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“Sweet, quirky home, filled with light, warmth and great art...”
Review of Dar Adul

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Dar Adul
Ranked #44 of 174 Essaouira B&B and Inns
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Sweet, quirky home, filled with light, warmth and great art...”
Reviewed April 8, 2009

We spent almost three weeks in Morocco in Winter '09. We were trying to find the sweet-spot between "backpacker-ish" and "unnecessarily-overpriced". Morocco is still short on accommodations that fall into that sweet-spot, but Dar Adul was by far our favorite of everywhere we stayed. Regarding the previous reviews from 2007, I can only conclude that this place must have been heavily renovated and the management changed since then.

Imagine bright white walls, and bursts of color everywhere, from the art that covers the walls. The rooms, the hallways, the common areas: all are covered with paintings in styles very appropriate to Morocco and to Essaouira's location on the beach. The rooms themselves are decorated warmly and fully. Our own home is much more sedate and modern, but these were done very, very nicely. To some people it would be cluttered, but we found it harmonious, creative, and welcoming. (One thing to note: Essaouira is known for a style of art sometimes called "primitivist". This isn't everyone's cup of tea, but try to enjoy and respect it for what it is, and get past writing it off as childish.) The owners are apparently artists, as is the lovely young man who manages the place day-to-day. He was wonderful to us.

Breakfast was complete and served with warmth, and yet typical of Moroccan breakfasts we had: I never quite learned to love them, as much as I appreciated the coffee and excellent fresh juice. This was as good as any we had.

The house is lovely, with a sun-drenched roof-top that overlooks the western ramparts and the pounding surf. Even in winter, we were plenty warm, which was a problem other places we stayed. The rooms we looked at were all wonderful: each more interesting and creatively decorated than the last, with spacious tiled bathrooms.

I think we paid maybe 80 Euro a night, and thought it was a bargain. I'd strongly recommend it unless you're planning on spending lots more. We extended by a night just to enjoy it longer.

The location is just slightly off the beaten path, but is convenient from the parking at the port. Once you find it, you'll be happy and find it easy to get around. But give yourself 15 minutes or so to deal with the unmarked streets of the Medina the first time, and get a good local map. :-)

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Xian3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Sydney
Level Contributor
246 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2009

The Riad is well located and the staff friendly. The rooms are clean. In winter the rooms are heated with gass heaters which makes them a bit smelly and you need to turn the heater off before you go to sleep.

Breakfast was adiquate. The owner is very helpfull and recomended great restaurants to us. The riad is a lrelazed place to stay and all the staff are very helpfull. The bathrooms are a little tired.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
1 Thank EricJ123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
183 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2008

I stayed at the Dar Adul at the suggestion of a French woman, who lives in Essaouria, in early October 2007. I had wanted something "small," "personal," "romantic," and "comfortable," and "ne pas cher," (not expensive!)

Dar Adul turned out to be expensive for what it was, however, and after staying two nights, I promptly found another, much better located, less expensive and much more comfortable place to stay, on my own!

That said, the proprietor of Dar Adul is a lovely, French woman who lives in a large apartment at the Dar Adul. I only saw her once, when she graciously welcomed me on my arrival. She brought in a small plate of olives and crackers, which was a nice touch. Then, I never saw her again.

That was unfortunate, as her staff was not friendly, nor welcoming. And, it was they whom I had to deal with when coming and going. The place itself is very claustrophobic, lots of decorative "touches" everywhere, but ultimately, not a restful scene. The rooms are "cheek-to-jowl," overlooking a small courtyard. There is no privacy as the walkways are in front of the windowed entrance to the rooms. And, when it is hot (as it gets in Morocco!) one had to leave the windows and door open for air circulation.... Oh, and one cannot lock the door. That the proprietor stated upon showing me to my room. (What!?)

My bed was in a loft (w/a low ceiling) up a creaky, old wooden stair... and the mattress was not at all comfortable, nor were the pillows. (Oh, sheets and towels...? Well, let me be polite by saying, they were not soft or fluffy, respectively.) The lighting, too, was depressing and dismal, throughout.

I hate to write this review, but I think anyone booking this hotel should know of my experience! It was not a particularly enjoyable one... and I couldn't wait to get out of there.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank David49b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2007

Stayed here for 3 nights after originally booking 9 - we left to try and find better accomodation and only stayed the three because we had paid in advance.

