10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A little Oasis
"I have just returned from a great trip to Marrakech and the Riad Catalina. The Riad is a charming "little oasis" centrally located, around a 5 minute walk away from the main square. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left nothing was too much trouble for the friendly and helpful staff at the Riad Catalina. We stayed in room 105 which was the 'Saphir' room. The room was clean and adequate, equiped with an ensuite shower/bathroom which again was adequate if a little basic. The Riad itself is a charming little place, tastefully decorated in traditional Morrocan style with a lovely sun terrace and open air restaurant where you can chill out drinking mint tea. Finding the Riad is not as difficult as first feared and is located off some really traditional cobble roads where you would think you have stepped back in time...Missing the oncoming donkeys and motor bikes adds to the feeling of stepping into another world. Overall I could not fault the hotel at all, they took care of booking both taxis for us and advised us where not to eat!! Great time overall and would really reccomend this hotel."
- Travel date: 8th April 2008
Enjoyed the Riad Catalina
"My husband & I stayed at the Riad Catalina for 3 nights at the end of January & had a wonderful time. The staff were all extremely friendly & helpful & the riad was superbly clean & well looked after. We had Room 307 with a private terrace which is definitely to be recommended(unless it is for a date when we want to go again!). The rooms are not huge but are adequate,especially when you have the outdoor space & the superb view of the Koutoubia Mosque. They are very traditional in style with stained glass windows & tiled floors. I have seen earlier reviews where the breakfast was criticised but whilst we were there it was excellent. We had fresh orange juice;fresh fruit salad;fresh baked bread& pastries;fresh coffee & all served in the courtyard or in the Salon which is a beautifully decorated room with chandeliers & big comfy cushions. Yes, the rooftop pool is small but they have certainly made the most of the space available & it is a pleasant place to take in the evening sun & the view of the Atlas Mountains in the far distance ( which a previous reviewer claimed not to be able to see!). The location within the Medina is excellent as it is only a 10 minute walk to the square & the souks, although you do have to negotiate some narrow alleyways to find it. If we return to Marrakech we will certainly be visiting the Riad Catalina again."
- Travel date: 12th February 2008
"We have just spent 6 days in the hustle & bustle of Marrakesh and it was so lovely to return to the quiet oasis of the Riad Catalina after a full day out. The courtyard is lovely with the fountain in the middle. The room we had was lovely with a Moroccan style bathroom and the view out of the window was across to the Koutoubia Minaret. Being at the top there is a private terrace which can only be used by the occupants of room 307 & 308 so it was lovely to sit out there in the early evening. On the other roof terrace is the pool, not large but great for cooling off. The staff were very friendly and were always there to help. We came back fairly late from a day in Essaouira and didn't fancy going out to eat, but the team at the Riad were very helpful and provided me with a large cheese sandwich which was very welcome. The location is good, not too many alley ways to negotiate and fairly close to one of the gates into the Medina. I would definitely recommend this Riad."
- Travel date: 20th October 2007
Best place to stay
"The minute we stepped into this oasis of a Riad we were happy we booked here. The service was excellent. We were even met on the made road where the taxi dropped us off as we were having difficulties getting money exchanged so they paid for the taxi until we could get some cash. Greeted with mint tea which relaxed us immediately from the journey. As there was a wedding that weekend we stayed in the riad just around the corner which was peaceful. The bedroom was beautiful and bathroom amazing. The views from the top were lovely. We had breakfast at the main riad every morning and one evening we had dinner. The food was amazing and worth the price. Breakfast consisted of bread rolls (fresh!), cooked moroccan pastries and fruit salad. The swimming pool is amazing - shallow but just right for a drip in the afternoon and relaxing on the sun beds. Very clean as well, and at the top of the riad so again lovely views and lots of sunshine although there is a canopy area too."
- Travel date: 8th June 2007
"I bought a guide to find a Riad before i left and sent a lot of e-mails Catalina was the only one to reply very promptly and was so so helpful. It's a simple Riad but if you're after calm friendly atmosphere,very helpful staff (nadia you are the best) who will help you to have the best holiday then do not look any further. the Riad was fully booked but we felt like we were in our own house. the rooms are clean and comfortable. I cannot wait to go back there again. So go and experience it for yourself!"
- Travel date: 8th May 2007
Beware the little room at the top of the stairs!
"We had tried to reserve a 'large' room from the UK, but were told 'rooms were allocated on arrival'. We were allocated the small room, opposite Reception (see previous review), the stair case is so narrow you can barely take your suitcase up it, there is no space to even walk round the bed and the shower and washbasin tiny. This room is not adequate for two adults. We asked to be moved and this they did, only to be asked two days later to move back to the small room as this room had already been reserved? We refused and the manager then offered us 'incentives' to move back to the small room., eg free meals. Why would we 'downgrade' and I think we were 'fobbed' off with this to start with and only by moving did we enjoy our stay at the Riad. The Riad itself is lovely, difficult to find, but there is no noise and the staff are polite and helpful. The breakfast is fine, if a little limited, perhaps some fresh fruit would be good. The evening meal is very good, possibly a little expensive, but the surroundings are clean and calming. The pool is really only a plunge pool, you certainly can't swim in it!"
