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“Beautiful property – but check your bill!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Dar Alfarah

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Riad Dar Alfarah
4.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   58, derb Touareg | Ksibat N'Hass, Kasbah - Médina, Marrakech 40008 , Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #531 of 1,054 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful property – but check your bill!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

This wonderfully restored riad is well-located, only a short walk (7-10 minutes) through Marrakech’s winding streets from the famed Plaza Djemma el Fna. When we finally arrived, we missed out on the advertised welcoming mint tea, but nonetheless were very impressed by the obvious attention to detail the owners paid while restoring the riad. Our room, the Andalouse suite, was beautifully furnished with a king-size double bed. This was easily the nicest (and most expensive) of the three places we stayed while visiting Marrakech, Essaouira, and Fes, but our least favorite overall.

Consistent with other reviewers on this site, however, our advice to travelers is to clarify every billing question with the owners prior to departing. Common sense, perhaps, but we have received no answer to multiple efforts to contact them since departing – hence the warning. That the owners do not speak English and cut a very low profile during our stay made it difficult to clarify while in country. Other reviewers have noted their feeling that the owners treat guests as cash cows; based on our experience, we regretfully concur.

Several issues led us to this conclusion. First, due to circumstances beyond our control, my wife and daughter missed a flight connection, which prevented our family from arriving the first night. I immediately advised the riad via email, and thought that I understood this would be deducted from our bill (there is no cancellation policy posted on the website, nor did one accompany my confirmation). After our return, we found out this was not the case.

Next, we arrived on New Year’s Eve and although tired, were excited for the special dinner offered by the riad. Despite the message from the riad prior to our arrival stating, “I am please to confirm you that we will program show of ballet dancer and musicians of Marrakchia Traditionels”, we saw no such entertainment program, yet were billed the full €45 price. Again, our bill was settled with the staff (not the owners), and our repeated efforts to follow up afterwards have been met with silence.

Finally, we were shocked to learn upon check-out that breakfast was not/not included in the room rate. Had we known that the very standard offering (pastries and coffee or mint tea), was not included, we would have surely made efforts to find other options, especially at this price.

To conclude, Riad Dar Alfarah is a beautiful, well-located property in Marrakech. That said, while the local staff was extremely helpful (especially Muhad), we saw none of the supposed hospitality of the owners, who were barely visible during our stay. No less than three attempts to contact the riad have yet to even receive a reply. As a result, we would look for different options if we were to return to Marrakech.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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289 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

Very beautiful riad. The service was impeccable (although they didn't speak English, but my computer helped with the translations!). The rooftop terrace was so relaxing, you barely notice that you're smack dab in the middle of the Medina. One downside is that there are no signs leading the way through the maze of the streets, so make sure you have a detailed map to get you there!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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the world
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

I've been several times in Morocco.
The Ryad, generally speaking is ok. However there are a few nuaces I'd like to state:
I stayed in "Sultana Room" and I've read in some websites that the rooms have AC. Well, mine had a ceiling fan, and since it was January I had liked to have some heating system better, which was not provided neither. The room was not very cold but a heater would have been appreciated. The bathroom was clean but smelly, we had to close the door for sleeping time.
I've read in some webpages that the rooms are soundproof. Sorry, but that's not true, I could hear at night my upstairs neighbours' kids running around and the people from the nearby street walking by. So it was not very quiet neither.
In this same website, it's said that the place is "Bed & Breakfast". I understand that, as in most of the Ryads in Morocco, the breakfast is included in the final price, but it seems that if you book it on the Ryad website (as I did), the breakfast is not included so you (and I) will be charged 45 dirhams per person if you have the breakfast at the ryad. Get informed about it.
Also, I've read around here that some people afirm that they did it from the ryad to the Jemaa el fna in 3 minutes. Unless they had wings on their shoes I really doubt it. It's 10 min walking distance when streets are not busy, but imagine doing the same way with crowded streets and crazy motorbikes. I'd say that in a normal basis, you would take 15 min or more to get to Jemaa el fna.
I've also read some people which was overwhelmed by the owner's attentions and nice treatment. For us, the owner didn't care at all about guests, he spoked grumpyly and he was not nice whatsoever. We had several issues and he totally washed his hands. Nothing serious fortunately. One was that the room hadn't been cleaned one day, and the other was that we needed a plug converter. He was unable to solve anything and talked in a very unpolite way. Good thing there was this guy, Muhad, who is wonderful and totally efficient. He solved our little issues and he made our stay much more pleasant.
Summarizing, the ryad is pretty, and clean but, although the "quality price" relation is not bad, for that price I've been to much better Ryads. (with breakfast included)

Room Tip: Pick the rooms from upstairs so you don't get bothered by steps at nights and mornings.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Bath
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

A lovely hotel, boutique style, lots of character, welcoming French hosts.
You walk in from the bedlam of the kasbah through a door into another world, quite and serene.
Positives: Large rooms lots of character, breakfast on rooftop terrace, small pool, clean friendly

negatives: not easy to find they will arrange to meet you first time, expensive compared to other Riads,

