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“Marrakech,Riad Dar Sbihi for the 3' time” 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 #166 of 1,046 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Belguim
1 review
“Marrakech,Riad Dar Sbihi for the 3' time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2010

A couple of years ago we discoverd "Riad Dar Sbihi"situated somewhere in the middle of the Medina.The enthousiasm of Saad & the Belgian Sybille works contagious.They try and fulfil all your wishes.The riad itself looks as if it stepped out of an eastern fairy-tale.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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125 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2010

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.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2010

Riad Dar Sbihi lives up to the claims made on its website, and you can take the photos on its website as an very accurate representation of what is on offer. I have noticed a number of critical comments on Tripadvisor, and believe that they represent the reviewers' unsatisfied expectations, rather than promises unfulfilled. Dar Sbihi is a very pleasant place to stay, with very friendly proprietors and staff - we enjoyed it immensely. But remember it is not a hotel, it's a riad.

Street noise? Yes, there was some noise from the pneumatic drill in the street outside, but I don't believe that is a permanent feature.

Complaints from Saad after ringing the bell twice at 1130pm? Remember that when you ring the bell, it can be heard throughout the riad. We found Saad to be very welcoming indeed when we arrived at 0100 in the morning after a delayed flight..

Expensive food? The menu is pretty clear, there is no obligation to order, and there is plenty of choice outside in the city. But Dh350 for a three course meal of the quality we were served is competitive. We paid Dh150 for two courses outside in the city, for a meal that was nowehere near as good.

£7 for a pot of tea? I am looking at the room service menu - Dh25 for any hot drink, mint tea, Earl Grey tea, Liptons tea, hot chocolate, coffee. That is a slightly more than £2, I think!

Extras at breakfast had to be paid for? We had bread, croissants, pain au chocolat, a freshly-prepared hot pastry/pancake, orange juice, tea and coffee. I assume we could have had more if we had wanted it, and were willing to pay for it. Isn't that the way hotels etc usually work?

Hard to find? Come off it, every riad is tucked away down myriad back alleys. in fact Dar Sbihi is rather easy to find, once you work out (first) that it is just at the northern end of Bab Taghzout street (which has a taxi rank), just walk towards the tower of the Sidi Bel Abbes mosque and (second) that it is not where Google Maps thinks it is, and you should get a decent map of the Medina if you want to navigate. Sybille will give you one.

Taxi driver can't find it? For pity's sake, isn't that the taxi driver's responsibility?

We would have better off in the new city? That may well be true, but the new city is an entirely different location, atmosphere and culture, which bears no comparison with the Medina. It just happens to be close by - perhaps a mile away. If you want traditional creature comforts of an international hotel, do not stay at Riad Dar Sbihi - or any riad for that matter.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
PJ89
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2010

The Riad is done up really nice, very tranquil and traditional style, very impressive! The lady that owns it is also very friendly. However thats the only good thing about this place.

Our stay started really badly, when a few quiet glasses of wine on the balcony (at 11pm), turned into the husband of the owner telling us that we needed to get to bed soon! The husbands commands persisted for much of our stay. When we got in at night, we always had to knock on the door and wait for ages for the husband to let us in, if we knocked more than once we would get told off by the grumpy husband. We were not provided with a key, and always had to knock to get in whilst touts would pester us outside the door - not good at all.

Breakfast was another interesting time, a basket of bread and croissants, with some orange and coffee were provided free - anything else was extra. Also in the mornings we would be presented with a bill for everything we had got the day before. Not a pleasant start to the day.

Talking of bills, everything in the riad was overpriced, dinners were 30 pounds, and i frankly find it hard to believe why you would want to eat there every night. The food looked tasty, but believe me you can get a lot better in Marrakech. Drinks were stupid prices too, with a pot of Moroccan tea costing in excess of 7 pounds.

To be honest I can see how some people might like the close environment of the Riad, but the rudeness of the husband and the prices put us right off. Probably better staying off in the modern town, where it is less noisy from your bedroom!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Cheshire
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2010

This is a great place to stay, we had a really good time. I don't really understand why it is not rated much higher on Travel Advisor. The hotel is beautiful and is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the hussle, bussle, noise and general chaos which is Marrakech. Our rooms was very comfortable and the inner gardens a good place to sit in the afternoon.
The food is lovely, (you wait until you have breakfast in the sunshine looking out to the mountains) and the main square is a short taxi ride away. The pool is small, but I would imagine very welcome in the summer (we went in January).
Your hosts are lovely, they can arrange anything (within reason), and nothing is too much trouble.
I can thoroughly recommend this!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
oxford
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2010

just returned back from a fantastic stay at Riad Dar Sbihi with my husband and a our 2 year old son and you couldnt find more welcoming people then Saad and Sybill, and their staff. Walking in from the dusty, busy Medina streets this riad really did have the WOW factor. immaculate and traditional in appearence, Definatley have dinner in the Riad during your stay, fantastic traditional home cooked food , Sybill will give you explanation on how everything is cooked and it really is delicious.The fantastic views from the rooftop terrace , breakfast served there in morning . The riad is close to a mosque and prayer is callled 5 times a day it only lasts a few minutes and really is quite charming.They also have a Hamman, book this and be prepared to feel the cleanest you have ever felt , that was an experience. We decided as we were on a short trip to take a walking tour, around the Medina ask Sybill to book this for you , Jaffar our guide was brilliant , very knowledgable and spent the whole day taking us around the important areas in the medina and of course the souks for some entertaining bartering and shopping , great fun.and an absolute must and i would challenge anyone who doesnt live there not to get lost in the Souks. The main square is an experience night and day and also is a must , dancing, music , snake charmers , donkeys , mopeds , children playing and people eating in the large central bbq. The only thing i wouldnt really bother with in Marrakech is the new part on the city , outside the Medina walls , too commercial and all the excitment is happening within the walled Medina. This city really is a fantastic experience and I would recommend to anyone it was made even better by staying in a traditional riad rather than a commercial hotel and as far i am concerned you couldnt get any better than Riad Dar Sbihi, with a huge thanks to Saad and Sybill for making it such a memorable experience,The little man sends you both a big kiss. x x x

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2010

The room was comfortable, and clean but noisy from motorbikes in a alley ajacent to our bedroom. we ate there once the food was good but very expensive (approx £30.00 per head) without wine, drinks are also overpriced. returning to the Riad in the evening especially after 11pm you have to ring on doorbell to get in, and the owner was not pleased when we rang doorbell twice. getting taxis back to Riad in the evening was problamatic as the taxis drivers outside the medina did not seem to know the area

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 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 #166 of 1,046 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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