How do we feel about TripAdvisor (‘TA’)? Do we take the comments, criticisms, reviews and recommendations posted there for gospel, or do we partake of those snippets with a generous pinch of salt? I confess to having read many, many reviews on the aforementioned TA in an effort to help me decide on where to stay in Marrakech. In the end, it was the pronouncement on Riad Noir d’Ivoire’s website of: “We have 4 cats” which persuaded me to book. For some, cats would probably have been the deal-breaker, but for yours truly, the apartment-dweller who can’t have a cat but who sometimes finds herself inexplicably lingering in the cat food aisles of the supermarket, cats were cause enough. (Is it possible to be a crazy cat lady even if you don’t own a cat?)
Non-feline fanciers needn’t fret, the cats pretty much do their own thing here. Although little black scruff, Bouyot, could be quite vocal around breakfast-time, Forest, the big old boy, tended to exist without much thought for the humans around him. In fact, there were only two cats on-site when we stayed. The third member of the feline family, having misjudged her leap from the rooftop was recovering in hospital, while number four had departed the riad along with his human, a staffer who had finished up there.
Cats aside, if you’re seeking calm and quiet in beautiful surrounds, and sanctuary from the bustle and cacophony of the medina outside, Riad Noir d’Ivoire is the place to stay. From the welcome to the farewell and everything in between, I was struck by the thoughtful and personal service we received here. Meals felt like they were cooked with love by Mama. I particularly enjoyed the house-made yoghurt as well as trying the local cakes and pastries each day. On our first morning we were provided with a mobile phone with numbers for the Riad and various staff members just in case we got lost and needed rescuing; thankfully, we didn’t but we held on to the device for the entirety of our stay.
My photos don’t really do justice to the loveliness of Riad Noir d’Ivoire, and certainly, the paragraphs here fall short of any sort of proper review. In fact, I’ve been struggling so much to put my thoughts on the property in writing that my own TA review has been in ‘draft’ for at least a couple of weeks. (Everyone else has said what I would’ve said already on that forum, whereas here, it’s just me, hence…)