Preface: We like staying at different places and experiencing different accommodations, so don’t let the fact that we stay only one night in some awesome Riads cloud the review.
Safety: Coming from an Emergency Medical Services backgound, it is my impression that most Riads (by definiton) are fire traps. There is usually only one staircase and one way in/out, so keep this in mind when you bed down for the night! Consider and explore rooftop escape and teach your kids about it. Arrange for a meeting place such as a closeby Mosque...easy to find due to the tower.
Speaking of Mosques: I have no tolerance for complaints that seem to surface in too many Riad-reviews about „getting woken up by the call to prayer; it was very loud; we couldn’t sleep...“ You’re a guest in an Islamic country – if you don’t like that, why did you go there??
Dar El Qadi:
We spent one night here as the Berbere (owned by the same people) was booked out for our dates (that happens when you try and reserve only a week ahead), after a 4-day trek in the Atlas. This was by far the most traditional place we saw and I researched, right down to the managers and the demeanor of the employees. Outstanding in its own right, with impressive furniture/decorations/architecture and a fantastic terrace. Nadia was incredibly acommodating and saw to it that everything, including our next-day transfer walk to the Berbere, was very organized and successful.
2 adults + 2 sub-teens; stayed in the Grande Douiria Suite which was perfect for that purpose. Room looks just like the pictures, is nice and large, and separable from the „kid-sleep-area“ by doors. We really appreciated the hot showers after four nights in sleeping bags; since we did not venture out, I cannot comment on location.
Adjacent to the courtyard is a large, enclosed library with a vast collection of books, mostly travel-oriented but also well-stocked with paperbacks in all languages, should you exhaust your reading material while there. In our case the library served as dining locale as well, since a large travel group occupied the courtyard (the usual dining location) and the proprietors correctly thought we’d enjoy the relative quietness of a separate room.
Dinner (chicken tagine) was very tasty but somewhat slow in arriving ... which is ok had we been prepared for a 2030 time – our mistake. Breakfast on the terrace was scrumptuous and plentiful. The only complaint we could voice would be that whoever brought us the breakfast upstairs made it clear via body language that this was an almost unacceptable chore... I know it’s two flights up steep and winding stairs, but we can’t possibly be the first guests to have breakfast up there?
There is a little reading room in the tower above the terrace which our daughter absolutely adored. Nice and cool with views over the entire city.
I would highly recommend this Riad/Dar to older travelers who prefer it quiet, like to read, and are able to appreciate the authenticity and decor. It’s an ok place to stay with kids, but much of the Riad’s originality and value is lost on them and they tend to disturb the traveler-type mentioned above.
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