My girlfriend and I stayed for 2 nights in this lovely riad. It was our first time coming to Marrakech and our experience was made much smoother by the friendly, knowledgable staff and the peaceful atmosphere that engulfs you once you step through the door.
Upon arrival from the airport, we were dropped off at the main square by a taxi the hotel had kindly arranged for us. This takes around 20mins. Cars are unable to drive down the small alleyways which one needs to navigate in order to reach the riad, and so one of the hotel's staff - Abdul met us and escorted us through the crowds. It is an absolute maze, even for the most confident navigator, and without Abdul's help we would never have found the way.
In Marrakech, you quickly learn that you cannot ask anyone for directions. In fact, so much as look lost and people will appear from nowhere and barrage you with anything they think will appeal to the bewildered tourist. Accept their help though is foolish and you will be faced with a high fee. Nothing is given for free here - everyone is trying to make money. The only people you should ever trust here apart from hotel staff or a paid guide (if you have booked one) are the police/military.
I digress - from the main square, it takes around 10mins walking to reach the hotel if you know where you're going. When we arrived, we were greeted by the owner Nadia and offered freshly squeezed juice and some biscuits, which were very much needed, followed by a quick tour of the riad.
It is a very lovely place to relax in, if you have the time. It is furnished to a superb standard - with lovely paintings, impressive, antique looking furniture, and a combination of natural and artificial lighting. To give an idea of the layout - there is a large central courtyard area surrounded by lovely greenery and a water feature. On the first floor are the standard rooms and on the second floor the suites. There is a roof terrace where you can sunbathe or have breakfast, and atop this a gazebo area where you can take in the rooftop sights of Marrakech.
The terrace also offers a hammam room and a jacuzzi however we did not use these. If you are wondering what room to book, I would recommend the suites. Apart from being beautifully decorated with what appears to be genuine antique moroccan furniture, there is less noise on the second floor, and you get nice extras like a private terrace and staircase.
We dined at the hotel just once for dinner, which was nice. The best meal we had however was in Nomad, a nice authentic place about 7mins walking distance from the Riad, recommended to us by the hotel staff.
If I had to find one negative, it is that they do NOT carry adapters for UK plugs. Be aware of this and buy one before you come out. We were lucky enough that one of the staff members had an iPhone charger otherwise we would have been in trouble.
That being said, a beautifully decorated Riad, made 10/10 by Nadia and the team.
I want to commend Ibrahim in particular - we felt he had a real passion to please people. He offered to walk us to wherever we needed to go more than once, which was a superb help, and overall he is just a lovely guy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Ilayka is ideally situated for a perfect holiday in tranquil surroundings. You will be given a very warm welcome in this lovely, calm, spacious house. It is very close to the Djem Al Fnaa square and all the shopping souks. Experience Marrakech from the inside by staying with us. Riad I layka offers very good value for money and large open spaces. Staying at Riad Ilayka you will experience Marrakech from the inside. ... more less
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