10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Over priced and inept
"After reading all the wonderful reviews we were very disappointed that Richard was no longer cooking. However, we were assured that this would still be a fine dining experince. It wasn't! The starter was average, the main tasty but the pudding a disaster! 2 different creme brulees that were so over cooked they had mutated into scrambled egg, topped with charcholed black caramel. Just awful. The hostess was polite but clearly distracted by her child crying upstairs - she spent most of the evening running up and down, indeed when we left the child was hanging around her neck - not really the sophisicated, romantic atmosphere we were expecting. The food was incredibly over priced. Avoid!!"
- Travel date: 29th July 2006
Beware - celebrity chef has left the building!
"A big warning to all foodies who may be expecting (as we did) to be treated to exquisite dining at Casa Lalla, as contrary to the web-site and rave reviews in Time Out, Richard Neat (2 michelin star chef) is no longer working there, apparently having left in June 06. The web-site had still not been updated as of 24/7/06, and still features Richard's cuisine as a key selling point for the Ryad, and so were mildly irritated when the owners acted surprised when we were clearly disappointed on our arrival to find out he no longer worked there (or his partner Sophie who had received great reviews from trip advisor reviews). Instead, the Ryad owners are back in situ, a french couple who were very hospitable but clearly are not in a position to offer dining to the same standard. Although we did not eat there in the evening, other guests reported the food was very good, and the internal courtyard has a lovely ambience in the evening for dinner. We felt prices were steep though given other alternatives in the vicinity, as were the massage services on site. Breakfast was a pitiful affair also (the bare basics unless you asked for extras), and although service was always impeccably polite and friendly, service overall was slow and pretty clumsy, which let the place down a lot, as did the sunbeds and drapes etc on the roof terrace which were looking pretty grubby, compared to the rest of the place, which was kept immaculate. Another major gripe we had (which may be a temporary situation given the owners had only recently moved back in since Richard's departure), was that their young son was pretty noisy, and often disturbed the otherwise peaceful atmosphere of the Ryad, especially if you are wanting to get away from it all for some peace and quiet. On the positive side, the Ryad is very attractive, and a clean modern setting, which I gather is relatively unusual in the Medina. The rooms and fitting were all good quality, although the cheaper room we stayed in for part of our stay was very tight on bedroom space. The owners, Annabel and Pierre were also very helpful, when we asked for tips and advise, but were always more reactive rather than overly welcoming. The location is also ideal as its a short walk to the main square, and you can hear and smell the hustle bustle of the square springing into action every evening from the roof-top sun terrace, although expect the sun-sets to be marred by endless satellite dishes mounted on roof tops. All in all, a nice place, but I would agree with some of the other reviews in that without the star chef to sell their rooms, they need to brush up on service and other basics to make Casa Lalla worth a re-visit."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2006
Where is Richard Neat?
"My family and I have just returned from a long weekend in Marrakech staying at Casa Lalla. The Riad itself is above average - nice rooms (decor is modern/simple Moroccan), air conditioning in rooms (a must in July!), great location (5 mins from JemaÃ¢ el Fna ) and good hosts (Annabel and Pierre-Olivier). We followed the recommendations to have dinner on one evening at Casa Lalla and were very disappointed. It seems the the French version of the hotel website has been updated and any reference to Richard Neat has been removed. However the English version still suggests that Richard is in residence! Unfortunately this is untrue. Pierre-Olivier confirmed that Richard left Casa Lalla two months ago meaning that Pierre-Olivier is now the chef. The meal itself was nice but certainly not Michelin star standard and was poor value for the money. I would recommend staying here if you want a nice Riad in an excellent location. However I would not recommend going to Casa Lalla specifically to eat."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2006
Go there to eat but find somewhere else to stay
"I stayed at Casa Lalla this March and was incredibly disappointed with many aspects of the stay, particularly after reading so much about Casa Lalla before the trip. For a Michelin starred chef to preside over an establishment that offers the same uninspiring (but admittedly authentic) breakfast every single day and that combines the inconvenience of staying in somebody else's house with the price of a quality European hotel was a surprise. Casa Lalla is entirely geared around the chef cooking the dinner, so everything else is pretty half-hearted. I do not know why they do not simply turn the place over to being a wonderful restaurant which would surely be fully booked every night. The dinner there was excellent and I fully recommend you try it if in Marrakech but there are better places to stay."
