Just returned home after a 6 night stay here in one of the double rooms. I paid about £35 a night, booked through Venere.
Small & characterful.
Perfect location - literally couldn't be better in my view. 10 minutes walk from the heart of the medina and the same from the Gueliz area which is the heart of the modern part of the city.
Nicely furnished room.
Very peaceful most of the time
Rooms have individual aircon
Room was secure with a padlock to the main door.
Rooms have both curtains and wooden shutters - I got an excellent nights sleep, although you can hear the other guests quite easily, thankfully, none of them were inconsiderately noisy during my stay.
I was given a free map on arrival & an explanation of the main areas of interest.
Owners/staff polite and friendly & the main guy speaks some English.
Free Wifi (code: 987654321)
Hearty and decent quality breakfast of Moroccan pancakes with honey/jam, fresh coffee and fresh juice.
Split level roof terrace is great and very peaceful - you seem to be welcome to chill out up there all day if you like! Some of the lights were quite bright enough to read by in the evening as well.
Room for improvement:
I'd much rather have a door key than have to ring the bell, but it is their home as well as a B&B, so I do understand why you don't get one!
I was never offered a mint tea :-(
Although the room was cleaned regularly, my towels weren't changed. There were 2 bath towels and I was staying on my own, so I had time to dry and air them properly, so it didn't really bother me, but a couple would struggle.
Cushions were not always put out on the roof terrace chairs and not always left somewhere they were accessible to guests.
I got there expecting to pay on card, but the machine was "broken" (or temporarily on strike to avoid payment charges - who knows?), but they were happy enough to paid the following day after a trip to the local cash machine.
I couldn't get the aircon unit in room 5 to produce heat, even though it looked like it should. Although it was warm in the days, it was down below 10 degrees at night. There was a nice big extra blanket in the cupboard though, which I only needed once.
In the local area:
To get to the centre of the medina from Dar Al Hamra, turn right out of the alley and keep going straight, it is a 10 minute walk at most.
To get to the central plaza in Gueliz, turn left out of the alley and walk straight through the souk. Go through the city wall, bear slightly right, cross over the road, and follow the road directly away from the city wall with the park on your left. This is also a 10 minute walk.
When you are stood on the roof terrace looking away from the Bab Doukkala mosque, you can see a large building with "Aswak Essalam" on the roof in large green letters - this is the nearest supermarket, but it doesn't sell alcohol.
If you feel the need for a drink and don't fancy the local bars, head to the rather grandly named 'marche central' indoor market in Gueliz, which has a handful of alcohol shops inside. I think the marche is marked on the map you will be given - if not, it's on Rue Ibn Toummert, which is the last right turn off Avenue Hassan II before the central plaza. When you walk there, it is pointed to from Avenue Hassan II by a small blue sign with yellow writing. There are a large number of fresh flower stalls outside.
To find the nearest cash machine taking foreign cards: head through the souk towards the city wall, turn right out of the end of the souk following the road inside the wall, it's a couple of hundred yards up on the right.
There are loads of restaurants and cafes to meet any meal budget from a couple of pounds upwards that you can review on here, but if, for some reason, you get a hankering for standardised western junk food, the only McDonalds in Marrakech is a 10 minute walk away in the central plaza where Avenue Mohammed V meets Avenue Hassan II & 5 minutes walk south of the plaza down Avenue Mohammed V leads you to Pizza Hut.
Finding Dar Al Hamra:
It's well tucked away. I read lots of descriptions of how to get there, and still struggled a little - so here is my attempt at concise directions, right from the airport!:
If you arrive in the morning, and want to go to the medina first:
Catch the number 19 bus from directly outside the airport, walk out of the exit, look to the left end of the concourse - there is a blue bus stop sign, access to the roadway is restricted and only the 19 stops here. It runs round trips to and from the city. This is a visitor bus, and isn't too crowded - locals with use local buses. Fare is an astronomical 30 dirams one way (just over £2) or 50 dirams return. Local number 11 bus is only about 40p, but you have to walk out to the main road, and if you are going to quibble over a couple of quid you're probably going to be staying in a backpackers' hostel rather than reading this review, so...
The 19 bus drops you off on the edge of Jemaa el-Fnaa square near the taxi stand for the horse-drawn carriages. When you have finished looking around in the centre, return to the place the bus dropped you. Facing the large Koutoubia mosque with Jemaa el-Fnaa square behind you, turn right. After a short way, a street called Boulevard Fatima Zahra joins the main road from your right (it's called that on the map, but don't expect to see a road sign!) follow this street. After a few minutes walk, another road splits off towards the right, the road you are following continues straight, but narrows. After another couple of minutes walk, you will arrive at the large Bab Doukkala mosque. Walk along the road with the mosque on your right, there are a few parking spaces in front of it. When you get to the corner of the building, you will see the road turning sharp right infront of you, a few yards before the road turns, there is a small alleyway on your left with the front door to a smart looking Harram set into the right hand wall of the alley - go up the alley, take the first right, Dar Al Hamra is the door at the very end.
To get directly to Dar Al Hamra from the airport:
The number 19 bus stops on demand, but Bab Doukkala seemed to be the next stop directly after the main Jemaa el-Fnaa stop. If you tell the driver 'Bab Doukkala' he will stop there for you & announce it when you get there. At Bab Doukkala, when you get off the bus you will see the old city wall. Slightly away to your right accross a paved area, there are 3 arches passing through the wall close together - 2 of them off to the right are only a couple of feet apart and the road passes through each of these, the other arch set on it's own is pedestrian. Walk through the pedestrian arch and (carefully!) cross the roadway immediately infront of you. There is a alley / souk straight ahead of you heading directly away from the wall, if you arrive in day or evening, there will be a load of stalls selling fruit etc... around the entrance to the alley - walk down here, but beware of mopeds. After about 400 yards or so the souk/alley widens into a roadway again at Bab Doukkala mosque, keep on towards this, the road turns sharp right around the edge of the mosque, and then left - the alley way is the first one on your right hand side.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Dar Al Hamra Riad, or the Red Mansion, is ideally situated in the heart of the Medina of Marrakesh. Situated near the historical market and square Djemaa el-Fna, this charming riad offers comfort and tranquility.Dar Al Hamra is a traditional Moroccan house, or riad, with seven rooms elegantly decorated in Moroccan fashion. Each room is air-conditioned and contains a private bathroom. Guests enjoy relaxing with views of Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains on our private roof terrace with solarium.The Dar Al Hamra Riad will be pleased to welcome you to Marrakesh and ensure you have a magnificent experience! ... more less
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