Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Marrakech
Got 1st class tix. had compartment to ourselves for awhile--laid down & slept. In Meknes 2 others came in.
Nice driver took us to the Cottages. Difficult to find, but he was very nice.
Got in our cottage, Sylvain showed us around. Went to the pool.
Laid down, not feeling well. A/C not working. Sylvain couldn't get it to work, so we moved to another cottage.
Dinner: chicken & couscous--delish.
... sitting. He double checked again, making sure he understood what I wanted: tea in the teapot, ice in the glasses. Oui. I really think he had no idea what we were doing.
Once the black tea had steeped, I slowly poured it over the ice. Voila! Iced tea. So happy. Of course, we only had enough ice for one glass, but by the time we drank that, the rest of the tea in the pot had cooled down considerably (and so had we), so it all worked out very well. The salads were amazing too.
... Cafe and went there for something cold to drink. We had Coke Lights, and Hunter ordered some hummus for lunch. The heat and my migraine kept my hunger at bay.
We were up on the terrace by ourselves, but then a large group of (highschoolers?) from Bristol, England joined us. We had a good time talking to them. They had been trekking in the Atlas Mountains for three weeks. They are going home tomorrow.
We got to the spa right on time this time. ...
... up at their prayer rugs reciting prayers. Our second day was packed with sight-seeing: the Bahia palace, built in 1890, with elaborate designs in stone and plaster, much of it restored and in excellent condition; the Badia Palace, built in 1578-1607, now in ruins but clearly an enormous and imposing structure, with many storks now nesting atop the walls, the Koutoubia Mosque minbar, a 12th century pulpit with steps leading to a chair at the ...
... It was very clean and nice. Unfortunately my stomach wasn't feeling the best when I first got there, it was just a lot of driving and then train and I think my body just needed a little break from it all. I do have a tendency to get car sick on long trips, or winding roads trips. We did quickly see Casablanca, but like I said at this point we were just ecstatic that we had already experienced the bigger part of our trip. The pizza in the ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel Marrakech
Americans need to stay here!
Fellow American travelers (and those abroad as well), you need to go to Marrakech and stay at the Dar Ayniwen! I am so surprised that Dar Ayniwen has received relatively little publicity in the United States thus far, especially since it is so well known in Europe.
My husband and I just returned from a 12-day stay in Morocco, and a great deal of that time was spent in Marrakech and at Dar Ayniwen. The property is like a dream. I liken it to entering Munchkinland from the gray and dreary world of Dorothy in Kansas. You are driven down a long, non-descript and dusty road before you enter the massive doorway to Dar Ayniwen. Suddenly, everything is technicolor. Fountains overflowing with rose petals, lush gardens, a deep blue pool, and the most magnificent rooms I have ever seen. I have no idea what the reviewer from New York was talking about in her review -- the rooms are far from dated. To the contrary, each room has been meticulously kitted out with antiques from all over the world. There are stained glass windows, exotically curved doorways, and wonderful bath products in every suite. Walking the large property each night through jasmine scented trees, koi ponds, and a wandering group of gobbling guinea fowl added to our sense of serenity at Dar Ayniwen.
The father and son team who run Dar Ayniwen are wonderful hosts (and the son speaks excellent English), as are the rest of the staff. They are personable, attentive and so eager to make sure that you are relaxed and pampered throughout your stay. They were so helpful in arranging guides for the souks and reservations at restaurants in town and they drove us wherever we wanted to go (free of charge) day or night. We were made to feel as if we were in our own home.
In short, staying at Dar Ayniwen was an utterly relaxing, refreshing and uplifting experience. For anyone who likes to stay at a unique, small and luxurious property, Dar Ayniwen is worth the trip. This riad is on par with any of the other small luxury hotels in the world, and we give it our highest recommendation.
By far the best!
