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“SPIRIT RENEWED”
Review of Riad Dar Zaman

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Riad Dar Zaman
Ranked #65 of 1,139 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
LA
Level Contributor
1 review
“SPIRIT RENEWED”
Reviewed 5 October 2012

Spirit Renewed

Halfway through a stay @ Dar Zaman - it gets better by the day.
I came to Morocco to attend the wedding of a childhood friend's son to a Moroccan woman in Casablanca, and was overwhelmed by the festivities, and the warmth I received from everyone as a visiting American, just after the US ambassador was murdered in Libya, and anti-American riots erupted across the Arab world in protest to the idiotic video defaming Islam posted by an American on YouTube.
I have wanted to visit Morocco for many years and this was a great opportunity. However after the intimacy of the wedding at the family's beautiful home at the beach in Mohammedia - Casablanca totally underwhelmed me. I left by standing room only space in 2nd class ( 1st was sold out) un- air conditioned train for the 4 hour+ trek to Marrakech, only to become sick and prisoner of my hotel bathroom ( in a very nice, and well under-priced modern hotel in Gueliz - Les Trois Palmiers, but a standard modern western style hotel). The frame of mind being ill was turning my better judgments against my Moroccan adventure. Having traveled extensively all my life, and now creating custom private tours for clients, I knew better. But my utmost desire was to hop the 1st plane out & up to a friends in London (- not my favorite place in Europe to spend time when so many fascinating destinations within a few hours of travel lay at your feet there).
I forced myself to visit at least one riad in the old medina to get a feel for what the experience could be before I took off.

Still not feeling well, & absolutely very anxious to leave the next afternoon,
I made myself take a short cab ride to Sidi Ben Slimane - a neighborhood worlds apart from the modern Gueliz section, and was led by one of the multitude of children anxious to earn 20 dirhm from the taxi just steps away to the door of Riad Dar Zaman.
From the moment Hassan greeted me at the door I was transported. I knew instantly I was NOT boarding a plane to England the next day.
As if in a dream you walk into this space so stylish, yet understated in design -subtle tones of white, & ivory pillars and wrought iron loggias around the open air central courtyard. It is as if you've entered a small wing of a faintly Andalusian palazzo.
But the warmth of Hassan, accompanied by the effusive praise of an American from NYC (who had never been out of the USA before) had me mesmerized.
Even better the next day was the welcome shown by the owner, Peter, an ex-NYer, born in England. He escorted me to a lunch which any intrepid traveler can only hope to find by getting very local insider info - a stark little neighborhood hole in the wall with THE best poulet au citron accompanied by a bowl of slightly spicy white beans that I could eat for lunch the rest of my life. Then lead to Dar Cherifa & what had to be a silence of an intensity I've never experienced within its enclosure ( see photo ) - a beautiful multi-storied space around a courtyard with a shallow impluvium floating rose petals on its surface. It is a space you can visit and read, or just sit overwhelmed with the peace the silence brings. When you come back to normal consciousness - do order the orange cake saturated with a reduction of jus de orange and orange blossom water - it makes transition back to reality easily bourne ( btw those of you that know of the orange cake suffused similarly at famed Maya's in St. Barth - beware - as incredible as Maya's is - & I'm one of her biggest devotees - this tops it ( my apologies to Maya & Randy whom I consider friends ).
I spent 2 nights at the Riad and, because there was no room in the inn for this baby Jesus (hardly) - I'd have gladly stayed in a straw manger there - Peter arranged for me to let a flat in Essaouira on the Atlantic coast for the weekend - another find - 3 rooms in the Mellah quartier in a centuries old building beautifully renovated - blue & white portuguese tiled kitchen and bath, a salon and a 4 poster bed - all with wooden ceilings I laid in bed and stared at happily for some time.
But I couldnt wait to return to Riad Dar Zaman, in the midst of the craziness of the medina. I'm back for 3 nights. I do think maybe I'm still ill and dreaming, because a small guest house offering only 4 bedrooms would normally have me wondering about the enforced intimacy with the other guests. They have all been as lovely and interesting as the super staff here. I don't even want to leave this haven to go out anywhere. Peter has dragged me out the door thank goodness several times, and seen only a few facets of the charms of Marrakech. I'm threatening to have renters squatting rights til they have to get the police to throw me out.
Am I being over-wrought in my praise ?
It's hardly sufficient to describe the way I feel here - especially after being ready to write off completely a destination
I've always yearned to visit.

