More about Zamzam Riad
Oasis of calm amidst medina madness
On entering the medina in Marrakech for the first time, I was blown away by the intense hustle and bustle of people, the narrow streets, tall buildings, the whizzing scooters and resentlful donkeys pulling fruit-laden carts, along with the other sounds and smells of busy Moroccan life! What a joy it was to enter Riad Zamzam and be greeted with the sweet smell of incense, the sound of water lapping in the plunge pool and the luxurious surroundings of this beautifully decorated riad. It truly is an oasis of calm hidden away from the intensity of the outside world. We loved our stay - the attentive staff made sure we were never wanting for anything and advised us on local customs. Marcus and Emma have created a beautiful riad and have employed who we consider one of the best chefs in Morocco - better by far than any restaurant you may happen to go to. Can't forget to say a big thank you to Mo - you were great! This riad is quiet, it is unique, it is luxurious, it has fabulous views of the mountains and the food is outstanding.
Lovely Boutique Riad
I have been using tripadvisor for years but have never felt inclined to actually post a review until now, having read the contribution below.
My wife and I have been to Marrakech many times so the hustle and bustle and dim narrow passageways of the Medina were no surprise. We love the mysticism and timelessness of it alI - it is rather the point of this amazing place. Perhaps the darkness (yes, no nasty streetlights to spoil the ambience) may come as a shock, especially when arriving at night, and a torch can be useful. But it really is part of the experience. We feel as though we have stepped back in time and priveleged to be experiencing it.
Zamzam has only been open a couple of months and is run by a charming English couple who have clearly put their hearts and souls into it. The Riad itself is beautiful. Clearly time and money has been spent getting the attention to detail so right. Granted, like all Riads, you access it from a dark and gloomy corridor in the walled city but then find yourself in an oasis of charm and beauty. The bedrooms are all very well sized and stylishly decorated and there is a beautiful courtyard on the ground floor with a lovely little pool.
The roof terrace has wonderful views into the distance of the atlas mountains and the other roofs of the riads in the walled city. The only way you can see the cemetery is to actually climb up onto something and lean over. My wife and I did not mind it at all. There are hotels all over the world overlooking cemeteries and churches - why should this one bother anyone? It is quiet and peaceful. In my opinion it is actually a bonus to have this and the tranquility that comes with it (cemeteries are not noisy places!). We had our breakfast on the roof both mornings and could only hear the call to prayer from the mosque in the distance which you get all over the Medina. A wonderful sound.
This part of Marrakech is not for everyone and maybe this chap from Alicante should have done some more research so he could have known what to expect and stayed in the Palmeraie or out of town.
I happily recommend Zamzam. The owners are running a very welcoming and comfortable place. Starting any business is a leap of faith right now and I am sure they can do without a review like the previous one which is unjustified and focused on something irrelevant to the Riad.
Nice Riad, ruined by location
I fully agree with the negative review before. We just returned from this riad and we had such a terrible time that we tried to fly home early (we have never tried this on any other holiday).
The main problem with the riad is the location. It is a 40minute walk from the centre which would be fine (I love walking) but the riad is impossible to find by taxi or foot. Noone knows where it is and there are no road signs. We normally really enjoy this type of adventure but not when you are so helpless. The riad told us to use their taxis (which were overpriced and adds 20pds every time you leave the riad and which can't even reach the hotel anyway as they insist on using mercedes which are too big for the tiny roads).
In addition we also didn't have hot water and the breakfasts were not the amazing organic feast we were promised but this wasn't the real problem - the location ruins your holiday.
I would also agree that it is very cheeky to demand all money in advance as they did.
The one good point was the manager Mo and his staff, who were first class and the best we experienced in Marrakesh
Overall this riad ruined our holiday despite being expensive (we thought we were treating ourselves to the best option) and has made me never want to return to morocco again.
Zamzam riad is a beautifully restored and luxuriously appointed riad in the old Medina of Marrakech. It is a haven of peace and tranquility and a very welcome respite especially after a day in the vibrant souk. Each of the individually designed suites are superbly finished with sumptuous fabrics and bespoke furniture made by local craftsmen. The light fittings are paricularly splendid. As regular visitors to Marrakech and indeed the Medina, we were amazed by the quality of food which was exceptional and nothing like the usual Moroccan fare offered at most Medina establishments. It was well thought out and beautifully presented. The intimate spa was a lovely bonus and the wonderful massage oils were all locally sourced. The owners' incredible attention to detail must be commended - fabulous bed linen, fluffy bath robes and towels (another first in Marrakech) plus books, sun hats, sun cream and hot water bottles in your bed at night! What more could one ask for except a Zamzam cocktail!! The staff were extremely helpful, courteous and always smiling especially Mo, the manager, who was simply great. I would highly recommend this property to anyone seeking relaxation, comfort and fine food.
We've just returned from a New Year spent in Marrakech at Riad ZamZam and I have to say that it is wonderful. The location in the Medina is atmospheric and the riad itself is beautifully done and fabulously appointed. The staff and service could not have been bettered. The riad only opened recently and while the owners have retained the charm of old world Morocco, they have also achieved modern standards in the bedrooms and bathrooms with high quality sheets and showers to die for. They also have an in house hammam and massage room which is a lovely experience.
Waking up to the sound of the birds and walking out onto the courtyard with the palm tree and then being treated to a fabulous freshly made breakfast cannot be beaten. We had dinner in the riad a couple of times and the food was fantastic - Moroccan dining at its best..
The location is at the north end of the medina and it takes about 15 minutes to walk down to the main souk area. You certainly need a map to find your way but for those who are geographically challenged the riad staff are more than happy to supply a guide to ensure that no guest is lost! We found our way around with no problems and the one time that we did get mildly confused and rang up for help it turned out that we were only about 100 yards away from home after all.....
