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“Couldn't have given my wife a better present”
Review of Riad Alma

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Riad Alma
Ranked #123 of 499 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Couldn't have given my wife a better present”
Reviewed 8 December 2010

Can't speak highly enough of the riad or pierre and his staff. friendly and unobtrusive made us feel very welcome and our stay very comfortable. it was always re assuring to know that the oasis was waiting for us after the hurly burly of the city.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tinners_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
2 reviews
Reviewed 28 September 2010

We loved our stay at Riad Alma... our suite was beautiful, the staff were exceptionally attentive and breakfast, lunch and dinner were fabulous. The location - within the Medina and a short distance from the square - was perfect for our three day Marrakech break. I would recommend Riad Alma to anyone looking for a luxury and restful santuary.

The Riad is furnished with an array of beautiful objects and antiques from all over the world and has a really stylish and elegant feel. What a special and unique experience.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Julieandross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2010

Hello Trip Advisor family.

After so much turmoil about choosing a place to stay we decided on Riad Alma.
I had found this Riad through hipmarrakesh.com and spoke to Amanda over the phone and she took my deposit over the phone. I had so much apprehension since so many reviews are biased or skewed or based on 1 contribution. Our flight was delyaed by 2 hours and I contacted Amanda at Hip Marrakesh and she contacted the Riad and let them know that we were arriving late.
We were picked up at the airport by a driver that works with the Riad. My boyfriend and I speak no French or Arabic and the driver spoke English.
To my very very surprise, this Riad was perfect. The pictures are just as the Riad is.
Pierre the owner was there and gave us so many great suggestions on where to eat dinner or lunch. The room was immaculate, the bathroom large. We had a terrace outside out room. We needed something ironed the staff did it, laundry needed? Not a problem.
Breakfast was superb, fresh squezzed orange juice, crepes, eggs, toast, whatever you wanted.
Dinner was also excellant at the Riad.
The free wifi was a plus!
Dinner on rose petals in the courtyard was a plus!

My suggestion..go ahead and book it, you will not be dissappointed.
Any questions? feel free to ask.
I LOVE MARRAKESH

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank adiatasha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
Reviewed 29 March 2010

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights in February 2010 and had a fabulous time. Pierre, the owner, and his staff, were great; they were very friendly and helpful, and they gave us loads of excellent advice. They also organize transportation to and from the airport, helping take the strain out of finding the Riad. Based in the Kasbah, the Riad is in an excellent location, very central but quiet, and within easy walking distance of the sights. It was spotlessly clean and beautifully decorated, with great rooms and plenty of outside areas where you can chill out. We also had dinner once in the Riad and it was one of the best Moroccan food we tasted on our trip. I can’t recommend it high enough in terms of location, value for money, atmosphere, service, setting, food, safety etc. Looking forward to stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank akolokit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, UK
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2010

As the Riad we normally stay in was full, we booked Riad Alma based on good reviews in Tripadvisor. Based in the Kasbah area, it is more of a walk to the Jemma al Fna and Souks than one might have hoped, but it was very elegant and quiet with lovely rooms. It should have been everything we wanted and in many ways, it was - a very beautiful place, a delicious pre-booked dinner on the first night and a good breakfast offered each day with pancakes and eggs cooked to order. It was only spoilt by the attitude of the owner, Micheline, who made us feel that everything was a little bit of an effort and that she was really having a troublesome time running a Riad. We were slightly late arriving from the airport due to slow immigration and when I asked if she would like us to dine straightaway she said yes, because the girl was waiting to go home - which made us feel rather uncomfortable and it was the same when we asked if we could have afternoon tea and a sandwich - the slight negative surprise although they do offer snacks etc in their hotel blurb. We had to wait at least half an hour to check out when we left, despite the fact that we had to get somewhere because she had gone out without preparing our bill and there was no-one who could cope with checkout. At the price they charge, it was surprising that there was not someone capable in charge all the time - although Mohad who served us at dinner and breakfast was very sweet and helpful. It was also surprising that we were actually charged for the usual free handout map of Marrakech - which given the fact that we had no hot water for the first night because of a breakdown and given everything above it made my usually very tolerant husband say he would not be back!

Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Nomadchef53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2010

We took a long weekend for my Mothers birthday & couldn't recommend Riad Alma enough.

My Dad (Englishman1) has written an epic review and I would echo his sentiments on both the Riad & Marrakesh in general. To sum up how relaxing this place is, when we asked what time breakfast was served until, the answer was - 'whenever you get up' (13.00hrs & it was very tasty). Like home away from home, but much, much prettier & didn't have to lift a finger.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank yoghurtman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2010

Firstly the riad, it really is a most excellent place, we chose to stay here in preference to a recognised hotel and were not disappointed. The place is built round two courtyards thus making an ideal sun trap and yet sheltering you from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding Kasbah, it really is a great place to chill. The whole riad is beautifully decorated with furniture and antiques from Thailand, India and China as well as local artefacts.

The rooms and suites are a good size and spotlessly clean, all in traditional Moroccan styles and colours, they are well furnished and each room has a safe. The riad is cleaned each day by a team of three efficient and pleasant Moroccan ladies, who smile shyly when you speak to them.

There are a number of common areas shared by everyone, there is a TV lounge (it is rare to find a riad which has a TV in each bedroom) which has an excellent choice of channels including of course more than the odd sports channel. Soft cushions and furnishings make chilling round the pool or in one of these areas a most relaxing experience. There is a good WiFi signal which extends to some of the rooms and most public areas.

The food is excellent, and appears when you are ready for your breakfast, eggs, toast, home made preserves, freshly squeezed orange juice, cake and crepes, fruit and proper coffee.

