12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Excellent value in central Marrakech
"Riad Jonan provided us with a wonderful oasis midst the busy city. Staff made an excellent team who together work consistently hard to ensure all your needs are met. Staff are helpful with directions, good restaurants, points of interests or generally insight to Moroccan life. The Riad was very clean and traditionally decorated. The roof terrace was wonderfully quiet and peaceful. Lovely evening meals were readily cooked when requested along with endless pots of tea. Will definitely stay at Riad Jonan if again in Marrakesh without a doubt!
- Travel date: Wed 8th of April 2015
Can't get you out of our minds!!!!
"We visited Morocco last year November and stayed at the Riad Jonan after reading all the positive reviews, our stay was booked directly by contacting them from their website. Where do I start....Martin and Howard are the best hosts anyone could ever dream of having. Their knowledge and life experience of staying in Marrakech is invaluable. We spent 9 days at the Riad with a three day/two night visit to the sahara desert (well worth it!). If there is one thing you do whilst staying at the Riad , make sure you have a meal cooked by Hania (sorry Martin but your Thai did came a close second!) To sum it up, if you want to be close enough to savour the local culture, yet need some luxurious comforts (like local morrocan wine), stay at the Riad. PS Don't take travellers cheques.
Martin and Howard sorry it has taken so long to leave a message and one last thank you for making our holiday extremely memorable."
- Travel date: Mon 29th of January 2007
"Just got back form Riad Jonan, after a three night stay in this cetrally situated homely Riad. Howard and his staff made us all so welcome and their hospitality was exactly what was required in this bustling city. We took advantage of the taxi arranged by Howard to and from the airport, which saved a great deal of worry, and made our stay much more relaxing. Howards selection of wines in the Riad suited all our tastes and budget, so having dragged ourselves away from bartering early one evening, it was lovely relaxing in the pleasent comany and surroundings...We think the highlight of our stay in Marrakech must have been the Hammam Ziani, which I only found out about from this site. We four females all came out polished and refreshed, and worth every penny of the 350 DHs for the works! Just what was required to re-energise for the souks!"
- Travel date: Mon 29th of January 2007
RIAD JONAN-excellent riad in good position+friedly staff
"we have just returned from a 4 night stay at the riad jonan and would higly recomend it in all ways. howard and martyn have been very helpful from the start always answering e mails promptly about any little detail you need to know.
we arranged for howard to collect us from the airport which is strongly advised as the taxi drivers at the airport can try to charge over the odds.
On arrival at the riad we shown into the central area which is beautifully decorated morracan style,we were offered a coffee/tea served on a tray with cloth and royal doulton cups very appreciated.
Howard is full of information and told us everything we asked he advised and booked trips which we decided to do nothing was too much trouble.
our room was tastefully furnished in moraccan style,a little small but as this is a town house it is to be expected.
the breakfasts at the riad are great ,try the fruit + home made yogourt its lovely.
while we were there we found time to lay and relax on the sun terrace where there are loungers provided with towels there is also a tent to keep the sun off if you need a break.
we took the trip to the high atlas mountains howard recomened kabour a driver they use he was our driver for the day and very informative ,he speaks very good english.
if anyone is looking for a spa massage day we went to the les bains de marrakesh about 5 mins from the riad.this was heaven we had the 3.5 hr treatment scrub massage and a lovely romantic bath 2 tubs facing each other covered in rose petals verry relaxing day 700dh each well worth it.
just a little warning our bank advised travellers cheques after 6 banks refusing we were beginning to panic but we did find one that would exchange them only from 3 in the afternoon.
all in all we had a wonderful break in marrakesh made all the more less stressful by the staff of riad jonan"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of January 2007
Great location, great place to unwind after the hectic pace of the city
"Great hotel, fab location.
Just come back from spending a wonderful week at Riad Jonan.Right in the Kasbah,which is teeming with life and only a short walk to the souks and the Djemma El Fna. This Riad is intimate, relaxing but right at the heart of things-the perfect combination.
Howard,Martyn and the team make you feel instantly at home, always ready with suggestions and ideas but never pushy.
It was our first trip to Marrakech and the Riad gave us a great homemade map of how to get to the souks etc from the Riad which was indespensible and better than anything the lonely planet managed!
While there are many great places to eat locally and Howard and Martyn are great on ideas, we ate at the Riad one night and the food was amazing - and definately worth stopping in for!
We had a fabulous bedroom, with its own CD player and a really great bathroom.
