Stayed here 5 nights to unwind before embarking on our intense private tour around Morocco. Booked it as we thought it would be fun to experience at least one wacky riad and it was.
We had good email communication from the hotel sales manager, who confirmed our booking and arranged a late dinner for us on our first night.
We requested Fellini but, we were checked into (upgraded to) Maria Callas suite on our first night due to an error? The suite was wacky and had a fab bathroom but was very dark, narrow and claustrophobic. We asked to move to Fellini as soon as possible and it was literally done for us the next day while we were out! Very odd practice we thought!?!
Fellini situated on the 1st floor (same level as the lounge) was a better laid-out room with much higher ceilings than the other rooms. Unlike other rooms, it had external windows, so it had more natural light. I would say that was the best room in the house and we liked it a lot. (However, word of caution: this room faces the street and the riad is next to a school, so it can be a bit noisy in the morning. If noise bothers you, try a different room.)
Overall a very pleasant stay and we had a great time at this riad but out of the three riads we stayed in Morocco, this was our least favourite. We absolutely love Essaouira and will go back. However, we will not stay at Lotus O Marine again. We looked in Ville de I'o which was really lovely, so we will probably try there.
Snazzy eclectic Art Deco décor & furnishings in the lounge and the rooms, especially liked the chandelier. Nice ambient lighting all around the riad.
Good for gadget addicts: iPod player (with collection of Claude Challe) in the lounge, B&O hi-fis and flat screen TVs in rooms.
Hints of luxury: nice marble bathrooms with lots of mirrors, luxury bath towels & bath robes and good toiletries.
Staff (especially evening staff) very friendly and attentive. Nothing was too much hassle.
Continental breakfast with a good selection of bread and pastries. Half board menu had a good choice and food was very good. Lady chef very charming and talented. Her Bouquet De Nemis (Lamb Vietnamese Spring Rolls) starter was really excellent. Restaurant was quiet most evenings we were there but had a nice ambience, playing cool Arabic lounge music. (They lent us CDs to play in our room.)
Good location in the centre of the medina. Easy walking distance to souks, port, beach etc...
Rooms were too hot. No air conditioning and there were not enough electric fans to go round all the rooms! We asked for one but they only managed to produce a small fan, which was actually really ineffective. Inadequate lighting in the rooms.
The terrace looked very tired and needed refreshing. The soft furnishings in the restaurant also needed a bit of attention. Very slow internet connection.
Drinks were expensive compared to other riads.
Overall operation in the hotel was not slick as it should be for a riad of this class. Other guests had issues with their bills. Manager (Julien) was still asleep at 10am on a Monday when he should have been around to sort out my queries with the bill at check-out. Reception staff not empowered to make decisions so I ended up having to spend 30 minutes sorting the problem out myself while our driver was waiting!!!! But, never mind - what a laugh!
*Tip: For live music and a lively atmosphere, try the terrace of Café Taro for drinks. It's just few minutes' walk away from the riad.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC