Myself and my partner stayed at Riad Dar Eliane for a week in September. We arrived at around 9pm. We had given the riad our flight number and they had organised a taxi to pick us up at the airport. There was a nice man called Aziz holding a sign with our name on it as we exited the arrivals area. You can’t actually get a taxi to the riad, so he dropped us off as close as he could. On the way, he called his friend who met us with a handcart who took us the rest of the way. We paid the driver 100 dirhams and the handcart fellow 50 dirhams. It made the journey a lot less stressful as your first time walking the streets of Marrakech is a shock enough without the worry of getting lost – although there is always a friendly kid who’ll take you to the door for a small fee (don’t give more than 20 dirhams though!).
Slimmann, the concierge, met us at the door and made us comfortable in the courtyard where we were served mint tea. As we had arrived late we had arranged to eat at the hotel (email them before you leave if you want to do this) and they had prepared a 3 course meal for us that was simply delicious. Ask for the zaalouk and the chicken tagine! The riad also stock lager and red and white wine that was not unreasonably priced. If you want to eat your evening meal at the riad on any other nights, you will need to let them know in the morning as they go out to the markets to get the ingredients fresh. They cook the meal during the day and then re-heat it when you are ready to eat (not that you’d know). One night we ate at the riad but were completely stuffed after just eating our starters. We asked that the meals be put in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch – which wasn’t a problem. The staff are very accommodating. On one night, Slimmann even offered to go and fetch us a sandwich from the souq when we said we were peckish. On another day, some other guests requested some more bread at breakfast and he rushed out of the front door and came back from the souq with a still warm baguette! The breakfasts were nice, and featured traditional Moroccan bread, crepes, cake, and thin crumpets with jams, honey etc. A pot of yogurt and a big jug of coffee. Some of the components vary from day to day to make it more interesting. I did not each much of it to be honest; I don’t like to eat too much that early in the morning and a lot of it was too sweet for me (I don’t have a sweet tooth). My partner thoroughly enjoyed it though. On one occasion we slept in late and didn’t leave the room until 12.30pm. Despite being told that breakfast finishes at 10am, the staff still wanted to make sure that we were fed before leaving for the day. We cannot fault the riad and the staff. Our room was immaculately cleaned every day, and even our messy clothes had been folded! The style of service here was very relaxed and we felt right at home. If you want something you just need to find Slimmann and ask, and he will be only too happy to help.
There were a few things that are worthy of note if you are considering staying here though. As this is a riad, the ground floor rooms open into the courtyard. There are no windows as such, only bars and shutters and you can hear the people in the room opposite even with the shutters closed. There is also no bathroom door (only a shiffon curtain). This can lead to some interesting sound effects in the morning, if you catch my drift! The lack of soundproofing is also apparent at call to prayer (pre-dawn!) and when the birds in the courtyard trees wake up. Luckily we took some ear plugs! Although the traditional style Moroccan lanterns are beautiful, the room is always dark - even during the daytime and with the shutters open and lights on! A few spotlights would not go amiss. Also worthy of note, is that the wi-fi didn’t work for the first 5 days of our trip. The staff did apologise about this and were trying to get someone out to come and look at it. It was fixed two days before our trip. Signal was limited on the roof and in our ground floor room. The connection was fine in the courtyard and first floor lounge.
For us, the privacy issues are a bit of a dealbreaker for a week long break. For anyone travelling to Marrakech, I would recommend a three night stay in the medina whilst seeing the sights before moving on to a resort to chill out and escape the hustle and bustle of the souks.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The riad has been lovingly restored over many years by its English owner and offers sumptuous accommodation over two floors each of the spacious five double bedrooms has reversible air conditioning with en-suite bathrooms and their chic but authentic styles are to be savoured. The inner courtyard is surrounded by tall elegant arches, refreshed by two flowing fountains and only the whisper of water and the song of the birds will come to disturb your tranquility. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Dar Eliane Hotel Marrakech
- Dar Eliane Marrakech
- Dar Eliane Hotel Marrakech