We have just returned from a 7 night stay at this purely magical and hidden gem of a Riad in the quiet Northern Medina of Marrakech. It really is hidden away and I would not advise trying to find it for the first time by yourself, although when we showed the taxi drivers the address, they knew exactly where to go and could take you within a few metres of the front door, from where you go through a pink archway and the Riad is just to your left. The front door (there are two) are simple unassuming doors in a wall i a narrow alley, completely hiding the magical delights of the interior and the warmth of the welcome from our hosts (the resident owners) Saad and Sybille, who looked after us magnificently throughout our stay.
The website photos are accurate and do it justice, although I will upload a few more as well.
We upgraded to a lovely suite on the first floor, which was worth every penny, although the standard and ‘mini-suite’ rooms were beautiful too. My wife and I were well and truly spoiled by Saad & Sybille throughout our stay, and we cannot understand the one rather recent grumpy review about the Riad, particularly as we found Saad to be a very humorous man with a dry sense of humour with whom we laughed and joked every day; indeed as were worried about getting lost, Saad offered us a local mobile phone if we needed it which we could use to call him for help if we needed. The rooms are immaculately cleaned every day, with clean towells.
You awake to birdsong on the garden courtyard every morning, although you might also be wakened earlier by the call to prayer from the many Mosques, so if you are a light sleeper, take earplugs as we did. Breakfast, which is included, was served most days on the glorious rooftop terrace and consisted of coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, Mint Tea, various croissants and pastries, supplemented sometimes by omelette or other treats at no extra cost; you will certainly not go hungry after a Riad Dar Sbihi breakfast. Evening dining at the Riad is on the expensive side as others have noted, although it is very good indeed and well worth treating yourself to a dinner as a special treat, as we did on our wedding anniversary.
If it rains, the small winding streets can become muddy, so take some decent shoes, although the mud disappears as soon as it came when the sun shines. Riad Dar Sbihi is about 20 minutes walk from the main square and I would recommend a taxi during rush hours, as the 100’s of badly serviced mopeds can whiz round you like buzzing bees, filling the area with fumes that can become bothersome. The ‘Petite’ yellow taxis are cheap as chips, although always agree the price before you get in and argue them down by 30%…the going rate from Riad Dar Sbihi to the Main Square was about 20 Dhirams, just one pound 80, so it is definitely not going to break the bank using a taxi on a regular basis if you choose. The Riad is a quiet, idyllic beautiful haven of tranquillity in a very mad city, from which you can return at the end of a hot and dusty day.
I would heartily recommend Riad Dar Sbihi to anyone who is looking for something a little different and authentically Moroccan with fantastic hosts, although it would probably not suit families with young children and groups who want to return very late after a boozy night out…and after all, there are plenty of hotels in the New City that could meets those needs in a City of such wide interest.
- 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