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“Beautiful Riad”
Review of Dar Maya

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Dar Maya
Ranked #5 of 75 Hotels in Essaouira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 January 2014

This was a really lovely modern Riad in the heart of Essaouria. The staff were hardworking and very firendly, they went out of their way to accomodate us - even bringing my hungry daughter lovely fresh bread with jam and a glass of fresh Orange Juice in the middle of the afternoon.

Breakfast was delicious wiuth fresh fruit and Pain o'chocolate as well as the more traditional pancakes and bread.

Gareth also organised transfers for us from our Riad in Marrakech and the driver was incredibly helpful and showed us the goats balanced in trees and stopped off at a Argan co-op and pottery shop where I bought a gorgeous bowl for a fraction of the cost in the Medina.

All in all it was a wonderful stay and i'd definetly return.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Katiegt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 - 283 of 455 reviews

Reviewed 11 January 2014

A delightful modern riad in Essaouira. Attentive service from all staff. Room is spacious and the bathroom is large and well designed. Besides the two lounges and ground floor patio there is also a wonderful terrace with plunge pool. Views of the waves crashing against the rocks can be enjoyed from the terrace, where it is also possible to have breakfast. Would highly recommend this riad and would stay there again.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2014

We stayed at Dar Maya back in September and couldn't have had a better experience. It is a stylish, yet understated, oasis (particularly if you've just come to Essaouaria from the hecticness of Marrakech). Gareth was always on hand to give some great suggestions and recommendations in town, and even helped arrange a gorgeous hammam and in-room couple's massage for my boyfriend and me. The room was so lovely, and the roof of Dar Maya was stunning. There isn't much better than watching a sunset over the sea with a glass of mint tea in hand as they offer at this hotel.

This is total luxury in the best sense of the word, without the overblown price tag to accompany it. I can't recommend it enough.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank rkb529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

Fell in love with Dar Maya via the website. Expected to love it once there too. Yes, the modern style riad is attractive and the owner charming. The photos on the website are gorgeous and the riad is, in fact, new and attractive. The in room fireplaces were a big draw for us (longed for as we froze in the desert) but, on arrival, we learned they are not functional. Neither did the under floor heating in the bath work. And, half of the vanity lights were out. The basics are good -- bed comfortable, room warm, breakfast adequate. A plus is the cozy, upstairs common room. Wine/beer there one evening was very pleasant. Service disappointments were a request for dinner reservation that resulted in a report the reservation was secured but then, last minute, another report that, no, restaurant is fully booked; request for breakfast at 8AM resulted in no staff on site at 8, breakfast served at the usual 8:30 or so time; then, no staff on site to assist with checkout. To be sure, Dar Maya is very nice and no doubt the intent is the best. However, the website over promises and the rates are high for the reality.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NCtravelerWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gareth T, Owner at Dar Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Dar Maya welcomes feedback from all our guests and we are willing to be judged by these reviews. In response to the feedback received in this review we would like to address the following points. There is indeed a problem with the fireplace in the room the guest stayed in and we explained this to the guest. The fireplace will be fixed when the room is unoccupied for a couple of days, which has not been possible over the very busy Christmas period. The under-floor heating in the bathroom does work; the system was only ever intended to take the chill off the marble floor and does not make the floor very hot. In terms of the restaurant booking, when the guest asked for the booking to be made in the early afternoon it was not possible for us to phone the restaurant until it opened at 6 pm. When we did phone we were told by the restaurant that they were fully booked and we therefore made a reservation at another very good restaurant for the guest. We strive to make our guests’ stay a truly memorable experience and we are saddened that this guest was disappointed by certain aspects of their stay at Dar Maya.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My husband and i stayed at Dar Maya at the end of our say in Morocco and it was a lovely finish to our holiday. Dar Maya is very homely and has two very well fed dogs who live there - their bellies are in stark contrast to most pets in Morocco! Abdel (the manager) looked after us while we were there and his attention to detail and restuarant recommendations were absolutely spot on - he really helped make our stay in Essaouira.

Our room was spacious and very clean. Quite a lot of lighting in our beautiful bathroom was not working when we arrived but as soon as we mentioned this to Abdel he made it his priority to sort it out.

We enjoyed a hamman followed by a massage at Dar Maya during our stay which i would highly recommend - the massage was nothing short of bliss and a really lovely way to round off our trip.

Dar Maya is on the edge of the souks and very well located in the beautiful old town of Essaouira. Would highly recommend.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank GillMcC1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

Location
Essaouira is a beautiful and magical place. Dar Maya is deep in the medina. The medina is small, relatively clean and easy to navigate. It's not imposing like Fez for example. Dar Maya is within walking distance of everything.

Entrance
Your car will drop you off at one of the medina wall gates. From there you can hire a baggage guy with a cart for 20-30dh to carry your luggage through the medina to Dar Maya. It's easy and painless.

The porter will probably know where the hotel is, but be sure to have a map or something with the name. When you first arrive it will seem like an endless maze of turns that will be confusing. Don't worry because you will easily learn the paths. The door is down what looks like an alley. It's a carved wood door that gives you an example of the quality behind it.

Someone will greet you at the door and whisk you away to your room -- bags to follow. Instead of checking in, they will hand you an envelope with everything you need to know. Keys will be in the door.

Lobby/Public Spaces
The "lobby" is a tiny entrance way and the reception desk is a closet sized room with a computer. It doesn't matter because you don't need any of that.

There are several public spaces including an indoor living area and outdoor courtyard. There is a public space with couches on the 3rd floor, and there is a terrace on the roof. All beautifully decorated.

Food
Breakfast is free and is made to order. They had fresh fruit, fresh baked goods, etc. I had a an omelet with brie that was fantastic. Also they have fresh squeezed orange juice. And plentiful mint tea whenever you want it.

Room
Was clean, spacious and well designed. The bathroom feels like you are stepping into a luxury spa. It has a tub bath that is uniquely designed. Best part is a towel warmer and a special heating system that keeps the floor warm.

Service
Outstanding. From the bellman to check in and check out to the breakfast ladies, everyone smiled and treated us like royalty.

Bottom Line
This feels like a boutique five star hotel in the middle of a magical city. They say that most people spend only one night the first time and then come back for a week. I can believe it.

Room Tip: Stay longer than you have planned.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank angmohgao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

We had a fantastic experience at riad maya for our new year break. Excellent service from Gareth and his staff. All our transport needs and restaurant bookings were taken care of smoothly.

The hammam at the hotel is small but well worth the 200 dirham fee and for 500 extra you can have a massage added to that.

We stayed in the tiggna room on the top floor. This has the added benefit of a large communal living room right outside the door, which in practice is rarely used by guests from other floors. The room is spacious and tastefully decorated with a nice king sized bed. The bathroom is in Moroccan hammam style with large fluffy robes.

Top marks for our experience here at very reasonable cost despite peak new year season!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank TheGlobalFinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dar Maya

Address: 33 Rue Oujda, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 75 Hotels in Essaouira
Price Range: £87 - £153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Maya is a luxury boutique hotel, offering five rooms, a spa and rooftop hot tub in a chic, tranquil riad in the heart of Essaouira's historic medina. Having successfully blended a mix of understated Moroccan and contemporary European styles, Dar Maya oozes elegance, subtlety and intimacy. Our aim is to make your stay at Dar Maya as enjoyable as possible, and we offer an impeccable level of service that only a small luxury hotel can provide.With stunning ocean views from the terrace, the hotel is a few minutes walk to all the main attractions and amenities including the bustling cafes and restaurants, souks, port and beach. ... more   less 
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