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“excellent ! New management !!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar al Sultan

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Dar al Sultan
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26 Derb El Arsa | Riad Zitoun Jdid, Médina, Marrakech 4000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #756 of 1,144 Marrakech B&B and Inns
1 review
“excellent ! New management !!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2009

Ignore all previous negative comments !! This Dar has a new management and it is marvellous to stay here. The service is outstanding, the setting is amazing. The staff is so helpfull: they make restaurant-reservations, help with getting around in Marrakech (call taxi, give free map,...) and really know how to pamper you: you can get food any time you like, served anywhere you like: the roof-terrace, in your room (we had the Harim-suite, recommended !!!), nothing is too much to ask.
Unfortunately my wife became a bit ill, so the nice people from Dar Al Sultan arranged a doctor and even went to the pharmacy for us.
The price for this Riad is honest if you consider that we were allowed to stay untill the evening of our last day, in our room (we had a late-night-flight), without paying more. No extra fee for the use of a safe (the room doors can't be locked and this is an experience we had to get used to). This Dar is located a 10-minute-walk from djemaa al fna an 5 minutes from Palais La Bahia and El Badi. The weather in march is fantastic: 25 °C, sunny but not to warm, the evenings are a bit chilly. Don't forget to dine once in the Dar Al Sultan, they really know how to cook a nice meal, for a reasonable price: 30 euros for a 3 course meal.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank alainmora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

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5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2008

This is the type of place that gives Riads and Morocco a bad name.

While the physical building is lovely on the surface, any sense of relaxation goes out the window with the jackhammers next door, the inability to communicate with the staff (and I am fluent in French) and the absentee owner.

Our bathroom sink leaked water all over the floor - it took over 45 minutes to get an inch of water in the tub of our junior suite (there was no shower) and none of the lights in the bathroom worked. The bed was rock hard and the rooms were loud - we were frequently awoken by the staff yelling at one another or rap music from the Riad's stereo.

You will not be given a key to the door -yours or the Riad's- and woe be you if the staff have left to pick something up or can not hear you knock - you will be standing in an alley for quite some time.

I had such high hopes for this Riad and was sorely disappointed. Luckily we left and found another that was half the price and so much better - which we found by going on trip advisor which we should have done in the first place.

  • Liked — good mint tea
  • Disliked — Customer service
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank gaiagal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2008

Tucked away within a myriad of narrow alleyways, the Dar al Sultan is a joyful surprise. This is a clean, simple yet stylish riad. Neutrally decorated in whites, silvers, and bleached wood work, the atmosphere is calm and tranquil. The staff are delightful and very helpful although with little if any English. The best meal of our entire stay was at the Dar al Sultan on our first night. Do make sure you eat there during your stay. We would ceraianly recommend the Dar al Sultan, but you will need a good sense of direction and a slight taste of adventure to find the place. We were met from the airport by a taxi that Dar al Sultan arranged and were greeted and taken from the taxt to the riad. We did meet a couple there who had spent two hours trying to find the place on their own! Once found, the riad is very well located. A fasinating 10 min walk to the Jemma al Fna and a couple of minutes from the Bahia Place. As for Marrakech itself, well I couldn't think of a more exciting, cultrually rewarding place to visit for a short break. From extreme poverty to extreme sophistication this place has it all and punches your every sense.

  • Liked — simple style
  • Disliked — not meeting the italian owner
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank mummyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2008

Saw this Riad listed as a hidden gem in my travel guide. I did NOT check it in trip advisor or I would have stayed away...never again.

First the positives:
- tastefully decorated
- Jamilla is very sweet and she is a great cook. Her eggplant is superb.
- The place is impeccably clean, and the location isn't bad at all.

