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Riad Jonan
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Reviewed 22 January 2014

Arriving at Riad Jonan is a bit daunting for a first time visitor to Marrakech, as it's situated up a narrow alleyway and the only thing that betrays it's presence is a small doorway with a plaque. Taking the hotel's transfer service from the airport is a good decision as the driver will guide you to the door. (the 15 euro fee covers the trip both from the airport and then back at the end of your stay). It's about 15/20 minutes from the airport.

Once inside, rather than standing at a reception desk, the weary traveller is seated and given mint tea and pastries, whilst the check in and luggage are taken care of, which is a lovely welcoming touch.

The building itself is two riads which have been linked together. Riads are a traditional family house with the rooms built around a central courtyard, so there are no outside views from the rooms as all the windows overlook the inner courtyard. It's worth being aware of this if you're expecting a view outside - the old houses in Marrakech were not built for outward views, it's all about being a haven from the bustle outside.

The two courtyards in riad Jonan are open air, but have retractable covers, and are used for breakfast and dinner as well as a space to relax in. There is a small ornamental plunge pool in one of the courtyards and a water feature in the other.

There is also an attractive roof terrace, which has sunloungers & parasols with towels and straw hats. It's a perfect sun trap and there is a pretty berber tent with cushions should you need some shade. The view in all directions looks out over a jumble of rooftops and minarets with the atlas mountains to the south.

The decoration throughout is tasteful, unique and there are many period features in wood, stucco plaster and mosaic - our room had a decorative wood stove. The overall effect is tranquility in what is an incredibly hectic city and you feel that you are in a traditional Moroccan home rather than a hotel.

This is a world apart from the formulaic chain hotel. Each room is unique, and ours, The Calif, was absolutely gorgeous with ornamental plaster, traditional furniture and decorative light fittings.
Facilities in the rooms are simple but perfectly adequate. Ours had a small clock radio with ipod dock & satellite TV (unwatched), a fridge with minibar, hairdryer, air conditioning and an electronic safe (free). Apart from the usual bathrobes, slippers and towels there were no toiletries or tea & coffee facilities, but the hotel staff will bring you coffee etc if you ask. There is a chargeable laundry service if required.

The hotel seemed very secure - there is a member of staff from the small team on duty at all times, and as you have to leave your key when you go out, and the front door is kept locked, they personally let you back in when you return, which is reassuring.

The staff were genuinely friendly and helpful and a great source of trustworthy local advice. The riad offers several excursions, with private and shared options. We went on two, to Essaouira on the coast and to the Atlas Mountains. Both were well worth doing, and were priced competitively.

The riad is well placed for easy walking access to the main square & souks, restaurants & various palaces and places of interest. I'd recommend visiting the artisanal department store early on in your visit. It is two minutes along the rue de la kasbah (it has two stone lions outside) and is one of the few shops in the old town with marked prices which gives you a good idea of the going rate for things, putting you in a much more informed position for the haggling you have to do everywhere else.

Staying here was a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: All rooms are different and unique but the hotel website photos show them all. Calif was spacious.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Paul_Mc_Edinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2014

The reviews are true: Riad Jonan is marvellous. Tucked away in the Kasbah or old citadel of Marrakech, it's a little haven of quiet in the mad flood of motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, sellers of bread and of herbs, people carriers, taxis and more shunting daily through the city. The Kasbah itself is home to the atmospheric Saadian tombs and right round the corner from the majestic ruins of the Bahia Palace, while it's a few easily walkable minutes from the Jemaa El Fna, the souks and central Marrakech. The Kasbah is also close to the airport and a taxi to the riad (bookable when you book the room) only takes 20 minutes door to door.

We stayed in Malika on the first floor, which was very quiet and ample for three as well as charmingly decorated and with easy access to the roof terrace. Hassan and his admirable night-and-day staff are on hand to deal with requests of all sorts. There are excellent excursions by people carrier on offer (we booked the Ourika Valley and Essaouira, both recommended, although spring in the valley when the trees are in flower might be a better time to go than January); you can opt for breakfast on the roof terrace (wonderful in a January when the UK and US were pummeled by terrible weather); and their skilled inhouse chef whips up delectable tajines, should you wish to eat inhouse. Even the price is right!

You have to have your wits about you when negotiating the streets of this mysterious and often heartbreakingly beautiful city. At the end of a frenetic day, it's wonderful to know that this little sliver of quiet and comfort awaits.

Room Tip: Malika makes a super triple.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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8  Thank nisha09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2013

Riad Jonan is located well within walking distance of nearly all of Marrakech's attractions. Located 5 minutes from the El Fna Souks, 2 minutes from the tombs, 5/20 minutes from the Mellah & a short 20/30 minute walk down Mohammed V avenue to new town.

The Riad offers many excursion activities which are priced very competitive with reputable companies. Myself & my girlfriend chose the afternoon Camel ride and also a trek into the Atlas mountains. Both were fantastic days out and memorable parts of our holiday.

The staff are curtious and very helpful, always willing to offer good advice on travelling about the city and what are good prices to pay for items within the souks. They speak very good French or English so can always help you out.

The only downside to the holiday was that we were woken every morning at the break of dawn by a nearby rooster but this isn't necessarily the Riad's fault although even with the window shut the noise couldn't be muted in any way.

The rooftop terrace is a great place to sit either to relax in the day or to watch the evening sky and burn some time at night. Drinking Morrocan tea while whittling the evening away with games and conversation was much fun.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Daniel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

Excellent location in the Kasbah, an easy walk to the main square. The front door is in an alley so it's not easy to find - best to use the Riad's own taxi service. Staff very polite and helpful. A wonderful welcome with tea and pastries. The rooms were beautiful and the roof-top tent a lovely treat. We booked the Atlas Mountains excursion through the Riad as we knew they would be more reliable than the ones on offer in town. We had breakfast by the pool every morning which was lovely.

Room Tip: Meknes has a very firm mattress, not soft.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Brenda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2013

Wifi - yes!
In the Kasbah, within the bustle of the ancient Medina - enter through a simple alley door and feel like Alice as a new and wonderful wonderland world opens up in front of you. It has traditional Moroccan style, global panache and exciting magical colour and decor.

It is not five star, but the TLC is: the rooms are unique, characterful and exquisite, some smaller than others, but plumbing is good and beds very comfy.The staff are extremely attentive and informative - and can arrange trips (maybe slightly dearer than if you book on the street, but you can be more sure of good, tried and tested, safe standard. We were browsing excursions in the streets and a policeman came over yelling and snatched the leaflets from the guy and told him off.

The Riad Jonan's restful lounge areas - including water features - give a tranquil, exotic flavour and the peaceful roof terrace is great, with sunbeds and eating/drinking tables set out, as well as a traditional tented seating area. Views over the Medina and distant Atlas Mountains and a nice place to sup a bottle of wine and escape the bustle of souks!

Although the riad is relatively small (does have a spacious feel with the traditional open roofs) and thus not set up as a full scale public restaurant DEFINITELY have the tagine meal on offer -order ahead. Probably the best in town, maybe Morocco, maybe Africa! The flavours were awesome and their claim to be 'perfectly spiced' is no word of a lie!
Lunch/ snacks are available and they will rustle up what you fancy. The table served breakfast is delicious.

All in all an excellent place to escape for a few days and enjoy the Medina....I'll be back!

Room Tip: Three standards of room - we were shown to our small standard twin, adequate and cute, but not being a couple, a little too cosy! We asked to upgrade to deluxe which had its own TV (with many channels) and a bit more space, including a nice size bathroom. From what we saw, the showers all looked uniquely tiled and styled.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank SussexVoyager2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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