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Historical Traveler Reviews Dar Vedra Marrakech
My Second Stay at the Wonderful Dar Vedra
I first stayed at the Dar Vedra in May of 2006, and loved both the Dar and Didier and Sebastien, the owners and hosts. Nestled in the heart of the Medina, it is exquisitely decorated, an oasis of calm amid the clamouring souk.
Didier and Sebastien are very professional; they organise a taxi to meet you upon arrival (no matter what the time: I arrived at 2 in the morning), which is added to the bill, and so you don't have to worry about having money with which to pay the taxi driver immediately upon setting foot in Morroco. They provide good advise when asked (both speak good English) and are very helpful in planning trips.
I would suggest the Dar Vedra to anyone going to Marrakesh. I don't think there is a better hotel or Maison d'hote in Marrakesh.
A delightful riad. In the heart of the bustling Medina but remarkably peaceful (one soon gets used to the call to morning prayers). The website photographs do not fully reflect the building's splendour and space: there are lots of places to enjoy solitude or drinks with friends. Meals and wine in the riad are first class. The owners maintain the right balance between helpfulness and respect for privacy and the staff are excellent. Hightly recommended by all ten of our party all with different backgrounds and tastes.
Best Place We Stayed In
I stayed with my partner in Dar Vedra for four days. Prior to us taking the trip, I have emailed several hotels in Marrakesh and received several offers. This hotel was slightly over our planned budget but I decided to go for it as reply that I had received from Didier was far the most professional than the other ones I got. Didier kindly offered to arrange airport transfer for us which we luckily agreed to as finding your way in Medina can be very tricky. The taxi transfer that we arranged through Didier was cheaper and better than the other quotes we got from the other taxi drivers so I would thoroughly recommend it. From the moment we walked into the ryad, we were welcommed and greeted by Didier and his staff and I instantly felt like this was home from home. They made you feel very secure and comfortable. Didier has given us the key to the front door as the room doors, although they do have bolts, are seldomly locked. I felt like I was staying at my friends house not a hotel. The ryad itself has been beautifully restored by Didier and Sebastian to become an oasis of tranquility. Their taste is absolutely impeccable. Dar Vedra is very modern yet very traditional. I appreciated their attention to details like soft feather down duvets and pillows, white fluffly robes and towels, heavy silk curtains, beautiful traditional lamps, fragranced candles, etc. Our room was room No. 1 and it was lovely. It had the biggest bath, huge bed and french door to patio with small pool but what I liked the most about it was the real wood fire place. After the walk in Medina we would spend hours sitting next to the open fire. It reminded me of my childhood and I absolutely loved it. It was very romantic. My partners only complaint was that our TV in the room did not work but I did not mind at all. As it was our first time in Marrakesh, I asked Sebastian and Didier for advice where to eat, which shops to go to, which trips to take. They were extremely helpfull. On our first night Didier recommended restaurant called Dar Zelij in Medina. We were completely blown away by it. The ryad was difficult to find but once you find it it is stunningly beautifull. Huge ceilings, orange trees in the middle of the restaurant, huge red silk curtains and berber rugs and stunning wood painted ceiling take your breath away. The place has word perfection written all over it. It had live traditional music which was quiet enough for us to have conversation, the waiters were all dressed in white robes and the fish tagine that I had was served beautifully and cooked so well it simply melts in your mouth. The three course meal for two costed about 80 euros which is more than we would usually pay in the UK but it was definitely worth it. It was very romantic and my only regret was that my partner did not propose to me there and then as it was definitely a place for it.
For a less expensive place to eat I would recommend Jemma el Fna square after 6pm. Stand no 18 is ver popular with the locals and serves fresh fish, mashed aubergines and chips which cost only about £5 for two people. You have to eat with your hands as they do not supply any cutlery but once you get then hang of it, the meal itself is very tasty and very cheap.
