The Riad dar Sbihi with its exquisite garden courtyard, which lies behind an unassuming wooden door - down a narrow pink-walled alley - at once surprises and delights new arrivals. The riad - welcoming up to 26 guests - is located at the northern edge of the old city, well wiwalls, but significantly, is just out of range of local traffic noise, which gives guests more than a distinct impression that herein lies an “oasis of calm” - away from the hustle and bustle that is Marrakech. The roof terrace - for al fresco dining or sunbathing - is another particularly attractive feature.
(For comments on Marrakech as a destination, see our other TA review.)
Our greatest compliments must be reserved for the riad’s owner/proprietor Sybille Audoor, who surely would win any international award (were there one on offer) of “Perfect Host”. From the warmth experienced on our arrival through to our reluctant departure, no effort was spared by Sybille nor her staff to ensure that our stay was enjoyable. Always on hand to help in any way eg. contacting a local tour operator about rearranging a trip to the Atlas Mountains or making useful suggestions about getting around Marrakech, Sybille (Belgian born, with dual nationality, who speaks several languages fluently) was always charmingly engaging.
It was fascinating to hear her talk about the 18 year riad renovation project; a true labour of love, managed by her Moroccan husband. They turned what had been a derelict hulk of a building into its current splendour, keeping each architectural and decorative detail faithful to its Moroccan tradition yet providing modern comforts such as air conditioning, an indoor pool and free WiFi (soon to be upgraded to fibre optic at 100mbits/sec).
It would be remiss of us not also to mention the excellent quality of the Moroccan cuisine (breakfasts, lunch and dinner) prepared and presented by cheerful yet discrete waiting staff. Truly 5* cuisine in a quiet 5* riad!
We hope one day to return and wholeheartedly recommend readers who decide to come to Marrakech to book their stay in Riad dar Sbihi.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Large classical riad (1st category) offering 5 rooms, 3 mini suites and 2 suites around a central courtyard adorned with a fountain in the middle of 4 gardens. All traditional rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, minibar, safe, phone, hair dryer. Heated pool (5m x 3m), hammam, meals on request, parking. Personal service by the owners who live in their riad. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Riad Dar Sbihi Hotel Marrakech