Now the negatives:
- There is no ONSITE manager. Giuseppe lives and works in Italy and he runs the place in his spare time. He has a couple of staff that work for him in Morocco but he does not empower them to solve issues.
- Jamilla is 8 months pregnant and probably wont be there when you get there.
- Jamilla does not reside at the riad, but is there from 10am-6pm or so. Jamilla is not allowed to problem solve esp around the rooms, rate, or your booking. So you will no doubt spend (as we did) much time waiting for Giuseppe to answer his Italian phone so that he can tell Jamilla what to do.
- Jamilla is a gem but (understandably) only speaks a bit of english, but great french and arabic
- No one else on the staff speaks anything other than Arabic.
- Hammering that was described in someone elses January review is still going on in mid-March. It went until at least 4am. But with no-
one on site past 6pm except for a tiny wisp of a girl that acts as cleaner and waiter - there was no one available that could solve the problem...oh and she only speaks arabic - which is fine as long as you do too.
- No light bulbs in the bathroom for our 3 day stay.
- No water for much of the time either.
- The bed in the Chambre Superior could not have been more hard if it was poured from concrete.
- We too had an issue with having to dispute the room charges. Finally we left - a day early. And of course, this led to a disagreement:
- Giuseppe will insist on talking to Jamilla for 20 minutes. WHen she cant convey what is needed, he'll offer to talk to you in his perfect english. When you don't give up and insist on asserting your frustration, he'll decide that he can't speak english anymore. Then he'll want to speak in French. When (after another 20 minutes) he realises that he isn't wearing you down, he will insist that he can't speak french to you any more but he needs to talk to Jamilla again. After another 20 minutes, they'll compromise with the suggestion of two bills. One that you can agree on, and an additional one that he won't put through (and you wont sign) until you resolve your disagreement. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS. Both transactions ar eimmediately put through and you cannot dispute them with VISA. Trust me. DO NOT SIGN THE VISA SLIP UNLESS YOU WANT TO PAY HIM.

Personally, I feel ripped off, and I would NEVER recommend this riad to anyone I liked. Instead, click on TripAdvisors popularity index and stay away from this place.

There was no welcome to speak of, no explanation for where we were in the Medina, no sense of looking out for your guests or trying to make their experience in your city pleasant.

  • Liked — cleanliness
  • Disliked — owner is not onsite and there is no recourse when the stuff hits the fan. we were ripped off
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
3 Thank trav44trav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2007

Eight of us recently spent four nights for my 40th birthday at the Riad. I read all the reviews here, both good and bad, before deciding to go ahead and book. It turned out to be a great choice.

My wife won't do anywhere remotely dirty so believe me when I say the riad is stylish, ideally-located, spacious, very clean and well run by Jamilla and the gang. I believe the negative reviews seem to stem from the time before Pepe owned the place as there were no real hassles at all - although we were renting every room, so if you were sharing the riad with strangers then perhaps your mileage may vary.

The airport transfer was there on time (look for the riad name rather than your surname) and once we had grown accustomed to the frankly insane driving (thankfully at low speeds due to traffic) it became apparent that the taxi staff, local shops and the riad all have a good working relationship.

Although Jamilla and the staff speak a little English, French is better so dust off your schoolbook. My French must sound like pidgin 'Allo 'Allo but I was able to make myself understood better in this tongue. Obviously Arabic is widely spoken but was not an "O" level option for me in 1983, at least not in Widnes.

The riad seem to use the same taxi guys all the time, which is good as you would need someone with local knowledge or a pigeon-like sense of direction to guide you down the 2-3 minute maze-like walk from the taxi to the front door for the first time. The tall medina streets are too narrow for cars so bicycles and mopeds are very popular - watch out.

The surrounding cat-filled streets are dark and narrow but not intimidating (I live in Nottingham!) and the local kids are friendly enough to banter with. The nondescript door opens and you are treated to the splendid interior views which the website shows. The riad is very photogenic and there are plenty of things to photograph.

Once unpacked, we spent the trip just chilling out at the riad in the morning, strolling the markets for lunch, then either eating at the riad or taking a trip out to a restaurant in the evening. Crystal @ Pacha was nice (Jamilla booked this same day at our request), but don't book before 8:30 and try and sit away from the central fire - it's hot and smoky at the nearest tables. The club itself was closed that night, despite it saying "Open daily" on the website. You may wish to confirm.

We stayed in the Douiria suite. The bed was very comfortable and there is plenty of storage. The bathroom in this suite is dark marble and plaster, and there is not a lot of light, so you may want to move a lamp into there.

One of the rustic sinks has a patched hole in it that sometimes leaked a little - but only a few thimbles-full or so. There was always hot water available. The specks of powder here and there are probably caused by woodworm in the wooden ceilings - par for the course in this type of building.

The mosque does a call to prayer around 4AM. I only heard it the first time, as I am a sound sleeper, but you may want to bring ear-plugs as the prayer MC also seems to be accompanied simultaneously by a revving scooter engine and a braying camel.

Breakfast seems to be available at any time in the morning. Staff are there from around 7AM but I don't recall us being up for anything before 10. Breakfast is continental - coffee, crepes (freshly made in the kitchen), bread, english tea, jam, cake and juice. Bring your sweet tooth to Morocco.

