Historical Traveller Reviews of Riad Magellan Hotel
My husband and I stayed 3 nights at Riad Magellan and found it to be very tastefully decorated and stylish.
We stayed in the orange room which was smaller but fine , the only exception being the shower which would always block up and was very dark.
We found the staff to be very helpful except we did experience difficulty as our french is extremely limited. The younger guy who managed seemed nice enough but didn't seem to really care much what you did as mentioned in an earlier review.
The location is great however once you find it.
They did arrange their taxi driver to take us to Essaouria. We found him to be rude, and trying to rip us off. I would probably arrange my own taxis if I was there again as they obviously are not ensuring the people they recommend are looking after you.
Good but sister riad is better
We stayed in Riad Magellan for one night before being moved to a sister riad just 2 doors down (which we'd agreed before we arrived). We also experienced no hot water on our one night there but the room and communal areas were all lovely. I'd agree with one of the other reviews that you may struggle here without French although if the owner (Philippe) is around he speaks fluent English but the main manager didn't. The upstairs rooms are more private so try and get one of those.
We would definitely recommend Dar Zahia which is owned by the same person (he owns quite a few in this area I think) as it had a better atmosphere and more English spoken (although we did try and use French as much as possible!). See our review under that riad!
s an ok place...
We were supposed to stay at another Riad for our entire stay but were told one evening that we would have to move to Riad Magellan for our last night. This was a surprise and we were not happy with the situation. Luckily it was located right next to our original Riad so we moved. It's clos eto teh Main Square in Derb El Hammam.
The Riad is clean but not as nice as Dar Milouda. We had two rooms, one was decent size with a split level room/ sitting area and bathroom making it a visually appealing room. The other was clean but dark and extremely small compared to the split level room. The bathroom had a little window that was only partially covered by foliage so we had to shut the room door and leave the bathroom door open so it covered this window. The bathroom was also poorly light. All in all, the smaller room made the one night stay unpleasant.
The staff were friendly but again, did not seem as nice as the previous Riad. I would recommend the Riad but would be careful of which room your choose and expect the manager to make last minute changes (though he was very helpful while making our reservations).
Wouldn't bother! Although good location the riad is not worth the visit. The owner although pleasant couldn't really give two hoots how you are, doesn't really interact unless you speak directly to him.... Whatever you do do not stay in the red room - you are right by reception and here everything going on by the main door and have a window next to the shower which everyone in reception can look into.. and you pay for it - Brilliant!! One final point is the the photography of the place makes it look ALOT nicer than it really is... There are better ones
We had a fantastic time staying here. It is so peaceful and calm after a day in the souks. All the staff are wonderfully helpful. Phillipe can offer advice and arrange day trips to the mountains, and book restaurants (We went to Foundouk and highly recommend, amazing candlelit rooftop terrace). The rooms are simple but lovely - only complaint is that a couple of the nights the water was barely hot but could have just been a problem with our room. There is always someone there to get you mint tea or a beer and the breakfasts were delicious!
We booked at the Riad Magellan at very short notice (1 week before) due to being let down by Casa Lalla; despite the short notice the staff at Magellan were extremely accommodating and were able to put us up for our whole 7 days stay in Marrakech.....and what a delight it turned out to be. They arranged for us to be collected form the airport and this was a godsend as it would have been murderous finding our own way, but don't be put off when you are dumped in an alley way and a teenager loads your luggage into a cart and runs off - just follow! After 10 minutes of winding round alleyways you are greeted by a wealth of wooden doors behind which the serenity of Riad Magellan awaits. The rooms are well decorated and extremely clean with air conditioning and there is enough space to not feel crowded by other guests if you're looking for some time alone. We stayed in both the Green and Orange rooms during our stay and both were equally lovely, although the green room was slightly larger. We found the staff extremely helpful, although as others have noted you do need to have some basic French skills as English is not widely spoken within the Riad. One evening they cooked dinner for us, which was extremely well laid on: romantic and intimate and with wine available. Breakfast was equally delightful with a variety of traditional Moroccan foods served to you at your convenience - we flitted between eating on the roof terrace (which has great views over the rooftops) and the relaxing sofas on the first floor. As a location this is ideal as it is neatly tucked away but is only a couple of minutes walk from the Jemna El Fna and the many souks. There is lots more I could say but the most important thing is this place is a great retreat and I doubt you could find anything better for the money - fantastic place and one day I hope to be back there!
We stayed at Riad Magellan (for it was listed on Time-Out guide-book) and we enjoyed very much those few days: the staff was very helpful and kind, the house is lovely and peaceful and the location excellent. We would highly recommend it to other travellers.
