10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Superb, quiet Riad, ideally located in the Medina
"We spent a week in this quiet, authentic and spacious Riad, ideally located in the Medina,a few steps from the souks.
Excellent service and excellent cuisine (a must try).
The owners, who live in the Riad have excellent tips for trips in and around Marrakech.
We will surely come back."
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of July 2009
"What a lovely place! A tranquil haven away from the frenetic chaos of Marrakech. Our room was comfortable and clean. A delicious breakfast was served on the rooftop with a view of the Atlas mountains. The owners were friendly & knowledgeable. The hamman & scrub/massage was a highlight of my trip. Unfortunately the standard rooms are next to a noisy alley and there is motorbike traffic from before dawn till very late."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of May 2008
"My husband and I have just returned from a stay at this fantastic Riad, and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone wishing to have a relaxing stay in the heart of Marrakech.
Sibylle and Sa'ad, the proprietors, live in the Riad itself and were always on hand to ensure we had anything we needed - whether it be a taxi or caleche (horse carriage), advice on where to go or just a glass of mint tea! Their staff were also very professional. The accommodation itself is fantastic, laid out in the traditional riad style around an internal courtyard. However, many original features have been retained, unlike many riads I reserached when planning our trip. The rooms and two lounges are beautifully furnished in a traditional style and the roof terrace has both seating and sun loungers for relaxing. From the roof, there are views over the medina and out to the Atlas mountains.
The location is in the northern area of the medina (old town) and is about a 15 minute walk to the main square once you have got your bearings. It may be a little bit further out than the usual tourist areas but this only adds minutes to your walk, and enables you to get a flavour of local life.
We had booked on a bed and breakfast basis - the breakfast being continental, with the addition of a different Moroccan item each morning, plus mint tea - but meals could be booked if preferred. We ate at the riad on two evenings and both meals were excellent. We also ate lunch prior to leaving on our last day, and again the food was of a very high standard.
Overall, this was an excellent place to stay, a peaceful haven in a busy city. Sibylle and Sa'ad were great hosts, helpful and friendly without being obtrusive in any way, and I would recommend this Riad heartily!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of May 2008
"This was by far the best riad we stayed in during our travels around Morocco. So pretty, a completely peaceful retreat from the souks and kasbahs of Marrakesh. Good location. Stunning food. I just wish we could've stayed longer."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of March 2008
A piece of Heaven on Earth
"We have just returned form a wonderful short break staying at the Riad Dar Sbihi.As our first visit to Marrakech we were apprehensive,but our concerns flew away from the moment we arrived and the uniformed member of staff took our cases.The riad is owned and run by Sybille and Sa`ad who are tremendous hosts and are certainly the absolute ethos of small and friendly.They are so friendly yet professional at all times,and no wonder they are proud of their riad it is absolutely a beautiful haven of peace and tranquility,and you will certainly have a very different holiday experience here,certainly one the larger hotels would be pressed to replicate. We had a wonderful New Year`s Eve with guests form other coutries and Sybille and Sa`ad and some local musicians.We read all the feedback before we booked this break and could not find anything seriously negative about this riad,therefore we went ahead and booked it and now know why the feedback was so good.If you want to chill out like we did and relax this is a perfect venue,we came back very refreshed. Yes, you may well get lost in the surrounding alleys and roads but brush up on your French and you will be fine.The locals are most freindly (once you are firm in saying no to them )and we felt much safer than in many other venues we have visited.I would recommend Riad Dar Sbihi as a wnderful experience....if you go early in the year it does go cold in the evenings so rap up well and you will have a wonderful time."
- Travel date: Fri 11th of January 2008
cosy, clean and comfortable
"I have just returned from a week in Morroco. The Riad Dar Sbihi offers a clean, cosy and comfortable haven in the middle of the medina in Marrakech.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable and having seen the suites, I can assure you they are divine.
The central courtyard garden, laid out to reflect the four stages of paradise, is the perfect spot to sit after a long evening flight or a day exploring the coast.
The proprietors Sybille (lovely Belgian woman) and her husband Saad (hilarious Morrocan) live in the Riad, which added a special something to my stay. Information about the price of taxis, how to get to historic sites, the gardens etc. was all readily available along with a cup of mint tea and a bit of a chat with one of Saad's taxi driver, or guide mates - cool!
I knew, before I left Riad Dar Sbihi, that I would use it as a base for further visits to magical Marrakech.
If you're going to Marrakech and want to see how Morrocan's really live; how warm, friendly, hospitable and kind they can really be, go and stay with Sybille and Saad!"
- Travel date: Mon 7th of January 2008
A wonderful riad surpassing all expectations.
"Everything about our stay in this Riad was exceptional. Being my first time in Marrakesh I was a little hesitant about all aspects of the trip but seeing absolutely no negative reviews about this Riad I thought I would give it a try.
I booked directly through the Riads website, my emails were answered directly and promptly. A prepaid taxi was arranged to pick us up from
the airport and to take us to the Riad and vice versa on our departure (all inclusive in the price). Although this doesn't sound like much - many of our fellow travellers/passengers on the plane had quite a few nightmares being tricked into paying double or having to haggle away the price of a taxi on their first day - something I was very glad to avoid.
The Riad is located in a 'real' part of Marrakesh - though within easy walking distance to the Souks, Jemna al Fna and many other more touristy destinations. The Souks really only being maximum 10 minutes
walk once you know where you are going. Once you enter the Riad - you
end up in a world of peacefulness and tranquility, the noise from outside does not permeate in at all. The Riad is traditionally built and decorated with an internal open air square with plants, trees and a waterfall. This provides an amazing area to just relax in with a cup of mint tea whilst listening to the birds flying in and around.
