Riad Les Trois Mages
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"The lay-out and interior of this riad is great and the staff are friendly. However, I did not enjoy my stay here mainly due to the other guests who were loud, obnoxious and threatned violence! Not the fault of the riad but I felt they did very little to control the situation. We were kept awake on the first night by the other guests who were drinking directly below our room. They were not told to keep the noise down and at 2am I had to ask them myself, at which point one of them turned nasty. The gentleman working at the riad did nothing to control the situation, told me to go back up to bed and the guests continued until 3am. Basically, I didn't feel safe here and able to enjoy my stay and for the price we paid I'd have expected much more. I wanted to leave after the first night but they were more concerned about us paying in advance which I was also surprised with as I have never paid in advance whether it be a hotel, riad or B&B. A great place if you don't experience any problems but if you do, you're on your own."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of June 2008
Relaxing & friendly
"Stayed in Les Trois Mages for 3 nights in mid April '08, having booked through www.hipmorocco.com.
Very soon after we booked we received a friendly email from Helen giving us some background info, organising the airport pickup (which I'd recommend for ease).
The riad itself is pretty, with a great roof terrace. If you are looking for somewhere to relax and sunbath in the medina this is perfect - as well as a (little) pool, there are around 10 sunbeds, and its pretty quiet (calls to prayer not withstanding!).
Helen is very friendly and efficient - giving a good introduction when we arrived with recommendations for eating etc. She booked us a restuarant for our first night, which was probably our best meal of the holiday (and my wife and I are quite foody). Another restaurant recommendation the next day was also excellent.
The staff are friendly and always willing to make you tea/coffee etc (for free), you can get free bottled water 24hrs a day. The food at the riad was OK, but not that exciting - a fairly unadventurous mostly non-Moroccan menu. Breakfast was nice though, and they are flexible as to where you have it (on the terrace or in the courtyard or elsewhere).
Location wise, its about a ten minute stroll to the Djemaa-al-Fna -and less to the main souks. Its in a pretty good place.
We stayed in Bathazar, which was nice - hot water always available in the reasonably powerful shower. Clean and spacious. We saw inside some of the other rooms and they were all nice.
Overall, I'd really recommend this riad, particularly as it costs a bit less than others of similar quality. We stayed elsewhere during our time in Morocco and this was the best riad we used."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of May 2008
Les Trois Mages is a legend....
"This place is quickly becoming a legend. In the midst of the heat of the Medina Les Trois Mages offers the traveller a cool sanctuary in which to unwind and refresh. My arrival couldnt be any simpler. On arrival, Hassan (cabby), was there to take me from the airport and within 15 minutes we had passed through a northern gate of the Medina, Bab Moussoufa, and onto the busy one way lane of Rue El Gza. The Riad is a short 5 minute walk from this Northern point ,and as I was to find, in an excellent position for exploring both the central Medina, Jemaa El Fna, as well as, for walking into the more newly developed surrounds outside of the ancient walled city.
When I arrived Helen was there to begin my initiation into the city. What sets her guidance apart from the rest is Helens obvious deep understanding of the place and the people and also her appreciation of my excitement at being here. Helens guidance and presence, throughout my week long stay at the Riad, was to prove invaluable. She oozes confidence and an explicit trust that Marrakech and its people will welcome the traveller; and so they do.....
The Riad itself is an oasis of calm elegance, smart and clean. Its an ongoing work which is growing organically with the nurturance of its excellent staff team and its owners Tony and Anna. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys and their welcome feels like you've come home.
When I arrived I was unable to get a strong enough wifi signal to work on my laptop. Helen offered me use of the admin system at the Riad and within the day Tony arranged for an IT engineer and an electrician to install an extension to their system which was an instant solution which remedied the situation. The Riad offers excellent wifi internet access. Thus I was able to work unhindered.
The food at Les Trois Mages is becoming legendary. Saida's cooking is some of the best in the Medina and even though my french and arabic are dreadful, negotiating my way around this menu with Saida was great fun. Each dish is individually prepared at your request and offers excellent value for money; aswell as giving a sound introduction to traditional Morroccan cuisine.
As the weather was between 37c - 40c the roof terrace and its pool meant that I could chill-out and cool right down as the summer sun began to dominate the Marrakchi skies. In the warm of the night the whole place is beautifully lit by traditional brass lamps studded with coloured glass.
Helens recommendations of where to eat and drink and what to see and experience outside of the comfort of the Riad were tried and tested by visitors before. Amongst them Cafe Arab (one of my most favourite haunts), an arabic fusion cafe, with a tented terrace. Here a gently cooling mist is released from the shading canopy, creating an easy chillout space, where you can listen to ambient music and drink home-grown Casablanca beer by the bottle. The staff too are welcoming and I soon felt like I belonged.
So too was the Kosy Bar in the south of the Medina. Here you can watch the Storks come to rest for the evening in their huge nests upon the old city walls. As the sun sinks and the evening cools, you can listen to impromptu performances from jazz musicians, who seem to be simply passing through. The food here is good. It is a fusion of Morroccan-French with Japanese touch. Try the Poulet Terryaki - sound! Tip these guys well here, it makes your next visit all the more pleasurable....
