I spent many weeks researching riads for what I had in mind.
My criteria was; traditional Moroccan style bedrooms, good location, pretty courtyard, preferably with some kind of pool and a sun terrace that looked interesting. In this, I was definitely not disappointed with Riad Dar Alfarah. Overall, it was the perfect combination that I was looking for.
From the previous reviews, I knew that the owner was not a great communicator and this did prove to be the case. I speak a small amount of French but he did not appear to have the patience to try and understand me, luckily, my partner speaks a lot more and consequently, whenever we had to speak with him, she took over.
We had a problem when we returned just after lunch on our second day. He was apologetic but insistent that we had to leave that afternoon (a day early) as he had a large booking coming that day and required all the rooms. We had returned for a quick change as we had prior arrangements for the afternoon and evening and explained that we did not have the time, and besides, were unwilling to be so inconvenienced at such short notice. As we were about to go out again he frantically insisted that we HAD to move and his wife (Jacky, who never came across as particularly friendly at any time) said something in French to him along the lines of; “you have to make them go, offer them a free meal’’. We told him it was not possible and went out. This was a very unsettling event, made worse by the language barrier.
Dreading our return and wondering if we would find our suitcases in the reception area, we had a few drinks at the Kozy bar and got back quite late. We did not see the owner again until breakfast and to give him his dues, he was most apologetic for the previous afternoon. However, based on this experience we would not return.
In summary, the riad is clean, attractive, very pretty and traditional with great breakfasts, but it does not have a particularly welcoming or caring feel towards non-French speaking guests.
As a side note; we bumped into a nice young European couple (not UK or French) who had left the riad the day before us. They advised that the reason was because the owner only spoke French and was extremely rude to them. I appreciate that we should not expect everyone to speak English and in fact, I am very well travelled and always aim to stay out of tourist areas and in with the locals, sometimes in areas where conversation is completely impossible but I have never had an attitude problem from a service provider before.
- 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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