9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Excellent, charming hidden gem in the Medina
"A friend recommended this Riad. We absolutely LOVED IT! because it was low season in Marrakesh and we felt the place was like our own house in Morocco. The location is just perfect and easy to come back to when you need to rest a bit during the day. It is close to Djemaa-el-Fna place, less than a 10 min walk. The best room by far is the "green room" upstairs where you have total privacy and quietness. Breakfast was great, and staff really really nice. Very clean, beautifully decorated and when you go, make sure you meet Adil. He is fun,sweet and speaks English!! He even took us out one night and taught us how to get by in Marrakesh. Also ask to have an informal cook class where you get one of the staff members to cook you dinner - it will be a great experience and delicious!! It is Highly recommended and if we come back to Marrakesh one day Riad Magellan will be our first option!"
- Travel date: 14th August 2009
Magic place for my family !
"Last december we booked the entire Riad Magellan five days trying a different way to spend our christmas holidays and our traditional Christmas eve`s dinner.We were a group of 10 adults and three children and the six room riad suited very well. The riad is in the middle of the medina,in a very good location,at only a casual stroll from the Djemmaa el Fna square and very near the most important souks,but hidden in a maze of little alleys.Very difficult to find on your own the first time,it`s essential to be picked up in the airport and showed the way;they waited for us there and in two cars we reached the nearer place we can with the cars, and with two porters get to the riad in a very strenous walk.(They walked very fast,and in our group we had grandparents,little children and inlaws very interested in all kinds of souvenirs !).The two times I`ve been in this riad,I completed this race and I think management can ask the porters to low the speed... But when you arrive,you find a splendid place,a very quiet one.Rooms and public espaces are very well set,with beautiful touches but simple too,is not a luxurious place but a very relaxed one.The kids enjoyed the patio and some adults the other places. We used the lounge and his chimney every night for our gatherings of talks and games and it was perfect for that purpose;the following morning we had breakfast in this same place and this was also a perfect moment,we wake at different times and we always encounter hot drinks and eats. Service is astounding,I only remember the name of the old man,Muhammad,incredible man,always smiling and always accomodating with the kids (when one of the mothers took to the kitchen some vegs to ask for a puree with them,he pointed out that she mistakes one veg for another and he leaves in a moment and buy the good one in a hurry);he solved problems with some heaters and another little things.And the added of only a few of us have some notions of french was funny and trying to communicate with the people working there was always a good moment to smile,we were always relaxed and they were always happy to help.The two women and the young man were too very kind.They cooked and served our christmas eve's dinner and was the best family dinner we ever had,I canÂ´t have words enough,food was fabulous and we spend un unforgettable evening there,well,a little cramped,but we were in winter and Marrakech can be cold ! If good service is when you feel at your own, but there is always somebody to listen to you or to help you when you need something,well,they achieve the best records in this riad.We felt at some moments that we were in our private family house,not in a hotel. The rooms are of different standards,the situated in the upper floor had more privacy.Maybe they need some more touches,like better lighting in some rooms,or better linen bed and better towels and amenities,and light also,in the bathrooms.Maybe in summer,or not in cold weather, is another thing,and you can make the most of the splendid terrace and the other lounges.All espaces are very clean and,if not luxurious,are very well laid,like the rooms,the tadelakht work allover is amazing and with good taste. We all enjoy our vacation at Riad Magellan and in the city of Marrakech.Some of us were a little worried about how to cope with the things that some people had suffered in this city,but never had a bad moment,we took taxis,rent two cars with driver to go to Essaouira,had meals and drinks in very diverse places,some of them memorable,went to a hamman and to sites of interest like museums and gardens and palaces, and my inlaws stormed the soukhs with their buys.We feel always secured,even at night,and the weather was perfect,chilly at night but very sunny during the day. The problem now is what to do next Christmas,trying to find a place like this riad and like this city for the annual family gathering is difficult,the standards are too high !"
- Travel date: 11th August 2009
It is the perfect riad to stay in marrakesh.
