Q: What is it? A: Picture for yourself a modern riad – you’ll probably end up with something like this!
The driver created a mess for himself…
I blame it all on him. While trying to get his car through the narrow, winding streets of the Marrakech medina, he simply got stuck between a stone wall and a shop, turning a short taxi-ride into an unwanted tourist attraction. It costed him his right rear mirror. Therefore, arriving to the Talaa 12 was an even bigger relief. It’s located next to the souk and just an olive’s throw from the Ben Youssef Madrasa, the former theological college in Marrakech. This riad isn’t exactly yelling ”Here I am”, so drivers don’t know about it. Not many folks in the neighbourhood were able to just point it out.
With just 8 rooms the service level is the expected.
You WILL be well taken care of at the Talaa 12. When asking Ibrahim, the manager on duty, how to get to Café Arabe, he just said ”Come on… follow me!” The followed a 10-minute guided tour through the souk. What Hilton hotel manager would personally walk you through this maze to make sure that you arrive to your restaurant? I suppose that would be impossible at any larger establishment, but this was probably just another day at work at the Talaa 12 with only 8 rooms, (and maximum 18 guests).
A traditional riad that is not very traditional.
This is not the place for those who want to take the time machine a few centuries back in time. Rooms and public spaces are furnished in a rather contemporary fashion. Quite minimalistic but yet not 100% functional. Taking a shower that lasts more than 2 minutes means the bathroom floor gets flooded. Also rooms come with no keys. ”This is such a small place”, was the explanation. And true enough, it is impossible to get inside without the staff admitting you in.
It should be awarded with more stars…
It certainly has its qualities – the staff being the most outstanding one. I’d recommend the Talaa 12 if you want something that doesn’t feel like a hotel but more like a very well run B&B. I’d also recommend it for anybody who doesn’t want their piggy bank smashed.
Also, before coming here, call the riad and ask them to arrange with porters bringing your luggage to the door. On departure, they did just that and the system worked like a charm although Obi-Wan Kenobi spent an eternity pushing a cart with my heavy bags to the waiting car. Make that a 70-year old Obi-Wan with bad shoes and a severe back problem. Or maybe not. He got a hefty tip and danced away. Maybe he was just a good actor?
N° 12 Talaa Ben Youssef
40000 Medina Marrakech