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“Wonderful Stay”
Review of Riad Joya

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Riad Joya
Ranked #90 of 501 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 February 2014

My friend Amy and I have been stationed in Germany for the past 3 years, and we wanted to make one last vacation before we return to the US next week. We were originally going to stay in a hotel outside of the medina but we decided to go with the Riad Joya at the last minute, and we were both glad we did.

Day 1: The Riad was wonderful in every way. A stay here includes an airport transfer, which went without a hitch. As others have mentioned, it's a bit of a walk from where the car drops you and the entrance to the Riad. There were no concerns for us about getting lost though - Noureddine met us at the car drop-off, had a porter grab our suitcases for us, and showed us the way to the Riad. He was extremely helpful and informative even in this first meeting, telling us a bit about the area we were passing through and showing us some landmarks as we went. Once we arrived at the Riad we were given Moroccan tea and pastries while our belongings were brought to our room.

As soon as we were ready we were brought to our room on the 2nd floor - a free upgrade from the room that we had originally booked. The room was lovely, with a king-sized bed, large couch-seating area, a writing desk in a little alcove, and the bathroom area. Bathrobes, very soft towels, slippers, and toiletries were all provided (shampoo and conditioner separate, instead of the usual cheap "conditioning shampoo" combo that you see most places). The shower itself had 2 attachments, either a sprayer that hooked into the wall or a rainfall attachment built into the ceiling. The water was plenty hot with good pressure. The bed was firm, but since this is very common everywhere in Europe Amy and I weren't bothered by it at all. Housekeeping did an excellent job, with fresh fruit and water replenished every time we returned to the room and candles lit before we returned in the evenings.

When we had freshened up and were ready to start seeing the area, Noureddine walked us to the main square, carefully pointing out landmarks along the way so that we could find our way back. He also pointed out a few things in the square (ATMs, that sort of thing), made sure we had his number if we needed anything, and wished us a pleasant day. We had a great day exploring the square and the souks in the side-streets, and when we returned to the Riad Noureddine booked a dinner for us at the local Cafe Arab (decent food, although not our favorite place that we ate while in Morocco). He also booked a trip for us to the Atlas mountains for the next day, despite the late notice. When we retured from dinner he was up waiting to make sure we made it back safely, something we noticed that he did every evening while we were there.

Day 2: Breakfast the next morning was very good - freshly-squeezed orange juice, Moroccan tea or coffee depending on our preference, bread, croissants, cheese and a variety or jams/spreads. We discovered the 2nd morning that we could have requested eggs as well if we'd wanted, but we were both happy with that was provided.

Our guide to the Atlas mountains, Balja, (I'm probably messing up the spelling, sorry!) also took us to Essaouira the day after, and was extremely knowledgeable and competent. We had a great time seeing one of the local Argan Oil coops, riding camels, and wandering through a town in the mountains.

When we returned that day, we wandered the souks again before eating dinner at the Riad. Noureddine and Mehdi recommended a lemon chicken tagine when we asked that morning, so that's what we went with. It was fantastic, made with fresh ingredients from the market that day, and the chicken was very moist. We had a bottle of local wine as well. This meal was a little pricey compared to other meals that we had during our stay, but it was delicious and worth doing at least once.

Day 3: Breakfast was as good as the first day, and we got an early start to Essaouira, a harbor town about 2.5 hours away. Balja stopped on the way so that we could take pictures with the goats in the argan trees, and when we arrived he showed us to a local fish market that catered less to tourists and more to the locals. With his recommendations we selected some fresh fish from the morning's catch and it was cooked on the spot for us. As simple as it was,this was probably our favorite meal of the trip. It cost about 300 dirham, which for 3 kg of fish is pretty cheap! After making sure we knew where we were in the town and where to meet him, Balja left us to our own devices for a few hours.