We had a fabulous trip into the Atlas Mountains, visiting a manic Berber market (great to be guided around!) then onto some stunning jaw dropping scenery and then a great and at times exciting walk to the waterfalls. An absolute must!
Howard organised a half day relaxation session at the Les Bains de Marrakech which is just round the corner. I had a great massage and was sooooooo relaxed (make sure you go in the afternoon as you wont want to do anything afterwards!)-again a real must!
The Riad has the best breakfast I have had in a longtime, with fabulous yoghurt!!
For those wanting a slower start to the day or just a bit of relaxation with a book the Riad has a great sun terrace. Also perfect for an evening drink under the stars."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of January 2007
Excellent English Owners
"Travellers who want to experience the real Marrakesh and receive 1st class service should make a booking with Riad Jonan.
The owners Martyn and Howard make you feel at home as soon as you arrive. The staff they employ are attentive and look after you at all times.
A previous comment made earlier giving them negative reviews in my opinion was not justified.
If you want a hotel which could be in any part of the world then do not stay here, however real travellers will be pleased to stay in a traditional Riad getting honest views of the surrounding area and getting real advice on what to see and do.
We stayed on bed and breakfast basis but saw another couple having a superb evening meal.
The only point that can be made is it is a must to arrange a pick up from the airport as you would never find it.
- Travel date: Sat 13th of January 2007
Terrific riad; can't recommend it highly enough!
"Just returned from 3 nights at Riad Jonan and would like to extole its virtues! The person who wrote the previous review must expect the moon on a stick for their money - for somewhere so inexpensive, it was delightful.
SAFE LOCATION - mum and I were travelling without male company, but felt totally at ease because the riad is just off a main road, only 300 yards from a major tourist attraction, the Saadien tombs. I felt safe to wander the local area on my own.
FRIENDLY STAFF - for Â£10 Howard met us from the airport, which was very reassuring in a new place. The English speaking riad staff instantaneously provide anything you ask for eg pillows, juice and are very courteous.
HOWARD AND MARTYN - really know their stuff and recommended 2 super restaurants (Rotunda and Comptoir, each about Â£25 p head) and some cheaper local good cafes. They also provided handy hints on how to barter for taxis and souvenirs and what one should be paying.
The best recommendation of all was the hop on and off open top bus tour, about Â£8 per head (ticket valid for 24 hrs) which gives you a great overview of the city and stops at all the major sites (one bus every half hour). If you want to just stay on and do the loop it takes 1.5 hrs.
FACILITIES were scrupulously clean and comfortable. You have to expect the rooms to be small by international standards as the riads are little town houses.
IN THE SAME STREET: there's a HUGE government controlled shop, the size of a small department store which is air-conditioned, very clean and full of all the items for sale in the souks. Prices are fixed and far more expensive than in the souk, but its nice to look without being hassled by traders.
ONLY SUGGESTION: if your short term memory isn't totally reliable , take a pen and pad for Martyn's fascinating debrief. He gave us a great simple map, but perhaps could consider creating an info sheet for guests containing his handy hints for people who loathe guidebooks!!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of January 2007
Sorry to leave
"We were also staying at the Riad Jonan in December and we cannot praise it highly enough! Howard collected us from the airport, which was a real bonus as we'd never have found our way into the heart of the Kasbah quarter. Although we were unlucky enough to arrive during torrential rain (and low temperatures) Howard and his lovely staff gave us the warmest of welcomes. We found the service perfect - attentive but not intrusive. In fact Howard went beyond the call of duty many times for us and other guests - arranging excursions, taxis, spa appointments etc, and his restaurant tips were spot-on. The breakfast was the best I've ever found in a small hotel. We can't wait to return!"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of January 2007
"We spent several days over the festive season at Riad Jonan. Given the high ratings on Tripadvisor and glowing reviews, we had high expectations.
Most other reviews of this riad are accurate. Howard and Martyn are knowledgeable, amicable & helpful. Location-wise is a little hard to find but just about within walking distance of most sights. But overall, we felt there was a tinge of going back to school at the riad rather than welcomed guest.
A "riad" is simply a house with a central courtyard but more recently has had the notion of being a guesthouse (much like a B&B). Thus it is meant to be more personal (just like staying in a friend's house)
Jonan has been tastefully refurbished in many ways. On the walls are many frame painting depicting desert scenes (with prices stuck to them). In our superior room on the 1st floor, there were labels everywhere exhorting us to conserve electricity & water ostensibly for the environment. And even a notice warning that anything broken must be paid for. Plus there was a tipping envelope for staff in the room (first time I have seen one in years).
