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“Best Kept Secret in Marrakech” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palais Donab

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Palais Donab
4.5 of 5 Guest house   |   53 Dar El Basha Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 00345, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #383 of 1,040 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Sidi Bou Othmane
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Kept Secret in Marrakech”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Palais Donab rocks! Right in the heart of the medina, it truly was a palace and exudes world-class charm. The staff is awesome, the rooms (I think there might only be 6 or 7) are beautiful, and the food and setting are stunning.

I live in Morocco and have stayed at Dar Donab six times (and eaten there at least as many) and have had nothing but great service and great experiences!

Definitely a "find" for dinner or a vacation.

Room Tip: Each room is individually laid out, so ask to see them all (there aren't that many).
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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96 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    62
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

The property is stunning. Our room (Koutubia) was beautiful, rose petals on the magnificient bed, and dinner in the restaurant was excellent. The owner is a most charming chap and very helpful. However, the front of house staff were somewhat absent when it came for us attmepting to check out. One could say, if you're not there I'm not paying for the room service but it's not our style. Our driver/guide (Mr Khalid Abou El Allam) from Badrane Tours solved the problem for us by the time we reached Casablanca, but it was an awkward moment.

Room Tip: The Koutoubia suite is a stunning example of Moroccan architecture, but there are two flights of ste...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Madrid, Spain
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

Well, I must start with the very little positive part. The hotel is reasonably located and used to be a very nice palais. Now, the real facts ... When you pay more than €200 a room, you would expect at least a clean hotel. The hotel is poorly maintained, the service in the front desk is AWFULL !! , the breakfast just coffe, orange juice and wet/old pastries. After the second day we skipped the hotel and we went for breakfast to a nice delicatessen house near by.... Now, the worst of the worst ... you are prepared that everybody in La Medina will try to bargain, sale and squeeze every dollar that they can.... but , you would NEVER expect this when you need to check out in a +€200/night hotel !!!!!!!! Please, trust me , select any other riad, don't get wrong impression from the pictures ... There are plenty much better (and cheaper) outhere !!
Finally, please also avoid booking at the website luxurytravel dot com !!!!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hermosa Beach, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

I stayed in Palais Donab for 3 nights in September 2012 with two friends. We had a room on the terrace and felt like we had the entire terrace to ourselves. The room was beautiful with a big bathroom. We had an extra bed put in the room, as there were three of us, and there was still plenty of space. From the second we arrived the staff made us feel very welcome and answered all of our questions. We asked for sun loungers to be brought to the roof - it was done right away. The Riad also booked us a city tour and dinner at other Riads upon request. Another plus is that this Riad is on a very quiet and clean street. We called it the cleanest street in Marrakech. We also stored our luggage there while on our tour to the desert. We really enjoyed the homey feel and the helpful staff. When we left we all commented on how sad we were to be leaving our beautiful Marrakech home. Would stay here again for sure!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Marrakech, Morocco
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

This restored palace in the heart of old Marrakech is an incredibly peaceful oasis, extremely well-run to very high standards by Brahim and his staff. Although it is palatial and an absolute delight to the eye, it is also very intimate in size and style. From the warm welcome on arrival (refreshing mint tea by the fountain then a personal tour with the Manager who speaks several languages fluently) to the considerate and charming staff, it is a perfect base for enjoying Marrakech (if you can force yourself to leave the delightful sunny poolside!) On our last night we put the staff to an extra test when my husband was suddenly taken ill and they were magnificent, kindness itself, a doctor summoned within minutes and a bike despatched to a distant pharmacy at midnight. Every member of staff came to wish my husband well on our departure and express their concern. Genuinely excellent.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Bath, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

Thank you Brahim and staff for a truly wonderful stay at the Palais Donab. I do not believe the decor,service and gardens can be bettered by any other Riad in central Marakesh.We stayed for three nights and could not find fault with the establishment.How nice it was to be treated like royalty in a Riad that was formerly a Royal Palace

Room Tip: Choose the Yasmin suite for large balcony and interesting room
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

We had some vague idea of Riads in Marrakech, we have seen plenty of them on Internet, heard different stories, got suspicious with plenty of fantastic reviews on all Riads in Marrakech. Suspicion got confirmed directly by people from Marrakech - apparently there are plenty of Riads, restaurants in Marrakech who writes those fantastic reviews themselves (or ask someone to write it). We have visited a few well noted, and I can tell you that should be careful reading reviews of Riads in Marrakech!

So although Riad or more precisely Palais Dar Donab is not even between first 100 Riads in Marrakech (Probably because they did not go into this dirty game of fake reviews), staying there with my wife was probably one of the best experience we had during all our travels over the years.

First, it's well located, very close to the taxi or main road, still on the pretty wide, safe, clean street inside Medina, still just a few meters from souq and 10 min walk from Djema el fnaa square.
Second, it's fantastically decorated in traditional Moroccan style, with huge patio, swimming pool big enough to have even little impression of swimming, trees inside, sunny - so you can stay next to to swimming pool with sun / or shade of trees depending on your choice for basically full day. Just one more reassurance that it was not only our impression - first there were couple of exterior visitors to the patio and swimming pool every day (they pay 150 MAD for entrance)' but never at the expense of those staying in Riad, and every day we have seen some tourist, some of them with local guides entering to take pictures of patio and decoration inside..... Need to add something on top?!

There are only few suites and 1 room. We stayed in the room, although it's smallest in Riad, it was really spacious, with bathtub, TV, AC, with even 1 really tiny extra room with 1 bad where you can actually put all the mess, luggages to keep them out of sight :-)
There is direct access to rooftop terrace from the room (actually it's situated directly on the terrace with some chairs, beds to relax and enjoy sun, or simply birds singing in the evening).
The room was clean, not the newest furnishing but with some charm, decorated with local original paintings, the only - but really only small inconvenience were couple of ants in our room.

Breakfast is nice, served inside or outside, freshly squeezed orange juice, yoghurt, pancakes, viennoiserie, excellent local honey, jams, sometimes fruits.

The service is really great, helpful, not intrusive, really honest. Everyday cleaning beds and charis next to swimming pool, full attention and full energy even if last night we were the only residents and there were still all 5 or so staff members doing everything needed as any other day. Well true, this day we felt like real pashas or kings :-)) Honesty of staff was demonstrated the best directly first night, we asked them where to have dinner, and even if there was dinner served inside the Riad, they recommended us another restaurant, which was excellent - Maison Arabe 5 min walk away. (we tried restaurant inside Dar Donab last night, pretty good, though not excellent food ).

You will not be disappointed in this Palais, even if they don't have 300+ reviews all of them with 5 stars but with vast majority written by reviewers with 1-2 reviews...........

Room Tip: There is 1 room and rest are suites, but even in the "smallest" room you will feel well an...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palais Donab

Address: 53 Dar El Basha Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 00345, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #383 of 1,040 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Palais Donab 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The art of Moroccan-style living in a beautiful and majestic residence. Cut off from the bustle of the Medina, Dar Donab opens its doors on a haven of peace and cool. The sophisticated decor of lounges, guest-rooms and suites reflects the luxury an comfort of Moroccan stately homes... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palais Donab Hotel Marrakech
Dar Donab Marrakech
Dar Donab Hotel Marrakech

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