You know when a place is exactly what you were looking for and even matches your personality? I don’t get this feeling very often, but if you followed my trip to Morocco on social media, must have realized that I’ve mentioned the beautiful Riad Dar Alif a few times. That’s because it’s one of those places. It was love at first sight, and it became our “home” in Morocco, or so we liked to call it.
I love the combination of a cozy place, having direct contact with the hosts, a hint of luxury and the possibility of experiencing the local culture all at the same time. Philippe and Isabelle, the owners, are a French couple who used to live in Tanzania for over a decade and moved to Marrakech almost 3 years ago to open Dar Alif.
In our trip to Morocco, we had the chance to stay a total of 5 nights at Riad Dar Alif, at the beginning and at the end of out trip, and had a wonderful time. We couldn’t imagine staying in a different place, it matched all we were looking for and needed. Without further ado, let me tell you all about staying in Marrakech at Riad Dar Alif.
A refreshing welcome
After greeted at the airport by the driver, we arrived in the medina, a few streets before the Riad’s entrance, and Philippe was already there waiting for us. As we arrived in the courtyard, I could already feel the wonderful smell of the place. We took a seat on a sofa by the pool and were served delicious local homemade sweet biscuits with mint tea, and a cold towel to freshen up. I was already beyond exited.
Philippe explained a little bit about the Riad and the neighborhood, and with a map, gave us lots of valuable tips for Marrakech on where to go and eat, which was highly appreciated. He also took us around the neighborhood and kindly showed us the way to the main square, Jemaa el Fna.
Dar Alif is located in the Jewish quarter of the medina, Mellah. It’s mostly a residential area, near the Badi Palace. The streets might seem strange at first, but it’s a friendly neighborhood with lots of kids playing around, and the owners know the locals. From there it’s easy to go everywhere, we did everything on foot easily, and when we needed a taxi it was also easy to get one.
Each room of the Riad is decorated with a different theme. We had the chance to stay in 2 different rooms, the first was Moroccan themed, with a very spacious bathroom and separated toilet. The second was the African room, with beautiful original pieces from Tanzania, which bathroom is set up in a very interesting way. Both rooms were really quiet, clean, cozy, and with incredibly comfortable beds.
Facilities & Service
The Riad has a pool, a beautiful rooftop terrace, a hammam (Moroccan steam room), and a quiet corner with books and games. Our favorite place was the rooftop terrace, where the breakfast is served every day and where we enjoyed to see the sunset having a glass of Moroccan wine.
It is possible to have lunch and dinner at the Riad, or simply have a few glasses of Moroccan wine in the terrace. In case you need to relax, the Riad also offers massage in your room. If you’re planning on taking a day trip or visit the desert, Philippe and Isabelle can organize it for you, as they are used to working with specific companies and people.
We had the chance to take a day trip organized by the Riad to the High Atlas Mountains, and it was amazing. Both the driver and our guide were Berbers from the mountains and took us to beautiful places and told us all about the area.
– The smell of the Riad is amazing and refreshing;
– There are fresh flowers every day;
– The staff is very friendly, always with a smile in their face;
– Philippe and Isabelle are incredibly nice and will do everything to make your stay unforgettable. One day we had to leave early, and they made sure we had our breakfast before, even though it was earlier than the time they normally serve it. Highly appreciated;
– Not to mention, they are always happy to recommend where to go, what to see and where to eat.
Tip: book directly in their website for better rates.
We were guests of Riad Dar Alif in September and October 2016. As always, views and opinions are my own, and I only recommend what I like and believe my readers will like too.