That evening we ate at another recommendation of Noureddine's. I don't actually remember the name of the place, but it's next to the Boulangerie up the street. Dinner there was good, although not as good as at the Riad. We met a lovely pair of friends from South Africa who worked in the Consulate, and got to enjoy some great conversation with people who have similar tastes and lifestyles (that sort of thing is the best part about travelling to a place like this, btw - don't be afraid to strike up random conversations with people around you!).

Day 4: The next morning we got in some last-minute shopping, then had couscous with a local carpet-seller that we had bought from the day prior - Palais les al Moravides. The shop was another recommendation by Noureddine, and we found it far superior to a cuple other places we had checked out in the main square and some of the souks. After couscous another porter loaded our bags while Mehdi and Noureddine showed us how to properly make Moroccan tea - definitely worth asking about even if you don't buy a tea set while you're there! Then another trip to the airport and the conclusion to our last vacation here.

All in all a wonderful stay - ask for recommendations on places to eat and shops to buy things at (we bought carpets and lanterns at places that Noureddine recommended, and tea sets at a place that a scarf-seller recommended - Haj Ahmed Chhaima in case ou're curious). Getting those recommendations helps find delicious food and better-quality gifts, instead of the standard cheap tourist fare. I would definitely stay at the Riad Joya again if I ever have a chance to revisit Marrakech!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
Thank cbonadeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear Cbonadeo and Amy

It looks like you had a very interesting time in our Country and we are delighted about it.
We would like to thank you for all your nice comments: you have caught the spirit of Joya in its full essence.
We are glad about your comments on our toiletries: we use a local small artisanal company that produces only natural products of good quality and we all know that when we travel - we need this comfort of trusting the toiletries that we find in our accommodation.
Echerifa will be happy to read your comments about housekeeping service. We are all proud of the job she does with passion and heart.
Mehdi says hurrah for your preference for his food)
Last but not least: Noureddine and the Joya family would like to thank you for the confidence you have put in our hospitality: Noureddine has this in his DNA and will always do all that he can to make anyone he meets on his path happy.

It is wonderful to read that we were your treat before going back to the States.
Safe travels and come back to your home in Marrakech when you like ))

Khalid & Joya

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107 - 113 of 291 reviews

Reviewed 18 February 2014

My title may be repetitive, but it truly summarizes Riad Joya. There is no better home base than the Riad Joya after fighting through the hustle and bustle of the Medina. The service is impeccable. From the pickup at the airport to the personal chaperones to the restaurants in the evenings, the attention to guests is remarkable. Nor and Staff can't be beat. Fresh fruits, juice, and water each evening, sumptuous breakfast, evening turndown service, gorgeous guest suites, knowledgeable and attentive staff, perfect location, and beautiful atmosphere. Once you get there you realize that the service and location was well worth the cost. There is no better value within the medina than Riad Joya. Absolutely remarkable.

Room Tip: All the rooms are perfect
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank TheMacallan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear Mark R

On behalf of Noureddine and the rest of Joya family thank you for your very kind words.
We are very happy that you enjoyed our hospitality, the service and the comfort of our home.
We will keep a great souvenir of your visit and cannot wait to welcome you back again.

Khalid & Joya

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Reviewed 18 February 2014

Simply charming visit to a hidden oasis within the city. The staff defines Moroccan hospitality and instantly makes you feel at home and at ease. The location cannot be beat, it is centrally located for daily souk shopping or exploration of the city. The hidden alley way leading to the riad extinguishes the hustle of the busy streets. Perfect vacation, cannot wait to return to the riad joya!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear Amy B

What a true definition of our little gem Joya.

We were very pleased of your presence in our home and we hope that you will be back soon.

Khalid & Joya

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Reviewed 10 February 2014

We had a fantastic time in Marrakech and staying at the Riad Joya was one of the highlights. The service was amazing, the rooms were wonderful and the dinner was superb. The staff were all attentive and helpful, guiding us through the streets of the medina and suggesting restaurants and excursions for us. We would stay here again in an instant, and can't wait to return someday!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank jasaew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear Jasaew

Your words make us really happy!

