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“Great Staff!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Abiad

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Dar Abiad
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   95, bis Sidi Ghanem - Zaouia | Bab Lakhmis - Médina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #195 of 465 Hotels in Marrakech
Plymouth, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Staff!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

The Riad is in a good location and the rooms are very characterful. The whole ambiance is relaxed and quiet, which is welcomed after the hectic souks. Karim is an excellent host and even took me to an atm on the back of his motorbike which was a great experience!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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48 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    32
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

First of all, I'd just like to say that the owner of this riad - Karim, was a gracious and accommodating host and was always at pains to help us in any way he could (he got up at 6 am to walk us to a meeting point for a trip we had planned, lent us an umbrella when it rained, walked us around the souk and always served us mint tea whenever he saw us) and I feel badly that I can't give this place a higher rating, but unfortunately there is no "good," rating.

The stay here got off to a bad start when the taxi I arranged over email two days prior didn't turn up, leaving us to get bombarded by taxi drivers touting for business. We found the place and were greeted by Karim (there are two Karim's who work here and we never found out which one it was who neglected to sort out our taxi) who gave us delicious mint tea and a warm welcome before showing us to our room. The room wasn't bad but somehow lacked the warmth and togetherness of other riads we stayed in and there was a musty smell that we never seemed to be able to find the source of. The walls are very thin and footsteps and voices can be heard as if they are in the same room. The bathroom didnt feel clean and the complimentary bathrobes were a bit frayed and tatty. I may be being unfair as the other Riad's we stayed in were in different cities in Morocco but this Dar just didn't measure up to other places we stayed. To be honest my partner and I felt that the place could have used some TLC and better lighting - the Dar is very dark at night and gets very cold. Also, as s a lot of the doors didn't shut properly, there was always a bit of draft. The wifi only works in the breakfast/lobby area and there are no televisions in the rooms, so it was a bit boring to come back to at the end of the day when you might want to unwind and watch a film.

There is also the problem of the location and this was my single biggest issue with this place. The hotel is right around the corner from a mosque and whilst there is nothing that can really prepare you for it I have to warn potential visitors to this place: the call to prayer is LOUD. Deafening in fact, and it starts at 5am and will most likely make for a rude awakening. Ear plugs are a must, but to be honest, had I known in advance that this would happen, I would have chosen a riad further away from the mosque. The call to prayer however, was just one of the issues we had which prevented us from getting a good nights sleep. There is a rooster that belongs to a family next door ( I presume) and it woke us up at 1 am with its endless and extremely loud crowing and continue to do so until 7am. I did not get one good nights sleep the entire 4 night stay and I ended the trip gagging to get back home just so I could sleep in a warm room without thin walls and no rooster next door, which is not how I usually end holidays!

It's not all bad, the breakfasts that are served in the morning were absolutely delicious and there is always someone on hand to do laundry or let you back in to the riad after a long day, And I really can't stress enough what a lovely guy Karim was - as badly as the taxi booking went to begin with, he organised a very plush ride back to the airport free of charge and we really appreciated this.

All in all the location and slightly dilapidated feel to the place stops me from completely endorsing it. If it had been cheaper I would have been slightly more satisfied, but I can't help feeling it would be better to either spend a bit more money to stay in the new town or book a nicer Riad if only to be sure of getting a good night's sleep. I think this place would be good for back packers or a couple who aren't as fussy as my partner and I!

Room Tip: We had the choclat suite which was very near to the mosque and made for an unpleasant nights sleep...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

