Riad Abaca Badra : No1 B&B in Marrakech
There are some wonderful 5-star resorts to stay at in Marrakech but to get a real feel of the city I would suggest staying in a Riad.
I had been on a tour in Morocco for 10 days and had stayed in several different hotels, but this was my first stay in a Riad, and it reminded me of a British style B&B with a Moroccan feel to it.
A riad is a large traditional house built around a central courtyard, often converted into a hotel. The owners lived on site and I guess in the past this is where the family would have lived but now it had been converted and it was lovely to stay here. It felt personal and homely and I can see why it is voted No1 B&B in Marrakesh on TripAdvisor.
The welcome at Riad Abaca Badra
I was greeted by Giles the owner and later met his wife who was the cook. They were both so polite and made me feel safe. I was welcomed in and we had tea whilst I completed the paperwork and made payment. He then showed me around the riad and took me to my room and showed me where everything was.
He explained things to do in the local area and gave me a map and a mobile phone and said I could ring him at any time even if I got lost. He had recommendations on things to see and said if I needed more information to just ask him. There were attraction leaflets in the foyer and many guide books in different languages.
My room at Riad Abaca Badra
My room was on the ground floor by the communal courtyard. It was large and airy with a lovely bathroom and shower. I was given some toiletries and even some local Moroccan oil which I could not wait to use.
The room was just the right temperature and the décor was very authentic. I felt so relaxed.
However, it was not the sort of room where you could have a lie in as it was by the main communal area I was awoken as the guests went to breakfast, but this did not bother me as it was 8.50am and to be honest I was here to explore Marrakech.
The bed was very comfortable and the WIFI the best out of all the places I have stayed in Morocco.
The communal areas at Riad Abaca Badra
I loved the décor of the riad everything was just how I imagined a Moroccan hotel to be. There was a communal area on the ground floor to sit and drink tea and on the first floor there were seating where it would have been lovely to read a book and relax.
The best bit was the roof terrace. There was plenty of seating up there including beds and dining tables.
There was a small pool which was more like a hot tub, but this was covered also a bar area. This would be a lovely place to have a meal. A filtered water fountain was available on the terrace as well as the ground floor lobby area.
I enjoyed a cold beer up there (which I had brought in myself) reading my book and getting the last of the sun rays before leaving for the UK. A little bird came and sat with me for a bit which was lovely.
The lady owner brought me up a towel and even a sun hat which I thought was so nice and she asked me if I wanted anything else.
The breakfast at Riad Abaca Badra
Breakfast was tasty and there was so much, and they even asked if I wanted more. Most of it was homemade sometimes in little places like this where they have gone to so much trouble, I feel rude if I dont eat it all, but I was too full to finish the bread or fruit salad.
When I got up in the morning the table was set with most things, it had a cloth over as there was a little birdie flying around which I guess is to stop him pecking at things that was one of the things I loved just watching this bird fluttering around it was quite tame and got so close. I saw it the previous night on the terrace so I wonder if it’s the resident bird.
Breakfast included fresh orange juice with bits which I dont normally like, but it was really refreshing. Giles had asked me during check in if I wanted tea or coffee so tea bags were waiting on the table.
Giles greeted me to breakfast and brought out my hot water for tea and asked of I wanted eggs fried scrambled or omelette I chose an omelette and it was cooked to perfection. Along with that there were 3 different types of homemade bread with the option of butter or cream cheese triangle. A homemade crepe which was also so good the whole breakfast was delicious.
Homemade yoghurt, which was good I added some homemade strawberry jam and I could have had a few more pots as it was so nice. I would have been happy with lots of pots of this alone for breakfast. There was also homemade apricot jam, some honey and something else which I didnt catch the name of but it tasted sweet.
There was fruit salad which I didnt eat but noticed lots of pomegranates in it which I love I was just too full had to go back to my room to flop on the bed to relax a little.
There was another couple having breakfast and no other tables were set up so they must have been the only other guests. The maid was cleaning the other lower ground floor room, so it looks like some guests left early I had a nosey and it was a similar set up to my room.
Dinner is available at an extra charge and you need to order this by 10am as they go shopping for fresh ingredients. I did think it was a little pricy compared to the prices of local restaurants and I met friends out, so I didn’t try the dinner however the options did sound delicious.
The location Riad Abaca Badra
I thought the location was great. It was walking distance to the Medina and in what looked like a residential part of the city. Even though it was down a side street I felt safe.
There were a few local shops and people said hello to me. The price was great for the service and quality of the breakfast and would recommend staying here if you are in Marrakesh and want a warm welcoming, local place to stay.
When I was leaving the couple came to wish me well and handed me a gift of a tagine with the name of the riad on which was a really nice gesture. They asked if I could take a photo with it in my home town but they already had one by Bristol suspension bridge so I never did I wish I could have taken it on my travels to another destination to give them a photo but unfortunately I travel light and dont have capacity to carry things like this but it is a gesture that has stuck in my mind.
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