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.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the middle of the historical sites of Marrakech formed by the El Badi Palace, Bahia, the Saadian Tombs and the Royal Palace, 5 minutes walk from Jemaa El Fna square, Riad Dar Alfarah is one of the more user-friendly guesthouses of the medina. To accommodate your dreams 10 rooms and (2 to 5 pers) combine Moroccan spirit and tradition. A large patio with a pool where upon arrival, Coralie, Stephan or Hamza will welcome you personally around a mint tea and traditional pastries. They will be available to answer your questions and help you discover Marrakech. The rooftop terrace has been converted to the comfort of our guests and their tranquility where you will be served a delicious cooking with colors Mediterranean and Moroccan. Breakfast riad is both continental and moroccan, through its various pancakes and fresh fruit juice, by its home made buns and breads, and seasonal fruit jams and by its surprises with milk or fresh fruits, made by Hafssa our cook. It is served on the patio around the pool, in our restaurant or on our rooftop terrace. The menu is an invitation to discover Moroccan cuisine but also international dishes revisited by Hafssa, plus "food allergies" special menus or "children" menu! For more choices, lunches and dinners are booking through our team as soon as possible. ... more less
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