Reviewing Accommodation in Morocco

June 13, 2017
I was lucky enough to be able to travel throughout Morocco this past January and February, so I wanted to share some (hopefully) useful information about potential accommodation should you decide to want to visit Morocco one day. The following is mostly a list of riads, or traditional Moroccan homes with a garden or courtyard in the center, that my travel buddy Rachael and I both personally stayed in.

Marrakech-Riad Caesar

The location of this riad is excellent because it's within the medina and walking right to the middle of the market from here only takes a few minutes. It's still far enough back on a side street so that it's quiet, which I welcomed after experiencing a few days out in Marrakech.

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with Moroccan mint tea right by the pool. That area is just delightful and a nice place to relax before officially checking in. We found out from our guide that a sultan formerly owned this old mansion. Although the staff didn't seem to know much English, they smiled at us a lot. We were shown our room shortly after arriving and realized soon enough that we were the only other guests staying there.

The internet was fast and strong enough to use in our room. At first our room was really chilly, but between the heater and plenty of blankets, we warmed up soon enough. The bathroom remained cold, but it didn't bother us too much since it's not like we were spending loads of time in there.

To be honest, the breakfast could have been better. We were served our choice of coffee/tea and about six different types of bread, but nothing else. It wasn't a huge deal, but compared to the other riads we stayed in, the breakfast here was lacking.

The small issue we had was that we were awoken to a woman screaming very early in the morning on our second day there. We were very confused by this since we were the only guests, so we didn't know what to make of it. We informed our guide and he found out that the woman working got into a fight with her boyfriend and that's what the yelling was about. That made us feel a little uncomfortable, but since we were checking out shortly after it didn't affect our stay too much.

If I ever go back to Marrakech, I would stay here again for most of the time but then splurge on a really nice riad like Riad Yasmine just for a night.

Casablanca- Club Val D'Anfa Hotel

This is the sole hotel on the list. Truthfully, I'm glad that for the majority of the trip the tour company we went through arranged riads for us. Hotels are just fine, but staying in riads made me feel like I was getting more of a Moroccan experience. Additionally, all of the riads we stayed in were smaller than this hotel so we just felt like we got more individualized service and attention. However, like I said, I didn't mind staying in a hotel for part of the time. The inside of this one was decorated with Moroccan paintings and Berber rugs, so the place had a nice vibe. The staff was friendly and told us that they were going to give us a free room upgrade so that we could be facing the sea. We really preferred this since we didn't have to be by the noisy street. We were mostly just wanting to have an early, quiet night since we had flown in from Qatar earlier that day, so the room upgrade really worked in our favor. The room was comfortable and clean and wifi was available.

I will say that the breakfast there was exceptional! It was buffet-style and it was hard not to over-indulge. They had crepes, many different types of cheeses, omelets, pastries, fresh fruit, and coffee. The staff in charge of the breakfast was very attentive and kept the buffet running smoothly. There are also two restaurants on site, but we didn't have time to try either of them.

When we were there it was much too cold to go swimming, but the pool area did look like it would be a nice place to lounge by in warmer weather. The hotel is also within walking distance to the beach.

Essaouira-La Maison du Sud

I'll start with the positives first. The location is perfect and centrally located in the medina of Essaouira, so it was ideal in that respect.

We had to go up a lot of steps to get to our rooms, which I was nervous about since my back is the worst, but someone from the front desk offered to assist us with our bags so that was really helpful. It's not uncommon for riads to not have elevators, so the extra assistance was appreciated.

The wifi didn't work in our room at all, so if we wanted to connect to the internet, we had to go downstairs and sit in the dining or lounge area by the reception. I didn't mind so much because sometimes it's nice to take a break from social media, but if this is something that bothers you, it's good to know about it going in. The area by reception had ample seating and was rather spacious, so if you do have to do work there will likely be a table available.

I liked the decor and interior of the building, but it was rather dark in there. Again, this wasn't something that really bothered me--it's more of an observation because I know that some people prefer bright, sunny spaces.

Our room was big with a double bed downstairs and then a small upstairs section with another bed. One drawback to the room was that it was extremely humid. Even with the space heater and tons of blankets, I had a chill the whole night. The other negative is the bathroom--it smelled pretty horrendous. Most of the time I'm a pretty laid-back person, but I do have to say that it was awful enough for both me and Rachael to comment on it. I looked up reviews online and others have also mentioned it. We did see some flies in the bathroom, but if we closed the door they were at least confined to that area instead of being around us. From reading others' reviews, I don't believe that every room is like this, so you might want to ask to switch rooms or just check out other rooms before settling in.

Another plus was the breakfast the next day. Apparently I care a lot about what kind of breakfast a place has and can totally be won over with food. We were given an assortment of different types of bread with butter, jam, and honey, a hard boiled egg, Moroccan pancakes, yogurt, juice, and tea or coffee.