The Riad Les Trois Mages, is a difficult place to leave (see the visitors book and the visitor who stayed within the walls of the Riad for 4 days!!!). The staff here become like family and the place has the feeling of a home from home. This place and its characters, Helen, Saida, Tony, Anna and the crew are becoming legend. Just awesome!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 7th of May 2008
stunning central and wonderful staff
"what a wonderful stay we had here. the staff could not have been more helpful, saida was a great cook, and helen, who manages the riad was the best host we had during our whole trip around morocco, including arranging for us to be picked up by a very friendly and trustworthy taxi driver from the airport ( i would recommend doing this ). she sat us down when we arrived and talked us through a map of marrakech, and suggested some fantastic places to visit and eat and drink. without this help we would have got very lost, and wasted lots of time trying to find out where to go, as marrakech can be quite daunting on your first visit. with helen's advice and help, we breezed through our first day there, and there could be no better place to go back to than this very central (only about a 15 minute walk through the bussling streets to the main medina), yet incredibly peaceful retreat, with a gorgeous roof top pool .
we would recommend this to everyone, and already have to our friends. we will certainly be returning, and hope you enjoy your trip to morocco as much as we did. we would also recommend a trip to the atlas mountains."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of May 2008
"We stayed at Les Trois Mages for three nights 1st - 3rd April, and can't praise it highly enough. Never having been to Marrakech we too pored over the internet before choosing. We almost decided on the Jardins de Koutoubia (a 5* hotel within the medina) but were SO pleased we changed our minds. We went there for a drink and it was big impersonal and the service was poor. (We asked for a branded spirit and got 'petrol', when we complained - they admitted it wasn't what we'd ordered, and even tho' we didn't drink it, it remained on the bill. A glass of water was accidentally smashed, and altho' the waiter saw it happen, he left us sitting with broken shards around our feet, and on the path near the pool for half an hour.. but I digress)
The Mages is really lovely and clean and best of all friendly. I fail to understand how anyone can critisise Helen (the manageress) I have honestly never met anyone so helpful. She sat with us for ages on the morning of our arrival, gave us maps detailing the best restaurants, bars etc and giving us invaluable information about what to do and more importantly, what not to do. It all turned out to be spot on. She steered us expertly round what can be a fairly overwhelming city. She was there every day and asked for feed-back on what we'd done the day before. we were very curious about many aspects of life in Morocco not related to our stay and Helen has lived in Marrakech for a number of years and knows so much about the customs and culture. She came out of the kitchen when we left and gave us all a kiss and a hug. Maybe you get out of people what you put in - anyway I can't thank her enough. ALL the staff are sweet and Saida is a smashing cook, a very friendly lady who makes an enormous effort to converse, even tho' our French is very amateurish and her English is scant.
Don't be put off by the street outside the Riad. The medina is ancient and the footprint can't be changed. The houses are all inward facing around central courtyards making the outside facades quite featureless, which means you set off down narrow alley-ways, thinking "What have I done? It's like Beirut ! I could have been in a hotel" but stick with it. When you open the front door into the Riad it's a different world. Fresh flowers beautiful decor and friendly faces, and a much more authentic, intimate experience. One word of warning - mind out for mopeds - they're flippin' lethal. Walk on the right, single file!
High lights for us were the Cafe Arrabe (lovely lunch venue) Le Comptoir Nightclub and the Kosy Bar, where we were blown away by the sight of the storks nesting on the walls of the Palais Bahia. (Our Riad roof-top guitar recital was a blast too - apologies to the other guests, especially B & R)
Overall it was a marvellous few days, and Les Trios Mages was the perfect place to stay."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of April 2008
A fabulous corner of the medina
"We have just returned from a week long stay in Morocco of which we spent 4 nights in Marrakech at the Trois Mages.
Firstly the place was lovely, clean fresh and very quiet. The decor is lovely (although I do agree about the hard mattress) the rooms are very comfortable and best of all the plumbing (which can be a problem over there) was fantastic, powerful hot showers at any time.
The staff were great, Sadia, the two women who work with her and the night manager were all lovely. Although I disagree with what was said about Helen, the manager, I can understand a little bit.
She was fantastic with us the morning after we arrived, she sat down and took the time to go through a great map she provided, showed us in detail how to get to the centre and where to avoid (a result of which was we never got lost once the whole time) she recommended dinner at Tangia and Le Comptoir and made the bookings for us (both of which were excellent - I would especially recommend comptoir, the food was fantastic and the decor is very buddha bar, fabulous - although the belly dancers are a bit cliched). Anyway, that was our first morning and she was friendly and helpful any time we saw her after that although she isn't there much. However, on our last morning I overheard her being extremely rude to Sadia regarding cleaning which I thought was a bit much and when we left, although she was standing in the kitchen, she ignored us when we called goodbyes...but maybe she was just having a bad day so it's a small thing and the positives far outweighed that. Also we used Hassan's company to take us to Essaouira and on the return journey a few days later, he was very helpful, the driver was great and the price was â¬80 each way split between 6 people, it's a 3 hour drive so I didn't think that was too expensive and was nice to know we could rely on the service.
