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Reviewed 26 June 2015

Pre-book your transfer with the Riad! It is in an area where you would get completely lost on arrival and shown ( several times ) by locals wanting a lot of tip to walk you around the corner. A car cannot go to the door so you need to be shown. The walk to the square is 20-30 minutes and is not suitable for families, older people of ones who feel vulnerable.
Stepping inside you do forget where you are and wind down, clean and tidy and lovely people.
The location lets it down ..... It would be better on the other side towards Koutoubia so you have access to the Medina and the new town.

Date of stay: June 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Suff123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
espacelibre, Propriétaire at Riad Ailen, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2015

Indeed, we advise customers to provide a transfer at the time of booking as in the medina it's difficult to find your way. Street names are not always indicated. Also in the medina vehicles can not park in front of the riads. For transfers from the riad Ailen reserved, drivers take you from the airport and accompany you right up to the door of the riad.
The location of our guest house, as mentioned on our site, is located in one of the oldest districts of the medina to 15 or 20 minutes from the Jemaa el Fna, as you can see from the various comments posted this site by families with kids, couples mature ages .... Our neighborhood is inhabited by peaceful and helpful people. Our distance from the new town is a choice, we believe that our clients come to discover an authentic Morocco. For a modern city, it is not necessary to come to Marrakech, Western cities are part of the daily lives of our customers.
We hope you still had a great time in Marrakech.
Laure et Bernard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2015

Stayed here last october. The riad like many others have said is an excellent example of a traditional riad. The staff are faultless. Clean and tidy rooms, breakfast and mint tea great. Like others i would recommend airport transfers as its a little hard to find. Location?.............please research where this riad is!!. Its inside the medina walls and in a residential area, not the tourist trap hotel area. It is not in europe but marrakesh. We were approached by happy locals selling goods and also youngsters trying to trick us. You are in their neighbourhood and the riad cannot police the area. We were handled like some others have said but we cannot put any blame on the riad for this. So to sum up the riad is great, staff are great and if you dont research where in the media you are staying then you cant complain.
The riad is aware of its location as upon arrival we were asked if we were happy to stay due to its location and some of the negative reviews.

Date of stay: October 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank karl1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2015

We stayed here March 25th for 7 nights with our 12 year old son We had a fab time and always enjoyed returning to this Riad We were always made welcome and as has been said before all the 3 staff were very friendly , welcoming and helpful. We booked via British Airways as that was the best deal and I would urge potential guests from uk to consider this rather than Easyjet or Royal Air Maroc if flying from London as packaged together it was better value and flight times were good, rather than booking Riad and flight separately.Do email the Riad to get collected whatever you do ,believe me it saves a lot of hassle and money on arrival at airport and it is a door to door service.

We were always made welcome at the Riad, you could have breakfast a early or as late as you liked which was great for us as we mostly rose late The Riad even opened the pool slightly earlier than their stated date on website of 1st April on email request to Riad before we arrived.Nice touch
The breakfast was plentiful and excellent and we ate the evening meal at Riad the first night - delicious and generous ( you need to order the night before we did by email prior to arrival) 15 Euros ,we paid at current exchange rate in Dirahm..You can get beer around 3 Euros or wine around 15 euros on request Mint tea free at all times on request but often just offered .The overall feel of Riad was relaxed and luxurious (for us anyway) with lots of places to sit or lay down on all 3 levels. We slept very well and found the room delightful and comfortable and although call to prayer from local Mosque at 6am this did not overtly disturb us and hey it is the medina in Marrakesh! The roof is great with sun beds and a shaded area. The wi-fi is free and strong on all levels of the Riad.

