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“Magical, Wonderful & Amazing...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel

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Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Tafrata - Palmeraie de Marrakech, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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03=02
Ranked #14 of 465 Hotels in Marrakech
wolverhampton
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Magical, Wonderful & Amazing...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2011

Just perfect in everyway…. I can only echo what previous reviewers have said in that Dar Ayniwen is just a wonderful, peaceful and amazing place. We stayed for 3 days last week, arriving on Sunday night about 8pm. We were greeted at the airport by one of the drivers and he advised us we could change our money now if we wanted. You can’t really change sterling into Dirham’s outside Morocco and as every hotel/bureau de change/bank has pretty much the same exchange rate then it’s easy to change it at the airport. Note – on the way home, if you want to change money back do it down stairs at the airport before you got through to departures – I didn’t see anywhere beyond here and some of the duty free shops only take Euros. The ones that do take Dirham’s seem very costly.

Anyway, back to it. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by Stephan, the owner and some of the staff who welcomed us with mint tea and cakes. Even though it was late and dark we were still given a tour of the house and thought it looked beautiful. They had read our minds and prepared a meal for us, which was just lovely after a long flight, and we were left to enjoy it alone in the beautiful dining room. We were advise our suite had been upgraded from Mucha to Tiwalline 2, we had more room and our own hot tub in a private walled garden. The suite was amazing and there were petals everywhere, we had been left some more cakes and some info about the Hammam and massages we could take. We woke up and went for a walk in the gardens, which are huge, and absolutely beautiful, there are so many birds they woke us up in the morning, that and the glorious sunshine. You can take breakfast when you like and where you like. Infact, you can pretty much do anything here you like. All you have to say is what you want to eat, do, drink, see and the staff will arrange it for you. We decided to spend out first day relaxing in the sun and had lunch at the Dar, which was spectacular. We went to La Sultana for tea, which was our first mini experience of the Souk. The restaurant was fab and the host insisted on giving us a tour of the hotel and the bedrooms in the Riad there. It is very beautiful and we couldn’t get over how hospitable the Morroccan people were. They are so very proud of there homes etc.

Dar Ayniwen provide a driver which is an absolute must, it is fantastically organised and once you give an idea of where you want to go and when they will make sure someone is ready to take you. On the way back they have a little card, which you can give to the restaurant/bar who will call to arrange your return.

On the second day we went to the Souk – it was brilliant. If you are worried about being harassed, don’t be. Just smile, be confident and do not stop walking even for a second, the moment you hesitate or look slightly lost, a million voices will shout, pretty lady, beautiful, snow girl etc etc, its hysterical and I must say no one was less than polite. Make sure you watch your hands by the Henna ladies, they will try to “grab” them to get you to have Henna tattoos, just say a strongly worded NO and snatch it away. Also ensure you have the correct change from the stalls, we gave the orange juice stall 50DHM and waited for our 42DHM change, the guy who could understand exactly what we were saying ignored us until we persisted with the help of a local.

We had another pool day and asked Aziz for some help in our dinner arrangements, he sent us to wonderful Comptior Dharna – in Hivernage, its much more modern and western that we had experienced so far. I even saw some shoulders. That being said, out of respect we always covered our shoulders and legs but were astonished at how many tourists we saw who clearly hadn’t read up before they arrived. Aside from being bright red due to the sun, they would get a lot more attention that us so we felt we had followed the right advise.

On our departure from the hotel we were very kindly offered an item of jewellery from a huge tray. We were overwhelmed and touched by this typically kind Morroccan hospitality. All I can say is that I didn’t really want to write this review as I felt such a sense of peace and calm at Dar Ayniwen that I didn’t want to share it. However, the huge amount of hard work by Stephan and his team should not and cannot go unnoticed and unpraised. We had a magical wonderful time and can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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620 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
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UK
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2011

This place is amazing! Amazing gardens, deco, suites, staff, food! Great to have a driver to pick up from airport and take you to places. Will be back for sure!Hustle and bustle of the souks was an experience but this place completely relaxes you.

  • Stayed March 2011, 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.
Epsom, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2011

If you want somewhere that feels like an old world country house where you are very well looked after, the setting is very quiet and tranquil, the rooms spacious and traditional and the food is excellent then this could be the place for you.
The riad is some 15 mins from the center of town, which is why it is so calm, but this wasn't a problem as there is a free car service which works very well.
The management and staff could not have been more helpful and friendly.
They are very concerned that people believe there may be political problems in Marrakesh which is impacting the tourist industry - we spoke to many locals and traveled widely and everyone seemed very happy and relaxed and there were no problems at all.

