What is a Riad?
A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. It comes from the Arabian term for garden ‘ryad’. If you want to fully experience Moroccan culture, I highly recommend that you stay at a Riad rather than a hotel or hostel.
Riad Dar Zaman (where we are staying) means ‘Old House’ in Arabic, with reference to ‘the good old days!’ Here’s the courtyard of Riad Dar Zaman, where you can enjoy a mint tea or take a dip in the plunge pool to cool off.
Arriving at Riad Dar Zaman
Our driver, Abdul met us at the airport and bought us straight to Dar Zaman for just 18€ and Hassan came out to the taxi immediately to greet us and help with our bags. It was such an easy and pleasant arrival because of this, so this is a service well worth booking.
Riad Dar Zaman is a friendly and authentically Moroccan guesthouse located near Sidi Ben Slimane in the Old Town of Marrakesh. The location is perfect – you can walk to the Souks and the main square from there in about 15-20 minutes.
We arrived at Riad Dar Zaman quite early (before noon) as we had an early Ryanair flight from Stansted to Marrakesh. So we were shown to the lounge and given books to read and some delicious mint tea while our room was being prepared.
The thing that struck me the most about arriving at Dar Zaman was the friendliness of the staff.
Did I mention that I was brave enough to bring my mother on this blogging trip? Well, when Hassan learnt that it was her first time in Morocco, he couldn’t do enough for her. He said he was adopting her as his baby! Well, I don’t have to worry about my mom during the stay, that’s for sure!
Rooms at Riad Dar Zaman, Marrakesh
Rooms at Riad Dar Zaman are beautifully presented and clean, with all the facilities that you will need. The beds and pillows are comfortable and rooms are air conditioned. There is a safe to lock away your valuables, which we did use – only because it is a criteria of our travel insurance. We actually feel extremely safe and secure at Dar Zaman.
The hotel and rooms at Riad Dar Zaman are decorated with stunning African art almost everywhere you look.
The bathroom is a private bathroom within your room. It has a sink, shower and Western toilet in a very authentically Moroccan style. The sun shines through our tinted bathroom window giving it a stunning amber glow. Basic toiletries are provided here, so you have hand wash (Argan Oil), shampoo and shower gel at the ready.
A Fantastic Introduction to Marrakesh
After we had settled into our room, Hassan went through the map of Marrakesh with us, so that we could go out to eat and go exploring.
Hassan will show you the best places to visit and eat in Marrakesh. He gives you a two sided map – one that is the whole of the old town and new town, and another on the back with is a close up of the Riad Dar Zaman area.
He points out landmarks and gives you the phone number, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost! I actually What’s App’ed Hassan on our first day from the ‘Le Jardin’ restaurant with a little selfie to let him know that we were doing ok, and I called him once when we got lost!
Hassan even took me out on his moto! 😉
Free WIFI at Dar Zaman
WIFI is essential for travel blogging and keeping in touch with the family back home during a trip like this. Dar Zaman has free WIFI through two different networks. The Dar Zaman WIFI is free to connect to downstairs without a password. I had internet access to this instantly as soon as I arrived – bring on Instagram! 😉
When you are in a first floor room or up on the stunning roof terrace, you can login on the stronger network with a password.
Services and Excursions at Riad Dar Zaman
If you want Karima to cook for you in the hotel, you can let her know before 10am what you want from the menu, and she will go out shopping to get the fresh ingredients for you. However, if you are feeling adventurous, why not book a cooking lesson and learn how to make your own Tagine?
Peter and Hassan will also help you to book excursions including Essaouria and Ourika valley. Check out Riad Dar Zaman’s trips here.
Basically, if you are visiting Marrakesh, whatever you need or want to do here, Hassan and Peter can help you. We have asked for transport to Ouazarzate, which is now being arranged. You can also book bus tickets from Marrakesh to other parts of Morocco through Peter and Hassan on marrakechtickets.co.uk.
Riad Dar Zaman feels like a ‘home away from home’. It’s more than just a hotel to us – it’s like our little Moroccan family! If you are considering your first trip (or any trip for that matter) I highly recommend that you stay at Riad Dar Zaman.
If you enjoyed reading my review of Dar Zaman, you will also enjoy Dar Rita in Ouarzazate.
•This is a sponsored post – as a professional travel blogger, I always declare when I receive something for free and blog honestly. Thank you to Peter at Dar Zaman for a complimentary 3 night stay.