El Badi Palace
Dar les Cigognes
Jemaa El Fna Square
Chez Ali Money Exchange
It is the four colors city, ocher houses, green palms, blue sky, on a scenery of white peaks.
We had a delayed flight once again with Tui Fly, landing 2 hours later than expected. It was time to find a taxi for the medina, but as always negotiation were necessary. A taxi will always ask for 200-300 MAD (20-30$), but we end up paying 50 MAD from the airport to El Badi Palace. Our riad was located just near by, and in Marrakech it is always a good idea to do some research before, in order to tell the driver, a landmark, rather than a riad.
At midnight, the city is calm, but you do not want to spend an hour looking for your riad in the labyrinth of the Medina, especially when the taxi locks the doors of the car as soon as there is a small group of people in the streets.
Dar les Cigognes is located right next to the Badi Palace as said before, you just basically need to cross the street. The entrance is 10 MAD (1$) per person and 20 MAD if adding access to the Minbar de la Koutoubia. This huge chair, dating back from the 15th century, is considered a jewel of art, and its fame has been inscribed in Western Arabic literature for centuries. The details and the work of restoration realized is impressive.
A Minbar is the place where the Imam, in the mosque, deliver sermons every friday. No more than ten minutes to read all the explanatory texts and to exit. It probably wont be your Marrakech highlight, but for that price, it would be a lack, not adding it to the visit.
The storks have found refuge on the top of the walls all around the palace, one hears their distinctive bill-clattering regularly. The palace has lost some of its luster but we can still imagine the decoration and the basin, thanks to a 3D video displayed in a small room near the inner courtyard.
If you are a little hungry (literally, the portions are quite small) you could grab something to eat in one of the many rooftops surrounding the square, looking down, the streets come alive. We have eaten several times at Cafe Dabachi. The Tajines are very tasty but do not expect the service to be fast.
Time to go back to our riad. Not to be confused with “Riad les Cigognes”, not far from it, our taxi driver did made the mistake, we ended up walking for 30 minutes in the labyrinth of the medina. Taking a screenshot of GoogleMap could be useful before arriving next time …
Welcomed by Hayat, the friendly manager of Dar les Cigognes, she was very attentive to us the all stay. We stayed for 2 nights, in the silver room, beautiful one. The size of the bathtubs is definitely a plus for people as tall as us.
Each morning, you will find a new poem brought to your room, such a cute and original attention. As most of the riad in the medina, you can access to the rooftop where the breakfast can be served. It is beautiful, you can admire the stocks perched in their nets, as mentioned before, the El Badi palace is just few meters away. The view is really nice while having breakfast, but do not hesitate to go up in the evening to see the ocher reflections of the palace.
We started our Moroccan getaway with this riad and we fell under the spell.
The “official” price should be around 70 MAD and the night rate should cost you 100 MAD (10$)
Hotel : Dar Les Cigognes by Sanssouci Collection
Address : Rue de Berrima, Marrakech, Morocco
Telephone : +212 5243 82740
Email : [email protected]
Website : www.lescigognes.com