General FAQ

With a warm and semi-arid climate, Marrakech is a popular destination all year around. It rarely rains and the sunshine is more or less constant, though it can get very cold at night. In our opinion, the best time to visit is spring and autumn as some people struggle with the intense heat of summer (around 35°C in July and August). However, all of our rooms are air-conditioned and during these months you can explore the Medina without the crowds, giving you a calmer experience of the city. The low humidity level makes the heat more bearable; we’d just advise you to adopt the local habits and rest between midday and the early afternoon. During winter, the climate is pleasant with a lot of sunshine, but it can rain a little more often.

By Air:

Marrakech Manera Airport is an international airport with regular scheduled flights from London, Paris, Madrid and Milano, and frequent charter flights from other major European cities. If you are coming from the United States, Canada, Asia or Australia, you will have most of the time to transit through Casablanca or a European city. Marrakech Airport is about 8km (15 minutes by car) from the city centre and Riad l’Orangeraie. We can of course arrange transfers for you.

 By Train:

From Casablanca – trains run approximately every 2 hours and the journey takes 3 hours.
From Fez – the journey takes 7 hours (you will have to go via Rabat).
From Tangier – the journey takes 11 hours (you will have to go via Rabat).
From Meknes – the journey takes 6 hours (you will have to go via Rabat).
Marrakech train station is a 10-minute taxi ride from the Riad or we can arrange a transfer.
For information on train schedules and to buy tickets online, please visit ONCF

By Bus:

Two national bus companies operate between Marrakech and most major cities of Morocco – Supratours hyperlink and CTM . The coaches are comfortable and usually have air conditioning. You will arrive at the railway station if travelling with Supratour (see above), or the bus station if travelling with CTM.

The bus station is close to the ‘Bab Doukkala’ gate, a 15-minute walk from the Riad, but if you have luggage it is easier to take a taxi to the ‘Ksour’ gate, which is 400m from the hotel. We can meet you there.  

By Car:

If you plan to travel from or to Essaouira, the bus is the only alternative to a taxi or private car as there is no railway line to the Atlantic coast from Marrakesh. The journey takes approximately 3 hours and we can arrange this for you.

Passport holders for the following countries do not need a visa to visit Morocco:

Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Congo, South Korea, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Thailand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Venezuela.

Contact the consulate or Moroccan embassy closest to you if the country of which you are a passport holder is not included in the list above.

When entering Morocco, all travellers must be in possession of a passport which is valid until the date of return to your country of origin. For foreign nationals whose countries are subject to the formality of a visa, your travel documents must be accompanied by a visa issued by the Moroccan administration.

Tourist stays in Morocco are limited to 90 days for foreigners who are exempted from the visa, and for the duration of the validity of the visa for those who are subject to it.

Although Morocco is a very moderate country in terms of Islamic practice, you still need to be respectful of the culture. Women should avoid miniskirts or mini shorts in the Medina, as well as any plunging necklines. It is perfectly acceptable for women to wear short-sleeve tops and knee-length skirts or for men to wear sleeveless t-shirts and shorts. You may like to carry a wrap to cover your shoulders when visiting religious buildings.

The vast majority of Moroccans are not very strict about dress practices, especially in Marrakech – some other cities are more conservative – and most Moroccan women do not wear a veil. Some wear a scarf that covers their hair; the ‘hijab’.

Between April-September, we’d advise you to wear light clothing, and from February-March and October-November you’ll want an extra layer or shawl for the evenings. During winter in Marrakech, you should dress similarly to how you would dress in autumn in Northern Europe, with warmer clothes for the evenings.

Morocco is in the Greenwich Meridian time zone, so there is no time difference between Marrakech and London, but France and the rest of west Europe are one hour ahead.

Summer and winter hours are the same as in Europe, but there are 4 time changes per year; for daylight savings during spring and autumn, and also for Ramadan during which the country switches to winter time for the entire period.

Electric plugs in Morocco have 2 round pins, similar to most European plugs, and the supply voltage is 220V. If you are coming from the UK or USA your electrical appliances will need adaptors.

No. Shops and tourist sites are open during all holidays and religious festivals, except the feast of Ait El Kebir (see below). Airports and railway stations function normally all year round, as do all services offered by the riad.

Friday is a day of collective prayer, and marks the start of the weekend in most Muslim countries, but in Morocco everybody works on Friday and the weekend falls on Saturday and Sunday. The souks are open on Friday but there is a small slowdown in activity during the main prayer, between noon and 1pm.

