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“Picture Perfect”
Review of Riad Kniza

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Riad Kniza
Ranked #14 of 499 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 November 2008

This was a boutique hotel to remember. Greeted by fantastic staff headed by the family that owns the Riad we felt like we were staying in their home. It was lovely to relax in the salon overlooking the courtyard and fountain and sip mint tea (or coffee if you wish) after coming in through the busy streets of the souk. Our room was very generous size, but beware if you cannot negotiate stairs. The staff is very accomadating, from bringing laptops to your room to organising laundry. Make sure you leave enough time to relax near the pool and also on the rooftop. I suggest having lunch on the roof. If we are ever in Marrakech again we woldn't hesitate to visit Riad Kniza again.

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Thank BoutiqueBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,108 - 1,114 of 1,464 reviews

Reviewed 22 October 2008

Where do I start?? All the other reviewers have said it all--but until I experienced Riad Kniza I couldn't have understood how right they have been in their praise.

1. Our welcome: the owner brought us the traditional tea and cookies. When reviewing our room choice I asked him if he thought I had made the right decision. He said that that two rooms had opened since I booked and maybe I would like one better. He showed us one and I said that I would love to have it. Understand that the suitcases had already been placed in the other room (up narrow stairs on the opposite side of the building). He asked if we would like to have a drink while we waited for the change. On top of that, the new room was less expensive than the original one. And-being completely booked by the next day it took rearranging for him to accomplish this. Obviously we were impressed.

2. The Riad: The website is accurate-but doesn't do it justice in depicting the beauty and warmth throughout. The building is centuries old but is updated to the point that there is not one thing lacking as far as amenities are concerned. It has been owned by the same family for generations and they obviously take extreme pride in it as well they should.

3. Our room: Exquisite! The colors, the layout, the decor (carved dome above the bed, separate anti-room with leather desk, chair and lamp for work or makeup, tile fireplace, sofa in vibrant colors, amazing silk curtains) Also-the bathroom was perfect. Good light, deep tub, separate toilet, immaculate.

4. The staff: We have never met a nicer group of people. They would have done anything we asked--really--I don't think they would have said no to anything. One day I called to ask if maybe they might be able to have hot cereal for breakfast--everyday afterwards it was available. They remembered that one day we had ordered eggs--everyday they asked if we wanted them.
They were not fawning or obsequious--just attentive, caring, and good at what they do. My husband doesn't usually go on and on as I do--but at the end he took the owner aside to ask if it would be appropriate to tip them individually even though those charges were included in the bill. Each person was delighted and surprised.

5. The food: Great. Every morning breakfast was served in our room--but we could have had it in one of the lounges, the roof terrace, etc. We had two dinners at the Riad and they were beautiful. We were concerned that there was waste having served us way more food than we could eat. The owner assured us that anything extra went to those who needed it.

6. Extras: The Friday night cocktail party! Every week this is given. Cocktails and then dinner with the rest of the guests in one of the lounges. There is great ceremony in the serving, a Belly Dancer, and wine that flowed. We all pulled our tables together and had a great time talking with the other guests.

This is enough--but if you want any more information do not hesitate to e-mail me.
mary@pixellany.com

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MaryPasadena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2008

Firstly, let me say that my husband and I are not “bed and breakfast” types. We normally prefer much bigger resorts. However, after reading the number of positive reviews on Tripadvisor we decided to try Riad Kniza. We cannot say enough positive things about this Riad. It was amazing. The quality touches in this place are outstanding- from the suites to the doors (beautiful) to the ceilings (amazing) and the food! This Riad is one of the nicest places I have ever stayed in before and I’ve stayed in quite a few nice places around the world.

One word of caution – when you first get there it is a bit of a culture shock. Don’t let that throw you. Because Riad Kniza is down an alleyway the driver will have to take you close and then you have to walk (very short distance) to the Riad. The look on my husband’s face when we got out of the car was something like “what have you gotten me into” but once we got to the Riad we were both pleasantly surprised. When I read in another review about “an oasis” behind the door I didn’t fully understand until I got there. It is truly an oasis.

Be sure to take advantage of the included ½ day guided tour around Marrakech. We did this on our first full day and it helped us to acclimate.

It is about a good 10 min walk to Jemma El Fna and the souks. Be sure to bargain – never pay what they first ask. If they won’t agree to your price then walk away. Another note of caution – the snake charmers at Jemma El Fna want a lot of money to take their picture and/or have your picture taken with them. Give them what you think is fair and then walk away – they won’t follow you. Also, many of the orange juice stands reuse their glasses so I wouldn’t get an oj from any stand unless they have plastic cups you can take with you.

The food at the Riad is delicious. When they say “mixed salad” they actually mean small plates of cooked vegetables – delicious. The tangine chicken is also scrumptious. I will now be looking for a Moroccan restaurant near my house :) Another restaurant that is nice and reasonably priced is Café de La Poste. The Riad had a welcoming Cocktail hour and dinner one evening with musicians and a belly dancer. That was really nice. Also, one dinner was included with our stay.

We spent one night in the Atlas Mountains and hiked up to Mt Toubkal and visited the Kasbah at the top. We really were not impressed by the Kasbah – save your money (they charge a small fee to go inside) and when you get to the top instead of going to the left to the Kasbah go to the right. You can get wonderful photos from that location. We also took a ride through the Ourika Valley and that was nice. The Riad arranged for the driver. We were able to stop at a Berber house and were served mint tea and bread with honey, butter and olive oil. We gave a small fee to the owner of the house. There were some children that followed us up to the house while we were there but our driver said that sometimes tourists think these children are starving and said they are well fed and attend school. He said sometimes tourists give then candies or pens and if I had known that I would have taken some.

