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“Lovely luxury” 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 #596 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Lovely luxury”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

Myself and a group of three friends were coming to Marrakech and decided to treat ourselves to a nice place for one night before heading to budget hostels for the rest of our trip. Despite being pretty difficult to find, once we were there Riad al der farah was a lovely hotel with lovely rooms, pool and terrace. It was so good that we decided to stretch our budget to spend another night there. The hosts were very accommodating of this.

Breakfast was nice too, varying slightly on different days. The young man who works at the riad is also really helpful.

I agree with the review about it being good if you can speak French - the riad owners speak little English so being able to communicate in French makes things a lt easier.

Overall it was a great riad to stay in if you are looking for a quiet relaxing place with a pool.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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295 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (14)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 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
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 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.
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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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #596 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Dar Alfarah 4*
Number of rooms: 9
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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