My husband and I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Marrakech. We spent five nights at the Dar El Souk Riad (which is ideally situated in the heart of the Medina) and cannot fault our stay there. We arranged to be met at the airport, which was very convenient, and we were dropped off close to the Riad. A chariot handler helped to carry our bags to the door of Dark El Souk (all of this was conveniently added onto our bill).
We were met by Abdallah who is the night porter at the Riad (Madi - the owner was on holiday during our stay) and after we had settled in he sat with us and pointed out places to go on the map (over some mint tea).
Breakfast was very nice and we had it served on the small seated area outside of our room - but you could have it on the roof terrace or down on the patio if you wanted. Breakfast consisted of mint tea or coffee, pancakes, crepes, fruit & yogurt, bread jam and honey - and sometimes a boiled egg. And freshly squeezed orange juice. It was ideal for us.
We were upgraded on our room as we had booked the Cherratine (which is the cheapest!) and we were invited to move to the Attarine - to be honest both were very nice and I would have been happy in the Cherratine - the Attarine was just bigger with a seating area. The bathrooms of both were lovely with pretty tiles, brass basin and a wet room style shower. We did need the heater as it was a bit chilly at night (we went in February) - I can imagine the rooms being lovely and cool in the summer.
We took a trip up to the Atlas Mountains which was organised by the Riad. It cost 900DH which is about £90 (which as some people have said on here seems expensive) but we thought it was well worth it for the convenience and quality of the experience. A driver came to meet us at the Riad and walk us to his car. Mustapha was the perfect guide on our trip and we would highly recommend asking for him in person. The car was comfortable and he was a really safe and considerate driver. He also kept pointing out sights the whole trip. He stayed with us all day. We left at 9am and got back at about 5.30pm.
The trip took in a visit to an Argan oil co-operative (this stuff is PRICEY! - 150DH for 60ml) which was very interesting (10DH per person to visit), we stopped off along the way to take photos too, next we visited a traditional Berber House (10DH pp) which was quite fascinating but personally I felt a bit odd traipsing around someone's home (but it is worth visiting). The best part of the excursion was the walk up in to mountains to go and see some of the lower waterfalls of the High Atlas. We had a guide called Abdul who took us up (Mustapha negotiated a 100DH price for us) and it was really fun. It was pretty steep and slippery - so wear grippy trainers or ideally walking boots! It was beautiful up there and Abdul was really nice. We stopped off for tea by the waterfall and when we got back to the town we had lunch by the river. On the way back to Marrakech we stopped off at some stalls and we also visited a Saffron Farm (10DH pp) - which was beautiful. And we had some delicious herbal tea there too. I'd definitely recommend the trip - it was worth seeing and also nice to go somewhere different.
We had dinner at the Riad on one of the evenings. A three course meal is £20 - you can get cheaper in town of course - but it was absolutely lovely to sit in the lovely lounge at the Riad by the fire and have dinner specially prepared for us. You can also get wine too (although we didn't). Abdallah is a really nice man and he thoroughly looked after us. We sat by the fire and had a chat with him and it was great to get his opinion on stuff like haggling in the souk (which is a nightmare!).
We met Madelaine (who is Madi - the owner's daughter) a couple of times and she is great at giving advice and sharing tips on where to go.
During our stay we also went to Bain de Marrakech - which I highly recommend as it is gorgeous (am going to write a separate review of this - but I'll just say here that is is LUSH).
In terms of location I don't think you can really beat Dar El Souk - it is down a quiet alley (which is good - and you feel safe - it's not threatening at all) but a short stroll from some avenues which lead down to the main square Jamaa el Fna. It is nice not to be right on the square as it is pretty crazy there - loads of people, and bikes, and horse and carriages, and donkeys and snakes and monkeys and noise! The little shops around the neighbourhood are great - and it's not far from lots of Artisnal stalls where you can see people actually making the goods they sell (I bought a beautiful handbag from Adil Andaloussi - Riad Zitoun El Jedid 58 - he is a lovely man too! www.tamaroc.com).
I have no complaints at all about this Riad - it is reasonably priced, in a great location, comfortable and the people who work there are lovely and really look after you. I would go back for sure!
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- Also Known As:
- Dar El Souk Marrakech
- Dar El Souk Hotel Marrakech