10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I whole heartedly agree with all the positive reviews. Dar Soukiaina was a tranquil and relaxing spot, ideal for unwinding after all the hustle, bustle and hecticness of the souks.
The staff all had a calm and friendly manner, and couldn't be more helpful. there was always mint tea or orange juice available (included in the price) the mint tea was the best we had in Marrakech, and we had alot! We also had a meal at the riad one night, which was very enjoyable, and was extremely peaceful eating it in the tranquil court yard to the sound of soft music.
The rooms were done out in simple Morrocan style, with a light airy feel.
One word of advice, the riad is a bit hard to find, tucked away in an alleyway at the other side of the souks from the main square, so a transfer from the airport is money well spent, and memorise landmarks on your route through the souks, as we got lost a few times!
All in all we had a great stay in Marrakech, and Dar Soukaina made it all the more special. Would definately recomend this place."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of March 2007
A Perfect Ryad
"We booked this little place the night before and the night after a camel trek into the Sahara, and it was perfect. There was some confusion at first on the website, due to our unconventional reservation request, but my emails were repsonded to quickly, and everything worked out. We got there in the later afternoon, and I will say that if you want to spend the money, arrange for a transfer. Its a little hard to find on your own, tucked away in the medina, but that's part of it's charm. You can also ask one of the many locals who offer to help you find your ryad, which is what we did, for a few dirham. We were greeted warmly, the juice and tea and cookies were fabulous.
Ask for the Sesame room, if you can. It's a beautiful room and has its own little balcony where you can eat breakfast in private.
Also, Omar offered to hold some of our luggage for us until we returned from our Sahara trip, which was very nice of him.
Breakfast was wonderful, all the usual breads and spreads and coffee and tea, as well as some fruit and granola and yogurt and milk, to make for a little extra. The rooms are beautiful, simple but elegant. You can get beer to drink up on the rooftop, where these is also wireless internet if you need it.
And for those of you who like to complain about the less than perfect plumbing or the worn paint job or anything silly like that, you guys need to remember that some of these homes are hundreds of years old. Of course there are going to be little things. Be flexible and not so critical.
Our stay was wonderful, the service top notch, and the environment relaxing. I would definitely stay there again should I return to Marrakech."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of March 2007
Oasis in the Medina
"It is a 500 M walk from the closest enterance, but well worth it. This place is unassuming, but inside just beautiful. Very quiet courtyard, lovely large room, which I think also doubles as a library. There were dozens of art and history books of Morocco. Breakfast was simple but superb."
- Travel date: Tue 7th of November 2006
Home from Home
"We spent some time in Rabat and Marrakesh and coming to Soukaina was like coming home. We'd forked out a fair amount for a 'luxury Riad' in Rabat, in the Lonely Planet as a top choice and it was not worth the money and very unfriendly. Arriving at Dar Soukaina couldn't have been better, met with friendly smiles, fresh OJ and mint tea, we were shown to Sesame Room, which was definately the best as it had its own little balcony so provided that privacy that some other travellers missed.
The breakfasts were great, lots of fresh food and again all with smiles and friendly chat. The staff really make this place lovely.
Worth pointing out not to miss the roof terrace, its lovely to hang out on and also that alcohol is available - its not advertised and so we missed the opportunity of a beer up top :o(
Only downsides we could see were the downstairs rooms were probabaly a bit noisy in the mornings, and the matress on our bed wasn't great, sags at one side.
However I would recommend this Riad to everyone, we loved it!"
- Travel date: Sun 8th of October 2006
Shame we had to leave
"It a shame 2 of the comments here dont really show Dar Soukaina in the light it deserves. Me and my girlfriend (non smokers!) went mid way through september and had a great time at Dar soukaina.
As soon as we arrived ( late at night) Hussein greeted us with the traditional mint tea and the freshest of orange juice. Husseins smile and friendlyness made us immedietley comfortable. He was more than happy to help with any questions we had, the culture, places to go, things to see, what to avoid etc etc.
As was Alain, the owner, and gave alot of his time to his guests to ensure we all had a comfortable stay. Fluent in English, He helped up with an itinerary for the 3 days we were there and Even after we left to visit Essaouria, Alain kindly met with me to go Quading on the Sand Dunes. THATS A MUST!!!!
In fact all the staff were so friendly and helpful.
The Riad itself is devine. It only comprises 5 rooms, so you feel you really are staying somewhere special. Its beautifully decorated and has lots of charm and character.
The breakfast is a perfect kick start to each day and the evening meals (optional) are very good too.
We had a great time and we left feeling as though we had made good friends with the people of Dar Soukaina.
Who wants a hotel with 200 rooms, outside the city walls!! Not us!!!
This place is really worth a visit! We didnt want to leave."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of September 2006
Staying at Dar Soukaina
"We stayed here for 10 nights , after seeing it mentioned in Footprints and Lonely Planet. While it could never be considered luxurious, we were very comfortable there, and made to feel very welcome by Alain, the owner, and his staff Omar and Hussein, who were all there to greet us when we arrived.
