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“Peaceful haven”
Review of Riad Al Massarah

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Riad Al Massarah
Ranked #99 of 500 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney Australia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Peaceful haven”
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We stayed 6 nights with friends from London April '12 and thoroughly enjoyed our time here. The peace and beauty of the Riad is in complete contrast to the world outside and most guests breathed a sigh of relief every time they came through it's door. We stayed in the Jade room, very private on the roof terrace and one of the most lovely hotel rooms we have stayed in anywhere. Michel has exquisite taste in the way he has decorated the place. Michael and David, in fact all the staff, were extremely charming and helpful as other reviewers have noted. We will always remember the beaming smile and pride with which Abdul the cook would announce what he had cooked for us. His meals were excellent and equalled if not bettered some of the well known places we also ate at. Highly recommend this place.

Room Tip: It is worth spending more for the bigger suites to make your experience truly memorable
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GregandChris99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
San Diego, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

Riad Al Massarah was our final hotel for 3 nights at the end of a 19-day trip in Morocco. What a wonderful way to end our trip! It seemed there was nothing the gracious hosts, Michel, Michael and David, would not do to make our stay comfortable - they were accessible, fun to talk to and delightful people. When we arrived in our car near the riad, Michele came out personally to greet us, a wonderful touch that made us feel immediately at home. The breakfasts, taken on the rooftop deck, were first rate. Our room, on the rooftop, was beautiful and light. I dined there once, a delicious lamb tagine. The riad is beautiful, a sleek, clean rendering of a traditional riad, serene and elegant. I used the hammam on the last day there, got a great scrubbing and massage - perfect way to loosen up for the long trip home. I have to agree with most of the other 5-star reviews offered. A highly memorable experience!

Room Tip: We selected the rooftop room after reading reviews on TripAdvisor - a great choice! Lots of light a...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank OBTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2012

Marrakesh is such a busy, noisy, confusing place and it was great to have such excellent advice and guidance from Michel, Michael and David about what there was to do and what we should expect to pay for it! And the Riad itself is so beautifully laid out, that it felt like a real pleasure just spending time around the place - and the dinner (which the hosts did nothing to try and 'sell' to us), was great too!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Philip M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

The Riad Al Massarah was one of the most pleasant hotel experiences we have had anywhere. Michel and Michael have created a beautiful, authentic home away from home for travellers. Everything about the riad is appealing, the location, the rooms, the roof top terrace, the peaceful atmosphere (much valued after a day on the streets of Marrakech). And the food! The young chef Abdul is a world class cook.

We found the staff very friendly and helpful. Michel also came to our rescue after our rental car broke down an hour out the city - by arranging for a replacement that arrived promptly. Definitely beyond the scope of duty for most hotel owners.

So we would recommend staying here to anyone. Hope to return in the future.

Room Tip: Most rooms are on the second floor facing an interior open courtyard and all would be great. There...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ViajeraK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2012

I stayed at Riad al Massarah during February 2012.  Every element of the stay was superb - Michael and Michel clearly love what they do and it shows. 
 
Everyone says that riads are a calm oasis from the madness in the medina - and it's true.  In this case, there's an amazing atmosphere - you feel entirely comfortable sitting on a lounge chair downstairs, grabbing a book from the extensive collection, sipping mint tea (or a beer) and taking it all in.
 
The attention to detail in terms of furnishings is superb - the rooms are beautifully put together, the linen is lovely, the bathroom products are great - they've thought of everything.  It's very bizarre staying in a hotel where you don't have room keys - it's much more like staying at a friend's (amazing) house.
 
And then there's the food - Abdel is Morocco's answer to Jamie Oliver.  His food (breakfast & dinner) was a real highlight - he makes so much of what is on offer (even the jams & yoghurt) - every meal was a delight.  We also took a cooking class with Abdel which was another highlight - you get such a different insight when you shop for produce with a local - buying fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, bread - and asking questions along the way - was a fantastic way to spend a morning.  Then to come back, and learn how to cook it all - brilliant fun (and a great dinner, too!).
 
Finally, I'd definitely recommend a trip to the local hammam (which again the Riad will organise, with someone to go with you) - seeing first hand local women in the hammam, and watching their rituals (many had grandma, mum and daughter together, washing & scrubbing themselves) - was fascinating and again a great way understand much more deeply the local culture.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JuliefromBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