A few friends and I stayed here for three nights and overall it was a great place to stay. We had a small incident on the first night as we found some bugs in our bed but we were moved to an alternative room which was definitely bug free and they washed our bug-infected clothes for free too. The hotel owner was very apologetic and said this had never happened before, which we had no reason to disbelieve and in the end we got two more expensive rooms for the price of the room I booked originally so everything worked out OK! (and we never saw any more bugs!) This aside the hotel was great - breakfast was included and we could have it whenever we wanted (and there was plenty of it), and the first night we arrived we were a bit lost and tired and the staff made us some super cheap but super delicious food. The rooms were really beautiful and there were many areas in the hotel to relax (by the pool, in the garden, on the roof....). We were a bit unsure of the location (and it was further away from the markets than I had anticipated) - as a group of girls we didn't feel completely safe walking back at night although it may have been fine. Having said that, the hotel staff offered to come and get us should we get lost, walked us basically into the markets so that we knew the way and even took me out on a motorbike when we wanted to get some food! Overall it was a good place to stay, especially for the price.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Myself and my friend travelled here at the beginning of May for a girly week away. We spent our 3 nights in Marrakech in Dar Abiad and I have to say, it was definitely one of the best decisions of our holiday to stay here.
When we arrived, we had previously organised through the riad to be picked up from the airport by private transfer to the riad - a good idea considering EVERYWHERE in Marrakech is very difficult to find. The last thing you want when you arrive in a new city is getting lost down alleyways with all your luggage.
It takes about 20 minutes to get to the riad from the airport. When we got there, we met Karim, our wonderful host at Dar Abiad. Even though it was rather late when we arrived, when we enquired about where to get food, he offered to go out and buy us some paninis and then the food was beautifully presented to us with rose petals all over the table.
The interior of Dar Abiad is gorgeous, very traditionally Morrocan. Since the riad is so small (there were 12 people in total staying there when we were there), it feels very personal. You more feel like you are a special guest at someone's house rather than the anonymous feeling of being in a hotel. You can get up whenever you like, and a fresh (and filling!) breakfast will be served. There was freshly squeezed orange juice, yoghurt, bread, cake and pancakes (lots of carbs!).
Our room was beautiful with fancy ornate furniture. The shower was really nice and hot. We asked Karim on the first day if we could have a 'hammam' and a massage during our stay. It is nice that the riad has it's own little hammam because it's a bit more private than going to public baths but you still get the full authentic experience!
On our last night, we also had dinner at the riad. You should ask the night before at least because the food all gets freshly bought the day of your meal. You can also specify exactly what you would like for the dinner. The two of us ate the dinner together with a lovely Dutch family who were also staying at the riad at the time. The mother of the Dutch family accompanied Karim to do the shopping and actually saw the chicken being killed that we ate that night! I would really recommend that you eat dinner here because it was, without doubt, the best meal that we had during a week in Marrakech. Truly delicious, fresh, so much variety and SO much food.
Karim was a bit like a kind and caring father figure to us on our holiday. One night, we wanted to explore the square so we got back after dark (around 11). Karim said that if we just text him then he could come and meet us at the taxi rank and walk us back to the riad. The area didn't feel particularly dangerous but being two young girls, it was an extra nice reassurance to have him looking out for us so we didn't have to walk down dark alleyways ourselves.
After Marrakech, we took the bus to Essaouira. Karim had kindly bought us our bus tickets the day before because he warned us that the bus often gets fully booked if you just turn up on the day and sure enough, we saw many tourists who didn't get a place on the coach. He really took care of us.
A bit of a potential mishap happened when we were taking a taxi to the bus station. The taxi driver got the wrong idea and though we wanted to go to the airport, then when we managed to convey that we wanted the bus station, he took us to the wrong bus station! It was 15minutes before our bus to essaouira left so we phoned Karim to ask where we should be. He promptly hopped on his motorbike and drove to find us, phoned up the taxi driver who had dropped us in the wrong place and then led the taxi to the right bus station. That is more than just service, that is amazing! I feel like we not only found a great place to stay in Marrakech, but we also found a lovely friend in Karim and we hope to stay in touch. Next time I return to Marrakech, I will definitely stay at Dar Abiad.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Larvik, Norway
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

