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“A wonderful honeymoon!”
Review of Riad Kniza

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Riad Kniza
Ranked #17 of 501 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Sandhurst, Berkshire
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A wonderful honeymoon!”
Reviewed 9 January 2009

Riad Kniza is, without doubt, the first place I would recommend people stay when coming to Marrakesh! The staff are without fault and cannot do enough to help you, from offering you mint tea and pastries by the pool (without even having to ask!) to being flexible with bringing breakfast either in your room, on the terrace or inside one of the lovely little secluded dining rooms around the courtyard in the Riad.
The rooms were immaculate (We stayed in the Ambar suite) and, although at some times of day, the drains can smell a tiny bit, that did not affect our stay in any way. The walk into the main centre of town (The 'Big Square') takes around 10-15 minutes and is one of the most interesting parts of the day, as you really get a sense of how local people lie day-to-day.
The Riad is an oasis of calm in a VERY hectic city, which is an assault on all of your senses - in the nicest possible way!!

Stayed September 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank endantic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Los Angeles
1 review
Reviewed 5 January 2009

Our family of six (all adult children) spent four days there in three rooms last week and the rooms, staff, food and service were outstanding. The owner, Mohammed and his son, Kamal, the manager, went out of their way to arrange, advise and coordinate taxis, restaurants and other activities and be gracious hosts. Mohammed was an informative tour guide of the Medina; New Year's Eve was memorable. It's in the Medina and about a 15-minute, very interesting walk to the square.

  • Liked — Hosts, staff, rooms, serenity, history, location, food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bakermanLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2008

Visited Marrakech for 4 days during early November and spent the first 2 days at Riad Kniza and the last two in a hotel in the new city. Reservations for the Riad were handled promptly by email and all arrangements made for airport pick-up went as planned. So good in fact, we forgot to exchange money at the airport, since the driver was waiting for us right after customs. The Riad, as everyone mentions, is an oasis in a very exotic locale. The owner was there when we checked-in and very kindly offered to loan some cash for us as it was Sunday and difficult to exchange money anywhere. The room was very nice, and in the evening someone would come to start a fire in the fireplace and replinish the wood supply. The Medina was amazing, very safe, the people very friendly, the souks very interesting, the narrow alleys/streets quite complicated to navigate, but there was always somebody ready to guide you to where ever your destination was, for a small fee, of course. Tourists, after all, are a major part of the local economy. Be aware that because of their culture you might not be able to stop at some cafes for a break just to have a beer without purchasing a full meal. All meals were had at the Riad, and were very good, but too rich for our taste ( we ended-up getting sick the day we moved to another hotel in the new city- no fault of the Riad food, mind you, just too rich for what we are used to at home- but that's part of the whole experience). After reading some reviews, we were sorry that we were not told that we could have had breakfast and or dinner in the room, specially breakfast, and also about the roof terrace and the half-day orientation tour to the medina included in the price. Oh, well, not a biggie by any means. Upon check-out, they drove us to the hotel in the new city where we'd stay for 2 additional nights. This instead of the airport transfer included in the price. That was very nice. Over all, Marrakech is a place worth visiting, if only once in a life time, and this Riad a confortable place to stay to enjoy all.

  • Liked — The working fireplace
  • Disliked — Not being able to have breakfast in the room
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank george01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
palm beach
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 November 2008

It is hard to know where to begin when singing the praises of Riad Kniza and its staff. I recently stayed at the Riad from November 5-11, 2008 with 12 family and friends to celebrate my birthday. We took over the entire Riad except for 2 bedrooms. To say that the Riad is stunningly beautiful is an understatement. It is simply magnificent! I had visited Riad Kniza once before in June, 2005, and it was fabulous then. But they have now completed an expansion which includes a beautiful pool area, spa and hammam and 4 additional bedrooms, including a Royal Suite that is worthy of Queen Elizabeth herself. But, more importantly, the owners and staff of Riad Kniza put their heart and soul into making sure that the smallest wish of each guest is met and exceeded. Never have I experienced such a high level of service even in hotels that are consistently ranked at the top of worldwide lists (e.g., Four Seasons George Cinq, Claridge's, etc.). Riad Kniza outperforms them all in my opinion. Needless to say, my birthday celebration is one that I and my guests will never forget. In fact, we are all plotting now when we can return!

Cyndy, Palm Beach, Florida

  • Liked — everything!
  • Disliked — nothing!
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank cyndymd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide
1 review
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.

  • Liked — Attention to detail in service and interior design
  • Disliked — Poor hammam experience
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank BoutiqueBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Annapolis, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank MaryPasadena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — It's absolutely beautiful and I also like the personal service and assistance by the staff.
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank TWS_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Kniza

Property: 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:
#8 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#11 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#11 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#17 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#32 Business Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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