I agree with the previous reviewer - we had a great problem with the damp in the riad. I had chosen the most expensive room thinking it would be the best - 80 euros a night for a room with a "loft bedroom". It was like staying in someones basement - this room is on the ground floor straight off the courtyard where everyone sits to have their breakfast. There is no natural light in there so even in the middle of the day it is dark and you have to have the lights on - there is one window (covered with a blanket), but if you open it then everyone outside can see in. Also, we ended up tiptoeing around in there and whispering as the other people outside are in such close proximity to the room.
It also has a damp problem - it retains the damp (which was particulalrly bad in this riad) which is obviously made worse by the fact that you cannot open the window/door for air or sunlight.
All of our clothes became very very damp smelly and obviously unpleasant to wear. What makes this even worse is that the storage place for clothes is in the bathroom!
The two ladies who run the place daily are two nuns - the ownesr did not show their faces once whilst we were there. The nuns are obviously aware of the damp problem - every time we left the riad, when we returend they ahd left the window and our door wide open - meaning the room and all of our possessions were easily accessible to erevyone staying there - passports, money, ipod, etc etc
The terrace is a dump - maybe it is more plesant in the summer - again everywhere is very wet and damp and all of the damp furniture (and there is a lot of it) is piled up in a corner of the terrace like a jumble sale/bonfire - the terrace was dirty and bleak.
We had absolutely freezing cold water for the three nights we were there and when we mentioned it to the nun, we were simply told it was because of the solar heating.
We had paid for three nights in advance, and so we stayed for these three and gave them 24 hrs notice that we would be leaving. But when we left - they still tried to make us pay for 4 nights and the nun kept chasing us with a bill which she insisted we pay! She even went outside to get a local man to come in and explain to us that we had to pay for 4 nights in English (she was French) - but we calmly explained to him that we had already paid for 3 nights and given 24 hrs notice that we were leaving - and there was no hot water!
I am sure there are much better places to stay - I would not recommend this place at all - as the previous person said, there are other much better riads and we were treated much much better in Mrrakech by the owner there.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Damp
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Denster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2007

Our stay ar Dar Adul was disappointing. We had heard that sea facing riads were prone to damp but this was ridiculous. The bed sheets and pillows were actually wet and the smell of damp was awful.

We stayed at two other riads while we were in Morocco and the standard of these two was much higher as we were met by the owners on arrival and given mint tea and advice about the area where we were staying and how to find our way around. At Dar Adul we didn't even see the owner till the following day and she didn't even introduce herself.

The good features of this riad are that it's location is fairly good and it has a nice roof terrace with sea view. This is not enough to make me want to stay here again!

  • Liked — the roof terrace
  • Disliked — the damp!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dawn2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2007

I booked the whole riad for a group of friends (English, NZ & Tasmanian). Marie & Caroline who own it, were easy to deal with on email, and they also arranged a comfortable vehicle to meet us at Marrakech airport and walk us into the Medina to Dar Adul. (no cars in the Medina - great!)

The riad is very central but on a quiet side street with a handy shop for snacks and water directly outside the door. We were well cared for by Karima & Latifa who run it for Marie and keep it very clean, and Marie was also gracious and helpful, making good restaurant suggestions (hint - it's worth booking as there's not enough restaurants). We chose to carry our breakfast up to the roof, which has a nice sheltered area - useful as Essaouira can be breezy.

In all it was a great place to stay and I hope it won't be too long before I visit again.

  • Liked — location & friendliness
  • Disliked — the bed & pillow wasn't like my one at home :-(
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KiwiGrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spain
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2006

I stayed for 5 nights in a Ryad not listed on this website, Dar Adul.. And I am surprised as it's an old BB in town... The ryad is beautifull, a relaxing atmosphere and full of women.. It was great, the breakfast on the terrasse every morning was a perfect way to start the day. And Marie the owner was full of good advise, and funny. This small week in Essaouira was well worth it after the heat of Marrakech. We will come back, inch'allah.

Helpful?
7 Thank mafioca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Adul

Property: Dar Adul
Address: 63 Rue Touahen, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #44 of 174 B&Bs / Inns in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Dar Adul 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the old Medina, close to shops, 10 minutes from the port and the beach, two minutes from the walls, you will be received as friends in this old notary house. The charm of Dar Adul will seduce you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar Adul Hotel Essaouira

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