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“A true gem!”
Review of Riad Samsara

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Riad Samsara
Ranked #25 of 1,153 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A true gem!”
Reviewed 28 February 2011

Though we arrived at night, being dumped by our taxi driver nowhere near the riad, as he was keen to go on his own holiday, getting lost in the alleyways and being led to the riad by local boys who asked for €20 for the privilege, once the door to Riad Samsara was opened - we were soothed and led into a beautiful candlelit courtyard and given mint tea to relax. Jacqueline, the owner, made us feel so at home and Milouda the housekeeper showed us to our beautiful room - the Jacaranda. So sumptuously decorated with fine rugs, cushions and a beautiful brass bed! We were in such a daze that Milouda walked us to a local, cheap grill to have our dinner - but we were so keen to get back and enjoy the Riad than stay out for a lot longer!! So we ordered a bottle of wine when we got back and enjoyed it in the courtyard and then on the rooftop terrace. The breakfast in the morning was delicious with pastries and fresh fruit. The riad is in a great spot to go visit the Marjorelle gardens, and once we returned, Jacqueline let us rest and brought out mint tea, cake and biscuits for us! Such great hospitality and she showed us the photos of all the local craftsmen who had helped rebuild this amazing riad. A real gem - it only has three rooms so you're guaranteed some respite from the craziness of the medina!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mcheri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 8 March 2011
Thank you for your kind words, we are very happy you enjoyed your stay with us. I can only apologise for the behaviour of the boys, this is not the norm but in the past visitors to the area may have given such a sum as a thank you for helping them and subsequently it is expected.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2011

We stayed just one night at Riad Samsara (having had the previous night at Douar Samra, in the High Atlas mountains, in the village of Tamatert). Both Riad Samsara and Douar Samra are run by Jacqueline Brandt (whom we did not meet).

Riad Samsara is in the northern part of the Marrakech medina, a good 20 minute walk from the main square, Place dJemaa el-Fna. Milouda, the cook at the riad, met us on arrival and was very friendly, providing us with a map and explanation of the route (in French). The riad is furnished to a high standard, very clean, and with great attention to detail, giving an overall impression of luxury. There are 3 rooms, and we stayed in Ibiscus. The large bed was very comfortable. It’s exactly as depicted on the website, and as the room was a little cool on arrival we were pleased that the heater/aircon worked. Large deep marble bath and good shower. Dinner was an intimate candlelit affair, set on a low table, in one of the alcoves on the ground floor, which requires diners to be seated on low pouffes (footstools). The meat and vegetable tagine dinner served up by Milouda was hot and tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary, and not great value at €18 per person (not much meat in the dish for 4 people). Breakfast was in the same place, perfectly adequate, but nothing exceptional: fruit juice, breads and jam, and tea/coffee. It would have been nice to have access to cold drinks on returning to the riad after a hot morning of sightseeing, but this facility was not provided. The central courtyard of the riad is beautiful, and the small roof terrace was a quiet space to sit and relax.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank linda009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 8 March 2011
Thank you for you kind words and thoughts on your stay with us at riad samsara. I am sorry you felt you did not have enough to eat, I am sorry you did not feel able to ask for more which often guests do as they enjoy Miloudas cooking. We aim to provide a high standard of traditional moroccan food as you would find in any moroccan home in favour of what you might find in restaurants. It is a really good idea for us to make guests more aware of drink facilities available, i hope that you will return to riad samsara soon so you can see our new improvement, thank you.
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Reading, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2010

This little riad is hidden away down the side streets of the Bab Tarzout area of the old town. It's a labour of love of the wonderful Swiss lady who chose to make Marrakesh (and this riad) her home. She's brought her personal style and warmth to the home while ensuring that it's Morroccan through and through.

Rooms are clean and comfortable - if a little intimate (we had a double room that was a little on the small side with an ensuite bathroom that didn't have a door). The decor in the room was simple and the bathroom was beautiful and traditionally decorated.

Breakfasts are simple but what you need to set you up for the day.

I would definitely recommend that you spend at least one evening and eat in the Riad. Milouda (the house lady) cooks a beautiful tagine dinner which is served by candlelight in the gorgeous courtyard.

My only "personal recommendation"? If you're looking for one day excursions and a driver for the day, I'd look around rather than ask the house to book it for you. I'd also be a bit "cautious" about the house lady's recommendations of drivers (she told me that it was normal for a taxi driver - a friend of hers - to charge an amount for returning from town which I discovered was 4 times the going rate)

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank sameera3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Dear Friends, Thank you so much for your nice words. I know that our taxi driver charge more but we are sure that they have a licence, they are serious and good english speaking. Hope to see you again. Jacqueline
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Linlithgow, Scotland
1 review
Reviewed 5 December 2010

If I had to describe Riad Samsara in one word, I'd struggle to choose between "magical" or "perfect". We booked Samsara after getting in touch with Jacqueline, the owner, to book Douar Samra, her incredible place in the mountains. We were offered a special rate at Samsara and we did not hesitate to book as we were struggling to choose between the hundreds of riads on offer in Marrakech. Samsara far exceeded our expectations. Jacqueline gave us the warmest welcome we have ever had anywhere and we immediately felt completely at home. Jacqueline's "palais" is absolutely magical, especially at night when we arrived - it is filled with candles and the most peaceful, romantic oasis imaginable. We had a candlelight dinner of delicious traditional food prepared by Milouda. The rooms are fabulous and full of wonderful little touches. Other reviewers have mentioned that the riad is a bit out of the way but to be honest, the location is part of the charm of the place, as you are far enough away from the souks not to be hassled as soon as you step out of the door (but close enough to walk there is less than 10 minutes), Getting to the riad was not a problem at all for us - we asked Jacqueline to arrange a taxi to pick us up at the airport and this was completely hassle free - our bags were carried right to the door of the riad. Jacqueline is a wonderful woman - she has such style but will simply not accept this. We have already booked our return trip (with the kids this time) in April.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JulieMacd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Samsara Riad is your home, thank you so much for your kindness Jacqueline
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Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2010