"Riad is very nicely decorated, spotlessly clean, comfortable. The staff is very kind and helpful. It is very close to jemaa el fna and the souks. I highly recommend it."
- Travel date: 31st March 2009
"This really is an excellent riad. The location is superb. It is just north of the main square, jamaa el fna, and you are immediately into the souqs once you are out of the twisty, turny alleys that lead from the riad. The riad is spotlessly clean. I witnessed the staff cleaning and scrubbing the communal areas for literally hours each day. The whole place feels very intimate and is wonderfully decorated. The rooms were interesting and comfortable and the shower is good too. As others have mentioned, the riad is extremely quiet so not ideal if you were planning lots of hanky panky :)) Howe ever it is a beautiful sanctuary from the pandemonium of the streets outside. We spent a lot of time chillin on the wonderful roof terrace and it was hard to believe you were in the same city. The staff are happy to serve you alcohol which is practically non existent through out the rest of Marrakech and I am happy to report that the wine is very pleasant and the largers nice and cold. It was lovely to relax on the roof terrace in the balmy evenings and sip and chat about the dayâs events. Breakfast is substantial and sets you up well for a dayâs hand to hand combat at the souqs. We also asked for dinner one evening and were not disappointed. They set out a lovely table for us and we feasted on a selection of traditional salads, chicken tagine, and fruit dessert. well worth it (for a meal out I would suggest the Chez Chekrouni near cafe France. well cheap and very good tagines and an excellent view of the square. the toilets are good too and there is no one sitting by the door expecting a tip, which is unusual). I totally recommend staying at the riad Magellan - It was quite frankly brilliant and met all expectations which is definitely a rarity for me as I generally find something to moan about. I would strongly recommend arranging with the riad to be met from the airport as it will be practically impossible to find on first arrival (cost us 12MAD) and following the little man with your cases down the busy streets is loads of fun too Hope you enjoy you stay as much as we did ."
- Travel date: 24th March 2009
"We had a lovely experience at this Raid. It is tucked away in the medina. In the evenings it is beautiful lit, the rooftop is amazing. We organized one night for dinner to be served, I think you need to let them know the night before or the morning of so they can organize it for you. Breakfast is served when you get up and included in the rate. As is bottled water, I think only on bottle a day but the rate for extra water is cheap so wonât break anyoneâs budget. There is an open fireplace in the common area with a library or books and board games. We played with a few others guests. The owners can organize a car service for you to tour around. We took this car service to Essaouira and it was about $80US one way, you could get cheaper Iâm sure or take the bus but for us it was great. The driver took us to do a little sight seeing on the way we had some extra time before we checked into our next Raid. If you are traveling by yourself (a single female especially) you might want be to be a bit careful as walking though the medina at night can be very dark but from what I understand all of the raids in the medina are the same, itâs a maze so itâs easy to get lost. We stayed a room on the ground floor. We had hoped for a room higher but due to a late booking we were unable to get a different room. The room was very clean, bed comfortable and the bathroom was lovely too."
- Travel date: 9th February 2009
A lovely riad in the Medina
"it was a little bit disconcerting to be dropped in the middle of the city by our pre-arranged airport transfer, but that was where the magic started. A man with a cart appeared, who led us through the labyrithine roads of the Medina to the front door which opened onto a lovely courtyard. The mint team was a great welcome and our rooms (we had two different ones over the course of our stay) were decorated with rose petals. Breakfasts were leisurely and taken at any one of a number of potential seating points around the Riad - from the lovely dining table, to the courtyard itself around a small petalled pool. There was even plenty of reading material (including David Gower's autobiography - not quite sure how that made it there!). Location-wise, it is difficult to fault, even if trying to find your way back at night can be somewhat stressful. Leave the souks before sundown if you do not want to be surrounded by youths desperate to lead you back to your riad in exchange for some hard currency! The Riad is two minutes walk from the souks, and is right in the heart of the Medina with its sights, smells and colours to the fore. All the staff were attentive and friendly adn were able to give advice on day trips and were happy to book excursions too."