The rooms were good - and on this occasion, even having specifically asked for a particular twin room - I was given the option to have a look at another room to see whether I preferred it. This kind of service is a very rare trait which I am glad to see still exists. The weather was quite warm as well as the room, but there was air conditioning in the room which can be controlled individually and cooled the room nicely. The rooms also contained a mini bar at good prices.
Moving on - the food is exceptional here. On the first day we had a salad for lunch - but dinner - WOW - what can I say. Starters were a selection of the most tasty salads (spiced carrot, spiced cabbage, spinach and cream, spiced sweet potatoes, meatballs in white cabbage,
cheese and egg samosas), followed by a lamb tagine with quinces and sweet potato. I can honestly say I have never tasted such an exquisite range of food, and my palate is now in remission, whilst I try to create my own versions of this food using a moroccan cookbook.
The helpfulness of Sybille and her husband is also without equal, coming up to chat to us at breakfast and dinner and any other time we were around. She recommended things to do, organised a guide and a day trip taxi to the Ourika Valley for us. Someone is always available to answer any of your questions and give you honest answers (in English, French, German, Flemish, Arabic and a number of other languages - all as far as I can tell spoken pretty much perfectly)
In closing this Riad is amazing and when I go back I will definetly stay here again. There is a pool and hamman (turkish steam bath) though we did not have enough time to try them out. If you are seeking a place where you feel safe and looked after but also one that oozes genuine Moroccan style this is the place."
- Travel date: Fri 19th of October 2007
Beautiful Riad with wonderful people
"This was our first trip to Marrakech and stying with Sybil and Sa'ad in their beautiful home means we will definately go back. The standard of the Riad is excellent and having stayed in many hotels before the experience of a riad was superb and definately gives you a feel for life in the Medina.
A great room with air con. and breakfast thrown in, a small pool and a hammam make the stay comfortable and needed after a hot day walking round the Medina and Souks.
We stayed in to eat on our last night and were not disappointed, the food was excellent and even though we were going early the next day Sa'ad got up and made us breakfast.
The only down point is the location in the North of the medina can be tricky to find and walk from to the centre - as I got lost more than once - but petit taxis are everywhere and know where to go (and are very cheap once you master your Fench numbers)
Am happy to recommend this Riad to anyone looking for a 'Real' Marrakech experience that the hotels cannot offer - with hotel comfort and excellent service."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of June 2007
A peaceful and relaxing oasis amongst the hubbub of the medina
"We highly enjoyed the accommodation at Dar Sbihi, with comfortable beds, fresh croissants and rolls for breakfast (included in the holiday price), and helpful, friendly owners who were on hand to assist with any questions we had. We were greeted with a traditional welcome of mint tea and selection of exquisite little sweet pastries.
Belgian owner Sybille and her Marakchi husband arranged for quotes and a taxi so we could visit the Ourika Valley as a day trip to see the Berber villages and waterfalls. We utilised the rooftop terrace for sunbathing one day and also made use of the hammam, which was right next to our room. Sybille provided us with a pack of bran soap,
argan oil and shampoo made with soil from the Atlas mountains! We lasted about an hour and a quarter in the hammam, but watch out as it
gets HOT! This facility cost us about Â£20. Property in the medina is now sought after and neighbours include the HermÃ©s family and an American architect who has adapted his riad into a more modern style.
The detail of the tiling and craftwork of doors in Riad Dar Sbihi is so intricate it is very impressive. Little songbirds hang from each balcony to add to the ambience and other small birds rest in the leafy central courtyard. All of the guests respected the quiet atmosphere and I would recommend this as an ideal place to stay in Marrakech. It was in a convenient location, about 15-20 minutes walk from Jemaa el Fna square (eat there one night - it is great) and close to the El Abassia mosque, which broadcasts prayers 5 times a day from 4.30am. It is quite difficult to find the Riad so ask for Bab Taghzout and the taxi will take you to a gateway where it is a bit chaotic. You will then need to walk to the 2nd turning on the right and the Riad is near the top of this narrow side alley. Children will want to show you the way for a few dirhams! You will find this to be the case everywhere, but they do not always show you the right one, so after your initial arrival it's best to be firm with them when saying no thankyou! Once inside you would not believe you were in the same place. The only thing I was disappointed about with it being my 30th birthday was having to be back in for midnight.
I wanted to go to Pacha but unfortunately because of this imposed curfew I did not get to go to any nightclubs in the city during our 3 night-stay :-( so I would probably recommend this accommodation to older guests. With regards to places to visit we would suggest you go
to the Jardins Majorelle owned by Yves Saint Laurent - most beautiful
in the sunshine. And as few people speak English it is best to brush up on your French or take along a little phrasebook to get by when travelling around or booking restaurants."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of April 2007
Lovely Riad with excellent service
"My wife and I stayed at this lovely traditional Riad in November '06 and were made to feel very welcome by the couple who own, run and live at the Riad and are rightly proud of it. The setting is very private and quiet with good sized rooms all facing a wonderful garden area. We made good use of a very nice roof terrace to catch some sun and to take breakfast. The location is in the northern part of the Medina about a 5 minute cheap taxi ride from the madness of Djemaa el-Fna square or you could walk there via the souks in about 20 minutes, though you'd never manage to go the same route twice. Would we stay there again - definitely!"
- Travel date: Fri 25th of November 2005