The Riad it is located near the Bab Ailen gate /one of the many entrances to the medina . Riad will arrange a taxi for you if you ask and walk you to the pick up point.We did it independantly once but the hassle of negotiating the fare was annoying and in retrospect it would have been easier to have asked to Riad to do it
The walk to the square was for us was ok and not overtly challenging but you need to have your wits about you as you do anywhere in the Medina. Please remember it is the medina ,it is poor by western standards and the culture shock is immediate when you walk out the door but again it is the medina and it is Marrakesh. We used a downloaded map on our smartphones to assist us (and no data charge if you download in advance in uk or on wifi at Riad) but it was relatively straightforward and our son seemed to rember the way better than us. We were there at some of same time as previous reviewer was and were aware of hassle they received as a young women and her mother .However we were two middle aged parents, mother and father with a 12 year old son and never came back late at night (latest 10.30 pm) It is 15-20 minutes from main square and did not receive any major hassle .it is a very stimulating and exciting city and the medina particularly so.Each trip out was a feast for the eyes,ears and mind!
There are a few local shops and we bought some olives and bread locally -the price varies depending on who served us! but like everywhere in Morocco you need to barter.
We were on a bit of a budget and for the price this Riad with air con good ,wi fi,free breakfast and great staff was to us fantastic value.They were happy for us to use the Riad facilities after 12 noon check out as our flight was not till 7pm and drove us to airport. You can book good value tours direct with Riad and we did a trip to Atlas mountains-it was great a bit touristy,but a welcome break from the city for a day.
We loved the whole experience of the holiday in Marrakesh but again its a Riad ,it is the medina it is not a western style hotel in a western part of town.If you want that look elsewhere.Have a look at the riad's website for more info.If you want a authentic experience stay in this area and enjoy the luxury and security of what to us was a comfortable and friendly Riad in the heart of the medina. The bulk of the review are good or excellent and deservedly so .The critical reviews possibly were not aware what they were letting themselves in for !Any questions please ask me

Room tip: upper 3 rooms have the edge for privacy but all rooms seemed lovely
Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank frank t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2015

Having just returned from a 5 night stay at the Riad Ailen I thought it only fair to say that I was very pleased with it. Nyama & Yunice were both welcoming and helpful.

The place itself is an oasis of peace and calm once you get through the front door. There is a central courtyard with 2 rooms on the ground floor level, and a further 3 upstairs. We had a twin room which was very small for two people sharing. There was very little space for clothing and nowhere to hang maxi-dresses or trousers without creasing. A small shelf space, with a few hangers behind a curtain is as near as you'll get to a wardrobe. Having said that we managed well enough. There was a safe on a shelf which we were given the key for. The shower room is very small, and we noticed the drain started to smell after day 2, though there is a can of air freshener provided for this! The shower itself is merely a small square area with a small partial stone wall which separates it from the sink/toilet area. It has no natural light, and a very small shelf under a mirror is all the space there is for your toiletries (2 women sharing .. so not nearly enough space). Our room was probably 6 feet wide at best, and about 15 feet long. There was one small window which looks directly out onto the splash pool/breakfast area. Thankfully the window has shutters for privacy but this means you need the lights on when you're in the room.

The upstairs rooms appeared much nicer, larger with a double & single bed. It was also warmer on the first floor and there were couchs and chairs which make it quite a nice space for sitting and chatting, reading or having a drink. Above that is the roof terrace which a small makeshift tented area was erected on. There are also small trees in pots and tables, though we found the laundry gets hung out here so it reduced the useable space a bit. There is no view from the roof terrace as the walls are built high.

There is a mosque near to the Riad, as we found out with the call to prayer in the early morning. This is easily heard in every room though its not an unpleasant sound, it managed to wake me up 3 days out of five.

Breakfast at the Riad consists of Mint Tea or Coffee, freshy squeezed orange juice, warm crumpet or pancake type patties and french bread with butter, honey and preserves. Simple but quite pleasant. Nyama was always lovely and welcoming, and although there is a language barrier, she is friendly and helpful.

The Riad is about 20 minutes walk from the main square (Jemaa el Fna) and the walk is an interesting one. A dusty, busy thoroughfare which is open to pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds, motorbikes, donkeys, cars and small vans - often all at the same time and with the locals trying to sell and shop along both sides, this road can be difficult to get through, and I found it really difficult on busy mornings when there were cars and vans, as well as smoke chugging mopeds all beeping you out of their way, whilst you also try to negotiate the pedestrians and the people with small stalls laid out on the ground. At times it was frustrating, noisy and downright bad for your health to be stuck in these little streets with the traffic fumes. We were also informed on day 4 of our stay that the Bab Ailen area in general is considered to be an area where you need to be careful, particularly at night. Certainy we witnessed a number of incidents which were intimdating, as single women travellinng together we were approached by men of all ages and on two occasions were physically touched by these men who then ran off into the darkness. One of these happened at the door of the Riad, we had rung the door bell as you are not given a key to get into the building, and whilst we waited for the door to be answered we were approached by a young man who ran by me onceI saw him and lunged at my daughter, not hurting her but touching her before running off down the alleyway. She was very scared and after this we got a taxi back every time, and phoned the Riad for Yunice to come and meet us, which he very kindly agreed to.

