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“Loved it” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Dar L'Oussia

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Riad Dar L'Oussia
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   04 Rue Mohamed Ben Messaoud - Bab Sbaa | Medina, Essaouira 44000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 78 Hotels in Essaouira
Knokke-Heist, Belgium
2 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Loved it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

This was truly an amazing holiday for my mom and me, first time we've been in Morocco and it was fantastic. We wanted a quiet, relaxing holiday and that's exactly what we've got. The Riad is really beautiful, our room was pretty and very clean and the staff is so friendly and caring. Right before we were heading home (the taxidriver was already waiting in the hotel) we got into a fight with some shopowner who was really agressive and we were very much upset about it, so we told the receptionist and she immediately offered us some minttea with cookies and one of the waiters even bought us some bracelets! All of them were so friendly and loving. The food in the restaurant is also really good, we tried a couple of restaurants in the medina but nothing could compare to the meals we had in the hotel. The breakfast on the terras is such a great start of the day, I really enjoyed the view. We also tried out the hammam and got a massage and this was also really good. The only thing that was a bit 'negative' was the noise. We had to put earplugs in to get a good sleep. So if you wake up easily, like me, earplugs are necesarry. We've booked this holiday with the use of a grouponbon so we were a bit scared that we would be treated differently but that was not the case, we even got the suite, instead of a normal room. We're definitely planning on going back! I really want to thank Dar l'Oussia for the perfect holiday!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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257 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (31)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Congratulations to Asma and all the charming staff for the excellent service at the Riad Dar L'Oussia!

This is a beautiful riad in a beautiful town. Quite the discovery of our trip to Morocco!

Silly me left my mobile in my room when we checked out. But guess what? Asma posted it back all the way to Australia for free!

This is the cooling marble, the rose petals,the to-die-for tagines and the rooftop breakfasts you are searching for. And my partner had a blissful massage for a song! And all from such generous lovely people! If you're still seraching for that perfect holiday, look no further than the Riad Dar L'Oussia!

Room Tip: We had the 'Romeo and Juliet' balcony but you'll love it anywhere!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

This is a place to go for complete peace and relaxation. Essaouira is becoming quite developed outside the medina with 5-star hotels everywhere but thankfully the medina retains its charm. If you want 5 stars and chain hotel mentality with no atmosphere whatsoever, go to a hotel (and preferably don’t go to Essaouira at all). Dar L’Oussia is just everything you could expect of a Moroccan riad and, despite much competition, they’ve got everything right.
To start with, the location is ideal – within the medina, just a few minutes from the main square, the fish restaurants and the port, only a few minutes on foot from everywhere. In a quiet side street, there is little passing footfall so is very peaceful.
One enters through impressive royal blue painted doors, into a courtyard with the prettiest fountain set into a Moroccan-tiled floor, covered here and there with traditional rugs. Rose petals swirl gently in the fountain. Tables and chairs around the edges of the square and a couple of palm trees provide comfort in a shaded and therefore cool area.
The reception area is off to the right and this is where you get the first idea of the welcome that is there throughout. The staff smile. Be careful what you ask for, as they will give you more, with a happy and willing smile. Nothing is too much trouble. I’ve travelled a fair bit and can honestly say that the welcome here is outstanding. Special mention for Asma and Bouchra but that’s not to say all the others weren’t just as helpful, I’m sorry to say I cannot remember everyone’s names.
So, on to the rooms. Furnished in a mixture of restful traditional and contemporary Moroccan décor, comfy bed, loads of plug sockets (same voltage as UK). There was a wall-mounted TV (with the remote stored in a baboush stuck to the wall, very cute) and a phone but we didn’t bother with either of these the entire time we were there. For those who don’t know what a riad is (and I hope I’m not teaching my grandmother to suck eggs), all the rooms open onto a square central courtyard. The windows are unlocked and you could safely leave the door unlocked too if you so desired. Essaouira (Morocco in general) is a very safe place which makes a nice change from large European cities. The room we had had a huge old lamp on the floor and a couple of other statement pieces, with traditional rugs over tiled floors. The roomy walk-in shower was a joy too - plentiful huge towels, great argan oil soap, shower gel and shampoo, constant hot water and good water pressure.
So, now we are checked in, unpacked and showered and ready to eat. The restaurant is on the ground floor behind the little fountain. Up a few steps and the room extends in a long rectangular shape from left to right, no tables are on top of each other. The walls are adorned with enormous photos printed on canvas of various unnamed characters – think Auda abu Tayyi in Lawrence of Arabia and you get the idea. And the food is simply delicious. Traditional Moroccan dishes with refreshing desserts. Add a bottle of Larroque (the gris is yummy with everything) and the place you have come from very quickly recedes as you settle into the relaxing atmosphere. We were lucky enough to have a cookery lesson with Samira, whose face is just one big smile. She showed us how to make a 3-course meal, which we proceeded to do and then a couple of hours later, came down to eat it. It’s a really great idea to do this as I do remember how to make these dishes and will certainly try now that I’m back at home. Being shown how to make these things does make you want to try them yourself.
Apart from dinner, you will get breakfast each day up on the terrace at the top of the riad. I didn’t ask but I’m sure they would serve it in your room if you preferred but then you would miss out on the spectacular views over the beach, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen (it is wide with a very flat tide, and it just goes on forever, clean and never over-crowded), and meeting the breakfast staff who again smile, chat happily and genuinely wish you a good day. Breakfast is a treat. This is where you will probably come across amlou for the first time. A mixture of almonds, honey and argan oil, it’s sort of like peanut butter made by the angels but a little sweeter and much much better, just divine. Lovely fruit salad, freshly-squeezed orange juice, freshly-made local breads, fig jam, honey, etc., all brought to the table with tea or coffee. There is also a buffet of cheese and sliced meats.
The terrace itself is wonderful. Painted all in white, there are tables and couches with big comfy cushions, sheltering against the breeze with swathes of white wools and cottons tied back, giving a modern take on the desert tent. Again, details designed for relaxation. They have half a dozen lovely big comfy sun loungers up there and, for some odd reason, there is never anyone on them. The terrace is usually empty during the day but they do serve snacks and drinks too. We got into the habit of coming back from wherever late afternoon and having a glass or 2 of the above-mentioned Larroque up there before showers, just gazing out over that fab beach.
The people on Reception can also make any reservations you need, and give good advice about local restaurants (don’t rely just on reviews, the locals really do know best), art galleries (a growing thing in Essaouira, the local art is quite fascinating) and activities.
One activity we did was to have a hammam and massage with the ubiquitous but very effective locally-produced argan oil. Ooh err. I was asleep by the end of it all and have rarely felt as relaxed. A glass of wine on the terrace later and I was off with the fairies and my skin was unbelievably soft for ages afterwards.
As is probably obvious, I’m a big fan of Dar L’Oussia. From all practical points of view, it’s ideal but what really makes it great is the people who work there. Most of the staff have been there for years and it shows. It all just feels so effortless and the management have evidently worked out what works and they just keep on doing it. It really is a great place and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any traveller – singles, groups of friends, couples of all ages (great for a honeymoon, very romantic). There are lots of lovely riads in Essaouira but Dar L’Oussia really does stand out. Just go !