We then went upstairs to the terrace where you can bask in the African sunshine - not incandescent at this time of year but still very warming. The terrace is well appointed with day beds and tables and the staff are happy to fetch you snacks (olives and nuts), wine, beer or water - not free of course; the Rose was 14 euros and beers 3 euros - which is quite a markup. Better to buy it locally if you find it (we didn't actively seek it).

Jamilla and the gang do great meals in the evening, Moroccan style. Very tasty but perhaps a little pricey considering drink is not included. We eat there twice. The dining room also has an ipod dock which came in handy. The other lounge has a large flat screen tv with satellite box. We didn't watch much tv to be honest. The riad also has wireless internet and you can settle by credit card there.

The local markets are 2 mins away back towards the taxis, and the main square is -15 mins beyond these, depending on how fast you want to walk. I didn't find the stallholders overly aggressive. We weren't there to buy things, so it was easy for us to walk away.

Jamilla also organised an impromptu trip to the mountains for a couple of our guests with their own driver for the day. She is very good at organising and can get you most things should you require. Jamilla clocks off after dinner is served, and then Hisham, the riad's handyman, is also on hand until you go to bed to help you with anything. Again, French was the most effective route.

If I had one criticism, I would like the riad to show you a price list for the wine, beer and snacks before you tuck in as the prices came as a surprise to some. Also make sure that the room tax (8 EUR per room per night) has been included if you didn't book direct with the riad - it was a little difficult ironing out all these points in French when Jamilla wanted to go home and we all wanted to eat.

The airport taxis were bang on time for our early start home (they haven't managed this trick in the UK) and a good time was had by all.

  • Liked — 24-7 Service, Cleanliness, Style
  • Disliked — Price of food & drink was too heavily marked up.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
3 Thank BlimeyOReilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malcolm McGilchrist
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2007

First time in Marrakech, my girlfriend found this wonderful contemporary Riad online from their own website. If you wind down through the Eastern part of the medina you'll find this Riad in a quiet cul de sac. Lovely staff including the owner Giuseppe who provided friendly service and a nice continental breakfast too. We stayed in "Le Chambre Chocolat" which was perfect and reasonably priced at 150 Euros per night. Cant recommend this Riad highly enough. Malcolm & Anita.

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
2 Thank MalcolmMcGilchrist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles / New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2007

My time at the Dar Al Sultan Riad was one of the WORST travel experiences of my life.

I arrived in Marrakesh alone for the first time and was not picked up at the airport as had been confirmed by email THREE TIMES. When I contacted Giuseppe, the brand new owner by phone, I was hurriedly told to take a taxi myself. When I finally arrived at the Riad, Giuseppe was not there and no one spoke a word of English or could communicate with me for 8 hours.

The unfilled swimming pool, which is advertised all over the Riad’s website, was an empty hole. I was promised it would be filled with water the next day. The roof was covered with a cheap plastic sheet. The place was still freezing cold. The space heaters in the room didn’t work. The room I was supposed to have was given to someone else. During my stay the pool was never filled.

The owner of Dar Al Sultan was having furniture built at his apartment next door. So there was loud banging going on the entire time. I felt like I was living in a construction site! I complained and was told that I could not stop all construction in the town of Marrakesh!

One day, the owner brought me some wine and cheese, olives, bread which should cost about $10 dollars in Marrakech because such food is so inexpensive. When I got my room bill, he actually charged me $63 Euro or about $80 for the food!

There are no phones in the rooms so I once asked to use a telephone as I needed to make plans with a friend who was also staying in Marrakesh. Giuseppe told me I would have to walk into town to the Tele Boutique. So, $190 euros per night and I have to go out to use a TELEPHONE??

One day I was taking a nap at 4:00 in the afternoon and I woke up to blaring RAP MUSIC being played through the riad, the music of course was being played by the owner Giuseppe! These people are clueless of the hospitality business.

In my opinion, definitely DO take into consideration the previous bad reviews. There are plenty of other gorgeous chic and less expensive riads in Marrakech, do yourself a favor and RUN from Dar Al Sultan.

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
6 Thank worldtraveler2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar al Sultan

Address: 26 Derb El Arsa | Riad Zitoun Jdid, Médina, Marrakech 4000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #756 of 1,144 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amazing riad, quiet and relaxing. ... more   less 

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