This may sound alarmist, but as European women, who were very modestly dressed and covered up as per local advice, we did nothing to warrant this attention. I'm sure its a cultural thing, but nevertheless it was unwanted and intimidating. The Riad itself was good value for money, and I wouldn't want to stop people going there, however I believe it only fair to let others know of our experiences in the area around this building.

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jules1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
espacelibre, Propriétaire at Riad Ailen, responded to this reviewResponded 20 April 2015
Google Translation

Bonjour.
Nous espérons que vous avez fais un bon voyage de retour nous en profitons pour vous remercier pour ce commentaire.
Pour faire suite à votre commentaire et à celui de votre fille posté le lendemain, nous tenons à préciser que vous aviez la choix de la chambre au moment de votre réservation. Toutes nos chambres ont un descriptif fidèle et photos réalistes sur le site. Vous avez choisi une chambre twin plutôt qu’une autre qui, bien sur, était à un tarif moindre. Une fois sur place, vous auriez dû demander à la gérante de vous changer de chambre. Elle aurait pu vous affecter une autre chambre en fonction de la disponibilité mais vous n’avez rien réclamé. Il en est de même pour la clé du coffre, notre gérante la donne sur demande au client.

En choisissant un véritable riad, vous avez choisi d’être hébergé dans la médina. Dans tout les quartier de celle-ci il y a une mosquée chaque 100 mètres, il est donc difficile d’éviter d’entendre l’appel à la prière le matin. Vous séjourniez dans un pays de culture musulmane avec le respect que l’on doit à ses habitants. Notre gérante vous a alerté sur le mode vestimentaire qu’il est d’usage d’adopter en sortant du riad. Vous avez eu une conversation avec elle sur les différences entre l’Europe et le Maghreb. Celle-ci vous a averti à plusieurs reprises sur ce qui pourrait choquer dans la médina. Par respect pour nos clients, notre gérante n’a pas osé insister à nouveau sur votre mode vestimentaire qui à son goût n’était pas adapté pour circuler dans la médina. L’incident dont vous avez été les victimes est extrêmement rare, les habitants de la médina et de notre quartier sont paisibles et non agressifs. Les commentaires précédent et suivant ne font pas état de situation d’insécurité particulières. Nous déplorons cet incident et nous demandons dès aujourd’hui à la brigade touristique d’intervenir plus régulièrement.

Vous nous interpellez également sur le fait que les rues sont encombrées de mobylettes, vélos, ânes, . . . mais au Maroc et surtout dans la médina, c’est le moyen de locomotion le plus économique. Les autorités ont bien pris conscience de ce problème car ils ont interdit l’usage de ces moyens de locomotions dans les souks.

Pour votre sécurité, les clients n’ont pas de clé du riad car il y a toujours quelqu’un de présent. Ainsi nous assurons une présence 24 heures sur 24 ce qui est un gage de sécurité pour nos clients. Cela évite également les pertes de clés qui entraîneraient un risque si une personne étrangère retrouvait la clé dans la rue.
Seul les riads qui donnent une clé aux clients, le font car il n’y a personnes de présent la nuit.

En espérant que cette petite mésaventure n’aura pas ternis votre séjour à Marrakech..

Bien cordialement :

Hasna, Younes, Naima, Laure et Bernard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2015

The best thing about this Riad has to be the staff - all of them made us feel very welcome during our stay, talking to us every day and offering us Moroccan tea and advice whenever we needed it. They were so welcoming to the point that on one evening when we didn't want to go out Yunis went on his motorbike to get us pizza! Now you don't get that sort of service in a hotel!

The Riad itself is very peaceful and feels very authentic - it really is wonderful to step inside after a busy day sightseeing - the rooms it has to be said are on the small side with little storage and our room on the ground floor did feel a little exposed being directly next to where everyone has breakfast. That being said, we had a very pleasant stay at the Riad which was charming and the staff really did make us feel at home.

