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Riad Suliman
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Reviewed 2 May 2014

My wife recently booked a trip to Morocco for the two of us and as someone always ready to try new destinations, but never the first to book them, I happily went along with it.
Apart from a recent incursion into Tunisia I am not one that has travelled North Africa extensively, so was fairly open minded about the whole thing.
We went to Marrakech and booked five nights at Riad Suliman.
The first thing that struck me was the drive into Marrakech from the airport. As someone who has driven in many countries including Russia and the Middle East , it was a curious mix of old and new with the cars dodging in and out of recently booked a trip to
the horse drawn carts and donkeys and the Kamikazee mopeds weaving between everything at speed with little apparent regard for anything that got in their way!
Our destination was inside the walls of Medina the old city, where the streets are narrow and winding as you would expect for an ancient city and the effect of the traffic seemed to intensify at every corner.
We arrived at what was a nondescript front door of a building and was told that this was where we were staying, this was backed up by the wording ‘Suliman’ written on the centre of the door.
As someone who in recent years has been a bit spoilt in relation to the accommodation I stay in and has come to appreciate the little luxuries in life I did at this point wonder what I had let myself in for.
However I always try to be open minded and this was no exception.
We knocked on the door and it was opened swiftly by a young woman who introduced herself as Dagmara, the owner of the Riad . We were ushered into the hallway past the reception desk on the right and to a table and chairs in the main area. I scanned the area and noticed that there was a balcony that went around the first floor of the building and a small decorative pool area in the centre of the ground floor with places for sitting to the right and rear of the area.
Before I could investigate any further Dagmara got down to business. She was dynamic and professional and I was struck by her passion for what she has created and displayed all the attributes of a successful entrepreneur.
She explained in detail the concept of a Riad, which in laypersons terms is basically a traditional Moroccan guest house and not a chain hotel.
We were given all the necessary instructions in relation to timings for dinner and breakfast and then shown to our room on the first floor. ‘Quirky’ is a word that comes to mind, but definitely in a positive way. The doors to the rooms are secured by bolts and padlocks and as I looked back at the balcony that went around the first floor it almost had a medieval fortress feel to it.
The room itself was immaculate and as expected in traditional Moroccan style with a double bedroom and spacious bathroom. We unpacked our luggage and went downstairs for dinner as booked for 7.30pm. Dinner was served on time by way of a traditional Moroccan Tajine and was in effect home cooking and did not disappoint.
The staff were friendly and helpful in particular Mohammed and his understudy Ayoub who were both attentive and communicated effectively in English.
At the top of the building is a roof terrace with sunbeds and there is also a hammam and massage area, which we took advantage of on one occasion and found to be an enjoyable experience as you basically have it to yourselves if you book the masseuse in advance.
Throughout the week we went on several excursions and also explored the souks and shops after receiving sound advice from Dagmara as to the do's and don'ts with positive results.
At the end of the trip I felt that I had a good look at Marrakech and that Riad Suliman was a sound base for this experience. Dagmara runs a tight ship and delivers effectively what I now understand to be the concept of a successful Riad. Definitely ten out of ten!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank chris1962274
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2014

