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“Delightful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Dar Sbihi

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Riad Dar Sbihi
25, Derb Taht El-Khochba, | Zaouia El-Abbassia, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #120 of 1,043 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Delightful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

We wanted a mix of chilled out relaxation and a cultural experience. We chose the right place. Service was polite and smiley and the staff could no do enough for us and we felt very well looked after throughout our stay. Saad and Sibylle, the owners, were friendly and engaging. The riad itself is very pretty and a great place to hang out and relax- yet still within 15 minutes walk of the major sights of the city and 20 minutes from the airport. The in hotel hammam was splendid. Practically nothing to fault at all about this place. It delivers exactly what the owners set out to do . Recommended

Room Tip: each room is different. take a look to see which suits you best
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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124 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

We have just spent a delightful 7 day holiday at Riad Dar Sbihi in Marrakech and readily endorse the many "Excellent" commentss provided by previous reviewers of this homely, relaxed and friendly riad.
From the first warm welcome until our final departure Sybille and Saad made our stay thoroughly enjoyable and were always happy to provide helpful and sensible advice when needed. The quiet family atmosphere was maintained by the didligent and courtuous staff at the Riad.
Breakfast was particularly enjoyable on the sunny roof terrace with a romantic view of the distant snow capped Atlas mountains. If you tired of the view you could always lay out on the sun loungers thoughtfully provided nearby.
Don't change any money at your home airport before departure. Saad provides a much better rate which is fairly consistent throughout Marrakech at reputable establishments. Sybille provided us with a free map for the city and arranged for the local guide to walk us to the 'Big Square' and the souk on the first afternoon. This was very helpful to enable us to quickly get our bearings and find our way home on subsequent walks.
All the rooms in the Riad were spacious and comfortable and kept spotlessly clean. Perfectly quiet in the room we stayed in abutting the next house, but another guest with a room on the street side mentioned a little noise from the street. Of course the muezzin could be heard calling the dawn prayers but this would be true for any riad in the medina.
If you have had a hot and dusty day, the little heated pool in the Riad is ideal for re-invigorating the tired limbs. A hammam is also available but we never got round to trying it. Needed more time.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Guildford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

Beautiful, welcoming Riad and lovely owners and staff who made us really feel like honoured guests in their family home.Having travelled extensively I have never felt more hospitably treated. Lovely comfy big beds, delicious food, rapid service and glorious breakfasts in the sun on the roof terrace. Everyone was most helpful with anything we asked for or enquired about.I really felt the Moroccan experience staying in a Riad in the Medina but Sybille, Saad, Leila and the other staff turned it into a luxurious fantasy. Superb!

Room Tip: All rooms looked lovely. We had a mini suite as we like a bit more space.
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, UK
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

As arranged with Sibylle, Abdul met us at the airport and took us through some amazing streets to Riad Dar Sbihi. From the moment we walked through the door it was clear that we had made the right choice with staying with Sibylle. She sat us down, gave us some mint tea, a quick guide to the area and offered us some day trips to get us started.

We were given the opportunity to select from two double rooms, both beautifully decorated and really comfortable. Once settled in, we had a great meal at the Riad and organised that the next morning Abdul would pick us up again to show us some of the sights that were a little farther afield (to save our feet).

We awoke next morning to an incredible breakfast on the terrace (every morning was equally as good with a little change each day to the menu). Sibylle and Saad were perfect hosts and all the other staff were constantly smiley, helpful and attentive.

The location is slightly north of the main touristy area but it's an easy 10 minute walk into the heart of the medina and felt great to be amongst a real community.

Abdul's tour was just what we needed and after he dropped us off we felt happy wandering the souks and thankfully didn't get lost too much!

Each evening it was great to return to the calm riad and wake up refreshed and ready for another great breakfast and a day of exploring.

Room Tip: For March it was a little warmer in the upstairs rooms as it can get quite cool at night.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

