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“Loved our stay - food is the best in Marra” 5 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 #587 of 1,125 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Copenhagen, Denmark
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Loved our stay - food is the best in Marra”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

We were travelling to Marrakech (and Morocco) for the first time ever and we absolutely found the arabian fairytales we were looking for.

We stayed at Dar Alfarah, which is tucked away in the Mellah/old jewish quater, just 5-8 minutes from main plaza Djema el- Fnaa and the myriad of souks. The Mellah area is fairly quiet which you learn to appreciate right after your first visit to Djema and the main souk with all its stalls, snake charmers, special deals etc.

We arrived late in the evening and were lead to a simple looking building but when the ornate door to Riad Alfarah opened the beauty inside is revealed - an open courtyard with a small pool, beautiful tiles and carvings in strong colours. We were welcomed by Jackie with the traditional thé de menthe and were shown our room which was nice and clean and held in a beautiful moroccan style.

We had advised the riad beforehand that we would like to dine at the riad and had a beautifully cooked three course meal.

Pay attention here foodies! This is absolutely the best food served i all of the Medina area. Mouad, who is in charge of the kitchen and Jackie the owner, both roam the kitchen and create the most delicious food composed over traditional moroccan dishes. We did try out alternatives around Marra, from the humble roadside cafe to the fancy restaurant - which were nice - but never coming close to Mouads fantastic cooking. Breakfast was equally great, freshly made juice, fruitsalad (or alternating homemade yoghurt with a hint of vanilla), toast, jam, coffee or tea.

Usually after a busy day shopping or going on trips we often found ourselves at their quiet roof terrace enjoying the sun.

We loved every minute at Dar Alfarah and will definitely recommend it.

Oh! Last minute advise. When going to the hotel do say yes to the transport arranged by the hotel.The Medina is hard to master/easy to get lost in. Maps don't show all the alleys and signs (if any) are often in arabic. Exploring will be plentiful later on.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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302 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (16)
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English first
Midhurst
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

We stayed for 5 days in our first trip to Morocco. Riad dal Alfarah is very conveniently located in the old medina near many of the sights and a welcome haven of calm and relaxation in contrast to ground zero around the souks and Djemma el Fna. We were traveling with our teenage son and stayed in the Andalouse suite.

We may have underestimated the importance of being able to communicate fluently (we do not speak much French) to arrange excursions, transport, etc., but we managed fine thanks to the care and attention (and Spanish) of Muad who is a great asset. If you stay here, we can highly recommend dining at the riad as we felt the kitchen served Moroccan dishes rivalling any restaurants you're likely to find in Marrakech. Not sure why breakfast and dinner weren't served on the rooftop terrace (with view of Atlas mountains in the distance and the storks nesting on the walls of the Medina) its setting and seating comfort would be an real improvement on the dining room downstairs.

Our only complaints with Andalouse suite were that noise in the early morning provided an early morning "wake-up call" and the beds were not very comfortable (hard). Our suite's private terrace was in need of some attention which caused us to prefer the rooftop.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

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.

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor and being a small courtyard, any noise was greatly increased. This inclu...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

I had read all the reviews of this riad and have to agree with them. We were a large group and needed two family rooms, which are hard to find. This riad had them. It is a beautiful property - clean, well maintained with a pool. Just like the pictures. The rooftop terrace is lovely. All the physical things are excellent. We had what must have been the owners suite - two bedrooms, a living room, huge bathroom and private terrace. Our friends had a huge room with a separate room for their child. But the problem, as others have said, was the people. We had read that and decided we really didn't need the owners to be effusive as long as the place was nice, but after 10 days in Morocco with friendly people, it really DID matter.

The guy at the front desk who is there a lot of the time speaks no English. That is fine - I am happy to try with my pigeon French, but it made for difficult interaction as he made no effort to understand or help. Samuel, the manager, when he appeared, was great and did speak English and give us some tips so that was good. There seemed to be communication issues between the staff, with the front desk guy claiming to know nothing about things arranged with someone else the day before.

Having said that, breakfasts were excellent, especially the homemade yogurt, and we had a dinner there that was also good. The second dinner was OK - though nothing was cheap!

We stayed there mostly for the pool and it was nice to have, though cold. But to be honest, I don't think I would recommend staying here. It just didn't have the "feel" that we had in many other places in Morocco and there are lots of other riads.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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 ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #587 of 1,125 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Dar Alfarah 4*
Number of rooms: 10
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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