My girlfriend and I have just returned to London after a 3 night (4 actually, but more of that later) stay in Dar Sisila in Marrakech. I can categorically state that the Riad Dar Sisila is not worthy of a 5/5 rating. IT SHOULD BE A 6/5 ... it really is that EXCELLENT!!
A summary of why we thought this, in addition to all the other positive comments other people have previously written:
1) Excellent Pre-Trip Communications:
I booked via emails a month before travelling, and was immediately impressed by the quick and timely responses from Dar Sisila's owner Jean Patrick, particularly given some other Riads didn't even bother responding to emails I sent them.
Jean Patrick not only replied immediately to all my emails to answer all my questions, he also confirmed that my girlfriend and I would be able to leave our luggage in the Riad for 12 hours when we checked out on the Thursday morning as we did not need to go to airport until late in the evening (we were flying back to London very early on Friday morning, and me being Scottish (ie short arms and deep pockets), I didn't want to pay for another night accommodation when we would have to leave in the early hours of the morning)
2) Central location:
The Riad is situated between the main square and the Souks and the Mosque, and is ideally located for walking to all of the Medina's main attractions.
3) Personable and hospitable staff:
JP and all the staff at the DS are extremely friendly and welcoming. No request is too much for them, and everything is done with a smile. They answered all my girlfriends questions about the ingredients in the meals we ate at the Riad (hey, we bought a Tajine pot from the Souks, so were keen to steal the Dar Sisila's recipes before coming home!) with patience, even bringing out bottles of oil from the kitchen to help explain what they were talking about.
But the thing that summed up our experience at the Riad was JP's act of kindness to my girlfriend and I on our last day. As mentioned previously, we were planning on checking out on the Thursday morning, leaving our luggage in the Riad, and picking it up late at night before heading to the airport to wait to check-in for our 7:30 AM flight the next morning.
When he realised we were doing this, JP offered us an extra night FOR FREE as he happened to have a room available for the Thursday evening. It was an incredibly kind gesture (one that had my girlfriends mouth hanging open in surprise for several minutes when he offered this to us!), and one that was not just highly appreciated, but also made the end of our time in Marrakech a lot more comfortable and enjoyable than if we had to hang around the airport in the early hours of the morning.
THANK YOU Jean Patrick and all at Dar Sisila!
Tips for staying in the Dar Sisila:
* Book the Taxis offered by Jean Patrick. Yes, they are perhaps a little bit more expensive than if you flag them down on the street, but booking via the Riad is extremely convenient and will get you and your luggage right to the front door, keeping things nice and simple.
* You will probably be offered some mint tea when you arrive at the Riad. Take them up on the offer!
* Eat at least one meal in the Riad (and try to make it a lamb tajine...it was delicious, the best tajine we had in Marrakech)
Tips for Marrakech.
* STAY AT THE RIAD DAR SISILA!
* Get lost in the Souks, take the time to stop and talk to the stall keepers even if you are not buying anything, and haggle haggle haggle!
* Enjoy mint tea in one of the Jemma El Fna ('Big Square') cafes whilst watching the food stalls being set up at night.
* Go to the Al Fassia restaurant in Gueliz. It is only 20 minute walk from the Medina, and the food really is excellent. If there are two of you, I would definitely recommend sharing a Morroccan salad and the Pidgeon for starters. (the flying rat was tasty, but the salad was absolutely out of this world (hint: take your camera!)
* Take trainers or good walking shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking in Marrakech!
* 3 days is probably enough for most people to see the sights, sounds and smells of Marrakech. If you are going for longer, I would definitely advise you think about doing some trips to the Atlas Mountains, Sahara etc.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.