I can only think the man who wrote the previous review would find fault with Kubla Khan's Xanadu. Dar Sbihi is everything one could possibly hope or wish a riad to be: faultlessly beautiful rooms built around a glorious interior garden, home to chirping songbirds by day and lit by flickering lamps at night.
But not only is it luxury down to even the smallest detail (the mattress & sheets were such high quality, and the shower so hot and powerful that only Sibylle's delicious and delightful rooftop-garden breakfast could tempt me out every morning) - Saad and Sibylle are the kindest, friendliest, most entertaining and helpful hosts that can be imagined. When I was horrifically ripped off in the medina, Saad called the shopowner himself, got my credit card payment reversed and persuaded the shop to send someone to collect the unwanted items I had bought. It was a complicated transaction - but Saad handled it expertly, and with a sense of responsibility on my behalf that was above and beyond the call of duty.
One warning: although it's probably worth accepting the suggestion by Sibylle and Saad to use a guide they recommend to show you round the medina's labyrinth, please don't make the mistake of believing he will protect you from being cheated by the shopowners. He won't. Not for a single second. It's worth taking a business card from any shop the guide recommends and returning their in your own time. The pressure you're put under to pay outrageous prices will still be traumatic - but less so.
Not only that - but if you make ANY restaurant booking when the guide is present, the commission he will claim means you will find yourself limited to a selection of expensive set-menus. This isn't dishonesty, as such - it just seems to be the System in Marrakech.
...and the restaurant-trick (which, I admit, I found particularly infuriating) happens even if you have only asked the guide to show you where a specific restaurant is. We knew where we wanted to eat and only asked the guide to point out the building to us, as we passed during our tour. It made no difference: when we returned that evening, ready for our meal, we found the same trick had been played.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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.
Bradford, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

Good location, Sibylle was very hospitable and welcoming and the accommodation was cosy, well-presented and tidy. However, the food was priced extortionately, for example a bottle of water was 30 dirhams (roughly £2.50) whereas 6 dirhams in the vicinity (50p). No tea/coffee making facilities were provided, although we were offered the same on demand (at a price of 50 dirhams for 2 cups of tea- just less than £5!)

So I warn you to be very aware that absolutely ALL extras well be paid for (including the map of the locality!) The quality of the food was average at best, very minimal choice and no hot breakfasts, literally a basket of bread with various spreads, fruit juices and the occasional pancake.

I will definitely NOT be staying here again. Once we became aware that we would be charged for so many extras, we felt unwelcome which made the remainder of our stay rather difficult to bear!

Room Tip: Choose in a different location!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

I don't want to repeat the praise that Sibylle and Saad have already received here so this will be a rather brief review:
I booked Riad Dar Sbihi to celebrate my 40th Birthday in Marrakech at the beginning of December this year. It was mentioned in the Guardian a couple of years ago (and again this year in the Times) and it ticks all the boxes: hidden away in the Northern part of the Medina behind an unsuspicious door, a completely different world opens up to you when you step in. The pictures don't promise to much, you will certainly be in for a treat as the staff is very attentive and friendly, Sibylle and Saad the owners are lovely and can give many useful tips on how to have a good time in Marrakech and how to haggle in the souks!
They also recommended a fabulous restaurant around the corner where we had a fantastic birthday dinner with friends.
As mentioned before, I would also recommend to hire a guide (via Sybille) for your first half day in the souks before exploring yourself. He will give you an idea about the history, the dos and dont's and you will be able to walk around yourself afterwards.
Walking distance to the Jamaa el Fna is only about 20mins and really easy (just keep in mind that the satellite dishes are facing south) to find. The way back was a bit trickier, but if you kindly ask middle aged women (kids might have fun sending you the wrong way while men might send you to their brothers souk stall) you will have no problem.
Overall I would recommend adopting a kind but firm "la choukrane" (no thank you) and "choukrane" (thank you) along with the greeting "salam alaikum" (peace be unto you) and you will be treated as you expect it.
Besides this I would recommend to have a chat with Sibylle before you start your shopping adventure in the souks, she can give you advise on what to pay for certain items and where to find them. A good general rule of thumb is to start haggling at about 30% of the initial price and agree on 50% of the initial price.
On a more personal note: the Arab Spring had a noticeable impact on tourism in Marrakech and still whole families depend on the tourism industry. Please keep this in mind when you are out and about: have an official guide (or guides) to show you around, take a taxi when appropriate (usually 20 dirhams or 30 dirhams for a big one) and give your coins to people who look as if they would need them (because they do, esp if you see locals giving them a coin)! Finally (and it can't be said enough) be respectful with people and their culture - only start negotiations if you really want to purchase items, dress appropriate and treat everyone as you want to be treated.
Overall we had a fantastic time, full of sights, sounds, smells and tastes that were wonderful! We can wholeheartedly recommend staying with Sibylle and Saad!

Room Tip: All rooms have the same standard but you might want to ask for a bigger suite as this is the icing o...
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  • Stayed December 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Riad Dar Sbihi

Address: 25, Derb Taht El-Khochba, | Zaouia El-Abbassia, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #120 of 1,043 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Large classical riad (1st category) offering 5 rooms, 3 mini suites and 2 suites around a central courtyard adorned with a fountain in the middle of 4 gardens. All traditional rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, minibar, safe, phone, hair dryer. Heated pool (5m x 3m), hammam, meals on request, parking. Personal service by the owners who live in their riad. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Dar Sbihi Hotel Marrakech

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