10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"stayed at this riad on arrival in Marrakech and then returned after spending a few days in Essaouria.
The staff are very helpful and friendly, beautiful surroundings, great location (just 5 mins from Jem na al far (not sure about the spelling, you know where I mean ;-)) and also has other facilities such as massage, spa, roof terrace and it serves alcohol, what more could you wish for!"
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of June 2007
Great Riad in Marrakech
"Marrakech [email protected]
Our family of four (2 adults + 2 children: 18 and 10) stayed in Marrakech for 5 nights during May 2007. We stayed in a Riad inside the walled city of the Medina as anyone should do if visiting Marrakech; Riad Karmela. Riad Karmela is a tranquil, delightful oasis conveniently located near the centre of the Medina. It was only a short, 10 min stroll past interesting markets and through the souqs to Jemaa el Fna, the main square of the Medina. The Riad is furnished beautifully in traditional Moroccan style but with all modern comforts. There is a plunge pool which was a great diversion for our 10yr old son and also a good way to cool down after the heat of the day. The staff at the Riad, Philippe and Nadia, were very friendly and helpful as well which was a great bonus for us Aussies in a land so foreign. I would recommend this Riad very strongly to anyone considering travel to Marrakech and we would definitely stay there again if in the area. The web site details are below: http://www.riadkarmela.com/eng/index2.htm
You can check out the photos and details on our travel blog if you like, just go to the Marrakech section, at: http://www.travelpod.com/members/mcnamaras"
- Travel date: Fri 15th of June 2007
Colourful and great service
"Booked the Riad through [--]
The staff were delightful, would definitely stay there again!!! Pros: Service, Ambiance, Style, and Staff Cons: Location within the Medina (it was a little far from the newer part of Marrakech), steep cost on transfers.
If you like being in a local area where there are not very many tourists, then this Riad is perfect for you. It's very close to the Museum, and the souks. It's also close to Jemaa, however if you want to travel outside of Marrakech via bus or around Marrakech via taxi, taxi drivers loath driving to the riad."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of June 2007
Treated like Moroccan princesses
"Riad Karmela is a beautiful place run smoothly and efficiently by Philippe and Nadia. Having stayed here in May this year with my sisters, we were treated like princesses from the moment we arrived. We were upgraded twice! Nothing was too much trouble. Set in the centre of old Marrakech, close to the spice souk and amongst the hustle and bustle of the medina, Karmela and the staff are an oasis of calm, with enduring hospitality, humour and ultimate charm. You could not do better than to stay here. The rooms are traditional and the decor is characteristic of the culture. They will book you restaurants, taxis, guides, massage. Just brilliant!! Thank you Philippe and Nadia from the girls! Ginny, Nikky and Jackie"
- Travel date: Tue 5th of June 2007
Peaceful oasis amid the hustle and bustle
"Riad Karmela was by far one of the better riads I had found during my research and it lived upto its promise indeed. As you arrive you are seated in the courtyard to refresh with a pot of thirst quenching mint tea. rooms are airy and tatter free with nice moroccan interiors. The Al Mansour suite is particularly spacious with a small lounge area.
Staff are attentative and Nadia's english made it much more easier for us to communicate any questions or queries and the hotel can easily arrange for excursions which was very useful as local guides can be misleading.
One thing which I partcularly loved was breakfast time which in good weather is served on the roof terrace with great views of the city and the atlas mountains.
It is very much good service and great value.
Keep up the good work!
- Travel date: Wed 30th of May 2007
Relaxation at its best
"My wife and I have just returned from a 4 night stay at the Riad Karmela in Marrakech. We went to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The hospitality that was offerred to us by all of the staff was first class, right down from the owners, Phillipe and Joel, to the girls that serve and clean. Phillipe and Joel are abley assisted by Nadia who is very fluent in english and extremely helpful to the british speaking guests. We chose to have a junior suite, the Kaisse, which we have to say was just fantastic, very large and has its balcony looking down into the heart of the riad overlooking the orange trees and plunge pool. The riad is located down a very dark alley and our first impressions of this were not at all favourable, but once inside the very low doorway it was just like entering a different world, so calm, quiet and just unbelievably relaxing. We ate in the riad for 3 nights and felt the food was just delicious, very typically morrocan, different types of tagines on all 3 nights. I (male) had a Hamman, body scrub and masage at the riad which again was extremely relaxing, definately worth doing.
The location of the riad is only a few mins from the Jemma El Fna square. We did not eat in the square this time but would definately try it on another visit as the the food looked so good.
Definately book a taxi to collect you from the airport, doubt that you will find it otherwise and the taxi cannot take you to the door as the streets are so narrow - again taxi driver was extremely pleasant.
