I was travelling with my mother to Marrakech for the first time and what a brilliant time we had. But I can honestly say that this is down to Riad Shambala and it's wonderful host, Mohammed.
We had read the reviews about how helpful he would be and we were not disappointed. He was wonderful! Travelling as two women alone, and having never visited Africa before we were quite apprehensive! Especially when we arrived at the Medina wall and saw how busy and confusing the place was! But step through the Riad doors and you're greeted with gorgeous smells and beautiful, tranquil surroundings. Our room was perfect for us and the terraces were a lovely place to relax before heading out into the chaos of Marrakech! Mohammed made us feel really special and when he found out it was my mother's birthday he went out of his way to get a cake for her and the staff all sang happy birthday in Berber! We won't forget this kind gesture.
When we arrived Mohammed talked us through where to go, where not to go, who to avoid, how not to get ripped off/hassled.... and thank god he told us all of this! The guide books and what I'd read online were not nearly as helpful as he was. He also recommended us a great restaurant which we highly recommend - Jad Mahal - where you'll find a stunning low lit restaurant with belly dancing and a great atmosphere. Mohammed arranged taxi's for us when we went out in the evening and we would get escorted to the restaurant door which we really appreciated as Marrakech can feel a little threatening at times. Although all in all, it's a pretty safe place and the Moroccans are so friendly, with a great sense of humour!
The Riad is extremely quiet at night and in the morning you're woken by little tweeting birds which is lovely. The staff were lovely and nothing was too much trouble. It really did feel like a home away from home.
I highly recommend Riad Shambala. I honestly believe we would have had a different trip had we not met Mohammed and his team.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This beautiful RIAD is located within the walls of Marrakech Medina or, as it is also known, the ancient part of the city.Inaugurated in September 2011, the hotel represents the realisation of Carlos, its owner´s, dream."Carlos' Dream" as it is known (which is inscripited in Arabic on the door of the Riad) brings to life his artistic interpretation and vision of a traditional Moroccan Riad.Every single detail, from the construction, the location, style & furnishings of the Riad are recreated in the classical & traditional manner which is typically Moroccan and one that the locals would recognise and admire as a typical Moroccan RiadThis vision enables the guests to engage themselves and appreciate the beauty and passion of this beautiful city with surroundings that bring to life of an era long forgotten but brought to life by the traditional settings of the Riad.During the Riad's construction only traditional Moroccan materials were used, such as Tadelakt plaster (concrete hand polished stone), Bejmat (baked clay), all of which was hand produced individually using traditional tools producing a complete piece of artisan work.Relax and enjoy drinking cocktail's or mint tea in its lounges or by the swimming-pool; far away from the hustle and bustle of the streets in the heart of Marrakech Medina, with the backdrop of the magnificient snowed Atlas mountains, or watch a beautiful sunset over the city at the end of the day, the choice is entirely yours.Do not miss the romantic experience of arriving at night at the Riad and going up to your room with a traditional candle lighting the way, whilst in the morning awake to a wonderful breakfast which can be taken in any of the Riad's charming locations or terraces.If you wish so, book your evening dinner at the Riad, you will certainly not forget the experience of tasting wonderful original Moroccan food on the patio or one of the many terraces, all set in a complete relaxed atmosphere enabling you to forget about the worries of the world. ... more less
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