This hotel offers everything a guest can possibly hope for; wonderful building, courteous and efficient service and total peace and serenity. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and the place is absolutely spotless.
It is difficult to believe that such a peaceful haven lies amidst the total chaos, and bustle of the alleyways of the souks.
Upon arrival, we were met by the hotel 's driver at the airport,as arranged, and transferred to the gateway near the hotel as cars are not allowed within the City walls. A porter took our luggage to the hotel where we were met by the hotel manager and a mint tea. Very welcoming!
Our room was delightful. Very traditional. Well appointed. Beautiful.
The hotel arranged a walking tour the following morning with a guide to provide us with some interesting info and help us get our bearings. The Souks can be an intimidating place initially and it was reassuring to have a local with us.
Unfortunately we were taken to 3 shops by the guide so be prepared to say ,"No" if you do not want to buy. We found this slightly annoying, although the tour in general was enjoyable.
We also went on a tour of the Atlas Mountains, again organised by the hotel. We had our own driver for the day and were advised that we could go on a gentle hike in the mountains if we wanted. The gentle hike was more strenuous than we thought, involving some scrambling up rocks and it was lucky that our footwear was appropriate.
We were met by a walking guide in the mountains which we assumed was included in the price of the tour, which cost us 90 euros, paid to the driver.
The walking guide advised us at the end of the hike that his personal cost was 200 dirhams. We felt that this should have been made clear to us at the outset, so be prepared to pay extra if you do the Atlas Mountain hike.
The advantage of staying in the Riad Kniza is that you are staying in the medina and experiencing traditional Marrakech. Some might say that the medina's people live in squalor but we found that the area and it's people had a certain charm. Expect your senses to be pummelled with the sights, sounds and smells of the medina. It was very interesting to see the different culture and how life is lived by the locals.
We did not feel under threat whilst in the medina even at night despite the apparent poverty.
Not all is pleasant however and if you are an animal lover you may be upset by the manner in which animals are treated. Animals seem to be treated with less respect than we are used to.
You need to be vigilant in the souks as there is a constant stream of scooters, mules and motor bikes bring driven through the narrow lanes of the souks with little regard for those on foot. We saw numerous near misses but remarkably, no accidents! More by luck than judgement!
Go to the Riad Kniza and enjoy the experience. I doubt you will find a better hotel as this is exactly how all hotels should be run, but very few will reach these standards.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This perfectly located 18th-century riad has been in the Bouskri family for almost 200 years and offers the complete package of traditional architecture, authentic furnishings, exquisite cuisine and, above all, overwhelmingly hospitable service. The owner, Mohamed Bouskri, having been a guide for the rich and famous for 34 years (Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, former US presidents and others) is a mine of information and is always glad to share his knowledge and passion of Marrakech. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Kniza Marrakech
- Riad Kniza Hotel Marrakech