We stayed here for two nights after three nights in the Atlas mountains as part of a package. In view of the recent reviews we were looking forward to our short stay but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. We were met by Nadia who spoke no English and was not able to supply any information such as a map or even accurate directions to the centre of Marrakech. She showed us our room which though nicely decorated was small with a tiny bathroom - the bath robes were hanging over the toilet. The room contained one dirty glass, no hair dryer and a light switch and a socket were dangling by their wires.
Our package stated we would be upgraded to a superior room subject to availability and we came to realise that most rooms were vacant. My wife's French was not up to a conversation about upgrading.
Nadia said the owner Noura (who is mentioned in previous reviews) would be back at 5.00. but when we returned she was not there and, as far as we are aware, she never was there.
We were not informed when breakfast would be available so assumed it would be around 8.00 am. We came out of our room at 8.00 and realised there was no member of staff or owner on the premises. Nadia arrived at 9.10 and, after asking, breakfast was served. We had intended to make an early start so we could do some sightseeing before it got too hot.
We returned mid afternoon and had to request glasses, water and hair dryer, which would have been a problem had my wife not spoken French. We had read that mint tea and water were always available but this is clearly not the case. As arrangements for our pick up the next morning had not been made, my wife raised this with Nadia who phoned Atlas Voyages who spoke to my wife. The pick up was agreed at 7.30 and Nadia said she would make breakfast for 7.00. When we returned from our evening meal, a man who did not introduce himself but spoke English, repeated that breakfast would be served at 7.00.
After we went to bed there was a tremendous argument between a woman and a man, who we believe were connected to the riad and not guests.. This ricocheted round the central courtyard and continued until midnight when they left the building. No one reappeared before we had to leave at 7.30 so had to buy breakfast at the airport.
Clearly there are serious management issues at this place and we have reported our concerns to Fleetway Travel, who arranged the package, and await a response. It is worrying that guests are left alone in the building overnight, maintenance standards have slipped badly and breakfasts are not provided as expected.
This is a shame because there is a lovely small pool and roof terrace and it is only about a 25 minute walk to the main square. The Saadian Tombs, Badii Palace and Bahia Palace are nearby - the latter in particular was very impressive. One night we ate in the main square in one of the pop-up restaurants - despite the crowds there was ample choice and seats, the food was excellent and cheap; just take a seat and choose a selection of Moroccan dishes. We did not feel hassled by the various traders and thoroughly enjoyed the lively atmosphere. We had a drink on a roof terrace overlooking the square which is well worth doing and not at all expensive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Shemsi is a beautiful and elegant Riad in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. Situated in the Royal Kasbah, it is in easy walking distance of all the principal sites including the main square and the myriad souks. All the suites are delightfully presented in traditional Moroccan plasterwork and Marrekchi furnishings. The views from its elevated terrace are stunning. The celebrated Shemsi cuisine is sourced locally everyday from the freshest ingredients. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Shemsi Hotel Marrakech