We booked this place via a friend of ours, who knows the owner and made us a recommendation. While she had told us how nice it was, it definitely exceeded expectations. After making your way to the Riad via the busy, winding streets of the souk you are greeted by what can only be described as a little piece of heaven on earth. The Riad is very clean and beautifully decorated, with traditional Moroccan architecture and detailing which give it a palatial feel. Everything here is about comfort and no manner of thought or expense has been spared to ensure the place provides a top notch experience.
Dollar des Sables is located in the heart of the souk, which gives excellent access to local historic attractions, rooftop bars/cafes and of course the souk itself. This is not to mention that the main square, Djemma el Fna is about five minutes walk south of the Riad (ten on a busy day, and assuming you don't stop to shop!). This is a great place to sit in a cafe terrace and watch the world go by while munching your lunch.
I have to say, however, that the best thing about this Riad is the staff. Cathy has put together a wonderful team who together have truly mastered the art of hospitality and treat the Riad as if it were their own home. The night guard Fouad, in particular, is a natural servant, with a lovely manner and professionalism that you just don't see that often (or ever, I should say!). No request is too much at Dollar des Sables and, more importantly, you don't feel bad for the asking!
Did I mention the food? Mouna the Riad's cook can whip you up a treat for dinner and we decided to eat 3 out of 7 nights based on the quality of the food, which you would be hard pressed to match anywhere in the city, particularly at the asking price (around £12-16 per head, depending if you go for three courses). The food is authentically Moroccan and utterly delicious. You will want to bring Mouna back home with you, but we found she wasn't overly impressed with the idea, more's the pity.
All in all I would have to say this has been the best, most rejuvenating holiday experience of my lifetime and a big part of that is our choice of Riad Dollar des Sables for accommodation. If you are looking for a great place to stay in the heart of Marrakech then do yourself a favour and contact Cathy in advance of your trip.
P.S. A few reviewers have complained about the cost of the taxi/transfer from the airport. Please note that while this may seem expensive the driver must wait for the guests to clear passport control and also rendezvous with the rep from the Riad, who will then guide you through the souk to the Riad. Whilst this may sound simple, it is not always easy to accomplish, particularly where Cathy has not been given accurate flight details for example. In our case she was very careful to contact us in advance my both phone and email to ensure she was able for us to be collected at the right time. This service is important for safety reasons and the cost should be bourne with this in mind.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Dollar des Sables is a nice traditional guest house of 6 rooms ( 3 doubles, 2 twins and a very romantic Suite for two and can be transformed into a triple with an extra charge ). The ideal location inside the Medina ( 400 meters walk from Jema El Fnaa Square) allows you to explore the city easily. The Riad is located at the entrance of the main Souk,called "Smarinnne" and the famous Square "Jema el Fna" only at a 2 minutes walk. Upon arrival, we recommend you to book our airport pick up, especially by night , to avoid the fake guides; we can also meet you at the Square , or pick you up at the airport, for an extra charge (150 Dhirams :1or 2 guests . So don't hesitate to contact me , giving me your flight details so that I can arrange this service with my private driver.Our driver will drop you at jema el fna Square within 10 minutes, and we will be there to meet you. As soon as you get inside the House , you will be touched by the enchanting atmosphere of Riad Dollar des Sables. The whole staff is welcoming you with a smile, and a special attention : coloured candles, fresh roses petals at your feet, delicate flavor in the air and oriental music..Just to make you feel in the mood and comfortable.Passing through the corridor, you will discover the peaceful courtyard and its fountain made of traditional mosaics.On its terrace, Riad Dollar des Sables offers a relaxing and traditional Hammam ( run with wood) and massages for a very good price;First, you will be invited to share with me (Cathy) a sweet refreshing mint tea and moroccan pastries.As I'm living all year long in Marrakesh since 2006, I know quite well the city and shall be happy to share with you my experience , giving you all the useful information and good adresses to enjoy your stay .We shall give you a map to sign the main monuments to visit or restaurants around. We can also provide moroccan meals at the Riad,cooking classes ( mornings) with my cook Mouna, guided tours in your language with official guides, or excursionsinthe surroundings of the city, body treatments at the Riad provided by professionals only. ... more less
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