We booked Dar Maya based on TripAdvisor reviews and the information available on the website. Gareth was in touch with us before we even left the UK, explaining the ways he could help from airport pickups to arranging excursions and beyond. He was there to answer any last minute queries about climate or anything on our minds before we'd even finished packing.
The transfer was seamless; we were met at the airport and driven in comfort to the medina walls, before being handed over to a porter who walked us straight to Dar Maya. It's tucked away down a quiet medina side street, and the impact of opening an understated wooden door and stepping into the absolute beauty and tranquility of the riad is utterly incredible.
We were offered a drink by Gareth as soon as we arrived, but chose to freshen up after our flight as my excited girlfriend was desperate to see the room we'd been thinking about since we booked it. We stayed in the Tignna suite on the top floor, and it was absolutely beautiful. Each suite at Dar Maya is themed and this was the more modern of the 5 rooms. There aren't words to describe how spectacular it was, especially the bathroom with underfloor heating, soft lighting, and a fantastic, round, deep bath for two. We had a lovely balcony and huge doors opening to a view of the internal courtyard and plenty of light. As the only room on that floor, we had easy access to the beautiful, large, well-appointed upstairs lounge, with comfy seating, internet access, wifi, a library, and Bose audio kit. It was even better in the evenings as it was softly lit by candles.
We were welcomed with drinks after freshening up, and Gareth provided us with a map of the medina and numerous recommendations, arranging a booking for our first dinner and giving us a few pointers of places we wouldn't want to miss. For the whole of our stay, the staff were always on hand and available to answer even the simplest of questions, and nothing was too difficult. Also part of the friendly welcome were the 2 riad dogs, Eddy and Nini, who added another homely touch to our stay (even if it did take Eddy 4 days to like me as much as he liked my girlfriend!) We were heading to Marrakech after our week in Essaouira, and Gareth arranged an extremely comfortable shuttle to take us there, and even gave us some personal recommendations of bars, restaurants and activities to try while we were there.
We had picked Dar Maya as a place to relax for a few days before heading on with our holiday, to really unwind and rest. It was so good, we extended our stay by an extra night; Gareth and the team were extremely accommodating, and we were in the Moroccan-themed suite for one night, with yet another spectacular 2-person bath to enjoy.
On our last night, we booked a treatment in the riad's hammam, which included an in-room couples full-body massage. A hammam is a must while in Morocco and it was a lovely touch to have one accessible within the riad. After being thoroughly washed, exfoliated and oiled, it was amazing to set foot back into our room to find it transformed, with soft music playing and gentle candlelight, and the 2 massage tables set up for our treatment there. That was the first massage I'd ever had and I can't believe what I've been missing out on; it was the most relaxed, contented and happy I've felt in some considerable time!
The riad also had a lovely roof terrace which would have been even better in summer. It was nicely shielded from the wind and had a plunge pool in case you were feeling too warm, but it was a beautiful place to relax and read in the sun.
While we didn't eat dinner in the riad, we did enjoy breakfast there every morning. They were flexible enough accommodate any time you wanted to eat which allowed us to take advantage of some lovely long lies in huge spectacular bed! You could eat in the internal courtyard, a lounge area downstairs, or elsewhere in the riad. Breakfast was simple but delicious home cooked food, with a selection of pastries, flatbreads and omelettes.
Writing this review makes us both wish we were back there, and we'd frankly have stayed forever if we could. It was the best stay either of us have had in a hotel anywhere in the world, comfortably the best holiday experience either of us could think of. We could add another 3000 words talking about every little detail but I think we'd test readers' patience!
An incredible, wonderful, relaxing stay, and recommended a thousand times over. We can't believe it's not easily the top ranked hotel in Essaouira. Thank you to Gareth, Abdel, the whole staff (and Eddy and Nini) for the time of our lives.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dar Maya is a luxury boutique hotel, offering five rooms, a spa and rooftop hot tub in a chic, tranquil riad in the heart of Essaouira's historic medina. Having successfully blended a mix of understated Moroccan and contemporary European styles, Dar Maya oozes elegance, subtlety and intimacy. Our aim is to make your stay at Dar Maya as enjoyable as possible, and we offer an impeccable level of service that only a small luxury hotel can provide.With stunning ocean views from the terrace, the hotel is a few minutes walk to all the main attractions and amenities including the bustling cafes and restaurants, souks, port and beach. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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