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Review of Riad Laora

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Riad Laora
Ranked #304 of 1,168 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 January 2016

I stayed at this hotel for two nights to experience Marrakech on my own. The hotel is located about 15 minutes from Jamaa el-Fna. In other words, it's quite centrally located, and a nice base for exploring the interesting parts of Marrakech. It's hard a bit to hard to find, as it's located on a kind of random side street in the Medina. Laora is not the only riad with this kind of location though; The medina is a labyrinth and you WILL get lost. But you'll find the way back, one way or another. That's a part of the experience!

There is a pack of very annoying kids that will chase you (I asked the other guests about this) all the way to the hotel door, begging for you money. These kids are very provocative. They even started kicking me when I refused to give them money on my second time back to the hotel. The only way I could get rid of them after that was to be very strict and tell them to stay right where they are and don't follow me, right at the moment they start chasing me. By strict, I mean look really angry and shout at them. I highly recommend that you do the same. Do NOT let these kids follow you. They will not stop nagging until you enter the hotel, regardless of the amount of money you give them.

The riad and it's rooms are beautiful. They have a nice, exotic atmosphere that's worth experiencing. I have no complaints as for the cleanliness.

Don't expect to have much privacy at this hotel. As it's a riad, all the rooms are facing a "courtyard" (for a lack of a better word) with a nice kitchen and living room, and the doors are "paper thin". So, if anyone is the common areas, you will hear them talk, they will hear you talk - type, or even use the toilet.

As a solo traveller this model might good thing, as the common areas leaves opportunities to meet new people. I had quite a few interesting conversations myself, from people around the world.

The staff is ok, but, for reasons I'd like to reflect on, I never felt at ease when staying at this hotel. Here's why:

The hotel claims to have good english speaking representatives, but that's not really the case. They didn't seem to be comfortable with talking to me at all. I was mostly ignored by the staff, contrary to the french speaking guests. They refused to let me lock the door to my room, so I had to leave my 1500€ laptop and camera in their care.

Moreover, they do not give you a key to the outer door. You have to knock on the door or ring the doorbell and hope that someone opens the door. I asked Hassan (hotel staff) how I can get in at night, and he told me I had to be back by 23:00 (preferrably 22:00) so that he can open the door for me. So basically, I felt like I've paid to live at a hotel that demands I'd be home by nighty-night time. When I told his manager about this the day after, she told me that this is not true, and that I could of course come in at any time. I don't know whether this was due to Hassans' preferations or a communication problem, but nevertheless, it was a weird experience.

The second thing is their lack of proactivity. It's up to you to ask for information. This could be as simple as "do you have a rooftop balcony?", "what's in the 30€ dinner you are asking me to order?", and so on. I think this is due to their lack of confidence in english, and not a bad service attitude.

The third thing is that the hotel staff talks you into signing up to ridiculously overpriced services (ehm.. Ripping you off, basically). I was in an overwhelmed mood when I checked in and said yes to a 35€ tour (which basically was a french-only speaking taxi driver dropping you off at four sites - 2 hours) and 15€ dinner in the hotel (which was nice, but expensive for morocco). Since euros are not the currency in Morocco, the staff is happy to give you Dirham-conveted prices on demand, where the conversion is severly given in their favor. My guess is that this is their core business model - cheap hotel, expensive services. My advice? Refuse their offers, and get them for a third of the price elsewhere.

All in all: Good facilities with poor privacy, good service if you speak french, but stay away from any services apart from the room.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank KPABooga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 - 33 of 150 reviews

Reviewed 25 December 2015

This riad is beautiful. The central courtyard is small wonderfully decorated, the details, mosaics, decor...all new and Moroccan inspired. The room and bathroom are gorgeous as well, unique and beautiful. We LOVED this hotel but unfortunately, we were unable to get a good night's rest because of the hard bed, and the neighbors (particularly if your room is on the third terrace floor). The staff is friendly but they are so desperate to get paid that you have to basically pay everything days prior to your check out. Also, we were made to feel like we are being rushed out of there and cheated in one way or another. We paid the room and tax fees through expedia and upon mentioning this to Samira and Hassan, they insisted that those taxes are different...yadda yadda, we were cheated in to paying 2.5 euros per person per night (again). We just HAD to pay it because they wouldn't drop it. It's all tactics and it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I honestly don't know if the staff is doing this on purpose to milk it as much as possible, or maybe they just don't know any better, but they really do come off as seedy and pushy and just not trust worthy. To add to it, we were constantly questioned about our plans, where are we going, when do we leave, what our program is. You have to leave your room key with them so it made us feel uneasy with them knowing about our whereabouts as it would give them an opportunity to go in and go through our things, which, unfortunately is something we feared during our travels in Morocco. Other than that though, this Riad is a perfect place to stay in Marrakech and if you are careful and wary of the staff and making sure your belongings are secure, it's an amazingly unique and lovely experience.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Maysa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

