There are loads of riads in Marrakech, you are spoilt for choice. The basic format is the same - an old family home based around an open square, converted into guest rooms. However, the outstanding quality of Dar RocMarra staff and the beautiful interior means this is the only riad you should be considering for your trip! Last week was our first visit to this fascinating country which we absolutely loved, but staying at this riad took our holiday from great to totally brilliant.
We arrived - as many tourists do - being tailed by a local who was expecting payment for 'directions' (which we insisted were not required as we had a map and knew where we were going!). To be honest you come to expect this, but we had just travelled in from the mountains so were at least a little savvy, plus I wasn't feeling well and at this moment had had enough! Jamila opened the door with a big smile and helped sort out the misunderstanding. We were so pleasantly surprised on entering the Riad as it is even more beautiful than the photos on here show, with an olive tree in the centre and calming trickle of water into the petal scattered plunge pool. She sat us down with traditional mint tea and Moroccan cookies and gave us a really warm welcome. Our chat included - and why don't more guest house type places do this?! - a fantastic orientation of Marrakech and souks with a map. It included tips on good quality shops, restaurants and hammams - steam baths. If for no other reason, it was worth booking Dar RocMarra for this thoughtful introduction to this frantic city, it made us feel instantly at home and safe. Jamila even gave us a business card with all of their contact details, and wrote in arabic so we could show it to any taxi driver if we got lost, just brilliant.
Our room was a little one on the ground floor, and it was simply stunning. I ended up taking lots of pictures of little details like the gorgeous shutters and Moroccan lamp shades for my photo book. I found that it is this distinctive style that makes Morocco so visually appealing and exotic to me, for us we liked the traditional style, albeit with lovely new furniture and fittings (my husband had been electrocuted from the plug socket at a previous cheap riad - not worth it!). Rose petals were on the bed and bath mat, the whole place felt homely and incredibly special at the same time.
Unfortunately I was not well the first night, but I also found the bed in this room a little firm and uncomfortable, however I must emphasise that I suspect this is because I was unwell or personal preference. We mentioned this to Jamila before we set out into the souks in the afternoon. Upon our return we found that all of our things had been moved to another room for us that had a different style of mattress (which was better for me). We were so touched and pleased by this level of service.
We decided to eat in that evening as we had heard great things about the food at Dar RocMarra and were not disappointed! My husband had a delicious lamb tagine with rice, I enjoyed a simple harira soup to make me feel better, and we finished with tea and pastries. It was perfect and I swear that this simple soup, of vegetables and pulses, helped me to feel better by the next morning.
Breakfast here is also superb, and varied on the different days but included bagette, omlette, fried eggs, fresh fruit, yoghurt and pancakes - yummy! It always comes with freshly squeezed orange juice and tea or coffee. I had also asked for a glass of water the previous morning since I was dehydrated, and Jaleel (Jamila's brother) remembered and brought me some that morning too. Little touches like this are what makes the riad so perfect. Another thing, the tea is proper British tea, none of that lipton rubbish AND is thoughtfully given to you as a tea bag and flask of hot water - for those of you who hate teapots going cold as you leisurely sip your tea during your holiday!
In the evenings we enjoyed the lovely seating on the top floor of the riad, it is so atmospheric to look out above the flat roofs of the city and hear the call to prayers starting up from the various minarets dotted around (don't worry it is not too loud it the rooms). We thought we would venture out more but the riad was so wonderful we didn't want to spend our limited time elsewhere for too long! We saw what we wanted, and had great experiences including those steam baths that Jamila recommended and booked on our behalf. On the final evening we sat and played chess with a beer, it was so lovely. Wifi was handy to book on our extra bag to take home all of our goodies from the souks.
This riad is the stunning oasis of calm you will need to tackle those fascinating, but quite tiring souks and pushy market traders! But for all its beauty it is Dar RocMarra's impeccable staff that make this surely one of the best riads in Marrakech, and they are not all the same! We would not consider staying anywhere else when we next return.
Johari room was the second one we stayed in.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.