Even from the booking process, I had the sense we were in very safe hands here. I liaised with Michael by email, who could not have been more helpful advising what we might like to think about doing during our four night stay and indicating where we might need to book in advance.
I arranged pick-up from the airport with them, which I would recommend (it's very reasonable), and it takes no more than 15 minutes to the riad. The car can't make it all the way, so we were dropped off and met by David for the last few hundred yards. It would have otherwise been quite daunting and impossible to find!
Behind a very inconspicuous door, that I otherwise wouldn't have noticed, is Riad al Massarah. As soon as you walk in from the chaos of the streets outside, an air of calm passes over you, and this happens every time you return 'home'! We were given mint tea and Moroccan sweets in the courtyard while we filled out some forms and then shown to our room. We stayed in Carmin, which was lovely and felt quite private at the end of the corridor. After venturing out, having been shown the map and our whereabouts by David, we returned to eat at the riad on the first night. We were confused by a table setting for four (we were two) and it's worth bearing in mind that you might be sat with other guests for dinner, but this was no problem for us and it was useful to swap Marrakech tips and stories! The food was plentiful and tasty with fresh ingredients, and they do good wine.
We had breakfast on the roof terrace each morning, although you can take it where you like. It was delicious, and served at the very reasonable hour of 8.30-10.30am, so there is no rush! We ate at 10.30 and it saw us through lunchtime! Delicious fruit salad soaked in rose water, homemade yoghurt and granola, a different form of pastry/pancake each day and eggs on request.
We both booked treatments in the hammam - my husband the massage and I had the full-on exfoliation and massage afterwards. I have never experienced anything quite like it and would encourage everyone who stays to try it! If anything, they should make more of this facility on their website - it's a reason to go back!
Michel was around throughout our stay (Michael was in the UK) and was always interested in our plans for the day/evening, without being overbearing at all. He suggested restaurants, cafes and shops and is a vital source of information as well as a lovely man! Indeed, mentioning Michael and Michel in certain places will ensure a better than average service!
Relaxing around the riad became as much a part of our holiday as seeing Marrakech. Whether it's lounging on the terrace to soak up the heat, reading in the courtyard or supping a glass of red by the fire in the lounge of an evening, it really felt like Heaven. I loved the relaxing music in the courtyard which added to the whole ambience. They have a good book collection too.
It is incredibly tastefully designed and decorated, a credit to the owners. The staff too are an absolute credit; discreet, efficient and seemingly very proud of where they work. They contribute greatly towards making the experience what it is and the intimacy of it all makes you feel part of a family while there!
One item to consider bringing, and luckily I use them at home anyway so I had, are earplugs. Only because there is a dog in a neighbouring house which is prone to barking! There are also the more pleasant sounds of a cockerel and the mosques' calls to prayer! However, the riad has them available should you forget - such attention to detail you should get used to!
One final thing to note is that they operate a 'key free' policy, so there is no way of locking your room. However, they provide safes, and there is always a member of staff around. Having struck me as quite odd when I first arrived, I quickly began to understand that this approach and relaxed attitude contributes towards the feeling of relaxation whilst there; there is a freedom to come and go as you please, to settle in the lounge, or on the terrace, to help yourself to books, get a drink and to really escape. It's like the ultimate home from home.
I would not stay anywhere else in Marrakech and have a long list of people I want to show this place off to! This haven is exactly what's needed in Marrakech. I was doubtful such great Trip Advisor reviews would live up to the hype, but they surpassed it.

Room Tip: Choose any!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FoodWineHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas, United States
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2012

This is the second of the riads we visited in Marrakech. We chose it because 1) it was in a different part of the medina from where we stayed previously and 2) they offered a cooking class. It's in the northwest part of the medina, a very short walk to the Bab Doukkala and the New Town beyond the Bab. It's also a short walk to the northern end of the souk area, and about 15 minutes to the Jemaa El Fna. We were not disappointed in our choice. Michael and Michel did a fabulous job renovating the old building and decorating it with beautiful furniture and accents. We stayed in the room on the roof terrace (third floor up) which had a nice big bathroom and a fireplace. There's Wi-Fi, but it seemed to work better down stairs than in our room. We were only there for one night, but since our flight didn't leave until late the following evening, we were pleased that we were able to leave our luggage at the riad AND participate in a cooking class and meal before we had to go to the airport. Our only criticism of the riad was that it was a little understaffed. Our cooking instructor and chef was also expected to take care of a plumbing problem, arrange a carter for our luggage when it was time to leave for the airport, and run to the local pharmacy to get some medicine for another guest. He was truly a jack of all trades! The cooking class -for just the two of us -- was informative and fun, and the meal we helped create was delicious. It was relatively quiet compared to the other riad where we stayed, had well-tended container garden and plunge pool. Massage and hammam were available, but we didn't avail ourselves of them because we had already technically checked out.

Room Tip: We chose the roof terrace room because it was brighter than the rooms below, but all rooms looked ve...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Al Massarah

Property: Riad Al Massarah
Address: 26 Derb Djedid | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40030, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#49 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Responsibly run Riad with La Clef Verte accreditation and Travel Life Gold Award for sustainable tourism. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Riad Al Massarah Marrakech
Riad Al Massarah Hotel Marrakech

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