- Travel date: 18th August 2008
"We went to Marrakech in April, sorry it's taken me so long to write this review! Riad Magellan is a haven of peace in the middle of one of the most exciting cities I've ever been to. Travelling with very good friends we had two rooms at Magellan (we were in Red) and it was an excellent base for discovering the city. Our Room was effectively three, with the largest (and to be honest, most uncomfortable) bath I've ever been in. We had a comfy area to sit, and funtional bedroom and bathroom. Following the mad rush from the airport to Magellan, the mint tea and relaxing sit down was a blessing then out and about. Magellan was exceptionally clean, friendly and calming. Sitting on the roof terrace drinking large G&Ts and Whiskys (Duty Free obviously) looking at the sun going down was great - I'll never forget it. Seeing the Atlas Mountains beyond the city was spectacular - go to them they're fabulous. Listening to the calls to prayer rising above the noise of the city was a surpisingly nice sound! Rose Petals will never be the same again - they're put everywhere (even down the toilet) to give the feeling of tranquility. Marrakech is magic! Haggling, eating, long walks to find a bar, talking, laughing, relaxing. Go - you'll love it. Stay at Riad Magellan - I know I will again."
- Travel date: 12th August 2008
Warn staff, great location--and gay-friendly
"I am the person who wrote the first English-language review of Riad Magellan two years ago, after my first visit with my husband, in which I extolled its great location and warm staff. I went back in October '07 with a friend, staying in the Prune room, and am writing again now to confirm what I wrote two years ago. The staff is as warm as ever, breakfast still excellent, decor still lovely, and again the location can't be beat. Kudos to the reviewer who mentioned the little old man Muhammed by name. What a treasure he is. Housekeeper Hind is fantastic, and the cook--wow! This time I did order a dinner in the Riad and was absolutely thrilled with the meal, which was served very nicely by Muhammed on the rooftop. Nearby restaurants are also great--try Cafe Boungainvilla or Cafe Arabe. I didn't get to the Foundouk but will make a note of it for next time. An additional positive about Riad Magellan which others have not mentioned is that it is gay-friendly. You never know about that in Morocco. Moroccan culture as a whole is anti-homosexual, so I imagine that many Moroccan riad owners frown upon same-sex couples. I saw a gay couple at Riad Magellan while I was there and had a conversation about it with Philippe, the owner, in which he confirmed that all of his riads are indeed gay friendly. Say what you will about Phillipe, at least he's a modern liberal European with absolutely zero prejudice against any type of guest! Some of the complaints other reviewers have made deserve a response. It is true that Philippe does not approach guests unless you approach him. So what? That didn't bother me. He hires good people to do that for him and that's fine with me. It is also true that the English is weak except for Phillipe. That wasn't a problem for me either as I speak pretty good French, but I am glad to learn from other reviewers that it is possible to get by at this riad without it. Finally, it is true that one can probably find an equal or better riad for the same money. I never claimed that this is the best riad in Marrakesh, or even the best value. Marrakesh is FILLED with riads like this and many of them are probably just as good, possibly less expensive. What EVER. You want to find them, knock yourself out. This riad worked great for me and has apparently worked for over twenty other reviewers who came after me. Follow all the advice--know in advance that the English is weak, avoid the red room, don't go there if you are in a wheelchair, yadda yadda--everyone has something valid to say, but the bottom line is, you can feel confident in choosing Riad Magellan because many Trip Advisor members report being very satisfied."
- Travel date: 4th April 2008
"We just married and celebrate my birthday at riad magellan few days ago. Our stay was really PERFECT. Nothing to complain about,. The riad is perfect for stays with family, friends or to organise a great party in the patio of the riad. Moreover, it is ideally located near the main square. Personal of the riad cares for details, organise you excursions, book typical restaurants for you, send someone picking you up at the airport. It was the 5th time we went in Morocco, second time in Marrakech and it is really the best guesthouse we have seen during our trips overthere. Don't hesitate one second, just go for it! Delphine & Flavio"
- Travel date: 25th March 2008
Riad Magellan Yoga is also called
- Riad Magellan