I must confess to feeling a little torn about how to word this review. We stayed at Riad Yacout for two nights and first impressions were that the location was a close to perfect as you could get - for us at least. We'd spend 6.5 hours on the train from Marrakech and the fact that the taxi could drop us right at the door to the riad was brilliant - no fear of getting lost down an alleyway.
We had booked a deluxe suite and it was lovely with a view from the windows over Place Lalla Aouda, a table and seats, an adjoining area with banquette sofa seating, a wardrobe, minibar fridge and AC. I'll admit that purple velour bedspreads and curtains might not be to everyone's taste but it was actually the reason I picked the room! The bathroom was on the small side compared to other riads I've stayed in but was clean and perfectly adequate, with the nice addition of bathrobes and towels embroidered with the Riad Yacout logo.
We ate our evening meal shortly after we arrived on the first night and it was delicious - the pastille, cous cous, tagine and pastries were all top quality and we enjoyed them on the roof terrace as we watched the sun set.
The bed was comfortable and there was no noise - note that Room 10, Suite Moulay Ismail does not have any windows opening onto the main courtyard of the riad. The acoustics of riads is such that any noise made in the open area down the middle of the building is amplified. Therefore, if you are a light sleeper, I always suggest booking a room that does not have windows onto the courtyard.
All in all this was a lovely riad with good food, good facilities and in a great location - so why am I torn? Well simply because the staff were almost too polite and courteous. Instead of feeling homely, it felt a little uncomfortable and more like an impersonal 5 star hotel in terms of service. The service was very good but came with an air of servility and detachment that makes me feel unworthy somehow.
The only member of staff who seemed open and friendly was the young lady at reception who arranged our transfer to Fes - the men of the riad were all very formal and stood to attention at all times.
All in all, I can't fault the riad itself and I would recommend it - it just wasn't a sit-down-and-chat place for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in the district of lalla Aouda (approachable by car parking in front) at two minutes away from the place of El Heddim. It is next door of Bab Mansour and Kobt Souk, the breath taking view of the old Medina, as well as Royal Golf of Meknes. Pass the entry; you discover a beautiful patio with its water basin, 2 suites and 8 rooms are shelled marvellously well in this place, Benefiting each one from a refined decoration, the rooms are soundproof, air-conditioned, equipped with satellite television, telephone and Wi-Fi access. ... more less
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