Dar Kawa is an intimate Riad with 4 beautiful rooms, located in the heart of the Medina in Marrakech steps away from the Coranic School and the famous spice market.
You’re not in the middle of the city in tourist land, so you actually feel like you are in the real Marrakech.
This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
If flights are cancelled or there are travel restrictions between Morocco and your country, there is no cancellation penalty. If this happens we would love to help you plan your stay later in the year.
The riad is located in a quiet area of Marrakech but only a few minutes walk to the Medina.
Abdelouafi is a great host and will take great care of you.
How would you describe P’tit Habibi in a nutshell?
I think P’tit Habibi feels a bit like coming home. You get a relaxed feeling, but there’s quite a high level of service. There’s an aura of the Marrakech ‘60s — it’s a little bit eclectic, a little bit rock’n’roll. It’s not the sort of star hotel, but has a little bit of attitude to it. There’s more of a young feel to the riad, not a stuffiness.
Please tell us a bit about the architecture of P’tit Habibi.
P’tit Habibi is as much an interior job as an architectural job. In Marrakech much of the decoration is engraved in the walls, so you have to work with that. You can’t do that stuff in Europe anymore; workmanship is too expensive. But the traditional work is still available in Marrakech. So the architecture doesn’t stop with the layout of the rooms, the decoration is part of it.
The lighting, furniture and mirrors were collected throughout the years. Some were from my personal collection, others were bought specifically for the place.
Had you always planned to run P’tit Habibi as a small hotel?
No. While I was working on a huge project for a Scandinavian client, I had been looking at a couple of hundred riads over a period of two years for work. That’s when I started looking at one for myself, and I bought it sort of on impulse.
It was meant more as a holiday home for me and the family, but we ended up always needing to have people taking care of it while away, so it made sense to rent it out.
I bought the neighboring building after that and extended the riad, adding on a bigger room and inside space. There hadn’t been enough inside space before. There’s a kitchen, a separate office for the manager and a bedroom for the housekeeper. And we have a laundry and staff bathroom now.
How would you describe the atmosphere of the riad?
I like the people who work there and I think I treat them quite well. They are happy there. They treat it like it’s their own house and they take great pride in it. It’s not really a philosophy, but it’s kind of like a West meets Marrakech.
It’s got a very homey feel to it, which makes it very comfortable. I want people to be happy when they stay there.
What has been the most rewarding for you about running a small hotel?
The nicest part of the journey is that I started working there after 9/11 when the Western media was obsessed with all Arab countries being terrorist. I’ve seen the other picture and I’m attracted to this culture. It has a lot of qualities that Western culture has lost. It’s like a big family, whereas in the West everyone lives alone.
There are five rooms and they are all more or less different. There’s a smaller room on the ground floor that’s very decorated with a large bathroom. Two bedrooms face the street and they’re near the splash pool. Then there is the White Room that has a nice balcony open to the courtyard. It’s the most traditional room, long and narrow. And the newest room is a very spacious room with a five-and-a-half meter ceiling, a private roof terrace, and a separate bathroom. There are quirky things to all the rooms that make them all special.
The White Room at P’tit Habibi is the most traditional suite in the Riad. The suite has a large private balcony with a b'hoo (covered outdoor snug), covered sitting areas with one side open to the balcony and courtyard.
Peruche is the p'tit chambre with a big vaulted bathroom at P’tit Habibi. The room is extensively decorated with bird motives and shades of pink and aubergine. The glass pattern of the entrance door fills the bedroom with Arabic morning light rays. Very p'tit.
Love Nest at P’tit Habibi has a large double bed under an arched niche. The room is decorated in beige and purple with a large zellige motive as a bed head.
The Wangarata suite at P’tit Habibi is detailed entirely in black and white. The room enjoys a fireplace and has a king size bed designed in zellige. The dressers are entirely hand painted. The room decoration ranges from Swedish moose, recycled Americana pinball mirrors and Moroccan photographic motives from the early sixties.
This spacious suite at P’tit Habibi covers the whole first floor of the rear tower courtyard. It features a 5.5 meter high hand carved sculpted plaster ceiling. A huge custom built Moroccan light washes the walls with Arabic ambience at night. The suite have a king size bed, separate WC and wardrobe. A vaulted tadelakt hamman (bathroom) is fitted with bathtub and separate shower. The Hazy Moon suite comes with exclusive use of a private roof terrace with Atlas mountain and sunset view.
The entire riad is available for rent on an exclusive basis.
I have a very good Moroccan chef. She makes great traditional Moroccan food. It’s very good food, and there’s always too much.
And you can eat on your balcony or the courtyard or wherever. The house changes character a lot between day and night, and we try to celebrate that. When there’s a group having dinner, the whole house gets dressed up like it’s a party.
And on request, we also show classic films in the courtyard after dinner.
I think you have to see both the new town and the old town. Marrakech is a place to go out. And if you get lost in the medina, you’ve really been there. Also, close by is a market called Bab El-Khemis. It’s a huge market where people sell all sorts of stuff.
If you’re here for a few days I recommend going up to the Atlas mountains and visit some of the old villages. It’s a very nice day trip. The contrast from Marrakech is amazing.
We are north in a bit more local area of Marrakech where some of the older families live. You can actually drive all the way up to the hotel. If you look at the medina, it’s just a 15 minute walk from there.
You’re not in the middle of the city in tourist land, but a little outside, which is a great asset, as there is more traditional history. You actually feel like you are in Marrakech.
My favorite time is when it starts getting a little bit hot, end of May, when there’s still a little bit of spring. As it gets hotter, you just have to relax in the afternoon out of the sun. Everything goes slower around lunch in Marrakech when it starts getting hot.
March and April are the high season months, but it can still get cold at night so it’s good to dress in layers.
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