As featured in The Times - 10 Great Villas - Marrakech Travel, Saturday 27 September 2014!
Dar Aicha, is the Marrakech home of the English artist, Elaine M Goodwin. It is an intimate and enchanting small palace, filled with light and beauty and situated at the heart of the old medina of Marrakech. Located at the end of a short cul-de-sac, off the main passage-way leading into the souk Smarine, it is a few minutes walk from the square, the renowned Djemaa el Fna. The house is a traditional Dar, built around an open courtyard, with an upper level and an attractive roof terrace garden.
Our guests, even couples on their own, get sole occupancy of the riad and the services of our attentive staff. We pride ourselves in offering a 5-star service in elegant surroundings at very competitive rates. The rates quoted are per person. Please click on 'Rates' for full details.
We have installed free WiFi facilities for the convenience of our guests.
(Please note: We are the original Dar Aicha. We have no connection with a small hostel near the bus station, known as Riad Dar Aicha, also in Marrakech.)
My name is Elaine M Goodwin, an English artist, living in the south west of England. Marrakech became my second home when I purchased the beautiful Dar Aicha in 2001. Marrakech, with its wondrous colours, warmth and incredible light, greatly inspires my art work. It is wondrous.
My good friend Jane Clark handles the rental bookings for me and looks forward very much to hearing from you. She will ensure you have a comfortable and wonderful stay. She takes over this role from our friend Munni who has held this position for over 13 years. For those who knew her, she is at present travelling the world!
Jane Clark (Bookings Manager) - Elaine M Goodwin (owner) purchased this house in 2001
I wanted to find a studio home which would inspire me as an artist. Dar Aicha in the Marrrakech with its beauty and incredible location won me over. Although I have had this gorgeous home for over 13 years, on each and every visit, I remain as excited and entranced as the I first time I stepped over the threshold. Dar Aicha is full of light and traditional character. My wonderful staff of many years make both me and guests feel most welcome at all times.
Waking up at Dar Aicha is a joy. The sun comes streaming into the courtyard, birds are singing and you know that soon a delicious breakfast will be served in the dining area or on the terrace. The day has begun and you know fabulous things will unfold. On the first floor there is an open and welcoming sitting area - a traditional space - known as a 'mensa'. This is where you can sit and relax, read or listen to music. It is the heart of the riad. On the ground floor there is an elegant salon with a television and comfy sofas to enjoy cosy evenings. On the roof of Dar Aicha is a spacious terrace with potted palms and exotic trees. This is the place to enjoy the night sky, the birds, the sun and the unique tranquility of living in a traditional riad...a living room in the sky. Coming into Dar Aicha, after experiencing all the excitement and colour of the souk is like entering a different world - a haven. Madame Zahra, our amazing cook is always on hand to serve delicious meals and Samir our charming house manager is forever helpful in making sure all your needs are met. He is also a great problem solver. The rest of the staff are
equally friendly and delightful. Dar Aicha is gem!
The Riad is so beautiful! And Samir and Madame Zahra with their helpers looked after us so well, and the food was absolutely delicious.
We loved Marrakech and Ossauira, and we had some fabulous walks in the mountains, with Samir being very helpful organising our trips.
So it's hard returning to England!
Thank you for making the arrangements so clear and helpful.
My wife, daughter and I spent 10 nights in this most beautiful home, nestled among the souks of Marrakech. What an incredible location from which to explore. Samir, Madame Zahra and the rest of the staff were so very accommodating and helpful. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the bedrooms and lounges comfortable and well appointed. Samir organized a wonderful 2-night trip for us to the Altlas Mountains and the Sahara. All-in-all, an extraordinary experience. Thanks to Munni for all his help making this trip happen.
We went with another couple to stay for 5 days. From the moment we were collected at the Airport by Samir, the House Manager, things couldn't have gone more smoothly. The riad more than lived up to expectations & it's position in the middle of the souk makes you feel as though you are part of the Medina , not just a visitor. Although the weather the first day was chilly the heaters & thick bedding kept us snug & the Courtyard lit by candles in the evening was magical.We opted to eat at the riad & after our first lunch cooked by Madame Zahra knew this was the right decision. No restaurant could be better! Samir checked each evening on our plans for the next day & when required arranged a driver, who skilfully negotiated the busy traffic. We had a wonderful stay & although visited many of the sights including a trip to th Atlas Mountains we came away feeling cosseted & well rested, immediately wanting to return to see the things we missed, to sunbathe on the roof & to make more purchases in the souk - a beautiful riad & a wonderful holiday!
Very comfortable and a calm oasis away from the bustle of the souks. Dar Aicha offered large bedrooms and spacious accommodation for 6 people. It is traditionally and tastefully furnished and the rooftop terrace offered a quiet location to soak up the morning and evening sun.
