10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Not to be missed!
"Just returned from a 4 night "no hassle" experience in Marrakech, staying at the wonderful Riad Dar Anika. First time away without our son in 16 years, so it had to be special and this Riad certainly didn't disappoint. Riad Dar Anika has an understated elegance and is a calm oasis from the busy streets, right outside the front door. The service was wonderful - the staff were always on hand when needed, but not obtrusive. It rained when we were there, but that was just a good excuse for a fire in the lounge. Diane and Nigel thought of everything we needed, with brollies by the front door. Marrakech's culture is a time capsule that could soon be overrun by miles of hotels and golf courses - so take my advice and go now whilst it is still fresh and unique."
- Travel date: 24th February 2008
A don't miss opportunity
"My fiance and I recently traveled to Morocco for a short break in Marrakech. This was to be a little city break slightly out of the norm, we had no idea the huge impact the city would leave on our lives. We chose to stay in a Riad, a Boutique Hotel would best describe it. Nestled away in a shadowery corner of the bustling "mellah" DAR ANIKA opens its doors to reveal a modern day Alladins cave of peace and tranquility. Dar Anika, is owned by a gregarious Brit, Chris Gooding. His vision to build a traditional Riad with modern standards of craftsmanship and hospitality is inspired and works beautifully. Managed and run by a wonderful couple Di and Nigel, they make certain your every whim and need is catered for. The Riad boasts an open courtyard, with a well proportioned pool and traditional Moroccan steam-room. The rooms are tastefully decorated and kept spotlessly clean. The Riad offers a massage service to knead away the knots from a days hard haggling and with an endless supply of mint tee, it's simply impossible not to unwind and relax in such comfortable surroundings. Marrakech and Dar Anika is a wonderful destination for holiday out of the norm. The people are welcoming, friendly and generous. You see local activities that date back to the dawn of time but then turn round the corner and you'll find yourself in a world of modernity and extravagance. Marrakech simply has it all. We were so well looked after and felt so comfortable in the Riad it could have almost been an extension of our own home. To sum up in one word.....Go !"
- Travel date: 25th January 2008
A real gem in the heart of Marrakech
"Our trip to Marrakech was brilliant and exceeded all our expectations. It was our first time but nevertheless we were happy to book directly with the Riad via e-mail, which was all very easy as the Manager speaks fluent English. The journey from the airport was very straightforward, the friendly driver met us at arrivals for a private transfer organised by the hotel. He took us right to the front door where we received a very warm welcome. After a brief tour of the very beautiful building we were served with complimentary mint tea-very refreshing & something we were to have many times over the next week! The room was great, very comfortable making it very easy to drop back into a lovely sleep after hearing the early morning call to prayer from the nearby mosque. The food at the Riad, served on the rooftop terrace, was excellent. All the staff were brilliant, very attentive and very friendly-nothing was too much trouble. They were happy to book restaurants for us and give us many tips on where to go and how to get there. The location of the hotel was, to us, perfect-within the city walls and just a short walk from the Djemaa el Fna, the pulsating main square. To us, though, the 'icing on the cake' were the fantastic hosts Di and Nigel. They were always around to check all was well and to see if there was anything they could do to ensure our stay was perfect. They gave the place a real warmth and we now look on them as good friends who we are keen to go back and see, very soon."
- Travel date: 24th January 2008
Home of the stars
"We two lads went to Marrakech for a taste of Morocco and found the Dar Anika ideal for its location. We were surprised by its peaceful ambience once we had made it through the chaos of the streets to get there. Rooms are done out in relly nice Moroccan style but not overdone. Staff are friendly and the cooking is great. Later in our stay there was a lamb eating festival. We ate our share!. The riad is near the big bustling Jema el fnaa square with its busy night time activities and local eating. Recommend the Cosybar in the small square nearby for classy eating, drinking and bellydancing."
- Travel date: 6th January 2008
One to return to
"A calm oasis just off the streets, looked very traditional, but in a very clean and modern way. The staff were extremely attentive and friendly, service on all-hours complimentary tea and coffee superb. Definitely one to go back to."