Great budget option
We stayed here for the first night of our 7 night trip to Morocco. Riad Magellan has a good location close to the trendy rue Moussaine and Djema el Fnna and offers good value for money in the price band.
Its clean, AIR CONDITIONED and I have to agree with other reviews here, offered the best version of the standard Moroccan breakfast (tea/coffee, bread, yoghurt, honey/cherry jam, pancakes) that we enjoyed during our stay (quite something considering we also stayed at the wonderful Riad Farnatchi). I'll remember their fabulous vanilla-y, lemon-y yoghurt for quite some time.
We arranged an airport transfer with them via email (you definitely need this as you stand no chance of finding it by yourself and taxis can't get this far into the medina) and this also went smoothy despite the language problems. We muddled by in my tres mal schoolgirl French but this is probably the main point I'd like to make; if your French isn't up to it I wouldn't recommend this place for your first trip to Marrakesh. Morocco is just so culturally different that you really do need a bit of support in your first few days and despite Mohammed 's(the guardian) best efforts, we didn't get it here. We'd have been lost if we hadn't done our research (we landed at night and needed to get ourselves down to Essaouira the next morning).
Having said all that, Riad Magellan's a good choice IF you speak reasonable French.
What an experience...you walk from outside the city walls, through small alleys into what looks like an underground warren. Doors opens into the most amazing Riad...great rooms and roof terrace. The location is perfect for the town square and anything else you want to see within the Medina. Rooms are a great size and very clean. For me the best thing was coming in from the Medina, which is so manic, into a sea of tranquility. Breakfasts were brilliant. I highly recommend this place on all counts.
Warm staff, great location--the perfect place for us
from A TripAdvisor Member
This was our first trip to a non-Western country, so just walking through the Marrakesh medina for the first time was quite an experience for us. We were met at the edge of the medina by a pleasant old fellow who works at the Riad. No English, but that didn't matter. Carrying our bags on a rickety bicycle, he led us though the totally amazing streets and passageways of the medina to a very unassuming door. At first we thought, uh-ohhh! Then the door swung open to reveal a lovely courtyard and the warm, smiling face of the absolutely wonderful housekeeper, a Moroccan woman named Hind. She greeted us warmly and showed us to our very pleasant room (we were in the room called "Verte"). She also served us the most delicious coffee we had ever had. Our room had air conditioning and we soon discovered how important that was. Not many riads have air conditioning and June is a pretty hot month in Morocco; the air conditioning in our room totally saved us. (Look for that feature no matter where you stay if you visit Morocco between June and September.) The decor is lovely throughout the riad, both in the rooms and in the public areas, and the rooftop patio has an excellent view of the Medina. Riad Magellan is also very conveniently located if you are interested in Djemma el Fnaa and other key sits of Marrakesh. 5 minute walk and you're there. The staff was pleasant and sincere in their desire to accomodate our various needs; the English is a little weak but that didn't cause us any problems. Breakfast is delicious, with more of that fantastic coffee. The only thing I would change about this Riad (this plus the so-so English is why I did not give it five stars) is that they do not routinely offer lunch or dinner; it is basically a B&B. They personally escort you to restaurants when you want a meal. However, I wouldn't be surprised if an in-house meal can be arranged. I didn't think to try that at the time, but it worked just fine in other riads later in the trip, and the Magellan staff was so accomodating, I bet they would do it. Overall, this is a very good place to stay: attractive, well-decorated, conveniently located, reasonably priced, warmly staffed, and you can't beat that excellent air conditioning. I definitely plan to stay here again the next time I visit Marrakesh.
Top Local Tips for Marrakech
take stuff with u
take paracetamol/aspirin/plasters/ibuprofen with you as pretty much ALL pharmacies are closed on weekends, and supermarkets do not sell meds. take inhalers even if you get slightly wheezy, the polution is terrible. take toilet roll, even if your hotel room's supply runs out housekeeping doesn't always replace toilet roll. take warm clothes and closed toe shoes- the evenings do get cold. beware of sleezy, touchy feely men!
Cheaper accomodation in Marrakesh
Hotel le Gallia fine at 35GBP per ensuite room/night with breakfast and a/c included. Peaceful and secluded (except room 9 which should be avioded as it has an outside window and is over a moped repair shop which was still working at 4a.m.) with excellent friendly & effective management/staff. Also Hotel Challa just down the road, Rue de la Recette, only GBP 10 per night with no breakfast or aircon & shared showers. Both only 5 mins from the Jemma el Fnaa in the centre.