We are delighted that you enjoy our hospitality and our cuisine.

We hope that you will come back soon and invite you to stay in contact.

Khalid & Joya

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Reviewed 10 February 2014

If you really want to experience the delights of Marrakech - stay here!

My family organised this stay for my 21st birthday as a surprise and it couldn't have been better!!!This amazing riad is situated right within the medina so gives you a chance to really witness the culture such as the souks, market life etc...
The moment you arrived in the country, the staff couldn't have been more welcoming, helpful and fun! Attending your every need and organising ANYTHING you wanted, as well as making it a relaxing easy stay!
Fabulous morrocon style food was provided whenever you wanted it, fabulous decour all over the riad (tasteful and stylish) a real taste or Morocco.
It has made my 21st birthday UNFORGETTABLE! I will really miss this place as it was a really unique and exceptional experience! Plus these people were the most polite and friendly community I have had the pleasure to meet thus far :)

THANK YOUUUUUUUU! <3

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Danielle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear Danielle A

Fantastic!! What a great joy to red that you spent a memorable birthday celebration with us.

We are really happy that you have enjoyed all, decor and food and regarding your comments about polite and friendly we are especially proud to contribute to give this image of our Country))

Come back with your family and friends and stay in contact.

Khalid & Joya

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Reviewed 18 January 2014

Everything about the Riad Joya exceeded our expectations. We have stayed at guest houses in the US, the experience at Riad Joya was on another level. Everything about the stay was exceptional, from the morning breakfast, to the staff assistance with sight seeing tours. We even took advantage of a dinner prepared by the Riad staff on our last night. The dinner was just wonderful, paired with great Moroccan wines.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JeffP5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear Jeff

Thank you thank you thank you for the very kind words.

Chef Mehdi and we are thrilled at your comments on the dinner you enjoyed at Riad Joya.

Riad Joya is your home in Marrakech.

Khalid & Joya

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Reviewed 12 January 2014

Before arriving at Riad Joya, I read many reviews which described it as an oasis in the madness of the Marrakech medina. This couldn't be more accurate.

Based in an excellent location near the souks and jemaa el fna, one must make their way down a narrow alleyway to arrive at the entrance. The arrival just adds to the charm, as once you enter, you are amazed at the gorgeous and serene riad that awaits you.

Each of the rooms are uniquely decorated and you really can't go wrong. There are many small things and attention to detail that makes the experience special-- Mint tea upon arrival; fresh and dried fruit awaiting you each time you come back to your room; Fresh flowers in the room, as well as lit candles in the evening.

The staff is so friendly and helpful. Noredine went out of his way to assist us and really helped make the stay memorable. The free breakfast in the morning was excellent.

You cant choose this riad confidently-- You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank go12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ButlerJoya, General Manager at Riad Joya, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Dear go12345

Thank you for the wonderful words.

Noureddine and the rest of the Joya family are delighted to read that you appreciated all the details that we prepared for you.

Please come back to enjoy more.

Khalid & Joya

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Additional Information about Riad Joya

Address: Hay Mouassine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #90 of 501 Hotels in Marrakech
Price Range: £168 - £274 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Joya 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Joya is a luxury intimate retreat nestled in the very heart of the Medina of Marrakech in the historical and protected area of the Mouassine, just few steps from the Djemaa el Fna square, the main monuments, the souk and the most exciting attractions of the “red city”.A gem of timeless beauty and sophisticated atmosphere, where discrete luxury fuses with eclectic style.The property reflects the traditional architecture of the riads, built around a small courtyard which is an oasis of tranquility, and features two stylish salons and a panoramic roof terrace.The roof top is the best place to savor a sumptuous breakfast, unwind during the aperitif ritual or surprise the one you love with a romantic dinner under the stars. ... more   less 
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