My companion and I stayed at Riad Darhani for four nights in July 2013. I selected the Darhani after a strong recommendation from a colleague at work who had stayed previously. Having been to Morocco many years before, I knew it was going to be a hectic break, and the promise of a hotel that was a "quiet haven" away from the hustle and bustle of the street traders was enough to lead me to book the Darhani. I expected a quiet hotel, but the hotel is actually so tranquil that the contrast between being inside and outside is rather amazing. Although the hotel doesn't have many guest rooms , its design is flowing and spacious so that you're not tripping over other guests. In fact, we rarely bumped into anyone other than at breakfast.
If you're wise enough to choose to stay at Riad Darhani, do yourself an enormous favour and eat at the hotel for at least one night. The food is cooked in-house by the hotel staff, and it is simply wonderful. Our pre-arranged arrival meal was served on the roof terrace on a single table set for two. With my companion being a vegetarian, we had ordered a selection of Moroccan salads. I thought the food might be quite nice, but the salads an assortment of different dishes and generous portions, were out of this world. That first meal remains as one of my favourite memories of the whole visit. We did laugh when we finished and sat back in our seats, quite filled with so much wonderful food, only to be told that the main course was still to come!
The accommodation is very impressive with elegant furnishings, air conditioning, lots of room, exquisite décor, and a stunning, well-equipped bathroom. The hotel has a delightful pool which is an absolute life saver if the temperature on the street is high. There are sun lounges and artfully covered chaises on the quiet roof terrace. The hotel has been thoughtfully designed to be authentic and tastefully sophisticated in style.
Praise must go to hotel manager, Omar, his night watchman Abdul, who move around in near silence. Although quiet and discreet, they are on hand constantly to help and offer advice if required. They have a unique knack of making you feel cared for and valued. In the hotel business, it is common to get good staff and less-than-good staff. If you're really lucky, you get exceptional staff, those like Omar and his small team, whose company and attentiveness you enjoy so much that it hurts to leave.
I fully recommend Riad Darhani without hesitation, and I would urge anyone planning to visit Marrakech not to miss out on such a wonderfully unique hotel experience.
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