run out of historic places to visit in 14 days, plus there must be about 5,000+ souks. The Big Square Jemaa el Fna is AMAZING, and so are the Marrakechi people. Once you talk to them one to one, instead of as traders, they are charming and delightful, but beware because tourist equals money, and you have to cross that barrier first. The fact that it was such a wonderful holiday was down to Marrakech being a wonderful destination, but also down to Riad Azoulay being The Place To Stay. Grazie Massimiliano

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled 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 rosnorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2011

Tucked away in a narrow side street, a few paces from the spice souk, the wonderful Riad Azoulay is an oasis of peace and calm amidst the noise and bustle of Marrakech’s medina. The rooms, all of which are different and exquisitely decorated, open off a lovely courtyard. Don’t expect a television, a telephone or even a room key (though there is a safe and very efficient open wi-fi); instead guests are made to feel as though they are staying in the home of an aristocratic family. Mint tea and biscuits are offered on arrival and the sumptuous breakfast is taken by the pool in the courtyard. A delicious home-cooked Moroccan dinner can be prepared on request and is served by candlelight in the beautiful dining room, a log fire blazing away in the hearth to take the chill off a March evening. From the roof terrace the views over the town to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains are breathtaking.
We were glad we had asked for an airport transfer as I doubt we’d have found the Riad on our own; once located it was no problem to negotiate the narrow alleyways to the nearby Place Ferblantiers, from where it’s a leisurely ten minute stroll to the famous Jemaa el Fna and the souks.
Massimiliano and his staff did everything to make our two night stay memorable. Anyone wishing to experience something special should look no further.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 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 Hertsmusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2011

This Riad really did exceed our expectations.
From the moment we first entered and given a tray of mint tea and tasty biscuits we knew we had made a great decision.
The building is stunning and Max has an amazing eye for detail in terms of decoration.
The staff were top drawer. I can highly recommend getting a hamman and massage as well as asking the riad to cook for you.
Our room was on the ground floor so we were a little weary of other guests being able to hear our noises but this is the way of a riad. On the plus side this did mean that we were sheltered from most of the morning prayer noise. Do not let any of this put you off though - The place was great.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled 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?
Thank trasbash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2011

I had the honour to meet Max and his staff in this amazing place called, Riad Azoulay. From the moment I arrived I felt right at home, the peace , the romantic and modern setting took my breath away.... the attention for detail in this stylish hidaway is truely impressive. The Suite Sultan in which I stayed was beyond my expectations, spacious, beautifully decorated and very comfortable. I found the staff very friendly and helpfull and Max an excellent host. Breakfast was a good selection of fresh juice, coffee, omelette, different marmelades, cake and bread. I had diner twice at the riad and this was also very satisfying. The hammam and massage room were small but very clean like the whole Riad, bravo Max ! I whish you all the best with your beautiful gem and thank you for making my stay a memorable one........untill next time, Insallah.....

Warm regards

Arthur Stippel
Netherlands

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled solo
    • 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?
Thank Arthur000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
parma, italy
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

Our expereince of Riad Azoulay was excellent. The peaceful courtyard, the sunny terrace, the great service provided by Massimiliano, the owner and his staff. In a busy city like Marrakech it was a real pleasure to spend some time at the hotel, enjoying the view, the quiet courtyard, the hammam and the great breakfast and dinner.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ceciliaParma_Italy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2011

We stayed at Riad Azoulay with our 11-month old daughter. We were a tiny bit nervous beforehand about going to Marrakech with her, but it was a great holiday and Riad Azoulay was one of the highlights of our stay. Massimiliano is a very good proprietor and also a really genuinely nice guy. He went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable, and he also has a very nice staff. They couldn't have been more welcoming and hospitable.

We managed to leave our guidebook at home but Massimiliano gave us good advice on where to go and what to see. He cooked us a delicious meal our first evening. Our room was beautiful and very tastefully decorated. The courtyard is really beautiful with amazing banana plants overlooking the plunge pool - it creates a very nice atmosphere. You could really spend a lot of time there if you need a break from sightseeing. The location was very good, in a nice part of town and only 10 minutes walk from the main square. I also had the best massage I've had in a while at the riad. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • 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 ameliab49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Azoulay

