Riad Viva: A Solo Travelers Guide
Riad Viva is an astonishingly beautiful luxury riad with exquisite food, friendly staff, and is reasonably priced. It offers solo friendly services such as rooftop breakfasts, cooking classes, massages, and guided tours. This page includes affiliate referral links, which means that I’ll earn a commission if you make a purchase using my links. All opinions are my own, they had no idea I was a blogger when I stayed at Riad Viva and I would absolutely stay there again. —–> Search prices & book with this link <—–
Oriental candlelight three-course dinner
After booking through Agoda, I was contacted by Riad Viva to confirm that a driver would pick me up from the airport and take me to the riad for free. They also offered me a three-course traditional Moroccan dinner for 19 Euros per person (about $23 USD). The meal is on the more expensive side however it is worth it. The first course was a range of Moroccan salad dishes and fresh bread. Very flavorful. The main course was chicken tagine with vegetables and couscous. And it ended with a sweet fruit salad dessert. I enjoyed it so much I ordered the three-course dinner again the next night as well.
My booking through Agoda included breakfast. This breakfast puts American hotel breakfasts to shame. Make sure to get the Moroccan mint tea. Breakfast was served on the rooftop terrace under a sunny sky with birds chirping and fluttering about. As a solo traveler, this was a great place to get to know some of the other guests. The atmosphere made an excellent conductor for spontaneous conversation with strangers. I had a wonderful chat with a German woman who was also traveling solo. That encounter made me feel welcome and ready to explore the city.
The rooftop terrace includes an unheated pool, lounge chairs in the sun, as well as a sitting area in the shade. A great place to come, relax and read a book.
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The rooms were beautiful, every nook and cranny, every piece of furniture had a touch of Moroccan design. Being a riad means that the rooms have no exterior windows. The windows instead face the inside courtyard where you can hear the trickling of the water fountain and little birds chirping in the morning. Or you can close the windows to block out all sound and light. Be sure to set an alarm clock since the sun will not wake you with the windows closed, especially if you’re jet lagged. The rooms came with wifi, TV, AC, bathroom heater, large closet to store your clothes, a keyed safe, basic toiletries, hair dryer, but minimal towels (mine came with one hand towel and one body towel, that’s it). The room did not include an alarm clock, tissues, iron or ironing board. I stayed one night in the Superior Double Bed for $82.11 which included breakfast. Then I stayed two nights in the Suite which also included breakfast for $108.66 per night. I preferred the suite simply because it had a tub.
Oriental body massage – 60 Minutes of argon oils and bliss
I scheduled a 1-hour massage with the front desk. Like the three-course dinner, it is considered “an extra”, which means it’s cost is added to the ending bill to be paid with Euros or Moroccan Dirhams at the end of the stay. The massage room is small and heated with a sturdy massage table in the middle. Soft Moroccan instrumental music played in the background. I gave no instructions to my female masseuse, I wanted to see what a Moroccan massage would be like.
What was unique about this massage compared to ones I’ve had while in the US? It was the softest massage I’d ever had. If you prefer deeper muscle work, you’ll want to ask for a more intense massage. When the time came to flip over to have my front massaged, my breasts were included. It didn’t bother me but it was unexpected. If that might bother you, I’d suggest keeping your bra on or just tell her before starting to skip that area. And lastly, near the end of the massage, she included a thorough scalp rub. It ended with my face wrapped in a warm towel. She left the room during this time, you’re not supposed to get up, it’s for meditative relaxation time. Overall it was a lovely experience. Very affordable, 22 Euro (about $26) for 60 minutes. Price list and other spa options will be listed in the booklet in your room.
My booking included a free pickup. Waiting outside the airport with a sign of my name, my taxi driver was easy to talk to and took me as far as he could. What do I mean by that? Notice the blue, pink and green roads on the map below.
Larger vehicles such as tour buses cannot enter the pink road and cars cannot fit on the green road. In the heart of Marrakech, Riad Viva is located within the Medina (the old city) which means that it has many narrow and maze-like streets. At the intersection of the green and pink streets, someone from Riad Viva was there waiting for me. He took my luggage and I followed him down the dark and winding streets. Being night time it was scary and seemed like it would be easy to get lost. However once viewed on a map and I saw it in daylight, it is actually quite easy to navigate. A day or two later I ran into the taxi driver on the pink street. He recognized me and said hi.
What I like about this location is that not only is it walking distance to most of the palaces, museums and historical sites to see, but it also gives you a little insight into the local culture since this street was partially residential.
Exceptional service at Riad Viva
During business hours there was always someone at the front desk. They were there to answer questions, give suggestions, or help book tours. At the front desk, you could also pick up a free map of the city which outlined tourist sights, their cost and hours. The service at Riad Viva was exceptional! What I particularly like about booking through Agoda.com is that they email you a one-page printable Booking Voucher. The voucher outlines all the useful info including the riad address in English and Arabic, so that if you find a non-English speaking taxi driver you can show them the writing on the voucher to get you there. Overall I had a wonderful solo trip and I highly recommend staying at Riad Viva. Want to book this riad? Use the tool below!
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