As far as tourist attractions are concerned, I would recommend visiting Ourika valley and trek into the mountains (which, to my utter delight, were covered with one meter of snow at the time), La Bahia palace, Marrakesh museum, Ben Yousuf Medressa, Koutubia mosque and Yves San Laurent gardens. For mode of transport I recommend horses carriages and in particular gentleman called Abas (who unlike the other drivers who kept hitting horses to go faster, never hit one of his, was very knowledgable about the place and spoke reasonably good english) - it costs about 10 euros per hour and it saves you walking on roads in constant traffic rush. As far as Marrakesh itself is concerned it was a bit of culture shock for me. I felt like I stepped 100 years back in time. I disliked the apparent cruelty to animals, being hassled by people who gave directions and then asked you for money, people asking me to buy things, being pestered by people who begged for money (one 6/7 year old boy followed us on his own round Medina for about 20 minutes untill we gave him what he thought was enough cash to go away). What striked me the most about Marrakesh is the philosophy of the place which is a bit cliched but is all about the beauty on the inside. This philosophy is reflected in the architecture of the place and its people. I would strongly recommend Marrakesh before the global commercialism has changed this.
Thanks to Didier, Sebastian and the staff for the hospitality.
Beautiful property, great hosts
I couldn't have enjoyed my stay at Dar Vedra more. I arrived late at night and they sent a porter to meet me at the train station - a lifesaver considering I was a woman traveling alone and Marrakech can be overwhelming from the start!
Conveniently located near the main square (about a 10 minute walk), the riad is uniquely decorated with a mix of Moroccan and French influence. The owners Sebastian and Dee Dee are very nice individuals - I had about 100 questions about where to go and how to get places and they were very helpful, calling ahead to check on bus timetables and giving me detailed, simple instructions for handling the craziness of Marrakech. They even generously held my bag of souveniers while I travelled for another week through the desert before returning to Marrakech.
They also have a computer with internet access that you can use whenever you want, which was great. The roof terrace is beautiful and it's nice to have breakfast up there. There's also a small pool if you want to cool off!
The riad is right next to one of the mosques, so you may hear the call to prayer early in the morning. However, there are huge heavy doors to your room that you can close if you want to sleep more peacefully. (make sure to set an alarm -- I ended up sleeping too late because I was so tired and it was so dark!)
I really enjoyed my stay, and felt it was a very reasonable price for such a gorgeous property in Marrakech. Highly recommended!
Fantastic riad in the medina
We spent 3 very good nights at the beginning of November in this renovated riad (Dar Vedra) in Bab Doukkala in the medina. The peace and calm of the riad was striking compared to the frenzied activity of the surrounding streets and souks. Our room was described as 'standard' but was extremely comfortable with an ensuite shower room. Breakfast on the roof-top terrace was a highlight. The hosts, Didier and Sebastien, are French (both speak English) and were very hospitable and gave us lots of useful information and booked a day trip for us. We found not having a key for our room (just a key for the front door and the rest was 'open house') unusual, but a safe was provided and there seemed to be no risk.
A highly recommended place to stay in a fascinating city.
Un paradis en plein coeur de la Medina
Nous habitons Genève et avons passé une semaine de vacances à la fin du mois d'octobre 2006 dans ce riad que nous pouvons recommander sans aucune hésitation. Pourquoi ? La demeure a été magnifiquement rénovée (dans le style marrakchi bien sûr), avec beaucoup de goût, la chambre n°3 est définitivement magique, la propreté est toujours au rendez-vous, le personnel de service très aimable et très sympathique, et last but not least, les propriétaires et gérants (français) de Dar Vedra sont tellement accueillants et ne manquent pas de conseils pour mieux découvrir la ville. Le riad est très bien situé (à 10 minutes à pied de la Place Jemaa El Fna, 10 minutes des souks et proche de l'entrée du nouveau quartier de Gueliz). Sans oublier la terrasse si reposante pour se relaxer ou prendre son petit-déjeuner (ou le souper). Enfin, la cuisine de Rachida n'est à manquer sous aucun prétexte, le couscous était savoureux et copieux. Bref, vous l'aurez compris, si vous allez à Marrakech en cherchant le calme, la classe et la qualité, c'est à Dar Vedra qu'il faut vous adresser. timo&adeline
Home away from home
Sebastian and Didier, the owners of the riad, offer French comfort and style served with Moroccan warmth. This is a great place to stay because it's in the heart of a residential neighborhood of Morocco, yet you are just a leisurely fifteen minute walk from square or souk. During the day, a taxi ride should be just a few U.S. dollars.
In the neighborhood, we enjoyed shopping locally for bottled water and peelable fruit; a refreshing change from the persistent salesmanship in the square or in the souks. We also stopped in a local bakery where we were greeted with stares, giggles and friendly smiles (as the only non-residents in the store). The confections were delicious!