Watch out for the snake charmers and orange juice sellers in the square who will 'rip you off' at the slightest chance. The orange juice is fantastic though - about 20p a glass!
Wandering through the souks we were only occasionaly hassled by sellers but most of the time they all just smiled. Found very few beggers and all in all found the place to be very friendly.
Would definately go back to Marrakech and would always go back to Riad Karmela and have no hesitation in recommending this riad to others."
- Travel date: Sun 27th of May 2007
"The Riad Karmela was great. Location is very good- walking distance to all of Marrakech's attractions. It is a bit hidden from the main street and at times we had slight difficulty getting back, but Marrakech is very safe even during the early evening, so we never had any problems. The rooms we had were lovely. They were spacious and well furnished with great plumbing and comfortable beds. Up to the standard of any nice European hotel I've stayed in. The rooftop terrace was beautiful. We really enjoyed the view of the mountains. The setting was great at night- we had a bottle of wine on the couches and played cards, used the hot-tub, etc. A great way to relax! The breakfast was quite good- a nice variety of food and always well stocked.
The service however is what sets the Riad apart. Nadia was SO helpful and polite. She was always willing to provide assistance is booking excursions, restaurants, etc. Her English is perfect and she really is an invaluable asset to the Riad. The rest of the staff, while they did not speak fluent English, spoke at least enough to understand basic requests and were equally friendly and helpful.
We really enjoyed our stay and would recommend Riad Karmela without hesitation."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of May 2007
Met all our expectations!
"We stayed at Riad Karmela over the May bank holiday weekend and had a fantastic time. We booked Suite Kaisse for Â£100 for the room per night, which was a really lovely room and is the only room that has its own balcony. Nadia and Phillipe were really helpful and friendly and would always offer to give us directions and book restaurants for us, whenever we needed. We booked a meal for our first night at the riad and I have to say, the food was outstanding - considering that we arrived in the evening it was a must.
The riad is very peaceful and relaxing - the courtyard is really pretty and the roof terrace is a welcome retreat away from the hustle, bustle and craziness of the souks. We also had no problems with the hot water, as some other people on Trip advisor had experienced. It was really refreshing to stay in a place where not only the staff were welcoming but the other guests were also really friendly, as the riad is set up to be a sociable, yet un-imposing environment.
If youâre staying over the weekend and are keen to go to some of the great restaurants I would advise booking in advance as some of the most popular ones get booked up days in advance. Also, have a hamman, gommage and massage at the riad â a real experience.
We loved our stay here and would highly recommend it."
- Travel date: Sun 20th of May 2007
Beautiful oasis of peace, tranquillity and relaxation.
"You are lost amidst the crazy chaotic hustle and bustle of the Medina's myriad streets and alleyways. You have no idea where the hotel is, but the friendly Moroccans keep stopping to help you and they go out of their way to lead you to the hotel front door.
The streets in the vicinity of this riad make you wonder what sort of place this will be! But once inside, you are transported to a total oasis. Nadia and Philippe welcome you warmly to their stunningly beautiful riad. First they sit you down at the couches and tables in the central courtyard, surrounded by little orange trees, plants and the sound of trickling water in the jacuzzi pool. There is gentle mellow music and you are immediately served with complimentary mint tea while you relax and forget the noise and crowds which seem a world away. You sign in the register and are taken to your room. The rooms are comfortable, very clean and out look over & into the central courtyard.
There is a jacuzzi on the roof terrace which has reclining sun-loungers and stunning views of the Atlas mountains.
The food is superb - better than at the restaurants we dined at.
A superb place to stay. I will recommend Riad Karmela very highly to anyone.
James Perry (England)"
- Travel date: Fri 18th of May 2007
"I booked Riad Karmela in January of this year and it is by far one of the very best holidays I've had because the hospitality was absolutely 1st Class!!! From the moment of our arrival to our tearful departure we were made so incredibly welcome that I genuinely felt it would be the first of many visits. Philippe and Nadia are unobtrusively friendly and helpful and it is not difficult to feel at home in this exquisite Riad. I had a peep in all the rooms, and without exception they are all spacious, tastefully and comfortably decorated whilst keeping an authentic, Moroccan feel about them. Breakfast is relaxed and you wont be disappointed if you decide to eat in....their cook is excellent. The roof terrace is as beautiful as it looks in the photos, (ie no trick photography) and it was never any trouble for them to bring afternoon tea up to us. I was in Marrakech in Dec with my husband and we stayed in a 5* hotel and it was nowhere near as beautiful or intimate and charming as Riad Karmela. Please, please take my word for it, I never usually write on sites like this but I wanted to spread the word. You wont be disappointed!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 13th of May 2007