From our experience, there is no better place to stay in Morocco than at Riad Dar Oulhoum. My husband and I visited many cities in Morocco over the period of a month, and nothing could possibly compare with the experience we had at Dar Oulhoum. I do want to be sincere, however-by TripAdvisor's standards-and say that there was one other riad that was quite beautiful, where the hostess was very kind, and where I really adored the ladies who worked there, who cleaned and cooked and chatted and shared with us with tremendous warmth.
I write this review with a bit of a different perspective than most, and with pain, but with so much appreciation for all that our hosts, Bruno Drucolle and Guy Menet did for us to assure that this would be a visit above the magnificent. My husband was sick with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and requested that I take him on a trip before he got to the point that he could no longer travel. I picked Morocco, and without a doubt, it turned out to be a superb choice. Our experience in Marrakech and in Dar Oulhoum was the highlight of the trip. I made a photobook for my husband of our entire trip, (my first photobook ever), with the largest, layflat pages, and with the maximum number of pages, so that the wonder of this trip would remain with both of us forever. Unfortunately, I have since lost my husband; thus I write a little late. Our trip was for the entire month of March 2013. It is only now that I am able to write of the wonder of our trip and, in particular, to Marrakech and the riad that we called home for 11 days.
I look through this photobook over and over and relive our days in Morocco, particularly including Dar Oulhoum and can just feel how glorious they really were. There is the beauty, the personal touch, the perfect hosts, the colors, the care, the caring-and an experience we could never have imagined. I fell in love with Marrakech and could have stayed there forever-and in Dar Oulhoum. There was an extraordinary beauty in the riad, managed and watched over with love and with great attention to every minor detail. Guy and Bruno, our hosts, could not have been more wonderful. They loved plants, close to my botanist heart. The maintenance of these plants, all over the riad, was magnificent, and everything at the dar was so obviously done with love. Even the fountain in the courtyard had golden rose petals floating in it, such a touch to make us feel that we were, indeed, in another world.
And more than anything else, we shared the same spirit. Who today still loves Edith Piaf and will play her music all over their riad for a guest-and even sing along with her-and then introduce other Parisian singers of the same period? We felt immediately at home and could have just stayed on their rooftop for hours in the morning enjoying the sun and the beautiful view. The bougainviliea alone was glorious, bursting out colors like a genuine aurora borealis. We thoroughly enjoyed the cozy moments and wonderful company up there. The workers were grand, the breakfasts and other meals delicious.
Our hosts knew their city extremely well and directed us to such marvelous places and restaurants. I am a worldwide traveler, and I rarely ask advice or help, and of course I had my book on what to see in Marrakech. But we were directed to places which we otherwise would never have seen. When we were going to go to a particular garden, Bruno told me that we must absolutely not miss the Jardin Majorelle. Bruno, thank you, merci, tusind tak, todah rabah, gracias, obrigada, shukran. I have a full two pages of my husband in the photo book, in the blue of the Jardin Majorelle, where he just happens to be dressed in blue himself. It is the most wonderful, gentle, marvelous picture of him that I have of our over 42 years of knowing each other. Just the peace and softness in that picture is striking, particularly in his face, blending so well with the background, and this is the way I will forever remember him. This was the hugest gift that was given to us-to direct us to this magical place.
The room at Dar Oulhoum in which we stayed was gorgeous, with, once again, every facet thoroughly thought out. If I began to describe the room and the riad in detail, there would be no end to this review. I simply could not say enough. There was also another family, who came from Spain, that was there during part of our stay, and they got every bit the attention that we did. An important point-the location of the dar was such that it was a peaceful haven in the midst of a chaotic but wondrous city. Bruno directed us to marvelous restaurants, my favorite being the one where we could be at the same level as storks, as they sat or stood on their nests, something I would never have found by myself. Guy was also kind enough to walk us through the souk, after we had been there a few times, to show us things we may have missed and to give us advice on things that we were contemplating purchasing.
Bruno and Guy also understood that we were observing Passover in Marrakech, unfortunately not an easy endeavor, and helped direct us to where we needed to go for the seder and took great interest in the special foods that we had brought with us from the United States.
At Riad Dar Oulhoum, we discovered a spot in Marrakech that reflected the warmth, the depth, the culture, and the hospitality of the marvelous country we were visiting. All I can say is please take me back to Marrakech and to Riad Dar Oulhoum. I would never stay anywhere else in Marrakech.
Reginette (Regina) Schafer- United States
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dar Oulhoum tells me a story ... The mid-nineteenth century, under the reign of Sultan Hassan 1st (born Hassan ben Mohammed in 1836 in Fez and died on 7 June 1894 in Tadla), a vizier (high-ranking official, with an adviser or minister from Muslim leaders), chooses a prime location to build this beautiful Riad, near the mausoleum of Sidi Ben Slimane (one of the seven saints of Marrakech latter being the founder of Sufism in Morocco), a sign of power. The proximity of the holy mausoleum, gave him a high respect. In the late nineteenth century, before the French protectorate, this place was that of a Spanish bank and a British legation. During the restoration of the Riad, existing telephone line upon arrival in 2000 of the weapons found at the bottom of the well and an enamelled plaque written in Arabic and Spanish testament to the power of the family that gave its name to the Derb. Subsequently we will tell to the DAR Oulhoum ... ... more less