We arrived early evening to be greeted by a pack of youths intent on 'helping' us with our bags the three short steps from the taxi to the riad. Once inside the youths then proceeded to shout at us for money. They had one foot inside the door and the young man in the riad did nothing to stop this. It was very very intimidating. Eventually I dragged my husband away from the reception area with our bags and the door was shut. Once inside we found they had stolen my husbands wallet. Thankfully I had just changed all of our money at the airport and had put it in my handbag! They got away with £5 and some change. Within five minutes the youths were back at the door saying they had found the wallet and again demanding money. Again the riad man did nothing to stop this. I gave them short shrift and again moved away from the door. This was not at all the welcome we had expected and it seemed that this happened every time there were new arrivals over the next day or so. We were so shocked and intimidated we were frightened to leave the riad after dark as we had not given up any money we didn't know what they would do.

As for the riad the aubergine suite was lovely and everywhere was lovely and clean. Breakfast consisted of bread and jam each morning with tea and coffee and orange juices hitch we didn't think was worth the money. The room was very cold but they found us a small radiator which did the trick. We had hot water on the first morning but the next day we had none it was fixed by the afternoon of the day after that. Then we had a power cut of around two and a half hours that night.

The experience of the first night stopped us from venturing out for two nights but on the third night we got brave and went out. We were sorry we had allowed the boys to make us feel scared as the square was amazing if a bit intimidating! We didn't try the food in the square but we wish we had now. One of the boys harassed us on our return and again got a foot in the door but we ignored him and went straight to our room, yet again not helped by the riad lad.

We had booked for seven nights but We actually left after three nights and paid for another flight to come home. We had booked it for new year and to celebrate my 50th birthday but the experience with the youths on the first night put us off really. Perhaps we would have been ok if that hadn't happened - I'm not sure though. I don't think it's a place to stay more than a few nights as there's not a lot to do really. I don't think we will return in a hurry although it was an experience!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Paula D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

I had the mixed pleasure of staying at this riad for two nights. Location is good in in the maze of narrow streets in the Marrakech medina. Quality of rooms is fair. Staff is nice and polite. Breakfast is ok and the atmosphere is excellent. WiFi in the downstairs atrium works. That's why it's so annoying that my stay ended up with an inelegant series of fraud. In the first place they had more than doubled the tax, so they added 4% for use of credit card which was not specified in the online invoice. Finally I paid for airport transfer, and they got me an ordinary taxi that hadn't been paid in advance and that demanded that I paid. When I called the riad and asked them to talk to the driver and explain their blunder, they claimed that I never had paid for airport transfer!! I was lucky to not being in a hurry. A very nice policeman ordered the man from the riad to the airport. Confronted with my receipt he suddenly "remembered" that I had paid airport transfer the night before. A possible nice experience was turned upside down. Unbelievable that they destroy their reputation this way.

Room Tip: If you decide to go anyway. Check the rooms on internet. One is very little, the others is ok.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank StSvendsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Booked our first night at Marrakesh just a day before our flight and it was one of the best places that we slept in for the whole trip .... They arranged for a cab to take us from the airport directly to the Riad, then a warm mint tea was served at 3 am ! The room was quite hot even with the air conditioning but i guess if you come to Morocco you cannot expect something different and you need time to adjust to the local temperatures.... All the details in our room from the decoration to the shampoos looked thoughtfully chosen, stylish and unique.... I felt the Moroccan culture in every little item in the room...

Initially, our plan was to just sleep somewhere in Marrakesh and head straight away to the South but then on morning we stayed at least couple of hours in the Riad.... Sunbathing on the balcony with a cup of coffee, then breakfast, then shower.... What more to ask :)

  • Stayed: August 2013
    • Value
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2  Thank Nadia-maripoza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Laora

Address: 1 Derb Mqqdem | Arset Loughzail, Marrakech 40008, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #304 of 1,168 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range: $57 - $131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riad Laora 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riad Laora Hotel Marrakech

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