On March 22nd, My friend and I were heading towards Marrakesh , so surfed the net, and booked a Riad via booking.com for 3 people, 2nights and instantly got the confirmation of the booking. Riad Dar Shana had good reviews on booking.com, hence we didn't question the hospitality nor security within the premises.
We arrived to Marrakesh by train at 22:00, then took taxi to the Medina (Bab Ilane). Got to the Riad only by the help of a young local men (in exchange for a tip!). He welcomed my friend and asked her for confirmation that she replied Yes to. It was very strange that he didn't ask us for our ID's, something that was done by other Riads we previously visited that week.
At the time we arrived to the stairs, and since I have RSI (weak arm), I kindly asked: Because there is no elevator, is there anyone that could help me with the suitcase?! (in french). Right at that moment, he exploded in my face, swearing, and saying that if he knew we were moroccans, that he would have told us that his "house" was full. Then he started loosing it even more, escalating the insults... and then screaming that we got to leave his house!! I was very firm that with 3 young ladies I was not willing to get out of the Riad, especially that it was past 22:30 and that WE WILL not leave the Riad in the middle of the medina without a valid reason, especially that the payment was already made. So, he kept being very aggressive verbally and body language.. So, I told him that the only way we would leave the Riad is with the police, so that we are in presence of a trusted corp in the medina to take us outside the walls to get a taxi.
At one moment, While I was trying to reach the police he went straight to my friend and pulled her by her Jacket very aggressively and threw the suitcase next to her and told her that she needed to "f#$k off!" in french!!!!!!! She remained seated 'cause she doesn't understand french... But was very frightened to move because that is the closest someone could get in your personal space and intimidate you.
I was trying to call the police, but no reception at that time, but As soon as I saw him pull her jacket, I ran outside the Riad... For me, that was absolutly not acceptable, and I had to reach the police! running in the little alley, I asked some young boys that were playing for a phoneshop, and they told me it was all the way outside the medina's walls, and not knowing how I would possibly get back there, and not being confident in leaving both my sister and friend there, I started trying call the police with both my Dutch and mum's moroccan numbers walking in different directions in front of the riad... until I spoke to the police and asked them to come to the Riad in question. This first call, was at 22:45 (to the 3e Arrondissement Police station).
I went back in to the Riad and stood next to my sister and my friend who was still sitting in the courtyard. Since then they started being very VERY rude in their verbal aggression, calling us the worst names they can think of, and the ugliest expressions they could find, but since I already spoke to the police, I ignored it, also because I was glade my friend doesn't understand anything of what they say. but it was becoming very hurtful to our ego and dignity what they were saying, after all we are not in the street, we are inside a touristic place, and being treated this way, being paying clients! It was just not acceptable that such low level of behavior was shown by the manager of a touristic organisation and his helper!!
1h of waiting for the police, I started getting nervous.. was afraid that they wouldn't be able to find the adress, and that they would have tried to call me but without any reception they couldn't let me know.. So I decided to go to the place where I was able to made the call and try again. When I got to the front door of the Riad, it was locked!!!!! Very shocked to realize that we are locked inside, I felt like imprisoned and didn't know what to say/do.. I just kept asking that woman, to please open the door, she answered me that she doesn't work for me, and that the door is locked so that we dont get rid of the mobile we stole. I kept repeating that this was a public place that has to stay open at all times when we want to leave.. and she kept saying that the door is closed and so it will stay!!! and when I told her that I need to leave to check on the police, she said, yeah, the police that they will pay 100dhs to and they will go away again! It felt very intimidating and got very scared that something worse was about to happen!!! So I kept repeating that I needed the door to be open.. Then my sister suggested that I go to the roof terrace to get reception, and call the police from there. So, I did, and was able to speak to the police again, and I told them that we were taken hostages inside of the Riad, that they refuse to open the door and that I am worried they will do anything more stupid. they confirmed they were on their way and I walk back downstairs to the courtyard.