- Travel date: 29th April 2007
Loved this place!!
"After reading the reviews we had mixed feelings about this place, I must add this was before the positive review before this one was posted. The hotel is ideally located within the old medina, We wouldn't recommend staying outwith. the welcome was as described in the previous review, very friendly and homely. Yes it isn't the easiest place to find but there's always someone about to assist, a little cash goes a long way in Marrakech!! The room was ideal, all that is needed really, the food excellent and as said probably the most perfect location within the city yet quiet and very peaceful. Ignore the first reviews and visit this fantastic wee oasis within a crazy city. If we should ever return to Marrakech, there is no doubt of where we will stay, this is a fantastic find and we were lucky to find it on our first visit."
- Travel date: 25th January 2007
A very different, but lovely experiance.
"Not the easiest place to find, being down narrow alleys but well worth finding, Greeted with smiling staff, mint tea and Charlie the riad's guard dog( a friendly king charles who could only guard pastries). The room was smallish BUT what it lacked in area it made up in style. Rose petals scattered on the bed and housekeeping who even fanned out my wrap! It overlooked the courtyard with it's fountain, trees and birds. Breakfast was taken inside,under cover or outside depending on the weather, continental with a varied selection of Morocan pastries. Evening meals were good and special requests catered for given 24 hrs notice. The manageress was a mine of information both about Marrakesh and the people of Morocco in general. Advise on where to go, booking of transport etc were all excecuted in her French 'savoir faire' manner. Nothing was too much for her or her staff. So the pool was small but with so much to see it was a cool area to sit and contemplate the next excursion. Would we go again, YES, it's not a typical EU/USA clone hotel but one with character and charm"
- Travel date: 30th December 2006
Very disappointed by this riad ........
"We have just come back from wonderful Morocco but I'm afraid that our stay in Marrakech was spoilt by a few days staying at Riad Catalina. We had a nightmare with this riad from the time that we booked it and had seen a previous poor review. I must admit that I did not help matters by not having the address of the riad with me when we arrived at Jeema El Fna after a 10 hour bus journey from Fes, but when I tried to phone the riad to ask for directions, both phone numbers on their website were not working. After nearly an hour of walking around the square trying to get our bearings we found the riad and checked in. When we walked in I was immediately disappointed, the photo's on their website must have been expertly taken ! The riad is not up to the standards of other beautiful riads in Marrakech. The interior reminds me of an hostel or cheaper hotel. Our bags were taken to our room by the staff, but we were just told that our room was just up the stairs above the main door. When we opened the door to the room we were shocked to see that the room was tiny, there was no space around the bed to put our bags and the bathroom was very small too. There was no ventilation in the room, there was a window in the bathroom, but this looked out over the patio and was locked. There was an air conditioning vent but this was very noisy and it was either too hot or too cold. After a 10 hour bus journey we were exhausted so we thought that we would stay there the night and hopefully things would look better the next morning. Thta night I was woken up about 10 times by the noisy front door that when shut shook our room and the noise of people passing our room. The breakfast was not worth waiting for either, it was a baguette with jam in a small plastic tub. We thought that we would look at the roof top swimming pool and terrace "with views of the Atlas Mountains". The pool was maximum 1 metre deep and about 10 metres long, so your knees would scrape on the bottom when you tried to swim. And the mountains where no where to be seen. Due to it being Easter and with a shortage of accomodation in Marrakech, we stayed there 1 more night, the breaking point was being woken up at 7am by door bell which echoed in our room by the baker delivering the baguettes. We checked out that morning. We had no discount from the riad and we were charged 30 dh for a map of Marrakech which only costs 15 dh in the shops and really should be free in this type of riad. The only time when I saw the owner was when she was having a stand up argument with her husband in front of her guests ......... says it all really. There are many beautiful riads in Marrakech run by loving caring owners, this is not one of them. I'm afraid that we can not recomend this riad"
- Travel date: 23rd April 2006
Not to Bad
"We stayed at the Riad Catalina at the end of November 2005. We were on a tour that was supposed to be In style and Luxury the prices certainly were. On arriving we all put our foot down and wanted to move. Not doable as Marrakech was full due to the film festival. This Riad has a good web site that makes it look better than it is. We had room 206 see picture on web site. This fails to capture the bed cover although new are coming apart, the mold in the miniscule shower, really dirty floor, they did come and wash it on request, the staff were very friendly. Glasses full of what appeared to be toothpaste, was changed and towels that are hung to dry and be re used. The rack rate was 113 Eruos approx 113 US. Food adequate although breakfast very very petit dejeuner and we had had some fantastic food along the way. The manageress was a charming women doing the best with what she had. This would be fine for a budget experience. It is a short walk to the square."
- Travel date: 25th November 2005
Riad Catalina is also called
- Riad Catalina Hotel