For riad rookies such as myself and my partner, Dar Habiba offered a charming introduction to this wonderful style of holiday accommodation. It is not the most luxurious of riads on offer; our room, erroneously classed as a suite, was the only one of comfortable size for a couple. The riad is also just a little rough round the edges and some furnishings need updating, but it nevertheless offers the essential flavour of riad living, and its simple decorative treatment works well in harmony with the original architectural character. Guests also have the benefit of excellent cooking (our Moroccan salads and lamb tagine were among the best we found), and there is also a hammam, though I should point out that the bed part of this is very narrow, and due to the heat of the adjoining wall, the space may not be suitable for larger people!
Dar Habiba gave us a very convenient base from which to explore the heart of old Marrakech. Well placed for both kasbah and the main square, it is a short walk from museums, souks, restaurants and other amenities and allows quick connections by taxi, tour bus or caleche (horse-drawn carriage) to anywhere in the city. The concierge service at the riad was almost always attentive and responsive and on occasions, the help given was over and above the call of duty. Their advice and care was as much or as little as you needed and very much tailored to individual requirements.
Despite its close proximity to all the hustle and action, the Dar Habiba's peaceful interior and private rooftop terrace offer utter sanctuary which truly belies its location. One of the best aspects of our stay was being able to step in and out of the contrasting worlds, where the door onto the street signified an almost mysterious interface between these worlds.
For couples, the riad experience has to be far preferable to that offered by a hotel, which simply won't afford you a sense of the true Marrakech.
Of Marrakech itself, I would say that it is not perhaps a city for the faint-hearted traveller. If you seek an exotic mix of ancient Arab history and culture, of Islamic art and artisan creativity, and if you can take the hardcore street hardsell in good humour, then Marrakech has a wealth of treasures and delights to offer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A tranquil English speaking Riad in the perfect location for exploring the Medina and Palaces. Search for Dar Habiba on the web and you’ll see everything we have to offer, including a beautiful candlelit hammam, a roof top terrace garden, spacious courtyard and atmospheric rooms. Our hammam experience, traditional food and personal service are genuinely second to none. We really look forward to welcoming you. ... more less
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