My only issue really is with the location of this Riad - we knew when booking that the Riad was not in the centre of the Medina and that it takes around 20 minutes to walk to the main square - which in itself for us wasn't a problem. However, as a 24 year old female travelling only with my mother I have to say that at times I felt very intimidated in the area where the Riad is (it borders the area next to the tanneries and both areas are very poor and not very well lit at night with lots of men lurking around in the evening).

On two evenings both myself and my mother were followed by young men on the alley directly outside the Riad's front door and were touched by men before they ran away. This experience left me quite upset (I respected local customs by remaining fully covered during our stay so I can't say that I was welcoming this behaviour!!) and whilst I don't think it was intentional for the men to hurt or upset either myself or my mum (Morocco after all has a very different culture and attitude towards women) I must admit at times I felt unsafe in this area. This was reinforced by a local Moroccon man working in a cafe who advised that we get a taxi back to the Riad at night as the area was poor, with some drug dealing taking place and so walking back by ourselves was not advised.

I do not mean these comments as a criticism directly to the Riad itself - but because of these experiences I feel that I HAVE to tell any solo female travellers (or female travellers looking at going to Marrakech without a man in your group) to bear this information in mind when selecting where to stay.

Apart from this incidence we really did have a wonderful stay at this Riad, where we met some truly great people and we really appreciated staying in what felt like an authentic and welcoming Riad in Marrakech.

Room tip: You might want to ask for a room on the upper floor (however, there may be limited availability as the Riad only has 5 bedrooms).
Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank amycatherine2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
espacelibre, Propriétaire at Riad Ailen, responded to this reviewResponded 20 April 2015
Google Translation

Bonjour.
Nous espérons que vous avez fais un bon voyage de retour nous en profitons pour vous remercier pour ce commentaire.
Pour faire suite à votre commentaire et à celui de votre fille posté le lendemain, nous tenons à préciser que vous aviez la choix de la chambre au moment de votre réservation. Toutes nos chambres ont un descriptif fidèle et photos réalistes sur le site. Vous avez choisi une chambre twin plutôt qu’une autre qui, bien sur, était à un tarif moindre. Une fois sur place, vous auriez dû demander à la gérante de vous changer de chambre. Elle aurait pu vous affecter une autre chambre en fonction de la disponibilité mais vous n’avez rien réclamé. Il en est de même pour la clé du coffre, notre gérante la donne sur demande au client.

En choisissant un véritable riad, vous avez choisi d’être hébergé dans la médina. Dans tout les quartier de celle-ci il y a une mosquée chaque 100 mètres, il est donc difficile d’éviter d’entendre l’appel à la prière le matin. Vous séjourniez dans un pays de culture musulmane avec le respect que l’on doit à ses habitants. Notre gérante vous a alerté sur le mode vestimentaire qu’il est d’usage d’adopter en sortant du riad. Vous avez eu une conversation avec elle sur les différences entre l’Europe et le Maghreb. Celle-ci vous a averti à plusieurs reprises sur ce qui pourrait choquer dans la médina. Par respect pour nos clients, notre gérante n’a pas osé insister à nouveau sur votre mode vestimentaire qui à son goût n’était pas adapté pour circuler dans la médina. L’incident dont vous avez été les victimes est extrêmement rare, les habitants de la médina et de notre quartier sont paisibles et non agressifs. Les commentaires précédent et suivant ne font pas état de situation d’insécurité particulières. Nous déplorons cet incident et nous demandons dès aujourd’hui à la brigade touristique d’intervenir plus régulièrement.

Vous nous interpellez également sur le fait que les rues sont encombrées de mobylettes, vélos, ânes, . . . mais au Maroc et surtout dans la médina, c’est le moyen de locomotion le plus économique. Les autorités ont bien pris conscience de ce problème car ils ont interdit l’usage de ces moyens de locomotions dans les souks.

Pour votre sécurité, les clients n’ont pas de clé du riad car il y a toujours quelqu’un de présent. Ainsi nous assurons une présence 24 heures sur 24 ce qui est un gage de sécurité pour nos clients. Cela évite également les pertes de clés qui entraîneraient un risque si une personne étrangère retrouvait la clé dans la rue.
Seul les riads qui donnent une clé aux clients, le font car il n’y a personnes de présent la nuit.

En espérant que cette petite mésaventure n’aura pas ternis votre séjour à Marrakech..

Bien cordialement :

Hasna, Younes, Naima, Laure et Bernard

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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