31 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Riad Amssafah Hotel
"The room was too filthy and spoiled; it did not seem hotel at all. No cleaning at all. The entire hotel smelled stinky. I could not breathe and I opened my day and night. I left the room on the second day. The lady at the reception was too arrogant. "
- Travel date: Sat 5th of November 2016
Beautiful traditional building and furniture .
"Affordable, centrally located within the market old residential area,about 15 minutes from the famous Jamia al Fenaa open area. It would have been very difficult to find my way without the photocopied hand drawn map that was given to us by the receptionist. Area poorly lit in the evening after shops close and would not have been comfortable walking back on my own.
Staff were helpful ( specially Aziz) but not all were friendly.
Rooms were traditionally decorated charming and clean but cant be star rated. Rooms not ready when we arrived in the late afternoon and a misunderstanding with type of room booked but was sorted out. Electrics devices needs updating. In one room the choice was between using the refrigerator or the TV. The TV had only one channel ( French /Arabic).
All bed side lamps didn't work. Not possible to read in the rooms at night time. Beds comfortable and rooms good size. One room really smelled badly of drains in the heat of the summer. Bathroom cleaning needs improvement as hair and deb re in bath and shower plug holes.
Buy bottled water and exchange currency outside the hotel for better rates,but facility handy in hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of August 2012
"When I arrived at my room, there was no toilet paper, soap, use an old lay on the sink edge, tooth brush glasses were dirty and the tables were sticky and blotchy ... The refrigerator was empty. Buy water with you. Only one French channel on TV. Cleaning staff and the woman at reception was bland!"
- Travel date: Thu 17th of November 2011
Like Ali Babas cave
"On arriving at Riad Amssafah my heart sank seeing its entrance through the archway with heavy wooden door. Our taxi driver knocked on the door and we were ushered in, it was so large and light and airy and 100% traditional moroccan. Staff very pleasant and friendly, our room was large with separate sleeping and sitting areas and we also had a fridge to keep drinks cool. Walking to the the square takes about 15 mins but as long as you take main route through the medina and do not wander off you will be ok. Everyone gets lost and tourists wander around with maps, it took us 2 days to get to the square and back without being lost at all. I would stay here again and would recommend it."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of May 2011
best riad ever
"This was the last destination for our honeymoon back in 2008 and i want to take my hubby back there for a well earned rest, the hotel is beautiful, clean and homely and the staff are fantastic, highly, highly recommended!!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 21st of November 2010
"After reading too many reviews, we were expecting a black hole. Getting there was a bit stressful but once in, it was like a little haven. The rooms are very traditional, huge double bed, small bathroom, but that's all you need.
They have a very nosey cat, who liked to stay with us and we didn't mind as we were missing ours at home.
The staff were very helpful and polite. Breakfast was fine, but try eating from some local stalls for a real Morrocan start to the day.
Finding your way back after 9pm was stressful as they close off the medina ally ways with huge gates and immediately got lost. Ask for help from a shop owner or there are loads of kids who will take you back for a small tip. Just don't panic, keep walking and remember where tourist sites are and you'll be fine.
Using the roof top was nice, really opened your eyes on how other people live. So it's not 4 star but we preferred it to the other hundreds of places to stay. Would RECOMMEND this hotel to anyone who wants a Morrocan escape on the cheap! "
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of April 2010
Amazing and unbelievable!
"Don't miss this place!!! Riad Amssafah was an amazing place to stay in Marrakech! My mother, who is older, and I stayed at the riad for 3 nights while in Morroco. The staff, food, architecture, and rooms were comfortable, quaint, and impressive. There was always a new room to explore and new food to taste. Karima, the receptionist, was outstanding and warm! She gave us great directions to the big market and was very kind in sharing about Morrocan culture with us. "
- Travel date: Fri 26th of March 2010
Our first visit to Marrakech
"Our first visit to Marrakech was an amazing experience. We are both retired in our sixties and not used to standardised city 4 and 5 star hotels. We went with an open mind, our son told us we would be out of our comfort zone and as we approached our accomodation we realised what he meant. Our transfer from the airport at 11.00am (pre arranged certainly a MUST)took us from a modern city, back in time, to another world. We parked the taxi and walked for 5 minutes to a large wooden door, the driver knocked and we were ushered in. What awaited was, to us, out of this world. We were asked to wait by the plunge pool, open to the sky and surrounded by long sofas covered with brightly coloured cushions endless rooms led off this area all with seating and everywhere the floors brightly tiled, painted wooden hangings and the most beautiful lamps. Traditional mint tea and biscuits were brought to us by a smartly dressed smiling waiter (we found out later was Aziz) After 20 minutes we were taken up one floor to our room, room 12. Again we were delighted the decor was, as we now understood, Morrocan. The room was airy and clean, the bed was clean and comfortable, the bathroom roomy with an amazing shower, towels were clean every day, there were plenty of plugs, mirrors and hanging space and a 'fridge. Once the curtains were drawn back and the shutters opened you could see the blue sky filled with swooping swifts. We explored the upper terrace with tables, chairs and beds. The views from there (obscured by the walls) when we peeped over brought us back to the reality of where we were. The very friendly reception staff gave us a hand drawn map of the route we needed to take to the main square, with good defing landmarks, with a 'Arabic written address' in case were were needing directions back and a futher map of the whole of Marrakech.