The success of this Riad is based on the creative activities and hard work of a very talented and imaginative young lady, who not only speaks fluent Arabic, English and French, but managed to open her own Riad, which was quite a controversial thing to do for a European national.
I thought it would be a good idea to stay in a traditional Moroccan Riad as opposed to a hotel (when in Rome…) and it definitely paid off. There are 8 bedrooms in the Suliman and each guest gets very personal attention. Every room has its own décor, very comfortable beds (it’s important for me as I have a bad back), traditional Moroccan interior and nice finishing touches, which made it feel quite homely. In the morning they serve you freshly cooked pancakes, omelettes, pastries, make freshly squeezed orange juice just as if you are staying with your relatives or friends. If they recommend you a restaurant or shop it will be a genuine reference and not because their cousin is the owner of the shop or they get some commission from the restaurant for the table reservations (pretty common practice in Morocco).
My husband and I booked a quad bike tour with Marrakech Quad Evasion(an amazing experience, by the way!) and during the breakfast mentioned it to Dagmara. Our meeting point was at Bahia Palace, which according to Dagmara could be quite busy in the morning as lots of travel agents and companies use it as a pick up point. She straight away asked one of the loveliest members of the staff Ayoub to accompany us to the Palace and make sure we get on the right tour. We were very impressed with how hands on she was with everything.
We had a private tour to the Atlas Mountains booked through the Riad and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The driver spoke perfect English (which is quite an exception for Marrakech), told us a few interesting things about Berber villages, took us to the argan oil presentation point and a shop of natural oil based products on our request, after that we climbed up the mountains with a guide and took numerous pictures of waterfalls and small Berber villages. This excursion gives you more insight into Moroccan life, you will see a different Morocco to the one inside Medina. I felt it was quite therapeutic to look at mountain rivers, waterfalls, picturesque sceneries and Berber villages.
We also found the concept of the Riad’s Honesty bar quite appealing. You can relax on a roof top terrace, enjoy any drinks from the fridge (beer, wine, spirits or soft drinks) and later on just make a note on a list regarding your consumption.
Try to have at least one lunch or dinner in the Riad – Aziza is an amazing cook! You can have Tagine of your choice. And if you are into cooking, it’s even more reason to have a cooking class with Aziza. First you will go to the market together with Aziza and Dagmara, pick up all the ingredients, spices and herbs for the dish of your choice. You can even witness how they will behead a chicken at the local butchers (if you wish, of course, otherwise they will just make it all ready for you while you are shopping for the vegetables). After that you will return to the small and cozy kitchen of the Riad, where Aziza will cook the main course and side dishes in front of you. Dagmara will interpret the whole process for you step by step as Aziza doesn’t speak English. You can write down all the secrets of preparing delicious Moroccan dishes and after that just sample them on the roof terrace with a glass of wine or two and deliberate on the cooking experience.
We like our spa treatments, so on the last day we decided to try a hammam and massage session (you have to book it at least 2 hours in advance). It was very enjoyable! We had our hammam scrubbing together and the masseuse scrubs you in turns with the traditional black soap. After that I had a massage with the famous argan oil and my husband was sunbathing on the roof terrace, waiting for his turn. What a superb end to this nice and relaxing break!
All in all, it was a very interesting visit and I can’t praise Riad Suliman and its staff enough as they made our trip! Not only is the Riad a perfect location for exploring Marrakech (especially for the first time visitors as we were), when all the main attractions and museums are on your door step, but it’s a wonderful place to have a rest, meet new people, get answers to any of your questions and just have a drink and friendly chat after exploring the sites of this bustling city. What more you can wish for a perfect city break?

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank brettanka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

First I must apologise for the lateness of this review, but you know what they say "better late than never". I like to always make a point of reviewing as I know how helpful I find them.