- Travel date: 26th December 2007
"If you arrive in Marrakech in daylight then delay your arrival at Dar Anika until after sunset. Arriving by taxi in a chaotic little square on the edge of the medina with a kebab seller on one side of the recessed doorway to Dar Anika and a boistrous crowd outside a cafe opposite - together with 30/40 parked mopeds - the scene is no different from a suburb of any one of a wide number of middle eastern cities and the concern is that the hotel you have booked might match. However as soon as the studded door is opened and you catch your first glimpse of Dar Anika all worries fade away. The interior is decorated in a very arabian but tastefull style and lit almost exclusively by candles in traditional lanterns. Unlike many hotels and guesthouses you may stay at ,Dar Anika surpasses the images on its website. Once inside the noise of the square outside dissapears and you have entered a haven of peace and tranquility, something you will really cherish after days touring the souks and sites of Marrakech and its surrounds. Tranquil that is except for the nightly return in the early hours of a group also staying in the riad who seemed to think it necessary to shout at each other to communicate. At first sight the road (wide alley is a better description of the main thoroughfares inside the medina) from the riad to the famous Djama El Fna seems rather threatening, particularly on a Friday night when many of the "shops" (holes in walls) are closed and their metal doors shuttered. If it were in South London there is no way you would even consider walking along it at 10:00 at night but, with past experience that such towns are indeed much safer than cities in the UK and the knowledge that over the past few yearsthe Morrocan Govt has made life in Marrakech much safer/hassle free for tourists, we set off to explore the unique experience that is Djarma El Fna. We didn't eat (other than breakfast) in the hotel as we wished to experience a number of different local restaurants (all excellent and you find it difficult to spend more than Â£25 per head for dinner, wine and entertainment). The souks are fascinating but it takes so long to negotiate down to the 25-30% of opening price that is what you really have to pay, possibly less if you have patience, that in the end you don't buy things you would really like as it is just too much hassle and time consuming. As for taxis always agree a price beforehand, the 30% rule seems to apply here too, and if you dont they will quote some lottery based number after the journey and bang goes another 10 minutes "discussing" what is an acceptable number. The house staff, Nordine and Samir are very helpfull. For example within minutes of asking they had arranged a driver and Land Cruiser for the day to take us across the Atlas mountains to Ait Benhaddou and two of its less famous but in some ways more stunning neighbours. Â£100 for the day. In summary an excellent place to stay (did I mention that it is the only quality riad I could find on the net where the taxi can pull up outside the door and the taxi to and from the airport is provided by the hotel?)"
- Travel date: 12th December 2007
"Flew direct to Marrakech with Atlas Blue (old Royal Maroc). V. Good. The Riad is beautifully tranquil from the moment one enters from the hustle and bustle that is Marrakech street life. The decor is subtly Moroccan with a lot of marble and tiling. The ceilings have been beautifully hand painted. We were greeted by Nigel, Diane and Nordine with sweet mint tea and then shown to our room. We found the room perfect with a nice shower room en suite. There are 11 rooms of varying sizes each with its own character. Meals are taken on the roof terrace with one long table for breakfast where all the house guests are able to meet each other which made for a very sociable stay. If the weathers cold, theres a berber tent to eat in. Habiba, Nordines wife, is the house cook and is wonderful. For Nigels birthday, she made us a Moroccan banquet of traditional fare which took days of preparation. The riad is about 5 minutes walk to the main square which becomes alive at night with snake charmers, kebab restaurants and shops. There are a few nice restaurants very near to the riad where we sampled great food and belly dancing. People from other riads were jealous of Dar Anika! We had a fantastic 6 days of eatin drinkin (Moroccan wine is surprisingly very good) and sight seeing. Nordine or Samir will readily organise you a guide for a tour, a cab tour, or the open top bus stops outside every half hour. The hammam and massage were also a new experience not to be missed."
- Travel date: 28th November 2007
Oasis of calm
"This hotel seems to be in a perfect position, only ten minutes walk away from the main square, yards from a taxi drop off point. Outside there is the noise and excitement of Marrakech, but inside is a superb hotel. The staff are extremely helpful and pleasant. The lovely rooms are round the main courtyard with a small but adequate pool. The roof terrace is also lovely with views across the roof tops and below is the fascinating view of street sellers, shops and traffic going to and from the main square. The Bahia palace, the Badi palace and the Sadiien tombs are all within a five or ten minute walk. We stayed for four nights and would have liked to stay longer."
- Travel date: 22nd November 2007
A tranquil haven
"We stayed at the end of Aug/beg. of Sept in the "low" season and almost had the place to ourselves most of the time. It was a very tranquil and relaxing place to stay and close to the frenetic pace of life in the city. Definitely not for children. We would thoroughly recommend this beautiful riad."
- Travel date: 10th September 2007
Staffing & Appliance Problems but Great Location
"In short; unhelpful staff, non-functioning facilities although great location and nice decor. We arrived on the first day to discover that there were spatters of blood on our bed sheet, the fridge didn't work (we had this in common with 3 other guests), the air-conditioning was not sufficient for the climate and the sink tap only sputtered water. My partner and I were also stunned when one of the hired help opened our door without knocking whilst we were in the room. Samir, the gentleman who greeted us, gave us a lukewarm welcome and was not exactly forthcoming in providing any information about the hotel e.g. facilities/meal times etc and Marrakech in general. Having said that, the actual rooms were nice (if not properly functioning) and the pool on ground level a godsend after a hot day in Marrakech. The riad is also superbly located only a short walk from the main square where all the action is. Not really good value, for true style and service try Riad Norma in Fes which cannot be faulted and is a very similar price."
- Travel date: 30th August 2007
Riad Dar Anika is also called
- Riad Dar Anika Hotel
- riad dar anika marrakech
- riad dar anika hotel marrakech