We have recently returned from our first trip to Morocco and what a fabulous experience it was.We started in Marrakech spending two nights at the Riad Samsara,then travelled to the Atlas Mountains for five nights at Douar Samra,then back down to the Samsara for a further two nights.Both properties are owned by Jacqueline Brandt our charismatic, fantasic hostess.She really looks after her guests and has created two very different yet equally magical retreats.The Samsara is absolutely beautiful and a welcome haven from exciting,busy and slightly crazy Marrakesh! Its a little difficult to find your way through the maze of back streets to Marrakech's main square. In fact we got lost a lot until we worked out that its far easier to get a taxi there and use that as your startinglpoint!Be prepared to haggle for everything even the taxi fare ! (Jacqueline advised us not to pay more than 20-30 dirhams) great fun and all part of the experience! and when you have had enough of the hubbub there is the peace of the Riad with its delightful terrace,ornate courtyard and gorgeous rooms....and always Jacqueline smiling ,welcoming you home ith a glass of mint tea.
Melouda is the cook at the Samsara-the breakfasts were included in the costs and consisted of 3 different breads plus pancakes all freshly baked .A delicious start to the day.You can also order an evening meal -again delicious and very reasonable at 50 dirhams per head.
Our retreat to the Atlas mountains was equally as enchanting.The Douar Samra is situated in a beautiful green valley can be described as rustic and cosy .its an ideal base for walking and relaxing.You dont need to be a professional walker to experience this charming ,magical setting with some magnificent views.The Douar is run by locals from the village-Mohammed is smiling ,sometimes brusk but always helpful(at his own pace!)Rachida is the wonderful cook who produced a feast everynight which we ate in the communal dinning room.This was always an enjoyable few hours spent with fellow travellers sharing stories of their days adventures.
This holiday was the best I've had for years.Jacqueline has had the genius to provide an authentic Morrocan experience combined with what we Westerners demand from our accomodation- a comfy bed,good food,a hot shower and a decent toilet!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KateandEmmie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Thank you so much, our Samsara Princess .......you miss us Jacqueline
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London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2010

We stayed here on the recommendation of a friend and so glad we did.

This Riad is awesome! The rooms are just like the pictures, the owner & staff are so helpful and friendly. Also if you can eat here one night then do because the dinner is fantastic too.

We also stayed at the owners place in the atlas mountas Dour Samra, which was the perfect compliment of peace and quite to the bussle of Marrakech.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Matrix2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Samsara is a nice place to stay in an authentic area. Thank you for your so nice words Jacqueline
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Wicklow, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
192 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2010

Having stayed at the delightful mountain retreat Samra in Tamatert that is also operated by the proprietor of the riad, we expected Samsara to be good. We were not wholly disappointed, but our arrival marred our stay somewhat. We had a hire car so were instructed to leave this at the Bab Taghzout parking nearby. The riad 'phone number had recently changed but we were given the old one so couldn't get through to advise of our arrival after dark. We found the actual number later that day on a raid website but just kept getting the answering machine as the proprietor was away.

Driving through the narrow, chaotic streets of the medina to the car park was unnerving. We weren't happy with the instructions to leave our keys with a man there who would shunt the car round during the night as necessary, so drove to a secure car park near the Cemetiere Sidi Ali Belkacem west of the Jemaa el Fna. We then got a taxi up to the Bab Taghzout. On leaving the taxi we were immediately approached by a young man who asked the driver where we were staying. We politely declined his offer to take us to the Samsara in both Arabic and French, and told him we had a map and knew the area. He insisted on accompanying us so we simply ignored him.

We spent several minutes knocking on the door of the riad before one of the guests let us in and were constantly hassled by the man for money in what became quite an intimidating atmosphere. He had apparently done this to the guest who let us in the day before. We politely refused but he became aggressive and tried to push his way in the door and only went away after we threatened to call the tourist police. This man obviously patrols the square waiting for guests to arrive and talks of the proprietor like he knows her personally. The riad was very beautiful, tastefully furnished with pleasant staff but a lot of people will no doubt be put off by the threatening behaviour of hasslers lurking in the sqaure.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KernowPixie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JacquelineMarrakech, Owner at Riad Samsara, responded to this review, 22 March 2012
Dear nice guests, now I think it's much better in whole Marrakech, because our King made a lots for tourism security. Hope you'll come beck. Jacqueline
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Additional Information about Riad Samsara

Property: Riad Samsara
Address: 6, Derb El Aarsa | Tarzout -Médina, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 1,153 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Samsara 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Samsara is a traditional riad, full of charm, quietly nestled close to the heart of the bustling Medina. Jacqueline, your hostess, welcomes those travellers in search of an authentic experience, to her meticulously hand-renovated palace. The three opulent bedrooms each have their own individual style and are full of small touches to make your stay extra special.One of the most beautiful and original homes in Marrakech. Tailored for personal service and space, this is your own secluded sanctuary, a home from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Samsara Marrakech

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