Property: Riad Azoulay
Address: 3, Derb Jemaa El Kebir | Near Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 505 Hotels in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Azoulay 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Riad Azoualy is located in the Medina of Marrakech, in the middle of the Mellah, the ancient Jewish quarter of Marrakech, a few steps away from the Bahia Palace and a 10 minute walk from the legendary Jemaa-El-Fna square. The Riad Azoulay combines the comforts, the traditional ambiance and the charm of old riads. The building has been restored to its former splendor of the past using the traditional materials, finishes and techniques. The Riad Azoulay has five spacious rooms, all overlooking the internal patio and all furnished with air conditioning and heating, roomy wardrobes, small safes for personal effects, Internet and WI-FI connection, mineral water and fresh flowers daily. Soft plump pillows and sheets of Egyptian cotton will help to make your nights comfortable and dreamy! All the bathrooms are ensuite, and are equipped with hair-dryers, soft towels and top rate ecological toilet and beauty products. Each suite has an individual theme, giving them a unique and unforgettable character.Some of the rooms can be provided with a third bed. The African, Mauritanian and Syrian rooms have matrimonial beds which can be made into two singles. The Riad Azoulay boasts two magnificent junior suites, the Favorita and the Tibetan Suites, and two large sumptuous suites, the Sultana and Royale Suites. The suites, which have been decorated with great care and attention to detail, come equipped with air conditioning and central heating, spacious wardrobes, private safes for the guests' personal effects, Internet and WI-FI connection, and a daily supply of mineral water and fresh flowers. Soft plump pillows and sheets of the finest Egyptian cotton have been provided to ensure the guests with all one needs for a relaxing night's sleep.All the bathrooms are ensuite, and are equipped with hair-dryers, soft towels and top rate ecological toilet and beauty products. The typical Mediterranean breakfast, included in the tariff of the room, can be served "al fresco" on the patio or terrace, or in the winter months, in the ground floor dining area. Guests will able to begin their day with freshly baked bread, homemade marmalade and jams, boiled, fried, or scrambled eggs or omelettes,oven fresh cakes and biscuits, yoghurt, fresh fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, and of course coffee or tea. Light freshly made snacks are available throughout the day. Thus while you are basking in the sun on the terrace you could enjoy a Moroccan yoghurt made with honey and nuts, or a bowl of fresh fruit salad, or if something a little more filling is preferred, a "trio" of Moroccan salads, or a perhaps a sandwich of grilled vegetables, with goats' cheese and a touch of mint. Our dinners are the result of a fusion of Moroccan and Italian cuisine, served by candlelight, and followed by a relaxing herb tea. We never use processed foods in our kitchen, and all our meals are prepared using traditional methods. Our chef plans a delicious menu of the day with typical traditional Moroccan dishes, prepared with love and the freshest of ingredients. Try our "briouates" (small pastries with savoury fillings) or the famous "pastilla" with pigeon and almonds, Moroccan salads and soups, and our delicious tajines and couscous, and we are sure you will be delighted! As we are only a small hotel, guests are kindly asked to let the staff know if they would like to dine with us. The chef will make every attempt to satisfy any dietary requirements the guests may have. Vegetarians are made most welcome. Moroccan Cuisine is a perfect combination of various traditional cuisines and is one of the best in the world. Its fascinating mixture of flavours, aromas and colours, combined with its capacity to amalgamate vegetables, fish and fruit with delicate and refined spices, have made it renowned and appreciated the world over. Mediterranean, African, and Oriental cuisine have been fused with the local Berber traditions; the bitter-sweet tastes are inherited from the lands of Arabia, whereas the tradition of combining fruit with meat is Persian. The desserts, full of sugar and spice, are instead a Turkish passion. In order to know a country well, the is no better way than to study its traditional cuisine, taste its foods, and enjoy its flavours and aromas. Thus, with this aim in mind, the Riad Azoulay offers its guests the opportunity to join the chef Saida, who will reveal to them all the secrets of the Moroccan cuisine. During the course the chef will teach the students how to recognize and choose the correct spices for each dish, how to cook using the traditional methods, and how to prepare some true Moroccan meals to serve to their friends and family when they return home. Amongst other things students will be taught how to make cous cous with lamb stew and vegetables, how to use the terracotta tajine to braise meat with vegetables and fruit, and how to make some very special Moroccan desserts. The ritual of the Hammam, which heals the body and relaxes the mind, is available to our guests in our Wellbeing Centre. Guests can enjoy a relaxing steam bath or an invigorating body scrub in the candle lit hammam, sitting on the benches of Italian Carrara marble. Or maybe they would like to book a soothing massage by one of our qualified masseurs, and experience the exotic qualities of the locally sourced but world famous Moroccan Argan oil. ... more   less 
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