My daughter and I just came back from a whole week in Marrakech and what an amazing city and what an amazing riad Dar Alhambra is! The riad is located right in the middle of the old souks. The door outside is ordinary but once you step inside, it is a piece of heaven, quiet, beautifully and traditionally decorated and extremely modern and comfortable. We arrived late in the afternoon and immediately got connected to the free wi fi in the riad and were offered cookies and mint tea which tasted really sweet and refreshing. A bit later, a simple dinner was served that consisted of chicken kebabs, lamb meatballs, a salad, bread, freshly squeezed orange juice and a complementary bottle of wine, which was a nice and welcoming surprise, as we booked the riad for bed and breakfast only. There are 6 rooms in the riad and we stayed in the one with the jacuzzi!
The riad is only a few minutes' walk from the famous square Djemaa el-Fna Square and all other attractions are within walking distance. The city is just as you would imagine, full of life, rich with spice smells, colour and shopping stalls. We tried different food wherever we went and an expensive meal in a well known restaurant but the food we loved the most is from the riad. The night before out flight, we had a meal in the riad, served in the living room with a live fire, candles and again a complementary bottle of wine. I must confess that I never fancied Moroccan food before and I was a bit hesitant in trying but the soup was so delicious that I had a second helping, the chicken couscous that came was on such a large place that I am sure it would feed 4 people easily and the meat just slid off the bones from the lamb tagine that we ordered. I was so impressed with the meal that I asked Fatina and Aziza (the two ladies who work in the kitchen all the time) for the recipes for the soup and the couscous and how they were cooked and they went out of their way to show me the ingredients by taking out the onions, the saffron etc, and even the cookware as they did not speak English and I don't speak French or Arabic, but in the end I got what I needed. Oh, you should also try the pancake at breakfast, it is just delicious :)
Hamid, the Riad Manager, was so charming and helpful and he would do anything to make our stay a happy and enjoyable one. He was there to greet us when we first arrived and he was there to see us off when we left. His English was limited but we had no problem understanding each other. He took us on a tour of the whole riad, we had a look in each of the six rooms, all decorated differently but equally beautiful and comfortable looking. I took a lot of pictures of the whole riad and will put them up here when I figure out how to upload them on the web.
Thank you Hamid, for everything and for being so thoughtful by giving us the bottle of water before we headed off for our dessert tour and for taking the trouble to make the calls on our behalf to confirm the time we were to get picked up from the riad before our flight and thank you Fatina and Aziza for the best Moroccan food I have ever tasted (I think you have made me a fan of Moroccan food now) and for allowing me to take the photos while you were making the amazing pancakes. Our camera got stolen on our first day in Marrakech but all of you made our stay in Morocco so worth it. We will definitely stay in your riad again if we visit Marrakech again.
If you are to visit Marrakech and are looking for a hotel there, this riad is the one for you. You won't be dissapointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Magnificent 16th-century Riad, a haven of peace in the very heart of the Medina, lovingly restored in the pure Moroccan tradition - painted cedar ceilings, sculpted stucco, zelliges, marble floors...Impeccably clean, all rooms with private bath, and air conditioning. Extremely friendly and helpful staff. Superb 360 view of the Medina, the Koutoubia and the snow capped Atlas mountains. One hundred yards from the Medersa Ben Youssef and the Marrakech museum, 15 minutes from Place Jemaa al Fna. Excellent cuisine! ... more less
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