In Morocco as a whole, it is customary to leave a tip if you are satisfied with the service, but it is not compulsory. As a guide, tip 1 Dirham per person for a coffee, 5 Dirhams per person in the cheaper restaurants, and 10-15% of the bill in upmarket restaurants.

We are often asked if it is appropriate to tip staff at the Riad. Our staff have no expectation of this, but if you are happy with the service you have received there is a tip box in the manager’s office. Its content is shared equally amongst all staff members.

Yes. There is a much lower level of crime here than in most cities in Europe or the United States. However, we’d always advise following basic rules of caution. Avoid carrying too much money, and do not keep your wallet and phone in your back pocket or wear conspicuous jewellery in the souks. Minor crimes do occur in Marrakech, but they are usually non-violent and non-confrontational. Tourist police are dedicated to ensuring that visitors feel safe here.

Riad L’Orangeraie is on the main street in the Mouassine District, one of the quietest in Marrakech, so you don’t need to worry about coming and going from the Riad, even at night.

Terrorism can be a source of concern for some travellers, and the sad events in recent years, particularly in Europe and Africa, require us to talk about it. Morocco has been a stable country for many years – its liberal society is moderate and the country is geographically distant from any conflict zone. A terrorist attack can obviously happen anywhere, but the Moroccan police and security services are extremely vigilant. We consider the country to be much less exposed to this type of risk than most major European capitals.

L’Orangeraie is in the heart of the Medina, a 10-minute walk from most of the main sites including the souks and Jemaa el-Fenaa. To get to the Majorelle Gardens, it will take you 25 minutes by foot or 10 minutes in a taxi.

Taking a taxi in Marrakech can be an adventure because drivers tend to take advantage of tourists. Here are some tips to make sure you are prepared for the most cunning of drivers!

Small taxis (beige colour). These cars are for 1-3 passengers, so if there are more of you, you will have to take more taxis. Insist that they put on the meter, which they often refuse to do despite this being illegal. If they will not, simply get out and wait for the next one – there is no shortage of taxis in Marrakech. If you do not want to wait, be sure to negotiate hard; there is no reason for you to pay more than a Moroccan. An average journey in town should cost 10-25 Dirhams, and at night, the drivers apply a legal increase of 50%.

Big taxis (usually old Mercedes models). Small taxis cannot leave the city walls so for longer journeys you will need a big taxi. Avoid these in town though as they are much more expensive. You will need to negotiate the price of the journey, which should be about 150 Dirhams per 20km.

Most things are not open to negotiation – eg restaurant prices and bus tickets. The prices are the same for everyone (locals and tourists) and will often be displayed.

However, prices are often hiked up considerably for tourists in the souks, which is why they are rarely shown. They can vary according to the time of day, the client, the mood of the seller… Haggling is part of the fun and the aim is a price that both the buyer and seller are happy with. Be prepared to walk away and you’ll do much better!

Ramadan is a religious holiday that lasts about one month, during which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset. The dates vary annually, and the end of Ramadan is marked by Aid Al-Fitr, one of the 2 major festivals of the Islamic calendar.

From our point of view, Ramadan is by no means a reason to not visit Morocco – quite the contrary. It is a period that is often calmer, and punctuated by the festive ‘ftour’ (breaking of the fast), which takes place every evening, when the buzzy atmosphere of the city is magnified ten-fold. If the Moroccans you meet during the day seem a bit slow during this month, remember that they started their day at 4am and won’t eat again until sunset!

Muslims are generally tolerant of tourists during Ramadan, but it is respectful not to eat, drink, smoke or show affection in public, especially in non-tourist areas.

The souks is open as normal. Local restaurants are sometimes closed during the day (most of them are open though), but in any case they all come to life again at sunset. You will always be able to buy food and water (though not alcohol) in small grocery stores, and the food markets continue to buzz. The restaurants around Jemaa El Fna tend to remain open all day too, as their clientele is mostly tourists, but you are not allowed to drink alcohol on their terraces during Ramadan.

As far as museums, banks and government offices are concerned, nothing really changes during Ramadan. Both tourist sites and museums are open, too, although they close earlier than usual to allow staff to return home in time for breaking the fast. Trains, buses and planes stick to regular schedules.

The end of Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr) is celebrated for several days. Businesses and government offices can close for up to 3 days. You will need to well book in advance if you plan to travel through Morocco during this period, as trains and buses get extremely busy with families travelling to be together.

