Riad Dar Bachus is a small, four room Riad in the north west area of the Medina, very close to the ramparts. It is about a ten or fifteen minute walk to the Place, which I think is a plus. The Riad itself is very attractive. An adjustment in the owner's attitude and operation of the Riad could easily turn this 2 rating into a 4.
We stayed four nights at the Riad in early April, 2007.
Why a 2? Here is a list of our complaints:
1. The Riad does not require deposits to hold reservations. I was a little nervous about this, but I was assured that there would be no problem, and I confirmed that many small Riads operate in this manner. Even though we had booked our room months in advance, the day before we left I received an email from the owner stating that our room would not be available for the first night, but that we would be given the owner's "suite," since he was out of town.
When we arrived the owner's "suite" turned out to be more of an office than a bedroom, with a futon on the floor to sleep on. The whole set up was the equivalent of crashing on a relative's sofa bed. We said that we would prefer to stay in a hotel for the first night, whereupon another room somehow became available. It was not the room we had booked, but it was adequate.
We saw a variation of this "switch" being pulled on other guests a couple of days later. I suspect that the owner overbooks to compensate for the fact that he does not take deposits.
2. The Riad promises to pick you up from the airport and take you back when you leave. Nobody was waiting for us when we arrived, and we had to take a really horrible, thieving "petite taxi" to the Riad. A few minutes after we arrived, Yusef, the House Manager, showed up, swearing that he had been at the airport for hours. He hadn't. The arrivals hall of the Marrakech airport is very small, and it would have been impossible for us to have missed somebody holding a sign with the name of our Riad.
When we left, we had to leave somewhat early in the morning, and there was no offer to drive us to the airport.
3. Although the Riad is attractive, it suffers from neglect. Lots of things don't work. The heating in our room did not work (thankfully it was not cold, but it often is and this is inexcusable). The floor lamp did not work. The room safe was inoperable. The shower head was not fully functional.
4. The Riad's web site mentions massages, internet, and meals. None of this was apparent. No services of any kind were offered to us. To be fair, we didn't book the room because of these services, and we didn't make any effort to obtain them, but presumable the Riad would make money from massages and meals and I found it odd that there had been no effort to offer them to us. I had even asked the owner via email, before booking, if vegetarian meals were available, and he said they were.
5. What is billed as a "heated swimming pool" is really just the basin of the fountain. I suppose you could wade in it. It was not heated. Not a big deal in April, but if you're booking for the hot months, you might very well want a real pool.
6. Breakfast was inconsistent. One morning we were offered crepes, eggs, bread, etc. One morning was nothing but bread, another nothing but a crepe. This could have been improved greatly with very little effort. No bread at breakfast? That's ridiculous. They could buy bread at numerous stores within a minute's walk of the Riad.
The Riad is staffed by two maids, who were extremely nice and did everything possible to make us comfortable. The house man Yusef seems to have other things going on, as he was not on premises most of the time.
The real problem here is that the owner is absentee. He apparently lives in Belgium (which explains why rooms are priced in Euros), and the impression I got is that the Riad is less his avocation than a sideline which subsidizes his home in Marrakech. If this Riad were shown some TLC by its owner, it could easily be rated a 4. In the meantime, my advice is to book elsewhere.