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“A life-affirming experience...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Dar Afram

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Riad Dar Afram
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10,rue Sidi Magdoul, Essaouira 44000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“A life-affirming experience...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

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

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Fes, Morocco
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

Sun filled roof top terrace to watch the perfect sunset over the Atlantic, chilled out evening guitar jam sessions, amazing hosts, huge clean rooms in the centre of town. Can't ask for much more. Taz and Fatima provide the perfect place to stay in this chilled out town. Fatima keeping the place and rooms super clean( saw her turn the rooms upside down to clean them) and providing a solid breakfast and cooking awsome optional meals at night where everyone sits down together and swaps story's . Taz the Austrailian/Morroccon couldn't be a better host providing an inviting relaxing atmosphere answering any questions you need about the place and then sitting down and playing some chords on the guitar in the evening. Felt like a home away from home. We were meant to stay two nights and ended up staying 5, seems to b the vibe at this place, met another guy Ed there who was meant to b there one week and had been there 3 when we arrived, who knows he might still be there playing his harmonica and ukulele when you get there?

Check out the vibe on their YouTube channel AFRAMTV

Highlight of our trip

Cheers for the awesome stay

Sean and Christa (New Zealand & Holland)

  • Stayed October 2013, 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
    • 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.
den haag
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

.A beautiful Oriental house, in an arabic dream. A warm and pleasant wind is blowing during the day, and makes your thoughts change. We stayed for a week to relax, in this kind of family without expectations. The rhythm in the house as a dance during the day. The warm, sweet and always cheerful staff. Thanks for this wonderfull and musical experience! And the hospitality.

  • Stayed October 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

This is the perfect base to explore the beautiful essaouira. In the heart of the old city, with a lovely roof terrace with great views.

We came on a friends recommendation and stayed 4 nights.
The staff were really friendly and chilled, they made every effort to make our stay here fun and relaxing. The food that Fatima cooked was brilliant, we had two lovely home cooked and traditional meals. On the first night we had a delicious BBQ up on the roof terrace. Despite coming in October, essaouira was really warm and not very windy! The nights were a bit muggy and the staff were brilliant at giving us a different room for the last two nights. The cleanliness and condition of the riad was good. Bathrooms were cleaned daily and showers were good.
Wifi was available downstairs and
Tas was super helpful making calls and enquiries for anything we asked.

I would definitely recommend this riad to anyone wanting a fun and chilled out place to stay in essaouira.

We also booked a surf day with 'surf essaouira' which was great value for money and really fun.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Gerringong, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

Riad Dar Afram is the place to be and where the cool kids jam out! :) This place is unreal and it was the highlight of our morocco trip. The vibe is very nice and the friendships we made will last a lifetime. The staff is so kind and the food traditional and so tasty. The rooms are very clean and spacious. Riad Dar Afram is situated in a quiet area inside the medina yet a short walk from the beach and everything else. Watching the sunset on the roof terrace set the mood for what the evenings would bring- sing along jam sessions. The songs written and sung by father and son owners of dar Afram- Abdul and Tarik are still lingering in my head weeks later. They are both absolute legends! We can't wait to go back and I would highly recommend staying here!

  • Stayed September 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Dar Afram is a welcoming and charming place where you feel like at home. There is a very friendly atmosphere and it is possible to have home made dinner ( really good!!!). We spend three days there and we really enjoyed our time in this relaxing Riad. From the terrace you can have breakfast and see the sea and incredible sunsets.

A special plus is the musical atmosphere, we enjoyed every night great music performed by the owners and guests around improvised jam sessions.

Definitely we recommend this place and we will love to come back!! A real Moroccan experience full of music.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, Belgium
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

Last week we had an amazing stay at Dar Afram! We really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and felt immediatly at home. Great and clean rooms, delicious food and fun nights with the music of Taz and Abdul!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 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 Afram

Address: 10,rue Sidi Magdoul, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Afram is famous for music, a funky vibe and a special, unique atmosphere. A beautiful traditional riad run by friendly aussie-moroccans.There are 6 high standard spotless bedrooms like apartments with private bathroom and showers, sleeping 2 to 4 people. There is also a single and shared rooms available.You can enjoy a fantastic 360 degrees view of the sea and see far accross the roofs of the medina.Breakfast is included and is usually served on the terrace. Sunset barbeques is another feature of this wonderful terrace.Communal evening meals are organised everynight with some of the towns finest chefs and live music follows. Musicians and artists from all over the world visit dar afram. We even have an online you tube channel that captures some of the talent flowing through. Check out Dar Afram TV for some of the live perfomances.As written in our trip advisor and lonely planet reviews, Dar Afram is the pefect place to meet people and make new friends.A house of charm, inspiration and good feeling which is beautifully decorated with various art and antiques.Our guests often stay longer than expected and truly feel at home. ... more   less 

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