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  • Stayed March 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

Even though the weather let us down, Dar Ayniwen didn't fail to disappoint us on our fourth time returning to this wonderful retreat! We experienced a different kind of holiday this time round because of the rain but loved the contrast of the house becoming the main feature instead of the gardens. Log fires in our room, comforting tagines accompanied with some moroccan wine, hammams and our private outdoor tub was even used whilst it rained on us! A private taxi service is available at the "drop of a hat" so visiting the souks or having lunch in the Gueliz area was arranged swiftly with pick up service too! One afternoon, the staff arranged a cooking session in their kitchens so we could see how they created their wonderful tagines. My chopping skills left a lot to be desired but we certainly had much fun! We are now planning our next trip back this year to this very special place. It keeps drawing us back because of it's tranquility, style and wonderful staff! We love it!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

This was our second visit to Dar Ayniwen - and our stay was just too short, we will be back again. Dar Ayniwen is situated in Palmeraie area just outside Marrakech, for us this is one of it's great advantages - it has such an amazing garden & surroundings - yet with the Driver service they offer, you are never more than 15 minutes away from centre or restaurants. You can completely relax - no need to deal with Taxi Drivers who decide to give you their tour of Marrakech, as we have had happen on past visit's. Stephane & Aziz will suggest restaurants and book them for you and driver service will take/collect you, you just have to ask.

The rooms are all amazing but with alot of character with lots of pictures from 1960's/70's - the beds are very comfortable and you get all extra's robes, slippers, fresh roses and almond pastry's. Don't expect it to be like a modern 5 star hotel. 5 Star it is but think of it as someone's private Villa.

However, it is the particular atmosphere that the owner and staff manage to create which make this place so special. The Staff will try to fulfil your every need - breakfast is when ever you get up and can be taken on your own terrace or beside the pool. The staff are present but not suffocating you - you have your own space.

The food is delicious - Breakfast is Yoghurt, Fruit salad, eggs, toast, crossiant, and more crepes/pancakes than we could manage. We usually always have one evening meal in - whether sat on terrace or under the stars - salads and chicken & lemon this last time.

It is a very special place - however, if you want to stay in heart of souks - this might not be for you.

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
    • 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.
Southampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2011

We spent a short (too short) 6 night honeymoon at this wonderful Riad. As mentioned so many times here on TripAdvisor the staff were genuinely first class – special mention has to go to the regular names that popup which are Stephan (owner), Aziz and Zach. There are many others of course, all of whom were professional, friendly and helpful.

The location was also as written – a little slice of paradise. The grounds were looking a little weathered (which is totally understandable after winter) but were being furtively attended to by the discreet grounds-staff who were working away to bring them up to standard ready for the season ahead.

The food was also excellent. Very fresh, very authentic and very tasty with a good selection of dishes. We also felt the food was priced well. If you want real value ask Zach to recommend some local wines, they are amazingly good value and quality!

There is also a lovely team working in the small spa - make sure you get a massage followed by a full body scrub - trust me, you wont be disappointed!

I am, however, disappointed for the owners and staff by any slight negative feedback here pertaining to the location. It’s made very clear that this Riad is circa 15 minutes from the city centre but there are two important factors to mitigate this; Firstly there is always free and flexible transport to take you to and collect you from anywhere in the city (and airport) be this during the day for shopping or sight-seeing, or dinner out in town on an evening and secondly the location is actually one of the many strong points which is what allows for the tranquillity of the place – you wouldn’t get this in town!

This is not, however, a sanitized 5 star chain or boutique hotel (believe me, I have stayed in enough), this is a luxury authentic Riad with super location, super food and super staff. We were staying in the villa called Tiwalline II which had a private walled courtyard with hot-tub and our doors from the villa opened up into a semi-private garden lined with orange trees - beautiful!

I’m sure many reading this may be concerned about “tensions” in North Africa but, from our experience, that may as well have been happening in another world as we didn’t see, hear or sense any disruption either in or out of town.

My wife and I are incredibly critical of where we stay and what we eat and we only have good things to say about Dar Ayniwen.

I know the team at the Riad read these reviews so we would like to extend our thanks for your hard work during our stay.

  • Stayed March 2011, 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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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

We have just returned from a wonderful late February 2011 visit to Marrakech and stay at Dar Ayniwen villa hotel with our 7 year old daughter.
For anyone currently thinking about a visit, Marrakech felt safe and was operating normally, despite unrest in other parts of North Africa. The city itself was full of western travellers enjoying their holidays, and the weather during our stay has been consistently excellent, in the high 20s!

Dar Ayniwen itself is situated well outside the centre of Marrakech in the Palmeraie region, and is a quiet and peaceful location. As a courtesy, villa staff will drive you into Marrakech, and pick you up again at any time. Dar Ayniwen is a green paradise and a hidden gem which we are reluctant to tell you about because we would prefer it to remain that way! However, in honour of the excellent Stefan and his staff, we feel duty bound to say that the stunning interiors have to be seen to be believed (1920s French Moroccan antique), the gardens and pool are paradise, the food excellent, and the service second to none! We consider ourselves well-travelled and this is one of the best vacation experiences we have ever had! Whilst we shared our stay with other guests, the small number of bespoke rooms meant that it was a very relaxing and private experience, with everyone showing full respect for each others space. We will certainly return!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel

Address: Tafrata - Palmeraie de Marrakech, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#5 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#8 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#12 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel is a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity. Built as the owner's family home, in the Oriental-Andalusian style in a 5 acres park, 28 years ago, this majestic old residence with its charming and peaceful garden stands in front of the Atlas Mountains. This Villa-riad was turn into a luxury eight en-suites guesthouse in 2000, all of the very highest quality, is now run by the owner children, Anne & Stephane. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar Ayniwen Marrakech
Dar Ayniwen Hotel Marrakech

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