There were no problems booking the place, we were advised which room we were getting, and that was the case when we got there.
The dar, or small house of 5 rooms is situated in the northern part of the medina, in a great location. It is close to a square where there are plenty of petit taxis , a post office and a pharmacy, and it is quite close to the souk.
Alain had booked us a restaurant for dinner, on the first night,and Hussein took us there so we wouldn't get lost.
The staff could not have been more helpful. Alain spent quite a long time explaining where to go , booked restaurants for us , and organized day trips.
When I was ill one day, Alain sent someone to the pharmacy for me to get some medication, all without asking
The staff are fluent in French, Arabic and English
Breakfast was included in the tariff, and if there is one slight criticism, it was that it was the same every day.
Dinner was available at night if you wished to eat there.
As well, tea coffee and cold soft drinks were available at no extra cost
Alcohol was available, and it was lovely to come back late afternoon, and sit in the courtyard with a cold beer!
We would certainly stay here again ."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of September 2006
Dar Soukaina is a cute but small place
"Dar Soukaina was a bit of a mixed bag for us. We booked here because the owner told us the place was non-smoking (very unusual for Morocco) - but when we arrived there were ashtrays on the tables and when I inquired of the manager (the owner was out of town), he replied that he was not aware that the place was supposed to be non-smoking.
On the bright side, we had a small, cute and pretty room, the staff were great, and the location is quite good.
On the down side, the riad is quite small, so all the rooms are tightly around the very small central courtyard where breakfast is served and people hang out in the evening, so not very private.
A decent value for the money in Marrakech."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of September 2006
Horrible Experience with Owner
"I traveled with a group of 10 to Morocco last spring break. We were looking for a nice quiet place to stay, but most riads were booked since we planned our trip a little bit late. However, I emailed Dar Soukaina and the owner responded that "our annexe is available with five rooms each ..." which fit our group perfectly. I phoned him immediately to let him know that I wanted to reserve. He said absolutely no problem, it was definitely available, and asked me to wire transfer the deposit to his bank account. I said fine and he said he would email me his information.
Well, I didn't hear from him for a few days, so I emailed to say that I look forward to getting his information. He then after a couple days sent me a confirmation email for ONE room instead of the whole riad and asked for a credit card number. I phoned him immediately and reminded him I wanted the whole riad. He said no problem on the phone, it was still available, I was not to worry.
THEN, that night he wrote me an email saying "I am very sorry but I had made a mistake in my planning and we had rented some rooms at the annexe during the dates of your stay. I cannot help you. " Due to his delay in responding to me every time I contacted him, I was then left with less than 3 weeks to find a place for us all to stay.
Needless to say I was extremely disappointed at his poor planning and told him so in an email. He wrote back saying "I told you straight away that Dar Soukaina was full and we tried to help you to find a place for 11 people what is not easy at this period of very peak season. That is why we proposed Riad Marianis". Of course, he had never once told us Dar Soukaina was full and we would be staying at a different location than the one I had researched on the web. He also said "On the legal aspect of things, I doubt you can produce a mail or a fax coming from us, stricltly confirming your booking. Moreover, have we debited a major credit card of any deposit for this booking ? The answer is no." Well, that was a laughable statement considering that the only reason I never gave him any deposit was that he kept screwing up.
So bottom line: don't book at Dar Soukaina or Riad Marianis unless you want to deal with an incompetent owner and take the chance of being stranded without a place to stay."
- Travel date: Sun 27th of August 2006
good breakfast, nice lil place
"This tiny, quiet riad in the heart of the medina is well-located if nearly impossible to find. The place is clean and well-kept. Aziza makes fresh breads, two kinds of Moroccan crepes, delicious omelettes, perfect orange juice every morning (see the pic). I also recommend arranging a dinner with them. I had one of my best meals in Marrakech here (tagine of a local fish of some sort). Aziza the hard-working, darling sweethart of a chef used to cook for the royal palace, and she can really turn out some delicious authentic treats from her barbie & ken-sized kitchen. It's worth mentioning that beer and wine are available because that isn't the case in most of the medina.
Alain runs a tight ship. He is a Morocco expert (wrote a guidebook) and speaks fluent English and native French, so he's a good one to consult about your day's activities over breakfast. He'll gladly arrange whatever you need from a 4x4 expedition to the Atlas Mountains to dinner reservations or whatever else. They'll take good care of you.
Good for couples, also gay friendly."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006
felt just like being at home
"a bit difficult to find, but great location in the medina - 5 mins walk to the souks. public parking lot nearby. orange tree growing in the middle with the best oranges I've tasted in morocco. friendly staff - the owner Alain knows every corner of Morocco and you'd be foolish not to discuss your travel plans with him. clean, well furnished rooms and an absolutely wonderful breakfast served."
- Travel date: Wed 4th of January 2006