Arriving in Marrakesh at dusk can feel a little overwhelming, but not if you are guided every step of the way. Our welcome by the Riad Dar Ganou and its owners, Véronique and Jean-Marc, began at the airport. A driver was there to meet us with a sign, even though our flight was early. He drove us into town and Véronique was waiting for us in the street with a baggage handler for our suitcases. She saw us safely through the winding streets to the riad. This place is right next to the Jemaa El Fna, and once you are shown the way in, it is very easy to find.
Dar Ganou is a beautiful, quiet, sanctuary complete with a turquoise reflecting pool and a huge healthy tree in the middle of the ground floor living area. It has a hip, laid-back style that is relaxing and reflects the overall ease of this riad and its owners. Our room was pretty, well appointed, immaculate and comfortable. The staff members were gentle, competent and welcoming. I had asked for extra pillows and they were there, I didn’t have to ask again. We were greeted by smiles and tea and almonds when we arrived. My friend, who had not eaten that day, was offered a tray of tempting snacks brought to our room without having been requested, nor were we charged for this food. I have never experienced this kind of service in a small hotel. It was outstanding.
We had been told to buy our Supra Tour bus tickets to Essaouira a day in advance but had problems ordering them on the internet before we left England, and Véronique offered to buy them for us, which she did. After a few days in Essaouira we decided to leave a day early to spend an extra night in Marrakesh. Although Dar Ganou was full-up for the night we wanted, Véronique found us a lovely room for the same price in a riad that was right next door. The following morning we moved with no trouble back to Dar Ganou for our last night. Véronique gave us tips and suggestions on what to pay the caleche drivers for our tour around town, what to see, and where to eat. She also helped me with my French which I greatly appreciated.
Because we had a morning flight on our last day, Véronique and Jean-Marc served us an early breakfast on the terrace where I looked out over the Jemaa El Fna, and hated to leave. The breakfasts at Dar Ganou are generous, delicious and varied compared to the simple one we had four mornings in a row in the Essaouira riad.
Dar Ganou is a charming riad that can be highly recommended. What makes this place so very special is the quality of hospitality, kindness and generosity extended so full-heartedly by Véronique and Jean-Marc, and the gentle people who work for them. This kind of hospitality and authenticity are rare and I could not have asked for more. These are the kind of folk you would want to call friends. Thank you so much for everything Véronique et Jean-Marc! I had a wonderful time.