If you want a taste of the authentic Marrakech within the city wall, within walking distance of the centre, this is a convenient place to say. We booked via Secret Escapes, which claims to offer discounted luxury hotel stays. Whilst I wouldn't describe Riad Suliman as luxurious, it offers the experience of a traditional Riad, including Moroccan decor, as well as handmade soap and cosmetics in the bathroom. Our room was small and basic but interesting - just enough room for the bed and a bit dark, because of no windows to the outside, but very atmospheric, if you like that vibe. We had paid extra for a superior room so I suppose the standard rooms must be even smaller, I kept reminding myself that we were staying at a Riad, not a hotel. The roof terrace was a lovely place to go for some sunlight and there was an honesty bar where you could help yourself to drinks from the fridge and write it down to add to your bill - a nice touch, but open to possible mistakes and misinterpretation.
Before we travelled we received some really helpful emails from the Dagmara and were asked if we wanted to eat at the Riad Suliman the first night and telling us about the delicious traditional tagine with almonds and apricots that was on offer, so we agreed. When we arrived, we were welcomed by Dagmara, who served us Moroccan mint tea and gave us some more useful information. By dinner time we were very hungry and looking forward to the delicious tagine. We were really disappointed when we are told that another kind of tagine had been prepared. Dagmara said it was, "a special one, with special spices, which had been made for a good friend of hers (not us) because the friend really likes it" Where was our tagine with apricots and almonds?
The meal started with Morrocan salads which consisted of three dishes of largely unrecognisable cooked and soggy vegetables which were very cold and appeared to have been taken out of the freezer. This was follow by the highly anticipated tagine which had a greyish, beige colour and very little taste. The most appetising course was the pudding -cooked pears. So the first night we went to bed feeling quite hungry as we were only able to eat the pudding. We always feel quite worried about offending/criticising the chef for fear of retribution, especially at the beginning of a stay and we are also very polite, so we said nothing! If I remember, we are charged over 25 euros each for this uneaten meal!
The Secret Escapes package included two tours (The Souk and places outside the city) which whilst giving us some one- to- one attention and information also included highly pressurised sales tactics in all the places we visited.
During our stay we had some really lovely chats with a Polish young man - a member of the staff, whose name I forget unfortunately. He made our stay more comfortable, although he was politely stopped from chatting too much, by Dagmara - I guess he had work to do! I would like to thank that young man for passing the time of day with us and doing his best to make us feel welcome.
A 30 minute hamman was apparently include in the price of the package but we were told that this only allowed us to sit in the hamman room for 30 minutes. In the event, we opted for a massage as well and so were give the scrub too. It was never made clear what was actually included in the ham man. The massage was absolutely wonderful though, so it was well worth paying extra.
After our first dining experience we ate out on the other three nights of our stay. The Riad Suliman breakfasts were good and well presented though. Each morning was different and included something hot (e.g. a boiled egg or omelette), cakes, bread and jams as well as a hot drink and yoghurt. Good traditional style Moroccan breakfasts.
As you’ve probably gathered, we have mixed feeling about the service we were offered at the Riad Sulliman and don’t understand the glowing reviews some people have written about the food and Dagmara’s friendliness and helpfulness. We had a quite different experience. It was an Ok stay and authentically Moroccan, but we would choose somewhere else to stay, if we return to Marrakeck.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Loragirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

We just arrived from Riad Suliman!
Hotel is located Inside the Medina centre - there is only 300 metres to famous Jemaa El Fna Place. Amazing place with all main attractions close around - everywhere you can get by feet. Hidden magic place. Rooms are very spacious with large exotic designed bathrooms.
We were welcome with warm hospitality of the hotel stuff. Delicious food and possiblity of getin chilled beer anytime - so helpful during hot days.
I reccomend that place for long stay, to take a total relax and get the amazing view form the tarace roof - with the Marrakech panorama. Best regards!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank DONALD L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

We stayed 4 nights in this cozy hotel, and had a really good time there. The Riad is a good starting point for exploring Marrakech. The location is superb - in the centre of the city, but away from the noise and chaos of the Medina, just a 15-20 min walk from the central square (Jemaa El Fna) and the central Medina. It is located in walking distance from all attractions. After our first tour of the city we felt quite comfortable navigating the city.

It is a small hotel so there is a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Since it is so small we also got to know some of the other guests and had a good time with them.

From the outside the Riad looks vey inconspicuous, but once you are inside it is very cozy with all rooms facing the courtyard and a small pool. We had a nice and clean room on the first floor so we could enjoy this from a distance.

The hotel terrace is superb, with great views of the city and a great place to see the sun set or the city wake up. It has a good shaded area for those not inclined to stay directly in the sun.

Dagmara and her staff were very helpful in arranging transportation, guiding us the specific points of interest and making restaurant reservations (can be necessary on the good restaurants) and were just very friendly.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
Thank Hajsgaard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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