I wouldnt have a problem recommending but would suggest you can get better value elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

The Hotel staff arranged for our collection from the airport and after a 20 minute ride and a couple of turns into the alleys of the Medina we arrived at a plain wooden door. Inside we were pleased to find a the Riad looked just like the photos we had seen online. The pool is just perfect and the rooms all relect the colours and ambience of Marrakech with a traditional yet modern look.The owners and staff were all pleasant and continuously attentive and helpful. I have to mention the bed in our suite which was absolutely gigantic for those who love to sprawl! Breakfast was served on the pretty roof garden where we indulged in very relaxing sun worship with plenty of mint tea. Overall a tranquil, comfortable, sophisticated and indulgent yet not extravagant place to stay. Hopefully we will make it back there soon. Thanks also to the very friendly lady owner who showed us the local shops and booked a traditional moroccan dinner and dance. Merci.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 110 cities Reviews in 110 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2011

Got this place suggested by a friend who stayed there in October 2010. Checked also the reviews on Tripadvisor and decided to take a try, although the price was relatively high for the standards we got. Was my 2nd time in a Riad so I knew more or less what to expect. We paid 110 EUR per night for our room and frankly you get a much better deal for this price in a standard hotel or in other Riads with Moroccan owners. French owners tend to somehow double prices. But thought, if this is the price for comfort and no troubles then fine. The place is basically nicely furnished, very well located, although the rooms on the ground floor are dark and stained by a strong toilet smell (typical in the old town because of old usage facilities). The personnel was very kind and helpful. We felt basically spoilt, especially by the delicious breakfast every morning. The cook was quite gifted.
The trouble started when the owner suggested we have a private evening with belly dancer, orchestra and typical Moroccan food. The prices suggested were all fine compared to what you get on the market. We agreed this is going to be for the 6 of us + a kid. Then we realized that actually the clients from the suite on the roof were also joining. It didn't bother us to be honest, we thought the more the merrier. Plus the bill for the entertainment would then be split between both groups, so all good.
However:
1) the belly dancer danced max 30min (if not 20min!) then left. The owner then replied that the 1 hour "actually" was including "changing time"! Would have been nice to tell us in advance, then we would maybe have changed our mind.
2) we were astonished that we had to pay the full bill for entertainment, whereas the other guests also enjoyed the music and the belly dancing. The owner never really clearly replied to this question.

What annoyed us even more was on the last day of our stay. There were demonstrations in Marrakech and we felt more secure in the evening staying in the Riad. Everything was closed and we were of course hungry, having had only breakfast. The only thing the owner offered us was a basket of 2 oranged and 2 bananas that we had to share. We were of course thankful. But then we realized that the fridge was still stuffed with food from the previous evening's dinner with music mentioned above. The owner never suggested us the leftovers, which in that emergency case was the least she could do. The worst was that we had a 3 years old little girl with us who was very hungry and it didn't really seem to bother the owner. We got really disappointed.

The cherry on the cake was when we asked the Riad to organize 2 cabs to leave early morning to the airport. Again, 1) the doorman who was supposed to take us to the taxi stop wasn't sure where the taxis would actually wait, 2) the taxis never came. In the meantime, the previous evening the owner assured us that the cabs are going to be on time and punctual as they have been working for a long time together with these guys.

So in case you really wanna go to this place, just be aware that 1) it's definitely at least 2 times the price compared to other similar places, 2) be careful what you pay for: make sure you get a real private entertainment evening in case suggested by the owner, and if other guests join, make sure the bill is going be split, 3) In case you order a cab through the Riad, a service that will certainly be offered, make sure you call one day before or the same day to be sure it will really take place. We booked for instance a cab to fetch a friend who joined us later and if I didn't call again on the same day early morning for a reminder, nobody would have fetched him, although I called one week before to first order the cab and wrote an e-mail one day before his arrival!

There are plenty of nice places where owners have the real Moroccan hospitality (go for Moroccan owners instead of French!). Our feeling was that we were basically the cash cow and the owners tried to get the max they could. Such a pity for a nice place with such nice employees!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innsbruck, Austria
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2011

probably the best place in Marrakech, very quiet, clean, nice and friendly, 10 minutes to Jemma al Fnaa, supervised parking place 2 minutes away, you recognize that the owners love their house and everything is likeable made and arranged, unconditional commendation, enjoy breakfast on the roof, we hope to get there soon again

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Dar Alfarah

Address: 58, derb Touareg | Ksibat N'Hass, Kasbah - Médina, Marrakech 40008 , Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #531 of 1,054 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Dar Alfarah 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the gold triangle of the historical sites of Marrakech in the place Jeema El Fna is one of the nicest houses for guests in the medina. T o shelter your dreams, two rooms and seven suites divided on three levels, link Moroccan mind and tradition. In the rooms of bath basins were decorated in the hand, blow-dryer, products of reception, safe, WiFi, phones. The swimming pool and the panoramic terrace were done up for the biggest comfort of the guests and their calmness. ... more   less 
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