The service was excellent and the hotel was a beautiful oasis in an extremely hectic city. A bit further from the market than I thought on beforehand, but still a good location. I would absolutely recommend this hotel, and would definitely stay here again if I'm ever going back to Marrakech.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We were welcomed with mint tea and cake, after a long trip from the States. We were picked up at the airport, so we didn't have to try to find the place, which I recommend! (Cost of 20 euros was worth it). Karim upgraded our room from the small family room to a nice suite with loft, for no extra charge! The decor was great... Palatial heavy wooden doors, great chandeliers, fireplace. Wi if worked as soon as you stepped out of the bedroom, or on the upper floor. Yummy and extensive continental breakfasts, and mint tea anytime. Karim was very helpful with directions, and restaurant suggestions. (We loved the Dar es Salam restaurant on my daughter's birthday)
Great value, and homey atmosphere in a very exotic place!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We arrived - extremely late at night, (in the dimly lit alleys if you don't know what to expect you would be possibly thinking you'd made a mistake but do not be fooled - you could not be more wrong) From the moment that solid wooden door swings open you are in the most beautiful, most serene, candlelit courtyard complete with mosiac tiled plunge pool, every doorway of the courtyard shimmering with voile drapes shimmering and dancing in the candlelight all of which is reflected in the gorgeous plunge pool.
Even taking the time of night into account, they had prepared a fabulous tagine meal for us with Mezze in honour of our Wedding Anniversary - accompanied with the Champagne we had bought at Duty Free, in their truly beautiful authentic candlelit courtyard - it felt like Michelin Star Dining.
The riad is staffed with the most welcoming friendly "family" who make you feel you are at home and welcome to pad around as if you own the place - Jamal and Karim are so discreet, you never know they are there but they minute you feel you need them, like magic (without having to rub your magic lamp) they appear to help, serve, assist in any way they can. The ladies of the Riad, again, artists of discretion, also welcoming, busy cleaning, treating you in the hamman, cooking for you all with a smile - language is no barrier to being or feeling part of their family, and certainly not from being welcomed and looked after.
We stayed in the Suite Chocolat - part of Riad 2, with it's own private stair case to the roof terrace and sun loungers, also with a private balcony housing a comfy lounge sofa and small fridge overlooking the riad 2 courtyard (the one with the central font) The suite has the most beautiful en-suite tadelakt bathroom - the bath with shower truly looks like something from Arabian nights.
Nothing is brand new, but this adds to the beauty - every piece in it from lampshades, mirrors, chairs, drapes, bedding, seating areas gives the impression that they have been lovingly and thoughtfully chosen and you can feel or imagine the history of any particular piece, you know whoever sat in the chair before you also fell in love with Riad Dar Abiad.
We were lucky enough to see around all the rooms/suites except the Violets (i think Riad 3 was out of use and their courtyard seemed neglected) but all the rooms have their own beauty and charm - the Suite Beber has a bath in the traditional Morroccan window which if you dare you can bathe whilst staring at the stars.
We enjoyed the use of their own hamman, not only did my husband and i get exfoliated and scrubbed from scalp to toe, i also had my hair done in a french plait as a treat from one of the ladies, not because i asked or paid for it but simply because she wanted to!
The breakfasts prepared for you are something else, pancakes, fresh bread, cake, yoghurts, jams, fresh orange juice, hot milk and coffee. Again, we felt so at home that we just used to pad around in our bath robes for breakfast, home from home but so so much better being spoiled and looked after!
It was also my husbands 40th birthday and they kindly arranged a celebration cake for him - awesomely delicious cake to, and the decoration " Happy A0th Birthday " - 4 to A, a simple lost in translation actually made it more special, more of a one-off.
Jamal and Karim are happy to advise you on how to spend your day, accompany you on your first venture out to make sure you can navigate the alleys and find your way back home, keep you right on how much you should expect to pay for taxis etc., where to buy your wine if you are inclined! They are a god-send to the owner of this beautiful riad.
We hope to be back again with you all some day, as a couple, and with our extended family to. We thank you Dar Abiad for the most amazing stay and memories.

Room Tip: Take the Chocolat Suite - the common area at the plunge pool is fabulously pretty for sitting but so...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Abiad

Address: 95, bis Sidi Ghanem - Zaouia | Bab Lakhmis - Médina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#156 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Dar Abiad 3*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Dar Abiad Hotel Marrakech

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