Whilst at Jonan, you shouldn't miss the "home-cooking" which is pretty good although not exactly cheap at 250d per head. Also, Jonan stocks a decent range of local wines for 100d; But woe befall anyone foolish enough to BYO during dinner as we overheard a couple getting told off for doing so.
One upside of Jonan is its popularity among of British guest which makes it a welcoming oasis amongst the mostly French-speaking populace & other tourists. Be warned however that the double room on the ground floor opens onto the courtyard & may be noisy if guests hang out to chat there.
On the last day, we had 4-6 other guest going back to UK on the same flight. Rather than arrange grand-taxis to car-pool, Martyn & Howard got individual petit cabs (rather overpriced at 100d) for the 10 min ride to the airport.
Two other riads (Bab-Firdaus) that we have stayed on previous occasions were French-run but felt more homely and less pedantic. Perhaps, Jonan could be the first venture for Martyn and Howard. It may take a bit more time for them to stop counting every dirham and start putting guests first."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of January 2007
Excellent Riad with fantastic service!
"My boyfriend and I have just returned from a seven night stay at Riad Jonan.
We had pre arranged to be collected from the airport and I would definitely recommend this, the Riad is hidden along a maze of alleyways and there is no way we would of found it.
We were met at the Riad by Howard, who was very informative and friendly. He helped us with the plans we had made and recommended some restaurants.
The day trips we took with Kaboor were fantastic -
Atlas Mountains with a Berber Market was an amazing day. Kaboor is so knowledgeable about the area and makes the trip a pleasure. We went on the chair lift at the top of Toubkal and recommend it for the views!
We also visited Essaouira which was a world away from the crazy Medina! Although there was all the usual stalls and shops, you were just let to browse. It was very pretty and the fresh fish was delicious!
The three hour experience at Bains De Marrakech is excellent. It is designed for couples and includes a hamman, massage and very romantic bath! It was amazing to think such a peaceful, serene place exists only seconds from the madness!
We ate at Marrakchi, Rotunda and Venezia - all very good although I would not say that Marrakech was a place for huge foodies. For lunch Chez Chegrout on Jmeena is very reasonable.
We walked to Jmeena from the Riad as it is a very interesting walk and helps to get your bearings, if you didn't want to walk the Petit Taxi are very cheap and you can usually catch one buzzing past the bottom of the alley.
The staff at the Riad Jonan are all absolutely fantastic, they are very attentive without being obtrusive and nothing seems to be too much trouble. They are friendly and a huge plus point of this Riad.
I would recommend the Jonan to anyone looking for a peaceful, relaxing and friendly place to stay that is close to the madness of Marrakech but feels a million miles away when inside!
Oh and breakfast was lovely - yummy scrambled eggs - many thanks to all at Riad Jonan!"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of December 2006
"Just had 3 nights in the Riad Jonan and I can recommend it highly Howard collected us from the Airport and although its not far it takes the stress out of negotiating with a taxi driver and maybe getting taken to the wrong place. Marrakech can be a bit of a culture shock if you havnt been before. The Riad was clean and well run. Martin arranged mint tea and pastries when we arrived and gave us lots of usfull information. He booked us into the Bains de Marrakech for a 3 hour spa treatment a truly wonderfull experience. We had a great day out in the Atlas mountains with the guide Kabbour he is kind and gentle and very knowelgable I promised him that he would be on the internet again so feel confident to book him. We spent our last day around the town and took a tour on the big red bus the holiday was finished of with a great night at the Comtoir with belly dancers and band and good food. The Riad jonan is about 10 mins from the main square so is a good location but the owners and staff our excellent. Many thanks for everything."
- Travel date: Wed 13th of December 2006
I recently spent a well earned "chill ou...
"I recently spent a well earned "chill out" stay in Marrakech at the riad Jonan, in the Kasbah quarter of the medina, walking distance from the Place Djem el Fnaa.I initially chose this riad as I read the owners were English, with local English speaking staff, and thought this would make my stay more trouble free, how true this was!
I was given bags of useful advice, recommendations, where to go (where not to go!). and one of the owners even walked me to the square and pointed out places of interest. Breakfast was excellent as was the dinner i had one night , prepared by the femme de menage. I can also point out that it is rated 4 star and not 2 star as it is on this web site.
I also spent 2 wonderful afternoons at the Bains de Marrakech, 5 mins away and at a fraction of what it would cost in other countries. Overall great place and location , a real find in deepest Marrakech!."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of December 2005