Dar Layyina – Royal Treatment With Oh-So-Delicious Foods

This is a personal review of Roxanne Genier’s three-night stay at Dar Layyina in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Dar Layyina, a luxury boutique hotel near Marrakesh, is one of those places that will stay with me forever.

I have traveled a lot; some people say that if I am not somewhere far away from Montreal, my hometown, something is wrong with me. Over the last 16 years, I have visited over 69 countries over the span of 150 months. If you ask me how many times I have crossed an international border between those countries, the number is probably well over five hundred. I am a nomad, and as a nomad, Morocco has been calling my name for many years.


I hadn’t planned to visit Marrakesh this year, but when Catherine Woreczek, the owner of Dar Layyina, reached out to me requesting I fly over to review her boutique hotel, I knew it was time to answer Morroco’s call. Catherine’s invitation also came at a time when I needed a weekend of peace and serenity after a period of intense work-related stress. A luxury weekend getaway at Dar Layyina was exactly what I needed.




The villa at Dar Layyina

Dar Layyina is one of those small luxury hotels that offers everything – perfect setting, soothing ambiance, comfortable amenities, charming hosts, and oh-so-divine foods. However, what I will remember most about this short luxury retreat is a feeling of peace – I could easily call Dar Layyina home.

As nomads, Tommy (my partner) and I often rent rooms or villas for several weeks/months at a time. In fact, we have been on the road, with no fixed home, for over two and a half years now. Our travels have brought us from North America to Central America, from the Middle East to Europe, but after spending a weekend at Dar Layyina, returning for a longer stay is somehow already on our minds.

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The staff at Dar Layyina

As an experienced traveler, there are a few things that I value most when I stay at a luxury hotel, and Dar Layyina fulfilled all my needs. The staff was extremely helpful and courteous but most importantly, they didn’t invade my private space. Often when I stay at a luxury hotel or villa, I feel overwhelmed with the staff’s eagerness to please, making me feel somehow a little uncomfortable. Together, Said, Aicha, Loubna, Aicha, and Yousself were the perfect hosts. Discreet yet always available, helpful without imposing anything on us, warm, hospitable and proud to make us feel at home in their home.


The style – Dar Layyina

To stand out from the rest, a luxury hotel or villa needs to have a je-ne-sais-quoi. Dar Layyina kept surprising us with its sweet qualities time and time again. This luxury hotel mixes old Moroccan charm with modern amenities. The gardens and pools invite for a day of pure relaxation. The local Moroccan artwork and information books scattered throughout the property encourages you to learn more about Moroccan history and culture. The perfumes of exotic spices emanating from Aicha’s cuisine are a pleasingly sweet olfactory experience. The bedrooms and suites are perfectly curated for a luxurious stay while giving you a taste of how delightful a Moroccan luxury lifestyle can be.

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The food at Dar Layyina

A luxury boutique hotel should offer local cuisine that should be remembered by your taste buds for years to come. Dar Layyina’s chef, Aicha, is in a league of her own. I have eaten aboard superyachts for over five years while working as a crew member; I have stayed in hundreds of hotels, eating in thousands of restaurants, including several one and two stars Michelin restaurants, but the fact remains that Aicha’s chicken and lamb will be forever engraved in my mind.

Before coming to Dar Layyina, I was not a fan of lamb as a dish. Aicha’s lamb tajine changed my mind. This is the power of excellent cuisine. As a matter of fact, even if I had a terrible experience at Dar Layyina, I would return just to have another taste of Aicha’s tajine. Sounds crazy, I know, but the way she simmered lamb is worth a flight alone. On our second night, we decided to give a highly reviewed Marrakesh restaurant a try only to return disappointed by our experience and in anticipation of the next evening meal by Aicha.

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The routine – Dar Layyina

Although the city of Marrakesh is worth exploring with its intoxicating markets and lively streets, staying put at Dar Layyina is also a day well spent. How to spend a day in complete Moroccan luxury? Here are a few ideas from my time in bliss.

  • Start with an opulent breakfast of homemade goodies;
  • Lounge on a poolside bed as you read a book on your Kindle;
  • Drink delicious Morrocan mint tea until your heart is content;
  • Take a dip in the heated pool while you contemplate how beautiful life can be when you take time out from your daily routine;
  • Share a romantic Hamman and massage experience with your partner after playing a round of tennis on the hotel’s private court;
  • Salivate over Aicha’s chicken or lamb tajine time and time again;
  • Watch a funny movie and enjoy a good cuddle with your partner;
  • Enjoy a long bath while peaking at the hotel grounds through the large bathroom window;
  • Have a life-changing conversation with the person you love the most;
  • Share a perfect night sleep, leaving all your worries behind as you slide in under the fluffy duvet.

If Marrakesh is a city that makes you dream of adventure, if you want to experience it in sheer beauty, a stay at Dar Layyina is more than recommended.


Dar Layyina is a luxury boutique hotel in Marrakesh located on the road to Ouarzazate. It is situated close to several golf courses (Amelkis, Al Maaden, Royal Golf) and within a 15-minute drive to Marrakesh’s intoxicating souks.

For bookings or inquiries, visit www.darlayyina.com directly.

Disclosure: Dar Layyina offered us a three-night stay with a complimentary three-course dinner. We paid for our flights, a Hamman and couple’s massage experience, one dinner, our Marrakesh activities and a few extra snacks. We plan to return to Dar Layyina and pay for our entire experience as soon as we have more time to experience more of Morocco’s captivating beauty.

Roxanne Genier
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Roxanne Genier

Luxury Brand Management Consultant at Roxy Genier
Roxanne or Roxy, founder of Luxe In A City, was nominated as one of the Top 5 Luxury Travel Bloggers by the readers of USA Today. Aside from overseeing this luxury travel blog, she spends her time teaching how to perfect the feeling of luxury to authentic niche brands while traveling the world with her family.
Roxanne Genier
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