  • Stayed May 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Riad Dar L'Oussia is a lovely riad in an excellent position very close to the main souk and the harbour. Lovely comfortable courtyard open to the sky (chilly on a cool evening). Room was very large and well appointed with a large bathroom. Did have to keep the curtains closed for privacy. Due to the construction of the riad it can be noisy, especially early in the morning when the staff are going about their work. Lovely to have breakfast on the roof top on a sunny morning - fabulous views. We ate in the restaurant on one night - next to the fire which was very welcome as it was chilly. Food and service both excellent. Fish restaurants and lunch time stalls nearby are to be recommended. All staff were lovely - really friendly and helpful. Definitely a greatb plac eto stay in Essaouira.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Guildford, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I took a group of fourteen people to the restaurant in this Riad when staying at a nearby hotel. You enter a marble clad courtyard with a rose petal-strewn fountain and at the end, up a few steps is the restaurant area under an arched ceiling. We were seated at two tables up a few more steps at the end which was a nice secluded spot. The decor was restrained Moroccan; clean and classy. The three course set menu with a choice of four starters and three main courses was delicious and an absolute bargain at 120 MAD (approx £10). I had a fish tagine with peppers, tomatoes and olives which was absolutely wonderful. It was a busy evening and the waiters were somewhat rushed off their feet so the service was a little slower than we might have liked. But this restaurant was a real gem and the evening felt like a special occasion.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

This is a lovely riad, but due to its architecture one of the noisiest places I ever have stayed. An old palace, the Dar L'Ouissia is stunning to look at with an open-to-the-sky central courtyard surrounded by rooms on every terrace. The practical effect, however, is to create a noise tunnel in which guests hear every conversation, every squawking gull, every screeching cat, every call to prayer and everything else that goes on at amplified volume. I sleep soundly but could not have slept through this racket and, unfortunately, did not. The only windows in the rooms face the courtyard and are open air, so if you want light in your room during the day you either leave them open and have no privacy (and perhaps risk someone climbing in?) or must close and clamp the solid wood shutters entirely. The mattresses are harder than average. The bath is lovely with nice products in glass bottles. The maid service was particularly caring -- they even went so far as to fold and put away all the random clothing we had strewn about.

The best part of Dar L'Oussia is the rooftop deck which has no pool but lovely views of the ocean and the surrounding city. Breakfast is served here on nice days and it is worth waking for the scenery and warm croissants. Pack appropriately: Essaouira is windy and can be quite chilly compared to Marrakech!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Well located for exploring this fantastic town we had probably the best room (11) and would not have wanted those that had no outward facing windows as no natural light without opening windows onto corridors which removed all privacy. Food reasonable but much better to eat in the local fish restaurants (inc market square at lunchtime who took us to the fish market to choose the fish).

Room Tip: Ask for room 11
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Riad Dar L'Oussia

Address: 04 Rue Mohamed Ben Messaoud - Bab Sbaa | Medina, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Essaouira
#3 Luxury Hotel in Essaouira
#14 Family Hotel in Essaouira
#15 Romantic Hotel in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Riad Dar L'Oussia 5*
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Also Known As:
Riad Dar l`Oussia Hotel Essaouira
Riad Dar l Oussia Essaouira

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