There's certain places you stay in when you're travelling, that have a very rare & special quality. It's something almost intangible and it's something that can't be bought with expensive interior design or Michelin star chefs. It comes about when a place becomes imbued with the warmth & character of the people that run it and Dar Afram is such a place.
My girlfriend found out about this Riad online and what a find! Run by father and son team, Abdul & Taz, Dar Afram was the jewel in the crown of our fabulous trip to Morocco. From the second we arrived and were greeted with huge smiles and genuine warmth, we knew we were somewhere quite unique.
On the first night, there was a barbecue on the rooftop of the Riad. From the roof terrace you can look over the coloured rooftops of the medina and see right out across the Atlantic where you'll get treated to some stunning sunsets. The people we met were a mixture of surfers, musicians and travellers from around the world and all super chilled. I don't think I've ever felt as comfortable and relaxed with a group of complete strangers in such a short space of time.
The real magic of this place though, happens when everyone retires into the communal area, littered with instruments, drums & guitars and the music starts. You sit in the warmth, surrounded by bottles of wine in the glow of the flickering candles and you forget about the world outside and it's problems. Join in if you want, or just sit back and soak it up. Both Abdul & Taz are talented musicians and the songs often become long hypnotic jam sessions, with bongo rhythms taking you to that special place. It's totally enchanting.
On a final note, I would like to address a negative review I saw further down where someone moaned about being charged for drinks and food. I don't know where they've been staying previously but this is fairly standard in my experience. The suggestion that there was any pressure to eat at the Riad is simply not true, we ate out a few times and the guys recommended places to us that were run by people they knew. It is true that there is no choice of food in the evening, but this is a small family run riad not a big hotel. The food we were given was traditional Moroccan food, rustic dishes of tanjia or tagine and properly delicious at a reasonable price. There's nothing underhand about the charges, quite the opposite, it's one of the most open, warm, friendly & welcoming places I've ever been to and long may it continue. It's not a chain hotel so if that's what you like it's probably not for you, but if you appreciate music, character and traditional hospitality then make sure you visit this wonderful and charming place.
We'll definitely be back! (c:
TC & Emma