Close your eyes and picture a Moroccan riad. What do you see? Fabulous patterns? A gorgeous courtyard with a pool? A lavish rooftop overlooking the medina? Our stay at Riad Zitoun wasn’t the picture of lavish travel but it was quite nice.
Our trip started off rocky. A thief named Josef lured us to walk with him (against my constant warning) to Riad Zitoun to show us his “shortcut.” He was the WORST! The absolute WORST. I don’t wish him death but I don’t mind if he loses a limb. haha. He walked us in circles to our place where he then requested 20 euros. I paid him 10 to buzz off and he kissed my hand. Whatever. We enter the riad.
Since it’s the holiday season, there’s bit of tinsel tossed about. Keeping things festive. We chat with the hostess in French who tells us some insider tips to navigate Marrakech and hands us a map. We then collect the WiFi password from her (which is amazingly fast) and make our way to our room.
The room has two beds. One single and this beautiful double bed that we laid our heads on. Nothing excessive or ornate – just enough to feel like you were in Marrakech whilst staying cozy at night. We also were given a heater and loads of extra fuzzy blankets to hide under. For someone who always gets cold, those blankets were life savers. During the Winter, Marrakech really gets cold at night and the room got drafty. The blankets literally gave me life and the bedding was all around clean and nice.
Our bathroom was a surprise. The tub wasn’t a tub. It was like a basin for your feet with a shower head. It worked though. It was interesting. It’s hard to keep the water all in the tub though when using the shower head. There are no curtains so you are exposed and the water splashes around – especially if you are tall. The towels are also basic. Nothing plush but hey, they dry you. The bathroom also comes with small hand soap and plenty of toilet roll.
They clean the bins every night but no new bedding and I couldn’t quite tell if we got new towels but I think we did.
At the very top of the riad is a terrace. You can sit up there to catch the sun at the top of the day or just lounge away drinking Moroccan mint tea.
There are little loungers and sofas covered in beautiful bright prints. Drapes are also all around the space to protect you from the wind should it be a cool day. I say take advantage of the terrace. It overlooks the ancient medina and you can hear the prayer call in the early morning.
The idea of free breakfast always excites me so I was glad we had it included with our accommodations. The setup was so cute and the colorful little dishes were so nice. They concealed Moroccan breakfast essentials like honey, jam, butter and more.
We were served crepe like treats and cornmeal type of biscuits. We spread the jams and honey on it and they were quite tasty. I’d say a 3 out of 5. I was surprised to discover that a Moroccan breakfast never included fruit or meat, just carbs. That and mint tea. I will say the breakfast was nice as you could literally eat it when you woke up. No need to rush at 8 AM to collect on the free food and you could have an intimate breakfast by yourself – no need to sit with other people if you’re antisocial.
The hallways had character. I liked the patterns and colors in the space. That said, the stairwells did have low ceilings so again, if you are tall, watch your head.
All in all though, Riad Zitoun was a solid 3.5 out of 5 stay. The rooms were a 3.5, the food was a 3 and the helpfulness and ambiance was a 4. Now, it’s no La Mamounia but you get a lot of convenience from this location. It’s comfortable, quiet and provides you with extras like excursion packages, airport pickup and just a friendly atmosphere.
If you need a place to stay and want to be near the ancient medina, then Riad Zitoun is the perfect fit. If you require luxe or a pool in your riad, then this isn’t the place.
Would you stay here? If you’ve been to Marrakech, where did you stay?