I've recently returned from a 4 night stay at Riad Kniza and felt compelled to write a glowing review after such a great time. I have to say this is one of very few places I've been where the experience of the guest is put ahead of everything else - INCLUDING (and this is the rarity) the owner/manager's own profit.
I booked the 4 night package which included a trip to the mountains, half day tour of the city, soft drinks, two 30 minute massages & a gourmet dinner for 2. Overall I think it proved excellent value. I was in the Samaar suite which was perfectly spacious, on the second floor. It had an entrance hall, toilet and small living room with fireplace downstairs and then a larger bathroom and traditional style bedroom upstairs. Rose petals were everywhere when we arrived. The only negative about the room was perhaps that it was a little dark - this is because the rooms look out onto the chaotic old city medina and so are pretty much constantly closed for your own benefit. Decoration of the public spaces was very traditional and quite beautiful. Everything immaculately clean, unlike the streets outside! (This is another very minor point - but worth mentioning so you are prepared: the Riad is literally in a back street within the medina, the chaotic and dirty market streets of the old town. Therefore is you dress up to go to dinner elsewhere you have to walk a short distance through the streets before you can pick up a taxi. Perfectly safe but my wife was slightly uncomfortable in her high heels!) There is a little courtyard pool but not sure how often it is likely to be used. The best part of the Riad is probably the rooftop, which is where we had breakfast each day. On clear days (and in the right season I assume) you have great views of the Atlas Mountains covered in snow and of-course Koutoubia Mosque and the rooftops in front. A truly beautiful view. Breakfast is fantastic and you kind of expect this when the manager says, ring five minutes before you want to eat - as we cook the bread to order! Eggs are also cooked to order and the orange juice is some of the best anywhere. (Marrakech is a major producer). Coffee wasn't to my personal taste but then it was perfectly ok. Fresh pancakes are also superb. The gourmet dinner also gave a taste of some traditional dishes, no choice other than whether the main course is fish, lamb or chicken - but then everything was excellent so this didn't matter. Loads of food, so make sure you don't eat beforehand! We also asked the Riad for recommendations for other restaurants and I have to say all communication by email was answered promptly and was always so helpful.
(We tried Trattoria - excellent setting by a pool, Italian food which was good. Maison/Gourmet MK - a trendy new Riad renovated by a UK couple - really tastefully done but much less traditional. Food superb but quite pricey.)
Massages were fine but nothing wow. 30 minutes seemed enough and quite thorough.
Our first trip was to the mountains and we had lunch at Kasbah Tamadot (Richard Branson's retreat) which was an excellent choice. A beautiful, yet unpretentious place with stunning views. (Just hope it isn't too cloudy!) Food was good and not too expensive too. The building is lovely. The only downside of the tour was the driver - who told us some nonsense about visiting 2 valley's instead of one and that only one valley was included in the price we had paid through the Riad. We ignored him because we hadn't requested anything extra and it was his own fault if he'd deviated from the route without asking us. You often find the locals trying to extort extra money and it was unfortunate. It meant the driver made less effort and left us to explore the food market at Asni alone. (Inevitably we were accosted by locals trying to sell us things!)
Anyway we explained what happened to the manager of Kniza and he couldn't have been more apologetic. The tour was outsourced and he said he wouldn't use them again. He genuinely was sorry and wanted to make amends. He made several offerings to make it up to us and ended up providing a free taxi to Amanjena which is outside the city (where some of Sex and the City 2 was filmed - my wife wanted to go. Expensive Thai lunch, not much to see in truth), waived the cost of any extras we had (sandwiches one day, spring rolls another evening) and ensured we had a more complete tour of the city - excellent guide, entry to the Majorelle Gardens (not sure why they are so famous as mostly cactus!) and various other places. Overall I think Riad Kniza is an excellent choice and their packages really worthwhile considering. It pretty much meant everything was organised for us and we did and saw everything we wanted to in the short time we were there.
I was actually unsure whether to stay in a Riad or one of the bigger hotels, no doubt in my mind that you should go for the Riad. It's something a little different and definitely worth the change when in Marrakech. The big chain hotels are everywhere, Riad's are not. Service is also exemplary - you can have breakfast whenever and wherever you want. We took a decent bottle of wine and drank it on the rooftop too. You feel almost at home and everyone is so friendly.
Anyway, don't hesitate to go - I'm certain you won't regret Riad Kniza as your choice!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC