Just perfect in everyway…. I can only echo what previous reviewers have said in that Dar Ayniwen is just a wonderful, peaceful and amazing place. We stayed for 3 days last week, arriving on Sunday night about 8pm. We were greeted at the airport by one of the drivers and he advised us we could change our money now if we wanted. You can’t really change sterling into Dirham’s outside Morocco and as every hotel/bureau de change/bank has pretty much the same exchange rate then it’s easy to change it at the airport. Note – on the way home, if you want to change money back do it down stairs at the airport before you got through to departures – I didn’t see anywhere beyond here and some of the duty free shops only take Euros. The ones that do take Dirham’s seem very costly.
Anyway, back to it. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by Stephan, the owner and some of the staff who welcomed us with mint tea and cakes. Even though it was late and dark we were still given a tour of the house and thought it looked beautiful. They had read our minds and prepared a meal for us, which was just lovely after a long flight, and we were left to enjoy it alone in the beautiful dining room. We were advise our suite had been upgraded from Mucha to Tiwalline 2, we had more room and our own hot tub in a private walled garden. The suite was amazing and there were petals everywhere, we had been left some more cakes and some info about the Hammam and massages we could take. We woke up and went for a walk in the gardens, which are huge, and absolutely beautiful, there are so many birds they woke us up in the morning, that and the glorious sunshine. You can take breakfast when you like and where you like. Infact, you can pretty much do anything here you like. All you have to say is what you want to eat, do, drink, see and the staff will arrange it for you. We decided to spend out first day relaxing in the sun and had lunch at the Dar, which was spectacular. We went to La Sultana for tea, which was our first mini experience of the Souk. The restaurant was fab and the host insisted on giving us a tour of the hotel and the bedrooms in the Riad there. It is very beautiful and we couldn’t get over how hospitable the Morroccan people were. They are so very proud of there homes etc.
Dar Ayniwen provide a driver which is an absolute must, it is fantastically organised and once you give an idea of where you want to go and when they will make sure someone is ready to take you. On the way back they have a little card, which you can give to the restaurant/bar who will call to arrange your return.
On the second day we went to the Souk – it was brilliant. If you are worried about being harassed, don’t be. Just smile, be confident and do not stop walking even for a second, the moment you hesitate or look slightly lost, a million voices will shout, pretty lady, beautiful, snow girl etc etc, its hysterical and I must say no one was less than polite. Make sure you watch your hands by the Henna ladies, they will try to “grab” them to get you to have Henna tattoos, just say a strongly worded NO and snatch it away. Also ensure you have the correct change from the stalls, we gave the orange juice stall 50DHM and waited for our 42DHM change, the guy who could understand exactly what we were saying ignored us until we persisted with the help of a local.
We had another pool day and asked Aziz for some help in our dinner arrangements, he sent us to wonderful Comptior Dharna – in Hivernage, its much more modern and western that we had experienced so far. I even saw some shoulders. That being said, out of respect we always covered our shoulders and legs but were astonished at how many tourists we saw who clearly hadn’t read up before they arrived. Aside from being bright red due to the sun, they would get a lot more attention that us so we felt we had followed the right advise.
On our departure from the hotel we were very kindly offered an item of jewellery from a huge tray. We were overwhelmed and touched by this typically kind Morroccan hospitality. All I can say is that I didn’t really want to write this review as I felt such a sense of peace and calm at Dar Ayniwen that I didn’t want to share it. However, the huge amount of hard work by Stephan and his team should not and cannot go unnoticed and unpraised. We had a magical wonderful time and can’t recommend it highly enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel is a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity. Built as the owner's family home, in the Oriental-Andalusian style in a 5 acres park, 36 years ago, this majestic old residence with its charming and peaceful garden stands in front of the Atlas Mountains with his heated pool. This Villa-riad was turn into a luxury eight en-suites & rooms guesthouse in 2000, all of the very highest quality, is now run by the owner children, Anne & Stephane. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dar Ayniwen Marrakech
- Dar Ayniwen Hotel Marrakech