Overall, I would maybe stay there again, but I would try to get a different room...or just avoid the bathroom as much as possible. If the only room that was available was the one I stayed in before, I think I'd have to pass.

Merzouga-Riad Nezha

This riad looks like a kasbah, and it was quite cozy. In fact, Rachael and I had spent the past few nights being very cold, and when we first arrived we thought that we were going to have yet another cold night. Luckily, our room did warm up after awhile. The staff members on duty also offered us extra blankets, but we didn't end up needing them. Speaking of the staff members, they were so kind, outgoing, and spent some time chatting with us. We even exchanged our Instagram details with one of the workers and we still follow each other. Since you're out in the desert, there isn't a whole lot to do in the area, so we were grateful for the company.

Also, the vegetarian tagine there was hearty and delicious. After a few bites, Rachael exclaimed, "This is the best tagine I've had so far in all of Morocco!"--which was exactly what I was thinking! We told the workers there that and they laughed at us, but we still never found vegetarian tagine that topped that one.

If you're interested in booking excursions to the desert, they can be organized through the riad.

This riad completely has my vote, mainly because the staff treats you like a friend or family member. Also, I still dream about that tagine.

Ouarzazat-Riad Bochedour

This place was the busiest of all the places we stayed at. We were escorted into a room with a bunch of other tourists and filled out our check-in information while having some welcome tea.

Our room was on the top of the building, so the door to our room opened to the outside instead of to the inside of a building, which did not help with the room temperature. In case you haven't guessed, yes, we were very cold to the point where we thought our heater wasn't working at all. The shower was at least warm, though.

The building looked well-maintained and clean. In fact, it was one of the cleanest places I stayed at in Morocco and the staff was always hard at work taking care of the place.

The breakfast the next day was buffet-style, and there was still plenty of everything when we had our meal. The food was simple, but tasty.

The riad is located on the outskirts of town, but this didn't affect us, as we were only there for a night. We had a busy day of sightseeing, had our dinner, and then were ready to go back to our room and unwind.

Really, the ONLY negative was that the room was much too cold for our liking, but we just weren't comfortable there because of it. I would not stay here again in the winter, but I would give it another chance in warmer weather.

Chefchaouen-Casa Hassan

We stayed here for one night in Chefchaouen because the place where we were supposed to stay was fully booked. It was Rachael's least favorite place, and it is at the bottom of my list, too. The rooms are small and just look a bit run-down. The wall in the bathroom was made of these colored pieces of glass that were translucent so that I could see into another guest's bathroom which was kinda creepy if you were both in the bathroom at the same time. I guess the management there was semi-aware of the problem because several of the pieces of glass were covered with some paper.

The way the rooms are all arranged in the shape of a square with open-air in between. At first we thought that was cool, but the next morning we couldn't say we felt the same. The riad was packed with Chinese tourists and they all got up very early for breakfast. Let's just say that sound travels and we were unable to go back to sleep after they woke us up. When we went down for breakfast, there was nothing left at the buffet really. We had to ask for plates and utensils because they were all gone. There was still about an hour left for breakfast, but we kind of just had the leftovers from the Chinese group.

I think I can speak for the both of us and say that we would both prefer not to stay there again. We really preferred Dar Echaouen instead!

Chefchaouen-Dar Echchaouen

This place was so much better than Casa Hassan. Our room was quieter, cleaner, bigger, and we had a patio to ourselves where we had lunch overlooking the city. Oh...and the views of the city are just wonderful!

When I said "room" earlier, let me clarify and say that we really got a whole suite with a living room. Since we had to go up a lot of steps to get to our room, it was pretty peaceful up there because we were away from the other guests.

There were flowers all around the outside area leading down to the pool. The pool itself looked amazing with plenty of seats surrounding it. What a pity it was too cold for us to swim because it seriously looked so nice!

As this was one of my favorite places, I'd be very likely to return for a second visit should I ever find myself back in Chefchaouen.

Fes-Riad El Yacout

One of the best parts about Fes was staying at this riad. I would give it 5/5 stars--it's simply gorgeous and I felt like I was walking through a palace at times. The mosaics and lavish decor really add to the experience. The stained glass doors of our room added a colorful touch. The staff was very accommodating, and they were always asking us if we needed anything. They were extremely professional and polite at all times.

The courtyard where breakfast is served is equally as beautiful as the rooms. The bathroom was large and had a separate room for the toilet. The water pressure was strong and there was a big tub. The couch area with the small table was just perfect for the times we ordered room service. I could just rave on and on about this place. If you're an Instagram lover like me, you'd find plenty of photo opportunities here.

This place really is a treasure, and it's inside the medina. If we would have stayed longer, we would have liked to have gone to the spa and tried the cooking class.

The pictures below don't do it justice!

Which one of these appeals to you the most?
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