Having written about the building itself, whilst that contributes to a relaxing time, it is the people that make a holiday special and all the staff at this riad contributed to that, Mourad, who was so helpful and pleasant, he even walked with us to a local riad to eat so we did not get lost, and Pierre who is the owner. Pierre is very knowledgeable about the area and its attractions, he recommended and booked restaurants and taxis for us and gave his honest opinion on places we chose to eat or visit. He was genuinely friendly without being intrusive and always had time for a chat in fluent English or French.

All in all this place offers excellent value for money and I am sure will progress up the Tripadvisor ladder, some of the very few negative comments really should be directed at the holiday companies and not at the riad.

Having written many reviews for this website, in comparison to many other establishments my family have stayed at, I cannot recommend this place highly enough.

The riad is located in the Kasbah district of Marrakech which is part of the old city, it is a maze of alleys and narrow streets in which it is easy to become lost, however even late at night my family were often greeted with a smile and a greeting from locals as we passed. When visiting a place we always try to experience a true flavour of local life and have found a smile and greeting goes a long way, certainly all the locals I met were friendly, helpful, pleasant and had a great sense of humour. We did not feel threatened or intimidated at any time.

There is no doubt that Marrakech is a city of contrasts, from short skirts to full face veils, from 4X4s to donkey carts, from high tech to traditional crafts, there is something for everyone here. Perhaps the greatest negative of Marrakech is that it has become a very expensive place to eat or drink out in. Out of many, many countries visited this is the only one where a bottle of wine is cheaper than a pint of beer. A 25cl bottle of beer will cost you upwards of £3.50 and in the new bars/clubs of Hivenage and Guilez it may easily cost at least double or even treble that. (74% tax on alcohol). Eating out is probably comparable to a good restaurant in England, a meal for four £80-£140.

Tips and recommendations:

Electricity is two pin, same voltage as UK so you need an adaptor.
You cannot buy Moroccan dirham outside the country so take some sterling or the dreaded euro to pay the taxi or change money at the airport.
Taxi for four from the airport is about £14 ask and barter before you enter.
At the souks, let one of the many guides show you round (about 20 dirham) but tell them what sort of places you do or don’t want to visit, I am sure they are on commission for steering you towards carpet stalls, spices shops etc. Ask to see an identity card if you are concerned. When bartering, start at about a quarter of their asking price, don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t want to pay what they ask, usually they chase you and agree. Remember, they won’t sell you it if they are not making a profit.
Petite taxis (ordinary small cars that can only take three passengers) abound, barter and agree a price before you enter. There are also many large, beige Mercedes cars around, usually used by the locals who manage to squash as many in as possible, very cheap but you have to go where all the other passengers are going as it is ‘shared.’
You may be approached, in a very pleasant way, by a person claiming to work at the riad you are staying…often the opening line is…’Don’t you remember me I work at the riad’ if worried ask them what riad, then say you are staying at a different one.
It is not a lot cheaper to buy a Moroccan pay as you go sim card to phone home, the cheapest way is to use the internet phones which are everywhere.

The places to drink alcohol in the old part of town are limited, ask for the Hotel Tazi, near the main square, the roof terrace is good, or nearer the riad ask for the Kosy Bar, wine is cheaper than beer here as long as the wine is Moroccan. If you visit Hivenage and Guilez it is the modern part of the city with some big hotels, just ask for the Sofitel Hotel there are a number of bars here, also on Mohamed V and VI avenues, including a recently opened English pub.

Our favourite place to eat was a typically Moroccan restaurant called Al Fassia (need to book it) in the Guilez region, great food, reasonable service and price, about £70-£80 for four including a bottle of Moroccan wine. Close to the riad is the Jardines Les Medina (need to book it) which I believe used to be a haunt of the Moroccan Royal Family, the food and atmosphere are excellent, as is the service, and only a five minute walk from the Alma.

I agree with the majority of Tripadvisor comments on the ‘le Tangia’ restaurant, it is near the Kosy Bar, beautifully decorated with a full Moroccan flavour. The service was truly awful, no one should buy a bottle of wine whilst waiting over an hour to be served, and then have to chase a waiter to get him to open the bottle. The service was inattentive, the food was poor and extremely expensive (£140 for four), when I spoke to the owner he refused to believe the food was poor. I suspect he was too busy making sure the wealthy Moroccan clients were attended to be bothered by anyone else. I would not recommend this place.

If you are going to eat in the main square or in the Kasbah at one of the 24 hour BBQ stalls, make sure you choose one where the locals are eating and that the food is kept in a closed compartment away from insects. Though some of the pastries look ‘to die for’ make sure they have not been assaulted by flies and wasps.

Just up the rue de Kasbah are some tombs worth a look for culture vultures, there are also two palaces within walking distance. Everyone must visit the main square just for the experience, but I will leave you to discover that for yourself!!!

Marrakech, a great place to visit even if expensive.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 1Englishman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Alma

Property: Riad Alma
Address: Derb Kbala 77 | Kasbah, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#70 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#92 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#104 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#117 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Alma 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Alma is our beautiful house of 1200m2 , with two courtyards with a pool and another with a fountain , the patio is equipped with misters for cool summer. We have 8 rooms for 20 people. Each room has a private bathroom , our rooms are bright and spacious 50m2 up . Seven of them have private terraces allowing for privacy and quiet time . The hammam spa and massage room are at your disposal to relax. Our chef one of the most famous of the city prepares dishes with market produce. Our team is highly qualified and works hard to make your stay a dream. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Alma Marrakech
Riad Alma Hotel Marrakech

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