- Travel date: 14th May 2006
"we stayed at casa lalla for 2 nights in april and loved every minute of it. richards food is amazing and was one of the highlights of our trip. the rooms are comfortable and the roof terrace peaceful. would definately recommend it to anyone and would stay there again!"
- Travel date: 3rd May 2006
Lovely riad - lovely food
"We stayed for four nights at Casa Lalla in February 2006 and were very impressed by the beautifully restored riad and excellent food. Sophie and Richard were very friendly and the Riad is an ideal base to explore the city."
- Travel date: 6th April 2006
"What a fabulous experience! We stayed a week at Casa Lalla and managed to eat there every night. The food was mind blowing ... my taste buds were convinced they'd died and gone to sensory heaven ... everything balanced and complimented .. nothing jared or seemed out of place. The rooms were spacious and the whole atmosphere was more like staying with a family friend than being in a guest house ... couldn't rcommend the experience more strongly .. go and try it for yourself!!!"
- Travel date: 5th April 2006
Casa Lalla - A true gem of a riad
"Don't be alarmed when Hassan the driver takes you down the ninth small alleyway - he's not about to mug you but bring you to the door of a truly excellent riad. A beautiful and peaceful haven from the madness of Jema el Fna (actually just five minutes away on foot). The rooms are all individually decorated and each one is enchanting. The photos on their website do not exaggerate just how great this place is. All the staff are charming and always smiling. They obviously enjoy working here and nothing is too much trouble for them. Not to forget another important member of the CL team - Olivier the dog. A majestic resident who surveys all and is not in the least intimidating even for those who aren't especially dog-loving. Make sure you take the opportunity to eat dinner at CL as many times as they'll let you. The taster menu is outstanding in quality and value for money. You'll never eat this well anywhere else in Marrakech. Be sure to bring wine though as they don't have a drinks license. We can't recommend this place highly enough. Thanks to Sophie, Richard and team for such a great stay."
- Travel date: 23rd March 2006
Fantastic riad in central Marrakech!
"My husband and I recently spent a wonderful 3 days at Casa Lalla in central Marrakech. A very short walk from Jemaa el Fna, the riad is perfectly located for exploring the square, souks, and other sites of Marrakech. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, especially Sophie Neat who is absolutely delightful. Her husband Richard (as a previous review alluded) is less outgoing, but we thought this was due to shyness, not a lack of interest in the comfort of his guests. The rooms in the riad are comfortable and charming, and the overall atmosphere of the hotel is very peaceful, a welcome haven from the madness of Marrakech! Richard's 6 course tasting dinner is an absolute MUST if you stay here. Each course more delicious than the last and at a bargain of a price too -- you'd never get anything like this in London! Take your own wine though as the hotel doesn't have a license."
- Travel date: 28th February 2006
Great start but did not live up!
"We stayed at Casa Lalla for 4 nights and dined there twice, as much had been made in the English press about the quality of Richard Neat's cuisine. On arrival we were met by charming staff who showed us to our room which was very plesant. The whole place has a lovely calm atmosphere. Our first nights meal was a memeral one with 6 courses of great balance and touch. The meal was served by Sophie Neat, who is a truly superb hostess, a charming young waitress and Richard Neat himself! Unfortunatly after our first night the great experiance seemed to fade away. The breakfasts(no choice) were the same each morning. Richard is very awkward at dealing with people and seems uncapable of being a welcoming host that the place seems to set its "home" image on.This becomes more and more evident each day. Sophie trys to cover this up but unfortunatly this beautiful riad is all about Richard and what Richard wants!Our second dinner was quite dissapionting as obviously Richard wasn't in the mood, the courses used the same ingredients as the previous night, but in a slightly differant format and considering his 2 Michelin star talent it was clear he was just going through the motions. It is very sad to write this as we expected these few days to be the highlight of our entire trip."
- Travel date: 23rd February 2006
Riad Casa Lalla is also called
- Casa Lalla
- casa lalla marrakech
- casa lalla hotel marrakech