I spent a week in Marrakech, staying at Dar Marhaba, with a friend.
We were on a budget and picked the riad for it's central location and reasonable price.
We stayed in the 1st week of September, which is low season, so the riad was not full, in fact for about half the time we were the only guests. We found the riad to be surprisingly tranquil - the only thing you could here was the sound of the Muezzins making the call to prayer.
Breakfast - every day we were given (black) coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh bread, butter and jam,
then on different days we were given (in addition) croissants, Moroccan pancakes, and 2 different kinds of cakes.
The room was not particularly large - twin beds, plus an additional bed/sofa and one chair - however, as there is also a communal lounge, plus seating in the courtyard and on the roof the size of the room was not a major issue.
We stayed in the 'Essouria' room which is on the ground floor, with door and window into the courtyard. There was no window to the street and so it felt very safe, as well as being quiet!
The room was air-conditioned (no extra charge was made for air conditioning) and had a en suite bathroom with shower (the wardrobe space was also in the bathroom).
The owner is based in France, and is contactable by phone or e-mail. She speaks good English, however, staff at the riad have only a little English so you will find some French an advantage.
In the room which we had (Essouria) the shower has a solid 'wall' which you have to step over to get in and out of the shower, which might be an issue for anyone with mobility problems - (I think the other rooms are different ) the stairs up to the first floor and roof are also fairly steep and narrow.
The room was clean and comfortable although the decoration was looking a little 'tired' in places!
We found Raja and Hassan friendly and helpful, and although we were offered help organising day trips we were not pressured in any way. We opted to have a Tagine cooked to eat in at the riad only once - while more expensive than eating out the meal was very nice and gave us a much needed opportunity to relax !
The riad is less than 5 minutes from the main Djemaa El Fna Square and anything within the medina is in easy walking distance.
Air conditioning was very welcome in the heat, and although we wanted the shower more for cooling down than anything else we found that hot water was reliable both in the morning and evening, and in the middle of the day.
There is a small safe in the room, and you are provided with a key to the external door of the riad as well as to the room, so you can come and go as you wish.
As our flight home was not until the evening we were able to leave out luggage, and continue to use the room until we left for our flight, although this was after normal check out.
The riad is down a very small side street so I would strongly advise arranging to be met at the airport! Because of it's location, car or taxi will not take you to the door so do be prepared to carry your baggage for about 10 mins across the Square and to the riad (I would advice contacting the riad ahead of time if this is a problem!)
This is definitely a budget stay - there is no pool (not even a plunge pool) and you will not find a fridge or cooler in the room. Soft drinks and water (and tea and coffee) are available at extra cost, but no tea or coffee making facilities are available in the rooms (Please note, this is the only riad I have stayed at, so this may be standard)
We noticed that there was a leak in the bathroom, so the surfaces around the sinks were constantly wet, as was the bathroom rug.
Towels and linen were changed just once during the week.
In summary, this was a very pleasant place to stay for a budget holiday, just don't expect enormous luxury!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Marrakech's medina, just off the Djemaa el Fna square, Dar Marhaba offers an oasis of tranquility. Dar Marhaba offers typical Moroccan comfort as well as professional services. Just let yourself be taken by its charm and you are sure to have a pleasant stay. The riad offers 5 nicely decorated rooms (double and triple rooms, one suite), each with private bathroom. ... more less
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