Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech

Aug 4th, 2009, 07:10 PM
  #1  
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Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech

We're in the process of booking our reservations for early next summer there.

Anyone have any first-hand experience there?

Which rooms are best?

Also, most importantly, does anyone know the location of the riad in regards to the major sites/attractions of Marrakech? This is our first time to Marrakech and have absolutely no idea of the lay of the land.
filmwill is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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Lonely Planet says: "The Djemaa is a hike from here, but you're close to Ali Ben Youssef Medersa and Musée de Marrakesh" - so you'd be at the north end of the medina. Did you read the reviews on Tripadvisor? (Marrakesh reviews there are extremely unreliable, but the not-so-good ones are worth studying.)
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 10:13 PM
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I did, actually--but with 3 bad reviews out of 75, I didn't pay them much heed at all.

I think often, even in the best places, you simply can't please everyone.

Actually I was turned on to the riad by a review in the NY Times--their reviews are usually spot-on for what we like. As a general rule-of-thumb, I try to avoid TA reviews since I'm convinced they're always peppered with reviews from the management.

Thanks for the heads-up on the location--that helps. I have a feeling we may not want to be in the middle of the madness 24/7 so this could be a good thing.
filmwill is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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"we may not want to be in the middle of the madness" - in general the riads, even those near the Djemaa, aren't in the middle of madness, they're down very quiet, rather creepy, alleyways. And they're built in the Arab style, facing inward around courtyards. Actually, I decided that in Marrakesh I'd have been happier staying in the Gueliz area - but I'd been in Morocco three weeks by then.

"I'm convinced they're always peppered with reviews from the management." - I'm sure that was the problem with my Marrakesh riad, which was almost at the top of the TA list but was a disaster.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 5th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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BTW - my Morocco pix are here - kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/667854 - for the entry to a typical Marrakesh medina alleyway, see no. 61 in the Morocoo gallery.
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Aug 9th, 2009, 03:17 AM
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I have been to Riad Farnatchi in autumn 2008, but I was not impressed...It is in the middle of the medina, but difficult to arrived by car. Quite pretentious and the service is not what you would like to receive.. Forget about the hammam where the masseuse never showed up . For the money and the vast number of beautiful riads in Marrakesh, I would have to recommend finding somewhere else. Last time in Marrakech instead I stayed with six friends at Riad Al Moussika Hotel and had a wonderful experience! The staff was great from the moment we arrived. Everyone was friendly, we received incredible rooms with terrace and/or windows overlooking the beautiful swimming pool and garden and the Moorish court. The rooms were immaculate and were beautifully furnished with authentic paintings and antique Moroccan furniture. My huge bathtub was great after walking all day. Very nice library, with a large selection as well of English books about Morocco and Moroccan culture. So I'd recommend this hotel to anyone. A great staff, outstanding rooms, the perfect location and very good food too.
Graham09 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 05:24 AM
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Hmmm, Graham09 seems to have joined fodors solely in order to sing the praises of Riad Al Moussika... (another place with a lot of one-post gushers on tripadvisor).

"but difficult to arrived by car" - this is true of most riads in the medina, since they are down pedestrian-only alleyways. If you arrange an airport pickup with the riad I feel sure they will handle your luggage and see that you don't get lost. (I reached mine on my own, but I had already been in Marrakesh, otherwise the riad's excuse for a map would have been useless.)
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Aug 9th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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thursday, you're right. all of his posts are about al Moussika. In fact, looking back, there are quite a few one-time posters on here singing the praises of that riad.

I hate when hotels get utterly desperate and do that--like we're clueless idiots who can't see it a mile away.

Wouldn't surprise me that's how they got so high up on TA. Had a lot of experiences of hotels in Asia like that--where they have their minions go on and give one-off reviews to get a higher rating...but the hotel itself stinks.

Considering I was looking at al Moussika before, I can now cross that one off the list--for good.
filmwill is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 04:26 AM
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It’s up to you, Filmwill, which riad to choose for your holiday in Marrakech : You asked for an advice and I gave you mine. I wrote pretentious because this is the case …The riad you mentioned has an atmosphere that is completely out of touch with Morocco and Marrakech…

I suggested the last riad where I stayed with friends because it’s location is joinable by car things that is very practical especially at night if you want to go to a restaurant , it has an excellent service and is truly Moroccan in the way has been refurbished and the atmosphere. I chose this riad after I have read the good review of Daniel Jacobs of The Rough Guide to Morocco on the Observer on the 21st December last year.

The food I had there was the best ever in Morocco and not only …the chef is really skilful and in love with his job.

It’s correct that I send my review about that riad to few different forums, ( I asked for the list of them to all my friends who shared the holiday), and this is because I wanted to show my gratitude to the staff and the Moroccan chef and owner for the fantastic days we spent there.. to thank them for the incredible attention we received far beyond the call of duty.

Any way, good luck for your next Moroccan holiday!
Graham09 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 04:39 AM
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If people only stayed at riads that were "joinable by car", by which I presume this English-challenged poster means you can drive right to them, most of the riads in Morocco (not just Marrakesh) would be out of business.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:06 PM
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I stayed at Riad Farnatchi in Nov 2007 and thought it was fantastic! There was only one room available which was the smallest room, but even this was lovely. It was spread out across two floors, bedroom and bath on the lower floor and a small sitting room above. The decor is beautiful. The common areas in the Riad are all beautiful and worth taking the time to enjoy a drink there. I also used the hammam and contrary to the poster above found the experience to be terrific. The service at the Riad was warm and friendly and they went out of their way to help us with dinner reservations, directions etc... I would highly recommend this if you are interested in staying close to the medina, which we were. As for transportation we were driven into the city walls and from there our luggage was transferred to a hand cart with a porter and we walked the couple of blocks to the hotel. Felt that this added to the feel of the experience!
chelsea2 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:14 PM
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Thanks, chelsea, for the first-hand account! Your experience mimics that of others I've read, so now I know: we've chosen the right place.

Check that one off...moving on to the next hotel.
filmwill is offline  

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