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“Excellent stay at Dar 91” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar 91

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Dar 91
91 rue Chbanat, Essaouira, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #39 of 154 Essaouira B&B and Inns
Petersfield, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent stay at Dar 91”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

What a lovely time we had! SO beautifully decorated, Hakim and Naima were welcoming, helpful and unobtrusive. We were totally relaxed. The flat was equipped with basic cooking utensils (although we did no home cooking) and the all important tea making facilities and we had breakfast delivered to our door each morning so that it was ready whenever we got up. The location is perfect - right in the thick of the medina but we were never disturbed by noise. Also in the house is a "houseguide" and a journal that previous guests have written in so there were plenty of very good recommendations for food, bars, days out etc. There were lots of extra touches that made us realise a lot of care and thought has gone into Dar 91, such as a big feather duvet (we were there in November) and hot water bottle, an ipod dock and mint tea with snacks when we arrived. I thoroughly recommend Essaouira and staying at Dar 91.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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60 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Dartmouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

We loved the decor and Hakim was a real star. Whilst we had a lovely time, having also stayed at other places in the same area, sadly we found this was significantly overpriced compared to other similar places. We also had 3 children with us, loads of space, but not the safest set up for younger ones .....slippy (albeit beautiful stairs - in fairness we were alerted to this).the kitchen only has 2 chairs and 2 high stools and small table ..... We could not eat together as a family of 5 and the kitchen was not very well equipped. Great rooms, boys loved bunk bed, but we found the double bed pretty small and not very comfy. Also upon arrival the place had not been cleaned or stocked up as indicated ( again to be fair we were 30mins earlier than planned and it was a festival day......but this was not rectified the following day either), although sorted out when we specifically asked. We are not fanatically into cleaning or anything, but this too could have been better, or even having access to products etc to keep on top of it for ourselves would have been fine. One of the biggest draw backs however was breakfast at 9am (10am English time) which if it had just been us adults would have been fine, but the kids were hungry at least 2 hours before this. We requested an earlier drop off of breakfast and were simply told no! So we had to get our own each morning......all manageable, but not fantastic given price of property.

Aside from the gripes, we did have a lovely time ...... We also appreciated the quirky style of the place and really appreciated their food recommendations, which were spot on every time.But on balance whilst we would go back to the area we would stay elsewhere next time and sadly would not recommend this riad for families, especially with younger children. Look around as there are loads of less publicised options for a lot less money.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
dar91, Owner at Dar 91, responded to this review, November 17, 2012
We are disappointed that the clients were not entirely happy with their stay – and also rather surprised, given that at the end of it they asked if they could stay on another three days! A family of five, they paid £18 per person per night for a peak time holiday. For this they stayed in a quirky, comfortable and entirely private, self-contained 2-bedroom apartment in a characteristic part of the ancient medina, during a school holiday. Here they were able to relax and make as much noise as they liked, not having to worry about upsetting other guests as they would have done in one of Essaouira’s many riad-hotels or guest houses with shared public spaces.

There are plenty of lower-cost self-catering apartments in the area – but few provide the level of comfort, style and service of Dar 91, where one self-caters but has access to the kind of service one would expect of a guest-house. It’s also worth pointing out that, unlike many other property owners in Morocco, we pay our staff a living wage, national insurance and other benefits, and pay taxes both in Morocco and the UK – which perhaps helps explain why we focus on providing good value for money rather than rock-bottom prices.

To pick up on the specific points the clients raise…
• We did warn them in advance about there being lots of stairs, which is typical of many Moroccan houses.
• The table in the dining area is easily big enough to seat a family of 5. In keeping with the overall style and feel of the apartment, there are not matching chairs, but as well as the chairs and stools the clients mention, there are another two in the adjacent living room which could have been brought through. Many of our guests choose to eat around the lower coffee table in the living room, which would have been another option.
• As we say clearly on our website, the kitchen is simply equipped, with a fridge, two- burner gas hob, kettle and all the crockery, glasses and cutlery one would expect – our aim being to provide guests with the opportunity to make basic meals. One of the joys of visiting Morocco is eating in the many excellent restaurants and cafes and sampling the street food, and in the guide we send clients when they book we list our favourites - and make clear that our house manager Naima and guardien Hakim can deliver a range of low-cost meals (or even cook a barbecue on the terrace) on days when staying in feels like the thing to do.
• The double bed the clients refer to is 140 x 200cm. We’re sorry they didn’t find it very comfortable – mattress preference is notoriously subjective but we are taking their comments on board.
• The apartment was cleaned from top to bottom on the day of the clients’ arrival; other guests had vacated the same morning (the previous day had been a public holiday to celebrate Aid el Kbir – the most important festival of the Muslim year). We always leave clients with a stock of essentials like coffee, tea, sugar, toilet paper etc and these are replenished regularly throughout one’s stay…on rare occasions Naima might miss the fact that something has run out, but as the clients say, will rectify this when notified.
• Keeping sand, dust and dirt at bay is a constant battle in Essaouira, like many coastal towns. This is especially the case when it’s wet and windy, as it was when these clients stayed – and obviously, keeping the place spotless for a family of 5 can be a challenge at the best of times! We are confident that Naima did her best under difficult circumstances, which included the clients requiring numerous changes of bedding and towels. We provide basic cleaning materials and Naima would have provided more if asked (we keep the cleaning cupboard locked so that children cannot access potentially dangerous products).
• We are sorry that the clients were not happy with the breakfast arrangements. Obviously different clients like to have breakfast at different times and we try to fit in with what time works for them, within reason – but Essaouira is a slow-paced holiday destination and Dar 91 is not a hotel. We have never before had clients ask for breakfast as early as 7am, and Naima and Hakim are briefed that breakfast should be delivered at a point agreed with the clients between around 8 and 9am, or later – and the clients originally chose 8.30am. We are now amending the guide we send to clients, to clarify the ‘window’ within which breakfast can be delivered.