FAQ About Riad l’Orangeraie

No, but we respond very quickly to all reservation requests – within a few hours in most cases. Though this may be considered ‘old school’, we have chosen to keep this booking process in place as we consider it more friendly. It allows you to ask us questions, and for us to find solutions – eg if you are staying in Marrakech as part of a larger trip and need some guidance, or if we are full for one of your requested dates, in which case we can suggest an alternative/arrange a stay with a Riad partner. You can contact us via Whatsapp on our French number for an even quicker response.

We require a 50% deposit to be paid at the moment of your reservation or a credit card to secure the whole amount of the booking. 

If you have paid a deposit the remaining 50% is paid at the time of check out. 

If you have secured your booking with a credit card, the whole amount of the booking is paid upon check out. Please note that we will not take any payment from your card, except in the event of cancellation.

All cancellation should be made more than 25 days prior to arrival to avoid cancellation fees (100% of the amount of the booking) or loss of the deposit paid unless we are able to reallocate the room. Please note that the deposit will be reimbursed or no charge will be made on your credit card if the cancellation is notified more than 25 days before your arrival.

This cancellation policy is not valid for group bookings where a deposit is always required and the delay to cancel without any penalty is 45 days. 

We advise to check that you have an Insurance covering the cost of a last minute cancellation.

Rooms are available at the latest from 1pm and must be vacated by 11am, but we are very flexible on these times depending on the arrival and departure times of our guests. Do not hesitate to check with us and we will do our best to adapt to your needs. You can store your luggage at the Riad if you arrive before your room is ready, or if you need to vacate your room much earlier than your scheduled return flight.

All rooms have a hairdryer, bottled water, orange-blossom toiletries and a city map.

  • – There are no TVs as we feel they are not conducive to the quiet and authentic atmosphere that we want to maintain in the riad.
  • – There are no phones but we will lend you a Moroccan mobile phone for your stay, so you can call us whenever you need assistance. You can give the number to family or friends so they can call you.
  • – We can lend you an iron, and a member of the team will always be happy to iron some clothes for you, time allowing.
  • – We have chosen not to put minibars in our rooms as we prefer to serve drinks to our guests. You can call us at any time and order a mint tea, coffee or drink of your choice, and have it brought to your room or the roof terrace.

Drinking tap water is not advisable, even though the risk of illness is minimal. A complimentary bottle of water is provided in your room, and you can buy bottled water in local shops and grocery stores. We also sell it at the Riad.

Access by car is only possible in the late evening and very early morning. The nearest secure car park is close to the Bab Laksour gate of the medina, which is 400m from the Riad (Street Jbel Lakdar). It costs 30 Dirhams per 24 hours. Once you have parked please call us so we can come and meet you at the gate; we have a small cart for your luggage.

The riad is a 2-storey house, with various stairs and no elevator, so it could be complicated to navigate. It is best to check your needs with us before making a reservation.

We don’t have a hammam at the Riad but we work with a dedicated place for hammam and massage located one minute away. We can also arrange in-room massages, with a professional masseuse who comes to the Riad on request.

The kitchen is in principle reserved for members of staff. That said, if you want to take a look, Nadia and Aicha will always be delighted to have you join them and teach you one of their recipes 🙂

We implemented Best Environmental Practices for Tourism in the Riad and have subsequently been awarded the Green Key label. For more information about our commitment to sustainable living, please see our tab eco-commitment

Not in the classic sense. However, if you need a place to get together for an informal chat, you can use our large lounge on the first floor, which we can also reserve for private meetings at certain times of the day. Please enquire when booking or ask Ismail, our manager, when you arrive at the Riad.

Yes, there is absolutely no problem to hold events at the Riad, such as weddings but also corporate team building, birthdays, pre-wedding festivities. For group bookings, we try to give the maximum help for the planning and organisation of the event and have several direct interactions with you in order to make the event as smooth and organised as possible.

We have a computer, printer and fax machine in our office, which you can use on request.

We do not offer this service, but there’s a currency exchange office 50m from the l’Orangeraie, and ATMs on the square or at the end of the street near the Laksour gate, a 5-minute walk away.

Unfortunately not, as the riad is not soundproofed enough to conceal for example the sound of a dog barking. Instead, we welcome the small birds that nest in the trees of the riad, and the turtles who have chosen l’Orangeraie as a home. They do not disrupt the tranquillity of the house.