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Reviewed February 17, 2010

I want to say in advance, that I have been living and traveling all over the developing world for the past 12 years for business and for pleasure. While I love luxury hotels, I appreciate just as much as a modest pension run graciously. That said, our one night at the the Riad El Assafir was the singularly WORST hotel experience I have ever had. We arrived in the evening to Marrakech with my friend and our 4 children from 10 days of traveling through Morocco. We rented an apartment in the El Assafir that would accommodate all of us. When we entered the apartment, it was clear that it had not been opened or aired for quite some time as the staleness of the air was overpowering. We immediately opened the few windows the apartment and with the lights on, could see that the entire place was covered in a not so thin layer of dust and dirt. Moreover, the bathroom towels were dingy and dirty and the bathroom had not been cleaned. We called housekeeping and requested they come to clean the room and to change the sheets and towels. We left the hotel to have dinner and to walk around. When we returned, the room was seemingly untouched. We called housekeeping again and when they did not come we called down to the front desk. The manager argued with us on the telephone saying that the room had been cleaned and then came to the room and shouted at us that we were lying about the cleanliness of the room. We showed him the filthy towels and the dust and dirt everywhere. He left and came back with the owner of the hotel who proceeded to ask us to leave (at 9 pm -- 2 women with 4 children under the age of 10) if we did not like the standard of the hotel. He accused us of trying not to pay for the room -- which was pre-paid through our travel agent and made incredibly insulting comments about Turkey, and Turkish people. Both my friend and I live in Istanbul but neither of us are Turkish. These two men shouting at us, and threatening to throw us out of the hotel frightened our children terribly. We,of course, called our travel agent and demanded to be rebooked elsewhere but stayed in the apartment that evening as moving the children would have been very difficult. To say that the experience was terrible is an understatement. As for the hotel, it could be an incredibly beautiful place but the overall condition is very faded and run down. The decor of the apartment with simple upgrades, again could have been magnificent but unfortunately the linens, upholstery and fixtures are old and dirty. Between the condition and the attitude of the manager and owner of the hotel and with all the other amazing places to stay in Marrakech -- stay away from this place!!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mizistanbul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 16, 2009

This was heaven on Earth! The air conditioning was great and the room was wonderfully clean. Hotel staff pleasant and were able to assist with guides and advice. Located in a good part of town, we felt safe at all times. By American standards Marrakech is far from clean, but this place was an absolute jewel. The value was good and I would recommend this place to anyone and everyone.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank WiesbadenCamille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 2, 2008

The best thing about this riad is the location, an easy 10 minute walk to the Jemaa but a bit out of the main flow. It has two lovely courtyards, with parrots in one of them and several cats. The staff was very friendly but spoke no English and wasn't able to be much help in making reservations etc. There are no phones in the rooms and the only phone/internet access is at the front desk. We had the big suite with three bedrooms and a TV room (hundreds of channels from all over the French and Arabic world) which was fun, but it was cold and dusty. Breakfast is wherever you want to sit, but there are only two inside rooms if the weather isn't fine. We didn't try the dinner, which is by arrangement. The mosque nearby is pretty loud, especially for the 4 am wakeup call. The place has a kind of homespun feel to it and is good value, the staff is sweet but the experience is not magical.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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Thank WestEndfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 29, 2007

This is a beautiful riad which seems to be in two parts - one with a swimming pool and the other a stunning tropical garden.We had an apartment with 3 charming bedrooms and various heaters to keep us warm. There were wood fires throughtout the riad which they would light for you if you wished. There was no english speaking host when we were there but the staff were helpful and delightful.Even in december we had a leisurely breakfast on the terrace.A beautiful, inspiring and restful place.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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Thank DaleLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2007

My group of 18 ladies have just returned from a fabulous 4 day trip to Marrakesh, taking over the riad Dar El Assafir in its entirety for 3 nights. All arrangements were conducted directly with the riad over the internet and, despite my reservations, all went without a hitch. It seems to be 2 riads knocked into one, certainly there are 2 courtyards filled with exotic flora and fauna and, as it's name translates, it is a 'house of birds'. There is a decent sized pool in one courtyard, but it was not heated and was too cold for us in February. The riad itself is beautiful and packed to the gunwhals with traditional Morroccan artefacts. As we had the whole riad to ourselves, we were able to look at all the rooms and none were disappointing. The suite would be ideal for a family. The manager, Jibril, was a wonderful host, nothing was too much trouble. We requested dinner there on the first night and came down to rose-strewn candlelit tables in the courtyard. Jibril also arranged a huge cake for 3 of our birthday girls. We asked for a guide for one of the days and by sheer stroke of luck, we must have ended up with the best guide in Marrakesh! Ahmed picked us up from the airport in 2 minibuses, stayed with us for virtually the whole time, organised everything on our itinerary, from caleches that picked us up from the riad, trips to the Majorelle gardens, Sa'adian tombs, a hamman, the souks (including haggling on our behalf ), the Atlas mountains where we took mint tea with a Berber family and lunch in a wonderful restaurant with spectacular views, a meal in the Square followed by a nightclub where 18 seats were reserved for us. He even turned up on Valentines' Day to take us back to the airport armed with a red rose for us all! The combination of the riad, guide, weather and wonderful city of Marrakesh combined to make this a truly memorable trip. The riad and Ahmed deserve recognition for their excellent service. On behalf of the whole group, I wish them both every success. Contact Ahmed at --------- (he speaks 7 languages!).

3  Thank redleader2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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