Half an hour later, the police arrives, the manager confirmed that he doesn't want us to stay for the night, and we confirmed that we also don t feel safe nor respected in there (3girls treated the way they did so far, we could'nt risk that more could happen.)
Then the 2 police men left saying that the touristic police brigade that will come to solve this problem and left. Very disappointed and let down, I started explaining the situation to my friend, she became extremely worried especially that they arrived in normal clothing, and left us without action, she just wanted to leave, but I couldn't take the responsibility to walk them out in the medina after mighnight without knowing where to go. Terrified, and mostly puzzled on how could the police leave us there without doing anything to help us (WE, the people who called for help!!!) so my friend started asking me and my sister of where we were, and where should we go etc.. At this time, the manager of the Riad walked to my friend, and grabbed the map from her hands very childish & aggressive at the same time, spit on her face, pulled the table that was next to her...being very vulgar and extremely intimidating, then I put my iphone recorder on, and at the moment he wanted to jump on my friend to hit her..I jumped right in the middle, stopping him from touching her. he grabbed me instead and started hitting me, so trying to stop his hand from hitting my face, my iphone fell on the ground.. I saw it fall, but I was still ok, knowing it was recording everything that would happen! I was pushed towards the wall, the reception desk, I fell then he grabbed me from my neck, and pulled me towards the couch.. My sister was screaming at him to stop hitting me and not touch me, and she tried to get his hand off my neck, when he grabbed her from her hair with his right hand, and pulled her on the wall then to the ground where she just couldn't move anymore, then he sat on me lying on the couch so she kept screaming very loud. Being completely immobile, both of us.. the girlfriend/helper women grabbed my sister's hand bag and emptied it on the floor, looking for their missing iphone, and grabbed her golden neckles... while we were both defenceless, and my friend frosen to death from all the aggression she is seeing and the nightmare scenarios that were happening right in front of her eyes.. and started also screaming for help... This while the guy kept shouting that he will just finish me off. He asked that woman to give him a baseball stick (the one people keep in a car in case of aggression to protect yourself!) to finish me off, so when she brought it to him, he let go of my sister, who stopped his hand with the stick from hitting me & with the other hand grabbed a photophore and threatened to hit him if he does not take his hand off me.. he let go of the baseball stick but kept strangling me, I was not able to breath anymore, and my body was just loosing strenght.. so I couldn't have lasted 1more minute I had the feeling...
Luckily there were 2 other clients at the riad came down and the man took the manager off me. as soon as I could breath back, was looking for my phone, but it was gone, my sister told me that she saw the woman take it when she passed on the stick to finish me off.. and since they knew it was recording everything that was happening, they stole it.
I was in shock, crying that I was almost killed, and here again, locked inside the riad... the spanish couple tried to calm me down, asking me to sit down, but I just couldn't!
couple of minutes (I suppose!), there was someone knocking at the door, the manager opens the door, and I hear someone asking, is everything ok? we hear someone screaming for help, is there any problem??? And the manager answers: well, nothing at all! there is no problem!
I couldn't believe what I heard, this lunatic criminal who almost strangled me to death, and hit me & my sister, stole my phone and evidence is saying that there was no problem at all... I run outside and started shouting and asking for help, that I needed to call the police and that they stole my phone.. one guy helped me find a kind man who gave me his phone to call the police and waited with me till they arrived as I absolutely didn't want to go back in, maybe this time he will lock us in, kill all 3 of us and declare that we just left! 30min later the police came, asked us to go with them to the police station for deposition, that lasted till next morning 7am.
So, for now, PLEASE DO NOT risk you journey to take an indesirable tourn by going to this Riad. They have shown to be extreemly inapt to run a touristic organisation, even worse, that they are capable of hurting their clients, physically, emotionally and mentally!!!
Unique Quality: - Rude
Directions: It is in an area of the Medina where it appears that even people from Marrakesh tend to avoid. Not to say that we have been badly treated in the streets, but I just want to transmit what I was told. so, better find a hotel elsewhere in the city!
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