On a general note, we always make clear to clients that if there are any problems, we are available by phone or email (there’s a landline in Wahed, as well as wi-fi) to discuss them and/or help if they’re having problems communicating with Naima and Hakim, whose English is basic. We’d much rather get things sorted out at the time rather than people ending up feeling that their holiday was less brilliant.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blandford Forum, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Dar 91 was perfect for a relaxing visit to Essaouira. Right in the heart of a residential street in the Medina, just watching street life unfold from the window was terrific.
We were incredibly well looked after by our hosts who provided a very useful intro pack, great communication and thoughtful help and advise throughout.
Huge thanks to our Moroccan hosts for their kindness and care. We wanted to remain independent and have our own place but still have access to real Moroccan life experiences and the balance was perfect. We enjoyed 10 days and they still weren't enough.
A great, quirky and comfy house. We certainly hope to be back.

Room Tip: The house is set over a number of floors - the rooms are great fun - it's a battle to keep a hou...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

A friend and I stayed in the Wahed apartment during the Gnaoua festival in June and we couldn't have been happier with our stay. It's a great location in the Medina. The apartment was cheery, clean, and festively decorated. The rooms are gorgeous - high ceilings, colored windows - and you can see the ocean and the sunset from the roof deck. Naima and Hakim were very helpful and made sure we had everything we needed. I highly recommend staying here when you visit Essouaira.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

This time we travelled 11 (5 adults, 6 kids) all together. Some of us have already stayed at Dar 91, for the others it was the first time ever in Maroc. We got a very friendly pick up at the airport im Marrakesh, all organised by the lovely owners of Dar 91 and Next Door. Staying at the houses it's just a great experience, nestled on the walls of the medina. From the moment you arrive you feel like a part of the buzzling town. The houses are stunning with all comforts needed and a super interior. Naima and Hakim are your lovely hosts for your stay. We spent a relaxing time in the local Hamam. Taking long walks on the beach, strolling thru the neighborhood, and enjoying the sunsets on the spectacular roof terrace, overlooking the medina as well as the sea. The children having great fun, playing soccer outside on the little square with the locals kids. We all will be back soon!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

I have spent three weeks in Dar 91 studio working on my postgraduate thesis, and was happy to be taken care by Naima, the housekeeper and Hakim, the handyman and of course Paolo, the owner, who guided me through travel&stay details with proffessional care. I'm really glad I chose this place for my getaway. I looked for some peace and quiet, and that's what I came upon at Dar. I felt sincere care and finally rested from the everyday rush and the city madness. And upon returning home I got my diploma, so it really is a place to let your mind flow. So that's that. I truly recommend.
P.S.
The interiors are decorated with quite a taste: clever combination of the western and local aesthetics. I'd say it's a place for those who pay attention to details, and if one doesn't he or she will still feel that there is a balance around.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

What a find! We stumbled across Dar91 via the Guardian website, and weren't really sure what to expect. What we found were amazingly designed spaces, full of thoughtfully chosen objects and curiosities, a really helpful guide to spending time in Essaouira, and truly lovely people- one of the owners (Paolo) was there at the same time working in their shop/social enterprise, and he was full of suggestions. We'd definitely go back and would heartily recommend it- we've just bought a flat and are already implementing some of the ideas we stole from Dar91, which certainly isn't true for most holiday lets! Essaouira was beautiful- we loved hanging out at the harbour, and eating piles and piles of olives.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Dar 91

Address: 91 rue Chbanat, Essaouira, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 154 B&Bs / Inns in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar 91 is light, airy and comfortable. It fuses old and new Moroccan and European styles, but without being slavish to any particular "look" or period. Unlike many Moroccan properties let out to tourists, Dar 91 does not feature a central courtyard - which can be a big advantage if you value your privacy, as you won't be sharing your apartment or roof terrace with other guests. We give a minimum of 10% of our profits to Project 91, our charity to help local young people improve their skills and find work. ... more   less 

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