We have just returned from a week in Marrakech and had the great fortune to have stayed at the Dar Ayniwen. This small luxury hotel was just what we were looking for and is excellent in every way. We were given a full tour of the villa on arrival and a welcome 'mint tea'. We were then shown to the Roman Villa in the garden. This villa is completely separate from the main house and has superb facilities along with a veranda around two sides and direct access to the pool. We loved the whole atmosphere of the place and particularly liked the vast collection of interesing furniture and artifacts. We completely disagree with the previous review on this site where the author felt the furniture was tired and reminiscent of times past. Much of the furniture is antique and has been collected both locally and from the owner's travels. This gives the Dar Ayniwen its character and we really didn't want to stay in a clinical modern hotel with matching modern furniture in each room. The service is excellent and we really felt looked after. The food is fantasctic and after having first thought we would visit some restaurants in Marrakech we decided to dine at the Dar Ayniwen each evening. The menu choice is excellent and we even asked for something not on the menu one evening and the chef prepared it for us.
The gardens and swimming pool are real features of the villa and we spent a lot of time relaxing, walking and swimming. This is the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy the sun! The hotel offers free transport to the city which is a real positive and they can organise day trips. We visited the Atlas mountains for a day and had an excellent driver who really knew the area and gave us plenty of information. We also had a camel ride and the hotel arranged for the camels to collect us from outside the hotel gates.
An excellent hotel in an excellent location with the most amazing service. Definately to be recommended!
Absolutely First Class!
We stayed at Dar Ayniwen in September 2006 for five days. On arrival we were shown to our room which was beautiful and had a bedroom, huge bathroom with its own hammam and separate living area with mini bar, tv, dvd and cd player.
After a mint tea we were shown around the grounds which were beautiful. The gardens are kept immaculate by several gardeners and there is plenty of wildlife including birds and tortoises! Every morning we had breakfast served on our terrace, which is included in the price, and chose from their menus what we would like for lunch and dinner so the food could be bought fresh that day from the market. The menu was a mix of Moroccan and French and there was plenty for us to choose from and a very good wine list - all reasonably priced. Dinner was served outside by the lantern-lit pool area and was always superb. All the staff are fantastic - very friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble for them.
Included in the room price is the use of a car and driver to take you anywhere you like which is useful as we would get dropped off at the Medina and collected again within 10 minutes of a call back to the hotel (Ahmed, one of the fantastic members of staff who drove us, always recommended good places to visit and pointed out various sights!). I would recommend Dar Ayniwen to anyone who is looking for a luxurious, peaceful and relaxing stay in beautiful surroundings in a wonderful part of Morocco. It is truly one of the best hotels we have visited.
Gorgeous setting, tired rooms, mosquitoes abound
Dar Ayniwen has a truly spectacular setting in the Palmeraie, which is about a 20 minute ride into the town center. The guesthouse sits on a huge private botanical garden with a myriad of different fruit trees, flowers, rare tropical birds (in cages), turtles, and guinea fowls. If you plan to spend most of your time outdoors sunning by the pool (and you don't mind the mosquitoes) or in town sightseeing or shopping, you might consider this place for the beauty of its garden and the peace and quiet that you will not find in many parts of Marrakech. That the guesthouse provides free rides to/from the medina is a definite plus.
However, if the quality and the upkeep of the rooms are really important to you it gives me pause in recommending the place. Quite frankly, the suites have much to be desired. The busy decor with old furniture and fittings have what could best be described as having "faded charm" or "character" and resembles an old curio shop. The rooms are musty. One wonders when the last time the yellowing/graying curtains or the heavy brocades used as a bedspread might have been laundered. The sofa in our suite has lost some of the spring. Another sofa in one of the outdoor living rooms was very badly stained. The worst are the bathrooms. There was a strong odor emanating from the drains often associated with aging pipes; they seem to be having some major plumbing issues. The toiletry supplied was decidely down-market (Dove soap for eg) considering the up-market rates the guesthouse charges.
Dining at the guesthouse should be considered only for convenience. While I did appreciate the variety of choices available (unlike at other riads), the food served in gargantuan proportions, was generally insipid.
Service was a bit inconsistent; on the officious side when available and at times became tiresome during meals. One server was a little too eager to show up quickly to take the food away between courses.