A real bonus was having our laundry done for us, so you can afford to travel light. Madame Zara and her granddaughter were very welcoming and cleaned each day, including tidying the beds etc.. We had a fantastic evening meal at Dar Aicha, prepared by Madame Zara, and the breakfasts were large and varied.
Dar Aicha offers a welcome respite from the local Riads and hotels, giving you the freedom to go off and return at your leisure, without feeling that you may be getting in the way of cleaners etc. Although not strictly self-catering, Dar Aicha is very much a home away from home.
Lovely riad which quickly became our home for the few days that we spent there, lots of space and wonderfully restful after the medina market place.
So many great experiences were crammed into our four day stay, a hammam at Rosa Bonheur, a cartouche ride to Jardin Majorelle for breakfast, a wander through the gorgeous Bahia Palace, photos with a snake charmer and shopping, shopping, shopping!
The warmth and humor of everyone we met was a delight, the charm of Marrakech extends well beyond the souks and historical sights; the real treasure we found was in the people themselves.
Having such a calm and well cared for riad made our time in Marrakech all the more memorable. Thank you... And we'll be back!
Flying in from Bristol we were met by House Manager Samir - who we discover is a master "No Problem" organiser. Even arriving very late (11pm) Madame Zahra had prepared a "Welcome Dinner" - our very first Tagine - Delicious!
With a cook and a maid and Samir to serve us it was living like a Sultan for pennies a day! We explored ( When Janice was on her own she felt completely safe even in the maze of the Souks) Everything is just a short walk away from Dar Aicha and before signing off I must mention another 'first' - our first hammam
a steam, sauna, massage, pedicure - We never felt so clean. Don't miss it!
Cheers! Janice and Jed
This riad with an open courtyard where nature comes to call is a gem located in the center of the frenzied excitement of the souks of the old Medina in Marrakech. Booked for a 75 day stay we had an excellent opportunity to access living in a riad in this most unusual location.
The riad is staffed by four of the most amazing individuals, including Samir, the house man, Adil, the household assistant, Madame Zahra, the cook and Ouimainma, the laundress and housekeeper. We choose to dine in 65% of our time and were able to specify foods to our liking, all with a Moroccan theme but spiced to our tastes. The dining experience alone was enchanting, let alone the warmth of the staff in serving us to perfection.
The riad itself is impeccable and cared for to perfection The open courtyard allows moon light to filter in as well as sunlight during the day. With high temperatures the riad stays comfortable. No AC is required when the temperature drops considerably at night.
Every possible amenity is provided in keeping the riad running smoothly. We rarely needed to ask for anything, as the staff was well in tuned to our needs. The setting and property itself offered the utmost of charm and local flavor.
As for living in within the souks? The crowd made walking difficult and annoying, mostly due to tourists shoving and pushing, rarely saying "excuse me" in any language. One must have a thick hide to tackle this each day. One can easily see how the locals, dependant upon the tourist trade, have learned to adapt to this scenario.
Although the shop owners in the souks vigorously attempted to gain our attention, we quickly learned to not look at merchandise which aided in reducing the constant harking at us. These hard working people are only trying to earn a living.
The property manager and owner are thoughtful, helpful and gracious. We couldn't have felt more welcomed and appreciated. Everything was exactly as stated and more.
For us, the 75 day stay was too long, only based on the difficulty in walking through the souk and the lack of restaurants serving foods to our taste in the souks. Most visitors tire of Moroccan spiced foods after a few days. Somehow we managed to "train" the staff at the restaurants to explain how we liked our food. Madame Zahra immediately adapted to our tastes.
Will we return to Marrakech? As world travelers, probably not. But, Dar Aicha will remain in our hearts and minds forever.
Marrakech, situated between the high Atlas mountains and the southern deserts of Morocco, is an ancient city of exquisite gardens, historical sites, colourful souks and elegant shops. The city offers all-year-round attractions from cultural pursuits to leisure activities. Shopping in the souk for pottery, jewellery, brassware and carpets is a magical experience.
Other Activities: excursions desert/beach/ mountains by arrangement. Marrakech is a shopper's paradise. Come and experience it for yourself.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Jan 1 2015 - Dec 31 2015
1 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add £40 per night, per additional guest|
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add £40 per night, per additional guest|
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
Rates quoted are per person. WEEKLY rate is for one person - two people per week is £560, etc. Children under 10 years may stay free of charge. Good discounts are offered for older children.
Single visitors (ie one person occupying the entire house) will be charged £500 per week or by arrangement.
Please note that the NIGHTLY rates quoted are PER PERSON, per night
Guests pay a 15% deposit on booking. Balance due 3 weeks before arrival at the house.
For all meals requested by our guests, payment is made directly to Samir the house manager and in the local currency (dirhams)
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (GBP) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.