We walked for two days far too far, taxis are cheap and the much better bet, 20dhrs a ride will get you anywhere within the city and reduce the need of endless map checking!
Certainly visit the 'Jardin Majorelle' (Yves St Laurent)a real oasis and adjoining Musee d'Art Islamique. The Medersa Ben Youssef (Former Koranic Boarding School)and next door the Musee de Marrakech. also the Palais Bahia. Eat at the Night Market, stand 75 had Rick Stein cooking the night we ate!!!!!Drink the wonderful freshly squeezed orange juice by the gallon. We ate in our Riad on one evening and there were able to have a bottle of wine. On other evenings we ate out in the night market, at the Cafe Bourganvillea and on our final night at Terrasse des Espices in the Souk. Each time returning to our Riad for coffee, tea and a drink. The food is interesting and aromatic, always served with a smile and unrushed, (apart from the night market which is fun and frenetic)
Barter in the Souks and during that just keep smiling, you can always escape back to the Riad if it gets too much.
Above all don't go to Marrakech expecting a modern city experience with Western European standards (ie endless health and safety rules!!! freebee Molton Brown soap, shampoo and shower gel, shoe cleaners and useless sewing kits in a faceless hotel. The Morrocan people we had dealings with were delightful, pleased you were visiting their country and their city, hoping you were enjoying your time. Respect the fact that it is a Muslim country, it may be hot (our days in March were averaging about 28C, cooler but not cold in the evening) but we kept ankle to wrist covered in cool loose clothes. Show respect to all and you will be treated likewise. A knowledge of French will help no end.
We shall return and we will use the same Riad. We will visit the Atlas Mounain Area for a few days, pre book a pampering session in an Hammam and I will have a Henna tattoo on my ankle. I think if I had visited in the 60's I might have stayed, I have never come back from only a week away feeling so relaxed and happy."
- Travel date: Wed 18th of March 2009
What a place, what a location
"We found this a fantastic place to stay the rooms are palatial if you pay a little extra (i.e. for a suite) and the staff were always happy to assist. We went low season in February and found that the Riad was a great place to stay and definitely value for money - loved the rooftop area and breakfast setting if a little cold at this time - still there is heating in rooms. People in Marrakesh are friendly however there is the feel that all are deperate for your money. The souks are great make sure you have room to bring a piece of Marrakesh back with you! "
- Travel date: Thu 5th of March 2009
READ THIS!!! Okay, where do I start. Day...
Okay, where do I start. Days off from work and hard earned money are both prescious when you work hard all year so you want to be selective about where you go, after all there are an infinite number of locations and resorts and you want to get the most out of your cash.
Got a taxi that drove us at break-neck speed to the slums ...sorry did I say slums, I meant Souks where the Riad Amssafah is and was wondering where the hell I was. The taxis have no seat belts and overtake at every single given opportunity which isnt a good thing since we later ended up in a head on collision with a van which smashed up my leg and me my girlfriend got very badly knocked about but thats another story!) and you dont want to end up in a Moroccon hospital...trust me.
Im no stranger to roughing it as a climber & I work in the tough iron and steel industry. The taxi stopped in a filthy, muddy, narrow alley at the Northern end of the Souk. Locals eyes light up when you get out. Beady eyes all side glancing you as you walk towards the Riad. I personally found it very much a baptism with fire.
The Riad itself is a nice place. Very tranquil from the nightmare location in the Souks. We dropped our bags in our room and then asked the staff in the Riad how to get around. I think they are accutely aware of the location and its inherent problems from the opportunist filled alley ways that lie waiting for you on the other side of that entrance. We had been in Morocco 2 hours and we had the Riad Staff warning us DO NOT stop to speak to anyone and ONLY go the way we tell you to go . Do not listen to anyone that approaches you and if you get lost (which we did) ask a shop owner or policeman. Okay, with that knowledge we headed out.
