What it’s like to stay at the ‘best hostel in Africa,’ which looks more like a boutique hotel with a pool and a roof terrace

The Rodamón Riad in Marrakech, Morocco has a pool and roof terrace. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

It’s not just awards season for the entertainment industries – the world of travel has it’s own sprinkling of glamour and prestige.

The winners of the 17th annual “HOSCARS” (Hostelworld Customer Annual Ratings) were announced by Hostelworld in January, crediting the crème de la crème of hip hostels across 250 categories based over a million reviews from guests over the previous year.

For a hostel to be “HOSCAR-worthy” it’s measured against criteria including overall customer experience, security, value for money, location, atmosphere, staff, cleanliness, and facilities.

Award groups range from “Best for solo female travellers” to “Best for career breakers (aged 31+),” as well as the top hostels in 170 countries and six continents.

The aesthetically-pleasing Rodamón Riad in Marrakech, Morocco was voted the best hostel in Africa, and with design touches that radiate boutique hotel rather than budget digs, it’s not hard to see why.

Starting from around $US20.79 per night in the mixed dormitory, this hostel is a treasure for travellers wanting a bargain.

In a review of the riad, one guest said: “Best hostel I ever stayed at. Honestly recommend this to everyone visiting Marrakech.”

Here’s what it’s like inside.

The riad is just 10 minutes away from Marrakech’s teeming Jamaâ El Fna Square. However, in contrast to the chaotic bustle of the medina, this hostel is a peaceful oasis.

A calming haven to retreat into after a day of exploring. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Morocco is well known for exquisite interiors, and Rodamón Riad’s covetable tiles continue waving the flag for beautiful decor. You’ll find yourself fantasizing about building a dream house where every room will be floor-to-ceiling ceramic.

Start your tile Pinterest board now. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Spread over a couple of floors, the traditional set-up of a riad faces inward and is centered around an interior courtyard with a fountain.

A riad’s central point is an interior courtyard. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

The bubbling fountain in the Rodamón Riad is a hub for guests to escape to after touring the busy city.

Guests can hang out in the hostel’s courtyard. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Riads were once the homes of rich merchants and courtiers, but now the building style is synonymous with a hotel or guesthouse.

The architectural style of a riad is common for a place to stay in Morocco. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

The light and airy colours, which are a contrast from the city outside, carry on through to the hostel dormitories. Bunks are a hostel norm, but each of these beds feature a couple of comforts to make sharing a sleeping space that little bit easier.

The cooling furnishings carry on into the rooms. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

There’s a cut away private shelf inside each bunk with your own personal plug point (diffusing any passive aggressive turf-wars over a socket) as well as a reading light.

Your very own plug point. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Each occupant has access to a slice of privacy from the bunk’s curtains, and can store away possessions under the bed. A mixed 8-bed dorm starts at $US20.79 per bed, per night.

There’s potential for a little privacy, even when sharing a room. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

For a lot of travellers on a budget, where they stay doesn’t have to be fancy, just comfortable and clean. This bodes well for the Rodamón Riad, as its highest criteria score (9.8 out of a maximum 10) is for cleanliness.

The Rodamón Riad is rated by guests as 9.8 out of 10 for cleanliness. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

One visitor said: “Cleanliness is top of mind here and it shows … The rooms are pristine with individual privacy partitions that keep each bunk dark so you can sleep in as well as individual lights, cubby, and plug next to each bed. The decor is simple and elegant, the space is enormous and feels nicer than a hotel.”

A guest said there always seemed to be someone cleaning in the riad. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Source: Hostelworld

The calming aesthetic of the riad lends itself to the crisp white bedding guests sleep on, too.

No scratchy sheets here. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

If you don’t fancy sharing your space, the Rodamón Riad offers private rooms. Again, the style is fresh, bright, and could easily be confused for a five-star hotel. At roughly $US126.85 per night, it’s a snip of luxury if you’re travelling on a budget.

The riad has private rooms too. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

The en-suite bathrooms are far from the stuff of hostel horrors, and reinforce the boutique hotel vibes.

Everything about the rooms would have you believe you’re in hotel rather than a hostel. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

They can even accommodate twin beds if you’re wanting some distance from your travelling partner.

Share a room without sharing a bed. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

The seating area in the private hostel room is a perk even for a hotel. “Perfect blend between hostel and hotel vibe,” one reviewer said. “The aesthetic and decor is just beautiful. Definitely stay here in Marrakesh.”

Some private bedrooms come with their own small seating space. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Source: Hostelworld

Guests can recover from a hot day of sightseeing by plunging into the small but inviting outdoor splash pool. Although food and drinks are not included, there is a bar and cafe kitchen on site if you’re keen to eat closer to home.

Take a dip in the courtyard pool. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

The Rodamón Riad is the hostel that keeps on giving with a roof terrace and more seating areas to relax in. As one guest commented: “The breakfast was good, the room was spotless, and the rooftop terrace was awesome. This Riad feels more like a hotel than a hostel. It’s very quiet and is a wonderful escape right in the heart of the chaos of the Marrakech Médina.”

The hostel also has a roof terrace to unwind on. Rodamón Riad/Hostelworld

Source: Hostelworld

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