A truly chic hotel. The best part of Riad Dar One is the feeling that you get just being there. You feel special. You feel relaxed, yet you are right in the middle of everything. The moment you walk through the doors there is a 'vibe' of cool, both in energy and temperature (very welcome in the searing May heat). Jean, the owner, has created an exclusive feel about the place, where anyone would feel more than welcome. With only 6 rooms it’s intimate (and books out fast so get moving!) yet it retains a casualness, all the other guests while we were there we're really friendly without being overly friendly, a few hello's or waves over evening drinks on the terrace, the odd brief conversation about what’s worth checking out in Marrakesh or exchanging reviews on where to or not to eat (although anyone at Dar One will happily recommend a load of different dining options). This is an atmosphere that Dar One envelopes you with, carefully nurtured by the Dar One team. They even have very cool music playing at just the right times, never too early or late, and its mellow to suit all tastes, you can have a look through the vast collection of music and choose something of your own if you prefer.
Jean runs a relaxed, informal place that can answer to your every need. He’s on hand daily to offer advice and recommendations for restaurants, places to see, travel, whatever the question he will do whatever he can to answer it for you and help you out if you need it. Dar One’s fabulous and friendly staff are always invisible until you need something. They, like Jean, will do what they can to make your stay wonderful. On one occasion a member of staff, while cleaning up after breakfast, noticed I hadn’t eaten much of my food, I mentioned that I usually just have fruit for breakfast, the next morning a freshly prepared exotic fruit salad was presented to me for breakfast along with all the regular breakfast. A really REALLY nice touch.
And I cannot write this review without mentioning Jean’s two fabulous dogs. Tosca, the mother, and Loukoum, the daughter are extremely friendly and so gentle. They, if nothing else, will show you what it means to relax. They loll around the Riad when Jean brings them to work with him and move from shaded place to shaded place. They barely move when you pet them except for the odd glance of gratitude for the pet! They are by far the most well mannered and obedient dogs I have ever met.
I trawled through 100's (and I am not exaggerating) of Riads. Asked the Riad versus Hotel question and decided that I wanted a taste of Morocco. Hotels although varying in service and facilities are hotels no matter where you are. Riads are a taste of Morocco and Dar One was the best of the lot, in terms of facilities, value for money and luxury.
If you want to read more about the place itself continue on…
The Low Down:
Facilities were fantastic; the common areas are like something out of an interior design magazine, modern with a flavor of Morocco. There are two 'common' areas. The main room, where you can have breakfast, dinner, or just drinks. Here you will find the very cold pool, perfect for dipping your feet in and cooling down. Every night it’s aglow with candlelight, cool music and the gentle sound of the modern water feature over the pool. There is also a roof terrace and it is probably the best roof terrace in Marrakesh. Its highlight being the shaded lounge-bed, the size of about 2 kingsize beds put together, take an afternoon nap here, shaded by the canopy from the hot sun, listen to the vibe-y music and while dozing off you may see some storks flying over head. Or enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine while the sun-sets and listen to the exotic sound of the call to prayer.
Each room is beautiful. There are fresh flowers (roses) in every room and an abundance of them all over the riad. Self-controlled air-conditioning is present in every room although if you get some of the rooms on the ground floor it can be cool enough in your room without it. There was also a fire place in our room for the winter though we did not need it this time. The bathroom was huge and fabulous, a massive double sink accompanied by a massive double bath, definitely big enough for two. Beautiful robes to use while your there were a really nice touch. They also provide a good proper hairdryer and not one of those awful little ones attached to the wall. The beds were very comfortable and big.
Food and drink is available almost at all times in the Riad. Breakfast is served when it suits you each morning (for us it was nearly afternoon sometimes!) and it’s an array of local specialties along with coffee/tea and fresh juice and they will change one of the dishes each day so you get a taste for a few different local dishes. They serve alcoholic drinks and charge VERY REASONABLE prices. We had beers at other locations, hotels, bars, other Riads and Dar One was the best value, at 2.50 euro a beer, we paid 6 euro and more at other places. For dinner you must book in advance, if you tell them that morning I am sure they can arrange something.
Location. We got a taxi from the train station and were meet at the nearest drop off point by staff from the hotel. Smiley and genuinely wanting to help, they led the way back through the medieval streets to the Riad, insisting on carry at least my luggage (I was the only girl!). It’s about an 8 minute walk from the main square Place de Jemmna. It’s a perfect distance, far away from the madding crowds yet close enough to pop up and back as you feel like it. You will pass through street with many shops along the way so there is plenty to keep you occupied on your very short journey. However it is perfectly located for visiting the Bahia Palace, Badi Palace and its nearby Kozybar, a trendy restaurant and bar.
You could get romanced into other Riads, you could be tempted to go to ones that charge more under the assumption that you will get more, however there are a lot of overpriced Riads and really you could not get any better than Raid Dar One.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Riad Dar One has been renewed with elegance and originality and combines harmoniously design, charm of the old riads and modern comfort. A particular care have been brought to all the lamps and to the thick curtains witch give a smart and funny touch, "very vintage" . An attentive and smiling staff is present 24h on 24 to serve, advise and meet all the expectations of travellers. A haven of peace in the heart of the Medina. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Dar 1
- Riad Dar One Marrakech
- Riad Dar One Hotel Marrakech