As much as I adore the fascinating bustle of Marrakech, I prefer to be a bit further away from the city: with just a little bit more room to move! And so, on my last trip to Morocco, I went looking for an affordable place that was situated just outside the city and child friendly as well.

And so I came upon Dar Layyina. A magnificent villa with riad, all built of the traditional red stucco and surrounded by an enormous garden. Just what I was looking for… as this would allow me to entertain my offspring with an afternoon of swimming or playing football, tennis and pétanque, after wandering through the narrow and dusty alleys of Marrakech all morning. It’s not that they don’t enjoy the Medina – old city. On the contrary, they think it’s great and they never get tired of looking around. But, as you will appreciate, the attention span of an eight-year old is limited, and I must admit that, after all the hassle I also secretly enjoy being able to settle at the pool with a book and a pot of fresh mint tea within reach. Bingo! This Hideaway meets all of these requirements.

This Hideaway only has six rooms, so go figure the space in the 1.2 hectare garden! Four Deluxe suites are situated in the riad opposite from the villa, and these are very roomy, comfortable, with their own private terrace, a dressing room and a bathroom large enough for you to get lost in.

The common living spaces are situated in the villa, as is a junior suite, somewhat smaller but just as comfortable and also with a private terrace. The real show stopper is the Royal Suite: as the name suggests this is quite a palace! Complete with dressing room in which the contents of my suitcase would only take up a small corner, a large living room with an even larger television (great if you want to do some binge-watching while on holiday;-)), a bedroom with comfortable king-size bed and a bathroom with a shower as well as a large round Jacuzzi with stunning view of the Atlas Mountains! Oh, and I almost forgot about the balcony that overlooks the garden and spans the entire side of the building! The question is whether, if you book this Royal Suite, you will ever get around to visiting Marrakech ;-)!

As I’ve already mentioned, Dar Layyina is a bit further away from Marrakech, it will take about half an hour to get to the Medina or the airport. The modern part of the city, Gueliz, with its many lively restaurants and modern shops, is certainly worth a visit and is a bit closer – about 20 minutes away.

Owner Catherine, and her right hand Loubna, together with Youssef and the rest of the staff, are very attentive to anything you may need during your stay. They serve a lovely breakfast and, if so desired, can also prepare a delicious and sumptuous lunch or dinner – certainly worth staying ‘at home’ for! And if you like a glass of wine, be sure to ask where you can buy some. For even though they don’t serve any wine themselves, they will be happy to let you enjoy yours. Catherine and Loubna are also very helpful when it comes to planning a trip – to Marrakech, naturally (it’s great to take a guided tour through the Medina, for instance with Nour), but also to the Ourika Valley and the High Atlas, which are easily accessible from Dar Layyina. And then it’s time to unwind….at one of the two swimming pools (one of which is heated), in the hamam or the sauna, or on one of the many terraces, while your children are enjoying themselves on the tennis court, the pétanque court or somewhere else in the garden.

Now don’t be put off by this Hideaway’s child-friendliness, for it is also perfect for a romantic getaway for two, there’s such space and so many things to do around here! Or you may consider renting the entire Hideaway for a larger group of family or friends; there is room for up to 14 guests (there is a small 7th room available in case of privatization). In short, Dar Layyina is a multifunctional Hideaway and above all a warm ‘home’ away from the busy centre of Marrakech!

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