I have read the earlier negative reviews and have to say that I totally disagree. It sounds like the people in question had a problem with the medina itself which they then reflected onto the riad. The medina is certainly an experience and if you're not up for seeing another culture from the inside then you probably shouldn't go! As to the comment on the cemetery - what a load of rubbish! The only way of knowing that it is there is to climb up on a chair and peer over the wall of the roof terrace and I fail to understand why having a cemetery nearby should be a problem.. As one other review said at least it makes for quiet neighbours!
All in all a fabulous stay and many thanks to Emma, Marcus and Mo for making it such a great break for us both. We'll be passing on the details to all friends who are considering a trip to Marrakech...
My husband and I stayed at ZamZam over New Year with our two children (5yr and 1yr). We had a fantastic stay. Mohammed and the rest of the ZamZam team are incredibly attentive and made sure all our needs were catered for. The Riad decor is beautiful, the design is exquisite and the bathrooms are stunning. The roof terrace and the plunge pool are an added bonus and the food is absolutely delicious. Located in the heart of the Medina which is a real buzz to walk around, the Riad is a true oasis of calm which is welcomed after a day of sightseeing and shopping in the city. I would highly recommend the Riad to any discerning traveller.
Riad Zam Zam have ruined by spected holidays
I have been in this riad from 25 til 29th of past december. According the information on Tripadvisor and on riad´s website, the place should be wonderful. Impresives pictures of the inside and good comments. The reality was very diferent. The riad is in the last hell of the Medina. Impossibles corridors pleins of missery have to be walked to arrived there. Taxis can not arrived , they must stoped long before and you have to walk nearly in the darkness, if is nigth. Forget walking til Jemaa El Fna square, so add a big amount of money for taxis to your budget. Three nigths cold watter, although several complains with the owner , only the last one we could get a hot shower. An other unpleasant matter for me: the riad is NEXT TO A CEMETERY. When I say next its mean nothing in betewn. The small windows of the bathrooms are directly openeds to the cemetery (they are very smalls and situateds near the ceiling and you can´t see the exterior). The breakfast is served on the terrace. While your are taking your coofe you are listening a man three metters down digging a tomb or fossae with a pick and a shovel. Two of the four days we have been in the riad a burial tooked place two metters closed to the terrace ( you can see the attached pictures ). The information of the riad omited any reference to that point. When I have notice this point to the manager of the riad he answer me ironically the cemetery is something natural and where everybody must go at the end. For me a cemetery is something very natural, I have not any phobia about that, but I when I go in holidays, with all my family, I use to choice nices places to have a god time and to enjoy and I dont go to monasterys, cemeterys or similar places to think about the sense of life. There are other ocassions for philosophy. In my opinion, this information is relevant and should be gaved to the pottential visitors, who could then decided to go or not to go. The Riad is owned by an english couple. They asked the full price in advance, probably to avoid ulteriors claims from guests. Anyway, this requirement is unusual and inelegant. The only thing to save in that place is the moroccan staff (specialy the manager Mo). They do their best to satisfy the clients but is a very hard job with all the described problems.
Wonderful oasis of calm and luxury
We celebrated our wedding anniversary here....and could not have chosed a better place! The bustle of the medina was left behind as we entered the tranquility of the riad. We were made very welcome by all the staff and owners. The bedroom was a delight combining boutique luxury with modern Moroccan styles. The attention to detail that the owners - Emma and Marcus - have devoted to the refurbishment of this riad is incredible. This philosophy is carried through into the bedrooms that have all the modern trappings and luxuries one would expect of a top class hotel anywhere in the world. We ate 3 out of our four nights in the riad and were very well looked after; breakfast on the roof terrace in the winter sunshine was idyllic!. Although the riad is a little off the beaten track, it's only a 10 minute walk to the centre of the medina. This was our first 'riad experience' and one we will definitely repeat based on what we discovered at Zamzam. Overall it was like staying in a country home whilst having all the conveniences and luxury of a 5* hotel.
We just got back from a fantastic 5 days in Marrakech, staying at Riad ZamZam. The riad is beautifully designed and very comfortable. Our party used 5 of the rooms, and all had traditional features, but in a contemporary style, with all necessary modern conveniences. Whilst the riad is a little removed from from centre of Marrakech in the North of the Medina, it is only a 15min stroll to the Souk and this, in my view, is one of the benefits, because you get to see some of the ordinary, less touristique, parts of Marrakech. Anybody visiting should bear in mind that the streets are like a labyrinth, so you can expect some degree of getting lost to begin with, but taxis and a call to the riad 'guardien' are sufficient contingencies. A particular feature of our stay was the warmth and assistance we received from our hosts Mo, Marcus and Emma. They were welcoming, helpful and gave us lots of useful information about Morroco and Marrakech. Other highlights included the hammam and massage on the roof, delicious food, oh and the gorgeous light-fittings. Plus we had some great weather in the middle (25C).
Nothing too much trouble
We have stayed at a Riad before, Riad Zolah and at both we had a fantastic experience.
Zamzam had not been open long, and yes we too had cold water but there are bound to be teething troubles with a long and careful renovation of a 500 hundred year old wreck, turned into a small palace.The whole place is beautiful, although the surroundings and location are not the best.
What does make it special is that the owners and the manager really care, the food is excellent, the terrace private and we had the service of a driver who, like all involved ,couldn't do enough. Incidentally, he was not expensive, and waited for us wherever we wanted to go.
We were made so welcome throughout, that we felt like family staying in a wonderful home belonging to old friends. Needless to say,we didn't know them from Adam before our stay
Well done and definitely one to watch become popular.