Motorbikes, bicycles, donkeys pulling loaded carts, young lads approach you being VERY VERY insistent you are going the wrong way, people calling ''Hey! English? Hey you!!'' These people make looking around in the Souks for potential souvenir purchases an absolute nightmare/ impossible even! One lad was almost shouting in my face telling me to ''look at Berber market...last day!'' After hearing this the tenth time I had to glare this kid in the eye and say ''Look! We are NOT interested!'' ...and still he kept hovering around us at which point Im thinking should I have my fists clenched here because this kid is unerving me and more importantly my girlfriend. We made it to the Main Square and breathed a sigh of relief. Im sorry, but that isnt a holiday. If you are insistent that experiencing the Souks and Main Square then my advice is stay in accomodation outside of the Souks and venture into them as and when you please or better still, get a guide to take you through the maze of alley ways and his presence wil deter any idiots from hassling you.
We were so fed up with it we cut our stay in Marrakech short and got the Supratour Coach to Agadir where our hotel had money stolen from it, ended up in a head-on crash in a taxi, got an electric shock off the Electirc Cooker which was 'Live' when we switched it on and had 2 lads booting our apartment door on the last night to which I had to leap out of the bed and go roaring at them to warn them off.
Moroco isnt safe for families because of the transport risk. Fast erratic driving on chaotic roads with no seat belts just isnt how you want your kids being ferried around.
Ive been. There were good bits...tiny tiny bits. Never again. Next year, Algarve, Italian Riviera, Chamonix, Yosemite Ntional Park, Iceland maybe...anywhere but Morocco."
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of October 2008
just got back from the riad yesterday. h...
"just got back from the riad yesterday.
having never felt the need to write a review before-this was my exception.
having being picked up from the airport and whisked through the streets of marrakech to our riad-i have to admit we were a little bit terrified about where we were-and what we would find when we got inside-as the riad is in a pretty dirty part of town.
couldnt have been more wrong-the place is a little paradise,a haven from the bustling
streets outside,beautifully furnished with an amazing ceiling(look up!!!!)
the staff there work really really hard and i cannot recall ever seeing any more than about 5 of them at any time of day-there seems to be a core of staff that live there and will attend to your every need(albeit at a marrakech pace)once you have asked them in a way they can understand(speak slowly and use lots of hand gestures!)
our room wasnt brilliant-but the aircon worked fine,the showers were warm,and the bed and the sheets were clean and comfortable.
people in marrakech work for nothing,and the service industry are badly paid,so look after the staff,and the comeback will be tenfold in your favour.
be prepared to get lost often-and be prepared to pay people for their intimate knowledge of the streets-but dont pay the hangers on-just the first guy you ask!
a fee of about 25-50 dirhams will usually suffice-dont pay til you get there naturally.
visit all of marrakech and see if you can get to the coast(essoiuria)for cheaper shopping and a cool breeze off the sea.
in summary-this place is amazing-not for the faint hearted and not for people who dont like to walk a bit.
coming back to the ryad late on an evening through dark and narrow streets was a great deal less threatening than doing the same thing in this country-and we found the people to be master hustlers,but show them a kindness,and they will share their last
cup of tea with you.
eat in the square or off the streets of you dare!but go for the hot stuff and avoid the orange juice and salads as there is no cooking process to kill the bugs that the morrocans are very immune to-but you will not be-so beware.
go to the riad-ignore the bad reviews-theyre just from the people who expect a 5 star hotel for a one star price-unrealistic and unfair in my opinion.we had a blast and were
very very sad to say goodbye"
- Travel date: Mon 4th of August 2008
Ohhhhhh my gosh Riad Amssaffa (i think t...
"Ohhhhhh my gosh Riad Amssaffa (i think that is how u spell it) was amazing. I brought this holiday for my boyfriend for his 30th b'day present and i went with him for a week. The Riad was great and the people were amazing, i live in London and you never (i bet you) you never get staff like this at a hotel. They were fantastic. We were right in the centrel of the medina which when i booked i didnt know what it was, its basically in the centres of the capital which in fact was great. If u want any info or advice email me at celia.miranda(@)haymarket.com, i didnt like it to start but its actuallya great place. I was in the center so it was full of really really poor people but they were alll lovely and where i was staying Riad Amsaffah it was great and all the staff were just amazing they would do anything for you. And not just that the place was amazing. If you ever go to Morocco or Marrakesh in fact you have to stay at a Riad, its such an amazing experience."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of March 2008