I took advantage of the Hammam and a massage at the Riad. I have gotten massages many times but this was the first time I ever have been to a Hammam. I should probably mention that you should leave your modesty at the door. First, you sit in the Hammam for 5-10 minutes. It’s very foggy in there, much more than a sauna. Then the masseuse came in (I was a little shocked because I was sitting in there naked and didn’t recognize the guy at first) and he put this black soap all over me (I’ve forgotten exactly what it was) and then he scrubbed me. Now, that actually hurt some but it really did a great exfoliation job and my skin still feels nice. The massage is after the Hammam treatment and it was good but it was really more of a relaxation massage and I am used to deep tissue massages.

We actually changed rooms each day because the Riad was fully booked and that was the only way we could get in. It really wasn’t a hassle because the staff moved everything for us and we got to experience three different suites – Kenza, Ambar and Bahia. The Bahia suite is like an apartment – it’s that big and absolutely beautiful and the Ambar suite is two levels. My favorite though was probably Kenza because of it’s location. It’s on the open courtyard second level and the door to the suite was really neat. The lock on the door was very unique and the windows in Kenza were sort of like a window within a window- beautiful.

The weather was perfect during this time (9-14 Oct). It’s a great time of year to visit Marrakech because it’s warm during the day and it’s still nice at night although you may need a light jacket.

Although I hate to add a negative because there really isn’t anything negative about this Riad but there is one tiny thing that can be improved upon and this is really being “nit picky” - - we couldn’t find any tissues/kleenex in any of the suites. A little odd but certainly not a deal-breaker.

We met some really nice couples at the Riad – everyone was so friendly. I also really appreciate all the assistance from Kamal and his staff. Everyone was very helpful. If you have the chance to visit Riad Kniza you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TWS_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2008

All the reviews of Marrakech wax lyrical but, we struck gold with Kniza. Yes it is more expensive than the average, but having stayed in a much lower price place on our return to Marrakech for the airport, I can say that the money at Kniza was very well spent. I do not think I have ever stayed in a more comfortable, luxurious hotel. The staff were absolutely lovely. The pool and the rooms are perfect. If you are looking for a really stunning few days in Marrakech, this is the place.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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Thank JontyOC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2008

Marrakech is a fantastic destination to visit but after a few hours in the insanity of the souks you really need a break.
Down an alley in the most unlikely of places you will find the doors of the riad Kniza.
The riad is an oasis of calm and as soon as the large wooden door closes you are transported to another world.
There are a number of open courtyards one of which contains a pool, it is unnerving how the noise from outside disappears.
The staff are very courteous, friendly and committed to making your stay as stress free as possible.
Throughout you will find classy furnishings befitting this upmarket riad. The room was of a very high quality tastfully decorated in a traditional style.
All mod cons are available and the wifi connection very good (especially on the roof terrace).
It is quite an intimate place to stay and we totally chilled out.
Being classy it was also a tad pricey but you do get what you pay for!
This is the place to come to be able to enjoy the vibrancy of the souks and the oasis that is riad Kniza.
p.s. Do take up the free airport transfers as you can't get to the riad by taxi

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank AlanAnnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2008

My wife and I have just returned from a 4 night stay at Riad Kniza and would recommend this Riad wholeheartedly.

Our transfer was waiting for us at the airport and we were warmly welcomed on arrival and shown around the property by Kamal, before taking our (first of many) mint tea on the roof terrace.

Having read the positive reviews on this site, and chosen our room (Suite Kenza) via their own website, everything was as good or better than we expected.

All the staff without exception were friendly, very helpful and charming throughout our stay.

Our comlimentary tour of the medina on our first morning was very useful and our guide very knowledgable and good company. A useful orientation of the Souks etc before you go exploring yourself.

We used the new Spa at the Riad and enjoyed an invigorating Hamman - highly recommended.

We dined at the Riad mid afternoon (on the roof terrace) and every dish we tried was freshly prepared and very tasty. Breakfast in our room was also very good.

We dined at Cafe Arabe on our first night - relaxed and fashionable. We also ate in the square at Jamaa al-fna at a barbeque stand to take in the experience at night.

Reservations were made for us at Amanjena (and a transfer arranged for 300 dirham return and was 20 minutes) We had a lovely evening at this hotel and would recommend it if you enjoy fine dining.

We also dined at Dar Moha, a short walk from Riad Kniza. Very friendly staff, enjoyable tasting menu and traditional music by the courtyard pool.

Riad Kniza deserves all the positive reviews because you feel so welcome, the property is immaculate, the location is ideal (a completely different world just outside the alleyway) and it is so tranquil.

Marrakech is a great city, with so much to to interest travellers, and we could not fault Riad Kniza as a perfect place to explore it from.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank MLUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2008

an amazing place to stay, the staff were all extremly freindly and would do anything to make your stay comfortable in our case arranged food to accomodate special requirments, we too got upgraded to a larger room at no extra cost .The riad has been beautifully refurbished recently and was extremly roomy with plenty areas of privacy, the pool seemed to be always empty unless we were in it and the hammam is somthing t experiance, great location, overall a fantastic place i would recommend to everyone

Stayed: September 2008
Thank seemyworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Kniza

Address: 34 Derb l'Hotel | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#10 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#11 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#17 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#32 Business Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: £166 - £353 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Riad Kniza 5*
Number of rooms: 11
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

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