Hand towels were never supplied again once left on the floor to be taken away.
On a minor note: it would have been helpful to have a tariff card for the mini-bar. I had no way of knowing until check-out.
Lastly: be forewarned, there are lots and lots of mosquitoes even in autumn. Mosquito mats were supplied but they do such damage to the respitatory system! Wake up with a soar throat or bites all over...you decide. This is probably due to the lush vegetation which ironically is the main asset to this place.
Our family rented out the whole villa (about 7 suites) for the Christmas Holiday. It was a most relaxing holiday and we all were pampered to pefection. The owners and staff were lovely and made us feel very welcome. Everyone there really went that extra mile to try to give us anything we wanted both during our stay and after (a few months after we left my mother in law asked for them to send her some more of the wonderful local Argan oil and they delivered it to Germany for free). The food was amazing (and I am difficult to please!) and the cooks would let us choose whatever we wanted to eat in the morning and they would have it ready for us in the evening.The bedroom suites were beautiful, each with its own particular feel and extremely large and comfortable. I particularly liked the one my husband and I stayed at on the first floor with a large terrace overlooking the grounds. Good sized swimming pool although winter is a little cold to go in (some of us went in anyway). The area where the villa is located is a green oasis just outside of Marrackech (20 minutes drive). If you are looking for a relaxing place to stay while visiting the area around Marrakech I definitely recommend this one! You won't be disappointed.
The best in Marrakech.
This is my fourth time at Dar Ayniwen.
it is one of my favourite hotels in the world. The villa itself, the service, the food and the rooms are simply amazing.
For certain, I will be back again and again. I have stayed in at least a dozen hotels, riads and villas in Marrakech and this one is by far the best!
Most magical hotel in Marrakech
Dar Ayniwen impresses with its beautiful authentic Moroccan villa and spectacular grounds, which include a large garden with tall palm trees, rose bushes, courtyards and terraces, shaded areas to sit as well as gorgeous pool. The traditional family home that has been converted into a boutique hotel is luxurious and extraordinarily charming and the discreet yet omnipresent service as well as the excellent chef make for the most memorable stay in the palmeraie. Beyond individually styled rooms - some in the main house, one a separate pavillion set in the garden and further rooms in a converted hammam - there are oriental communal areas in which guests may listen to music, play the piano or simply read to draw in the atmosphere of the exotic villa with its softly murmuring water basins. Marble bathrooms with plenty of soft towels, a sauna and an authentic hammam provide all the modern amenities a discerning traveller is used to. Particularly enchanting if you take over the entire hotel with your family or friends for a special event. The owner family went out of its way to make it a memorable occasion in our case.
I have visited Morocco many times over the last 5 years and Dar Ayniwen is definitely the best place I have stayed - I wouldn't consider going to Marrakech without staying there.
The house and gardens are an oasis and you can stay in a choice of 8 different styled rooms, eat delicious food, get pampered with a massage, swim, play games in the garden and generally relax in a lovely location.
Aziz and his staff are topnotch and always spoil us.
I couldn't reccomend it more highly.
Don't miss the Dar Ayniwen
My wife and I had the good fortune to have the Dar Ayniwen suggested to us by a close friend. We thought he was exaggerating when he told us of his stay and how well he was treated by the staff and the owners, but what we found was that he did not stretch the truth. In fact, I'm not sure he did the place justice when he described it! I have travelled to many countries on the African continent as well as many European countries, and I must say that by far my most memorable time was spent in Marrakech and more specifically at the Dar Ayniwen...if you're going to Morocco, don't spend too much time in Casablanca, start your journey from Marrakech!
Excellent from the very start
We were still searching for a hotel when we arrived at Dar Ayniwen. The staff welcome us with tea and biscuits and showed us around. We knew from the very start that we will have a very nice stay and selected Dar Ayniwen without too much hesitation. Great swimming pool, beautifull rooms, teriffic garden and excellent food. Marocco has a lot of great hotels and this is one of the best.