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Marrakech long shot: Dar Naima or other mid-range medina riads? Areas?

Marrakech long shot: Dar Naima or other mid-range medina riads? Areas?

Oct 14th, 2006, 09:08 PM
  #1  
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Marrakech long shot: Dar Naima or other mid-range medina riads? Areas?


I can't find much on this place other than one decent pro review and one con whose concerns I probably wouldn't share, over on Tripadvisor. Has any one in Fodorsland stayed here? We'd really appreciate a review, as it's our longest stop of the trip. The price seems generally a good tradeoff in price range vs flash at around 80USD. (I swear I set out thinking that Marrakech was cheaper than all these $150+ per night rooms, without having to switch to hostals)

Or otherwise, if anyone knows of a good place in the Medina with a little atmosphere (well, not TOO much atmosphere, if you know what I mean, just something that feels more Moroccan than European) in the $60-$100US range ($125/1100MAD tops, I'd like to hear about it.

Lastly, the area of the medina this is in is the Mouassine. Is that am interesting/convenient area as opposed to the areas further past the Ben Youssef mosque? Seems like closer to the Place Jemaa El Fna would be better for wandering out to see what's going on, and maybe to restaurants and such.


Thanks!
Clifton is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 12:50 AM
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I dont know Dar Naima, but I do know that there are some very good mid-range riads on www.marrakech-riads.net. Abdellatif has several riads that he's restored very carefully and the result is lovely. You might check it out to see what you think.
jenmaroc is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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Thanks Jen. The photos that are on the site do look very nice and they're all in the right price range. Wow, there are a lot of accommodations in Marrakech, aren't there? Fes doesn't appear to come close to that sort of saturation, but what is showing in searches on Fes mostly appears to be more uniformly priced and of a more consistant quality (for historic structures - which also seem very different in style than Marrakech - very imposing, but cool!)

Marrakech really does seem to much more all over the board, and it seems harder to gauge what you're going to actually find once you get there, so we appreciate the advice!

Clifton is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 11:41 PM
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You're completely right about Fes - there a lot fewer guesthouses here and the style and architecture is completely different thatn the south!

There are roughly 40 in Fes compared to 700 in Marrakech. Marrakech has been "open" to tourism for decades longer han Fes and has thus had time to develop and attract the inevitale expat community. This is just beginning...so if you want to see Fes before her rape and pillage by low-cost airline flights (just kidding - the business is good for may Fassis...But is it good for Fes?) come visit NOW!

Good luck with your trip planning!
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Oct 15th, 2006, 11:42 PM
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sorry for all the typos - typing without my glasses is not a good idea
jenmaroc is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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No worries - typos are a way of life for me.

Absolutely, must see Fes in all her current glory. The number of places in the world we're all rushing to these days before they change forever is pretty amazing. I can't keep up!

Would you mind me asking one more question, should you revisit the thread? You sound as though you're familiar with a lot of the practices there in Morocco - although this may vary by city.

As we're making inquiries and checking out websites, we see most price out rooms in Euro and quite a few say they are looking for a cash settlement once onsite. I guess the question is - are they typically looking for actual Euro or are they choosing to price that way against a more dynamic dirham, so that they can do a last minute conversion without taking a significant risk of currency fluxuation between booking and payment? I guess what I mean is - coming from the US, straight to Morocco, I'm hoping the dirham I can get from an ATM is suitable payment! Would hate to pay those bureau de change exchange rates to swap USD in order *and* hedge against someone else's currency risks. Ok, so maybe I'm a bit cheap-ish...(maybe?) but mostly just want to know if we need to concern ourselves with a 3rd type of currency.
Clifton is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 12:03 AM
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Actually, Clifton, its not that their trying to hedge their bets per se, its just that hotel/guesthouse owners here in Morocco have found it difficult to get their earnings out of the country (dirhams are not convertible outside of Morocco and there are numerous exchange controls). So, when they ask for cash settlement, it probably doesnt matter which currency you pay in (dollar, sterling, euro), just as long as its cash and they can easily get it out of the country. You might clarify this with the places you're staying, but I bet they'd be happy to accept USD, thereby avoiding the third currency issues - and saving you exchange commissions.
jenmaroc is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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Ah, thanks Jen. That does make sense, but I hadn't thought about it as mostly ex-pats wanting to take the currency back out of the country. I guess that would be a problem. Been in countries with non-convertable currencies before, but locals are generally ok with their own currency so I guess it's just never come up! That's the interesting thing about travel, all the differences...

So maybe we need rethink how we're going about this, if we can't use ATMs or TC's for the big expenses (both return dirham in every case, I'd imagine). That's taken me a bit off guard. We may need to explore some other options now towards going very budget and minimizing the wad of cash we're carrying, or just booking regular hotels that can be pre-paid on the net and walking into the medinas from there. Disappointing, but very good to know... will also keep looking for any that quote prices in dirham. I'd think that would be a possible sign of a local owner, wouldn't you?
Clifton is offline  
Oct 17th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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Many places that quote in euros will accept dirhams. I think a lot of hotels quote in euros because otherwise they have to go back through their website and all their literature every few months to update with the new dirham values (with euros, its pretty stable, so no need to update all the time).

Do stay in riads if you can. Just ask them if they accept dirhams - dont assume they dont simply because the rates are quoted in foreign currency. I dont know of any place that wont accept dirhams - they may prefer foreign currency - but they will most likely accept dirhams.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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That's a good idea. We'll check, because we really do like having a place that represents the destination well and aren't fans of generic hotels, especially if there are alternatives. We'll email around a little and see what some of the more promising looking riads think. Never hurts to ask!

Thanks so much, your advice has been extremely helpful.
Clifton is offline  
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