I loved staying in the old Medina where the Riad is, you don't get hassled at all and get to see the real people and life of Marrakech, I had been worried that it was a bit far from the centre, but it's only a short walk and the sights and sounds you see on the way make it seem like only seconds."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of April 2008
A very personal service
"Dear Reader.... I was very surprised to hear of any negative comments made about Helen the Manager of this Riad. I was fully intending to write a review on Trip Advisor shortly after my return to the UK, but things slipped for a number of reasons and I didn't do it. However, having seen the comments logged here on 20th March I was motivated to jump to Helen's defence without hesitation.
Personally, thanks to Helen, I felt I had become a minor expert on Marrakech in the short time I was there. If I had not had her guidance I simply would not have got all that I did from my experience of Marrakech. I remain forever grateful to Helen for help help in making my few days as brilliant as they were.
Rather than being criticised, I think the owners of the Riad are very lucky to have Helen and if a medal was available then she should be rewarded and recognised with it for her enthusiasm, energy, honesty and integrity (can the owners please organise the medal?!). In all my years of travel it has been rare to meet someone who was so easy to approach, trust and depend upon for good solid advice (which I urge you to stick to 100%) and who actually listened carefully to feedback clearly with the full intention to pass any benefit to other travelers.
Best wishes Helen to you and your brilliant warm and friendly team (everything in previous reviews about Sadia's food was true!). I hope to return one day (assuming you are still there of course!).
To anyone still reading this review - I spent hour upon hour scanning just about every Riad on here many times before my trip and can advise that I did very well for myself and you couldn't be in wiser or safer hands. Visit Marrakech, which can be overwhelming, but be sure to pick the right Riad - this one!
By the way - the cost of Taxi's can vary depending on the size you use. Petit Taxi's are cheap as long as you are carrying nothing more than a small rucksack as your luggage! The cost of guides to the Mountains also vary depending on the quality of the vehicle, the number of people travelling for the day and the experience of your guide. The trip organised for us by Helen was the highlight of my trip and worth every Dirham. I saw others during the day who were clearly not as comfortable or catered for as well as I was. You get what you pay for, if you get good advice and take it, is the point I am making.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to verify anything I have commented on."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of March 2008
Oasis of Calm in the Midst of the Marrakech Chaos
"Amid the hustle and bustle and chas of Marrakech the riad was quite an oasis. It was very clean and tastefully decorated. The bedroom was lovely as was the bathroom. My only complaint would be that the mattress was far too hard but that seems to be the norm generally in Morocco.
The housekeeper Saida is the life and soul of the place. She is a hard and dedicated worker and a rock for the hotel. Her food was the best we tried in our entire trip to Morocco. Her lemon chicken is to die for!! Sadly Helen the manageress didn't really leave us with the same favourable impression. Her insincere manner was quite offputting as was her rude and belittling treatment of Saida which I witnessed first hand.
One thing to be wary of is arranging a taxi through Hassan the hotel's driver. He will charge you at least twice and sometimes 3-4 times above the going rate. For example he charged us 100 (Â£6.60) dirhams for an airport transfer when the going rate is no more than 50 (Â£3.30) dirhams and it is really only about 15 minutes drive in clear traffic. We also requested a quote from him for a trip to the mountains for which he quoted us 1500 dirhams (Â£100) when the going rate from several other drivers was 400 dirhams (Â£25).
Nevertheless the riad was lovely and we would go again."
- Travel date: Fri 21st of March 2008
Very good english owned Riad, great service and management.
"Lovely staff and very efficient and helpful english management.
Smart decor throughout and lovely bathrooms with very good plumbing !
Breakfast on the sun terrace is a perfect way to start your day or a lovely spot to get some sun.
Quiet location but close enough to main square to not be too hard on the feet when sight seeing.
Helen ( the South African manageress ) was most helpful with her insight and advice.
For a first time visit to Marrakesh, this hotel is an ideal place."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008
"We arrived in Marrakech, booked into a small hotel in the new town for the first night and the next day made enquiries as to where we could stay in the old medina. We were given the contact details of Sarah, the new manager of Riad Les Trois Mages, contacted her and were fortunate to find a room at the last minute. We have read one of the previous negative reviews and felt obliged to write about our great experience. As we understand, the riad has new owners and they have done much to improve the riad. We were treated like VIPs, our room exceptionally clean and beautifully decorated and the staff could not do enough to make us feel at home. We had great weather which allowed us to enjoy the pool on the roof terrace. The cooking of Saida was scrumptious. Sarah gave us information of what to see and places to go and we particularly enjoyed our day trip to the HIgh Atlas Mountain. Our sincere thanks to the staff of Riad Les Trois Mages for a magic holiday in Marrakech."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of December 2007