Room Tip: there are only four and all great - it's as if you're staying in a rich friends stylish digs...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank francoLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Carouge, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 September 2012

Lovely riad, calm, beautiful rooms, excellent service, warm welcoming. Candles lights, stylish. Super stay... just a few minutes away from the Medina and its souks. The food was exquisite, very much worth a romantic dinner!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rain81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed 20 September 2012

We truly enjoyed our stay. Thank you for making this such a magical experience..something we will never forget. The genuine hospitality, kindness, and helpfulness of everyone at Dar Zaman will warm the heart. Whether you are exploring the medina of Marrakech, crossing the High Atlas Mountains, or visiting the Sahara, Dar Zaman is a perfect place to begin your adventure of a lifetime. Thank you so much for opening your beautiful home to us. B&P

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank B L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 12 September 2012

We have just returned from four nights staying at Riad Dar Zaman. It really was excellent, so peaceful as soon as you stepped inside - and very beautiful and welcoming. We felt so at home straight away. Peter, Hassan and Brahim went out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed, from water and a very handy map and tips on our first evening, to walking us up to the taxis, suggesting and booking a table for what was our best meal out (at le Marrakchi overlooking the square), and recommending days out and which food stalls to eat at in the night market. They were all full of handy tips and answered any questions we had. Breakfasts were delicious and the sun terrace and dipping pool were exactly what was needed after a day haggling in the souks! Fantastic value too. We were very sorry to leave and very keen to return!

Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank acmarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sorocaba, SP
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2012

I stayed in the Riad for two days and other 3 days in a hotel on the Palmeraie. If I could have spent the whole period in the riad I would have enjoyed more. The Riad is within walking distance to all main attractions in the Medina, it's very confortable and the Staff is very helpfull. They will give full attention for all their guests, from receiving you with cold water when you arrive from the hot streets, to help you make trips in and out the city. I can say it is worth every cent, if you are considering staying at this hotel, please go ahead and enjoy this jewel !

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rafael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 July 2012

Just got back from 3 nights at Riad Dar Zaman with my mom. Lovely riad, excellent staff! Felt so at home I even considered going to breakfast in my pjs (but resisted the urge!). Riad is just like the pictures. Everything worked. Hassan was so helpful and friendly, as was Peter. Would highly recommend this friendly riad over a big hotel for a short stay, you might not get the big hotel perks but you really experience something of Marrakesh. It is beautiful and peaceful. Rooms are compact, but lovely.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2012

We felt at home in this beautiful place. The staff was friendly and always helpful. The room was beautifully decorated in the morroccoan style.
We spend all the afternoons sunbathing in the terrace and it was so peaceful.
Breakfast was excellent, lot of variety and freshly made on the moment.
Getting to the main square is not that difficult and it is a nice walk anyway (15 minutes).
We did not want to leave that place.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank laislabonita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Dar Zaman

Property: Riad Dar Zaman
Address: 29 Derb Bouelilou | Sidi Ben Slimane, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 1,139 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Dar Zaman 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Zaman is an exquisite Moroccan house in the heart of the Marrakech medina. Chic and romantic, we have four, beautiful en-suite double bedrooms, a sun terrace, plunge pool, and most importantly, a fun and spirited team to take care of you! We're English-owned and managed: come and stay with us and savor our superb hospitality! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Dar Zaman Hotel Marrakech

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