In the riad, breakfasts were simple, delicious and bountiful, served with fresh honey and delicious jams. The concierge would often remember drink preferences and bring an espresso without our request. Breakfast is served in a common room, where you have the opportunity to chat with other guests and get tips for shopping and dining.
The common areas, inner courtyard and pool areas are inviting, with rose petals sprinkled on the bubbling fountain! It is a relaxing place to have a pot of mint tea and listen to music from the high tech sound system. The rooms are comfortable and decorated with richly colored Moroccan fabrics.
We picked up a flu during the middle of our stay, and Didier ensured that we were well cared for. He brought us soup and fruits and offered to call a doctor for us. Although it was frustrating that our sickness confined us to our room, our hosts made sure that it was as comfortable as being sick in our own home. We felt that they really went beyond the call of duty and made all parts of our stay enjoyable! Didier even saw us off at 5:30 am!
A note on Marrakech: Morocco, in general, is probably not the place to go for light sleepers unless you stay in the countryside because of the mosque's call to prayer. In particular, though, the Bab Doukkla mosque is right by the riad, so light sleepers (like me) will definitely be awakened by the pre-dawn call to prayer. However, the silhouette of the mosque tower viewed from the roof of the riad (at all hours of the day, but especially at night) is fantastic and worth every minute of lost sleep.
One more note on the mosques: please don't attempt to go in or take photos of the interior. We saw many tourists trying to do this, and it disrupted the religious atmosphere and practice of the faithful.
Havre de paix à Marrakech
J'étais déjà allé à Marrakech et j'en gardais un bon souvenir. J'avais séjourné au sofitel, sympa biensûr mais finalement pas très authentique j'aurais tout aussi bien pu être n'importe où dans le monde... un hôtel est un hôtel. Cette fois ci j'avais décider de découvrir Marrakech autrement alors j'ai essayer la formule Riad......
Et maintenant j'ai des souvenirs exceptionnels grâce à mon séjour à Dar Vedra, à la qualité de l'accueil réservé par les propriétaires et le personnel. Les propriétaires sont 2 Français qui connaissent Marrakech comme leur poche vous donnent tous les bons plans, les bons endroits à voir, où aller diner etc... Un accueil que j'ai trouvé très personnalisé et de qualité.
Quand à la déco !!!! Waouhhhh ! Tout a été pensé, chaque détail est peaufiné pour donner un ensemble superbe. Mention spéciale pour le clapotis de la fontaine qui berce vos soirées ainsi que pour le bassin où l'on peut se plonger pour se relaxer après une journée de marche dans les souks.
Pour finir je dirais qu'en plus c'est super bien situé et facile d'accès. Donc rien à redire si ce n'est que les vacances c'est toujours trop court !
Alors courrez y et si il vous reste une place emmenez moi !
Great place, very cute, very well maintained, great food,...
We stayed 1 week and I have to say that we're very happy that the Dar is great because 1 week in Marrakech is a long time. So we've really appreciated the (small but very refreshing) pool, the terrace on the roof for the stars-watch at night.
The Dar has everything you need, is very clean, under air conditioning, and the property are here (they live in the Dar), which is great when you need an advice, tip... The service is really nice, and the breakfast are delicious.
Really a nice place to stay, in the heart of the Medina, but your cab will drop you just very close (instead of walking in the Medina with your luggages). 10 min from the Place Djema El Fna, 10 min from the Souks.
One word: great place to stay!
Home from Home
My wife and I now have two favourite places to stay in the world. The first was Hotel Le Senechal, Ile de re, France. Unbeatable we thought, until we stepped into the beautiful and peaceful oasis that is Riad Dar Vedra deep inside Marrakech's bustling medina. The beautiful setting, however, is only part of the story - we visited other riads in Morocco and beauty is common to many of them. What sets Dar Vedra apart from any other place I have ever stayed is the service. The service is so good it does not feel like service. It does not feel like people have a job to do, it feels like you are a welcome guest in somebody's home. The French owners live in the riad and have made it their mission, it would seem, to create this atmosphere. They show you the door to their apartment and invite you to ask for assistance at any time. One anecdote, I think, will illustrate perfectly what I mean: the time of our return flight meant that we had to leave for the airport before 6am. Breakfast was waiting for us before we left.