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Reviewed April 11, 2013

Maybe the problem was too high expectations, fed by the lush descriptions and high prices, and a previous stay in the fab Dar Chergui.

But the Riad Dar Habibi felt cramped, no place to escape the other guests, their coughs in bed and morning grunts, breakfast conversation and drunken late-night returns.

The 'terrace' was unpleasant - untended, uncozy, neglected palms. The atrium was covered over with plastic to prevent the rain, but also locking out fresh air. The cushions are fraying, the shower leaky.

The manager, Mustafa, accosted us late on the first night, demanding full payment in cash for three nights, for two rooms. We didn't have that much cash on us (and were considering whether we could make a break to another place, paying just for the one night, but the cancellation policy left no room).

ONe room had a gorgeous high ceiling, but the other was claustrophobically low. Staying in the Riad during the day felt like being in the way of the staff. All compounded by silly exorbitant charges - 17 Euro for a driver to the (5 minutes away) train station, and 25 GBP for a blandish 'welcome dinner' in the too small atrium that costs a third of that at any nearbye restaurant, the cost of the small steam room, without a mud scrub and on a bring-your-own soap basis, higher than at the truly gracious Heritage Spa for a full treatment.

Maybe the problem is that the owner doesn't live on site and the manager is over-stretched, so no room for graciousness or flexibility. But in any event - with the plethora of Riads in Marakkesh, I'd recommend staying somewhere else, even on the same street.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank samuraiturtle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

My fiancé and I have recently returned from three nights in Marrakech, two at Dar Habiba and one at the sister riad, Riad Cinnamon. Dar Habiba is down a quiet alley, just off the street which leads to Jemaa el-Fna. It takes around 5 minutes to walk there. It’s less than 10 minutes’ walk to Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace, too.

The riad is lovely – the owners have decorated it beautifully, with lots of traditional Moroccan furnishings. Downstairs, there’s a courtyard with a dipping pool and fountain, and a lounge with a TV, DVD player and books (including some helpful Marrakech city guides). Our room (Berber) was here, too. It’s the smallest (and cheapest) of the rooms, but it didn’t feel cramped at all. All the other rooms were up on the first floor, then on the top floor there was a great roof terrace.

Breakfast was served in the courtyard each morning - no set time, they’ll bring it out whenever you feel like it. Food was delicious – pancakes, eggs cooked any way you like, warm bread and jam, yoghurt, and fruit salad.

Mostafa was a great help – always offering mint tea, and asking how our day had been and if we’d like anything. One evening we took some wine up to the roof terrace and he brought us up some little dishes of olives to have with it. The phone he gave us in case we got lost was also really helpful, although thankfully we never had to use it.

I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for an authentic riad close to the square. The Berber room was great value, too – book online with the riad as you get a discount. In comparison with Riad Cinnamon, I would say Dar Habiba is in a better location for the square and palaces (Cinnamon is better for the souks). It’s also quieter – Cinammon is right next to a mosque so the 5am call to prayer is pretty loud.

Room Tip: Berber room was small but has everything you need. It does open straight on to the courtyard, though, so if you prefer more privacy then maybe pick one of the rooms on the first floor.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 4 nights in March, and it was the first time we had visited Marrakech, and Morocco. We can not speak highly enough of the service we received whilst staying here, it was incredible. Abdou was very kind and helpful, offering lots of advice, and helped us plan our trip. The food was also some of the best we experienced whilst in Morocco and we are so glad we booked our meal at Dar Habiba. We stayed in Habiba room on the first floor, it was comfortable and the bathroom was fine. The terrace was a haven of peace and we enjoyed relaxing with tea after a day getting lost in the souqs! However had we got lost we could have used the mobile phone the the Riad kindly provided for our stay. All in all, top notch service second to none and a very friendly and welcoming Riad in Marrakech. We will hopefully come back!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wcgold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Stayed here for four nights at the end of february.Just off a main alley between the Bahia Palace and Jemma al Fnaa its a beautiful simple Riad arranged in the classic way.Room was comfortable with a basic shower room. We were met at the taxi drop off by Mustafa who gave us plenty of useful and interesting information throughout our whole stay. We enjoyed a lovely meal 'in house' one evening where the quality of the food far exceeded that which we had endured in restaurants in the area.As it was cloudy and a little chilly for must of our stay we were unable to make the most of the peaceful terrace on the roof but did manage to enjoy one breakfast out of four upstairs.The 'Hammam' we enjoyed(?) was easily organised and very good value.Lots of nice little touches-rose petals,incense,scented candles,mint tea on tap etc.The main thing we felt stood out in this place were the friendly helpful staff. It isn't as high spec as other properties we looked at but gave everything one needs on a long weekend break away-and more.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FoodFan61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

For riad rookies such as myself and my partner, Dar Habiba offered a charming introduction to this wonderful style of holiday accommodation. It is not the most luxurious of riads on offer; our room, erroneously classed as a suite, was the only one of comfortable size for a couple. The riad is also just a little rough round the edges and some furnishings need updating, but it nevertheless offers the essential flavour of riad living, and its simple decorative treatment works well in harmony with the original architectural character. Guests also have the benefit of excellent cooking (our Moroccan salads and lamb tagine were among the best we found), and there is also a hammam, though I should point out that the bed part of this is very narrow, and due to the heat of the adjoining wall, the space may not be suitable for larger people!
Dar Habiba gave us a very convenient base from which to explore the heart of old Marrakech. Well placed for both kasbah and the main square, it is a short walk from museums, souks, restaurants and other amenities and allows quick connections by taxi, tour bus or caleche (horse-drawn carriage) to anywhere in the city. The concierge service at the riad was almost always attentive and responsive and on occasions, the help given was over and above the call of duty. Their advice and care was as much or as little as you needed and very much tailored to individual requirements.
Despite its close proximity to all the hustle and action, the Dar Habiba's peaceful interior and private rooftop terrace offer utter sanctuary which truly belies its location. One of the best aspects of our stay was being able to step in and out of the contrasting worlds, where the door onto the street signified an almost mysterious interface between these worlds.
For couples, the riad experience has to be far preferable to that offered by a hotel, which simply won't afford you a sense of the true Marrakech.
Of Marrakech itself, I would say that it is not perhaps a city for the faint-hearted traveller. If you seek an exotic mix of ancient Arab history and culture, of Islamic art and artisan creativity, and if you can take the hardcore street hardsell in good humour, then Marrakech has a wealth of treasures and delights to offer.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CheshireCharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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