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“Superb Views but Deeply Dodgy Location” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dar Al Bahar

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Dar Al Bahar
Ranked #34 of 77 Hotels in Essaouira
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
307 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Superb Views but Deeply Dodgy Location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2009

We chose this guesthouse because of it's location right up against the medina walls. And the views both from the terrace and from our sea-side suite were genuinely fantastic. Unfortunately however, Dar Al Bahar is located in an extremely dodgy part of town. The guidebooks do generaly warn that Essaouira does have some drug problems and that the north-east end of the medina specificaly is very seedy and run-down. This area seems to extend right up to Dar Al Bahar. Consequently, we did not feel at all safe in the surrounding alleyways after dark, despite the fact that we have lived in riad-style accomodation in many cities in several countries before. The rooms are well-kept and the staff are very friendly but we would find it very hard to recomend this place because of the nasty neighbourhood.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sean L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Canmore, Canada
Level Contributor
88 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2009

We stayed at this riad at the end of July for 3 nights.

The Riad is located on the outer wall of the old town, and the rooms at the back have views of the ocean. I would say that the views are the only thing that make this riad particularly special. The View was GORGEOUS and it was lovely to leave the window open (don't have to worry about security as only spider man could scale that wall) and wake up the sounds of the waves.

The old city is fairly small so if you are staying within the old walled area, you can't be far from the actions, market, restaurants. This riad was a short walk to all these amenities so its location is great. We took the bus from Marrakesh and this riad wasn't too far of a walk from the bus stop. About 20 mins.

The lady who was working was pleasant and polite but not overly friendly. We were able to ask her questions in English and get information so the service was perfectly adequate. If you are the type though who likes to be fawned over and checked on, then this place is probably not what you want. We were left alone for the most part.

The room was VERY small. It just fit a bead and a small wardrobe. The bed was comfy enough and the decor was very plain and simple. It was perfectly comfortable but by no means plush or glamorous. The bathroom was fairly clean and up-to-date, with a shower, toilet and sink. Nicely decorated and the water was hot everyday except the last. I suspect that when lots of the rooms are occupied there are times when the hot water tank can't keep up. But since it is 40 degrees out in the summer, we didn't really mind too much.

There is a nice roof terrace with lovely views of the rooftops and the ocean. You will get some amazing photos from up there. Breakfast can be served on the roof, but we had to go looking for our host in order to get served which meant running down several flights of stairs. This riad is tall and narrow which means lots of stairs, so if you have mobility issues, this may not be the location for you.

The breakfast was the typical Moroccan fare. Strong coffee, orange juice, croissant or some type of bread, fruit salad and jam. A nice simple meal in a hot climate. But if you are looking for a big American style breakfast, you will have to go searching outside of your riad.

This riad also offered an option to order dinner. We never did, as there were lots of restaurants to try, but it's a nice option.

There is a small sitting area in the lobby with lots of brochures for local attractions and sites. There you will find a tv if you are in need of a news fix and happen to speak French or Arabic.

Overall this riad is a nice, simple, clean place to stay. We thought it was well priced, and you have the added bonus of having ocean views from the terrace or if you pay the extra, from your bedroom. You will be close to all amenities in the old walled city.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura_Alberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2009

My friend and I stayed in Dar Al Bahar just for 2 nights (11/09/09-13/09/09) - and we liked this ryad a lot. Of coarse we couldn’t find a better place.
The hotel is well located in the medina, on the street that goes along the fortress wall. It was very easy to find it – you just go straight along that street until you see the sigh with the name of hotel. But be prepared that cars and taxies cannot enter the medina (they leave you near the main square) and you need to carry your luggage or hire man with wheelbarrow. This way is not very long - about 6 minutes walk. Near the hotel there is bastion with cannons where tourists and local people like to sit.
What I liked the most was the terrace on the roof with a view to the ocean and the city. The view of the sunset was amazing, we’ve made many beautiful photos.
The breakfast was very pleasant: fruit salad, jam, butter, bread, croissants, fresh orange juice, tea (or coffie/cacao) – it was served on the terrace.
We leaved in room called Aziza, windows opened on the street. I liked the decoration of the room – with paintings, lamps, etc. Everything was fresh and clean. There was +38 on the street, but in room it was cool. There were always bunches of flowers in the corridor and hall. Everything there was made with such kindness and hospitality.
Sometimes there was a little noise in the night coming from the street. Because the streets are narrow and the acoustics is very good indeed. But if you decide to live in the medina you should be ready for that. I suppose that rooms with a ocean view are not noisy at all (only the noise of the ocean).
The stuff and hosts of the hotel were very kind, always trying to help, asking how we liked the city, etc. On the day of check-out we had a late bus at 11:50 p.m. They let us to leave our luggage in the hotel, spend our time in the hall and terrace, etc. Thanks them a lot.
I would like to return to Essaouira and stay in Dar Al Bahar again.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nadya-nn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2009

We stayed for 9 nights as we were looking to chill out, relax and really soak up the atmosphere and thats exactly what we did. The riad was spotless, the staff were really helpful and friendly, but not too in your face - just perfect. As with the other reviews breakfast on the terrace is beautiful and we retreated to the terrace whenever we neede peace and quiet. Lovely and keen, seriously nice showere, worth the extra for a room by the sea.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hanandrol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dar Al Bahar

Property: Dar Al Bahar
Address: 1 Rue de Touahen, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Essaouira
#20 Romantic Hotel in Essaouira
#22 Family Hotel in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Dar Al Bahar 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Al Bahar is certainly the name it deserves: the house by the sea.Built on the ramparts of the city of Essaouira in the "San Dion" area, she faces the ocean and its trade winds. From the terrace the view is one of constant movement, winds breaking against the rocks of the coast, offering an amazing spectacle. From there, you can also enjoy the panoramic view over the medina with its northern fort of the ancient Scala and the Mellah (the former Jewish quarter). In the distance, you can see the sand dunes, which actually touch the northern outskirts of the city. Jean-Claude and Lise, a french-dutch couple, have completely renovated this house which was built at the turn of the last century. At that time, this part of Essaouira was much more animated thanks to the presence of an authentic windmill which formerly provided flour for the city and the back country. At this place, a new hotel has been built but the street name remained: Touahen, which means ‘mill’ in Arabic.Today, the peacefulness of this place is only disturbed by breaking waves and shrieking seagulls.During October 13-17, 2012, the town of Essaouira witnessed the filming of parts of the third season of "Game of Thrones", the popular medieval fantasy series. On October 15, some of the scenes were filmed on our street and near Dar Al Bahar, both almost magically transformed in a medieval set by the crafty crew, some of them also being our guests in the hotel. For the current and future fans of the series, we share some of our photos of the stars, extras and set, and, for those wishing to experience the "Game of Thrones" atmosphere, we look forward to having them of our guests.You will certainly have a pleasant stay in Dar Al Bahar ! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar Al Bahar Essaouira

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