Beautiful Riad in the heart of old town Marrakech. The rooms and the gardens are incredible with elegant and unique touches throughout. The rooftop gardens have lots of wonderful areas to rest, read or just contemplate Morroco. Pool was not taken care of, unfortunately, so we were confined to the smaller jacuzzis for a dip. Location is completely inaccessible by car so you have to take motorbike cabs or walk to and from. Tour excursions will not be able to pick you up there so you’ll have to walk to a central meeting place (usually Cafe du France). But if you’re seeking an authentic and non-tourist locale where the staff (thank you Mohammed for taking such good care of us!) are amazing and so helpful, food onsite is pretty terrific, access to on-site and very reasonably priced massages, all very reasonably priced - this is a good choice!
I spent a week in petit Karmela and I just loved it. The rooms and so pretty and well cleaned. The common “living-room” was so nice to sit in and relax after a hectic day in Medina. The roof terrace with sofas, some sun beds and a little pool gave you a opportunity to relax in the sun (or shadow).
The Riad Petit Karmela might only have a "petit" number of reviews but don't let that put you off - it won't be long before it rises up the TripAdvisor rankings. As mentioned in other reviews, the Petit Karmela is part of a larger complex - three riads (including the Karmela and Karmela Princesse) which run adjacent to each other. It's a little off the main square (c.10 - 15 minute walk) but that means it is quieter and you can enjoy the journey wandering through the souks. Be prepared for lots of young men telling you "big square this way" (i.e., the opposite direction!) when you are walking to the hotel.
On arrival we were met with Moroccan mint tea and pastries whilst our knowledgable host took us through the hotel facilities and local area, even highlighting recommended routes and points of interest on the map for us. Despite her clear guidance on how to get around we still ended up getting lost on our way to Jemaa El Fna but that was our own fault and we enjoy taking a little detour whilst we are exploring a new city in any case :) keep an eye out for the three tortoises roaming the reception of Riad Karmela - they are very cute but i nearly squashed one!
The room (Selma) was lovely, nicely decorated and cleaned for us every day (remember to hand your key in to reception!). There was an air conditioning unit and fresh water which were welcomed after a hot day in the sun. Wi fi could be a little slow but it did work - and you don't go on holiday to spend all of your time online anyway :) We went to the terrace at the Riad Karmela for breakfast each morning (pastries, yoghurt, cheese, fruit...) and the ladies who served us were always only too happy to help, regularly topping up our coffee and whipping our plates away when any wasps came near. When we had to check out early for our flight, the hotel rustled up a little breakfast for us so that we didn't miss out on our last day. There is a small plunge pool on the terrace and many sunloungers. We discovered that there was also a plunge pool on the terrace of the Petit Karmela but only half way through our holiday when the one at Karmela was out of service.
You can order drinks and take them on the terrace, and I believe that dinner is also served there too - we chose not to eat our evening meals at the hotel, though it sounded delicious. We found some little gems near the square which were very reasonably priced (Cantine Des Gazelles and Bakchich Cafe). At €25 for a meal, the dinner was hardly expensive at the hotel, but as we stayed during Ramadan, we were encouraged to remain inside the hotel between the hours or 6pm and 8.30pm so we were keen to go out exploring again when we could.
A special mention to the housekeeping staff who always served us with a smile, and the employees on reception (both of the owners, Said, the "security" guy and the gentleman who walked us to meet our taxi driver) who were incredibly helpful.
Top tips for Marrakech - stick to the right when navigating the streets, there are bikes (motorbikes and push bikes) everywhere (!) and brush up on any French that you might have learned at school (we didn't have any problems speaking English but a little French did help) :)
This little beauty is in the heart of the souks and is an absolute must if it's where you want to stay.
The place is an old converted home with a large courtyard in the middle and only a handful of rooms around it on the ground and first floor. The rooms are tastefully decorated in an authentic morrocan style and have everything you need in them. They are a little on the small side and have a small shower room in each but it all adds to the charm.
Upstairs on the terrace there is a plunge pool to cool off, sunbeds to soak up the sun and sheltered areas to chill out after an afternoon of craziness in the souks.
There really isn't anything to complain about unless you want a brand new/ultra modern hotel with all mod cons (which it isn't) but where is the fun in that?!
Breakfast and snacks and dinner are all served next door in the riad karmela, really nice breakfasts (more on that in my review of the riad karmela)
The staff (who are mostly next door) are fabulous. And really do go the extra mile to make your stay special. Front of house staff deserve medals, they will help you get about safely without being conned and will even arrange your trips for you at reasonable prices. Have to mention our friend Mohamed the security guard/porter (aka superman because of his Cape who always had a smile on his face and a kind hello but made us feel safe)
All in all. Fabulously placed in the heart of the medina within easy walking distance to all that the medina has too offer.
Would certainly recommend the hotel to anyone visiting Marrakech. It's in the heart of the Medina, but once you turn off into the alleyway and through the doors of the hotel, it's like entering a different world, an oasis of calm.
The staff are, without exception, kind and friendly and nothing is too much trouble. They arranged trips for us and all the advice they offered was spot on. The breakfast on the roof was delightful and the food at the hotel in the evenings was superb. The plunge pool too on the roof was an absolute godsend.