We prevaricated for a long time about whether to stay in the Medina or at Dar Zemora, which is about 15 minutes out of the centre on the area known as The Palmeriae. In the end, we felt we needed to be able to escape the madness of the souks and are glad we made this choice, but with one or two caveats.
Firstly, you do feel a bit isolated. There is no way you can go out without booking a car in advance and using the same car to get you home: a yellow taxi, though a fraction of the price, is unlikely to be able to find the property and you would be unlikely to be able to provide directions. This means you need to allow a minimum of 200dh (about £18) a day for transport, and as a morning and evening trip would be double that, your choices can’t help but be influenced by this.
The property itself is delightful. Somebody commented that it has all the character of a Laing home but I’d like to see the English new build that has made use of so many fine, hand-crafted finishes (polished plaster walls, mosaic floors, hand-painted ceilings), all to excellent effect.
However, the lack of lighting almost drove me to distraction, and I was forced to sit inside to read in the evening instead of on the delightful terrace, where it was impossible to see your hand in front of your nose, let alone read a book. (My husband’s iPad really came into its own here.)
The gardens are very attractive, with a lovely swimming pool and some reasonable wooden sunbeds, although more comfortable mattresses wouldn’t go amiss. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and well finished, with lovely, fluffy towels, but again the light is all but non-existent.
The food is patchy. The light lunches are the best feature here, consisting of a small amount of meat of chicken and three delicious Moroccan salads, usually with rice or couscous, too. There is also a small dessert.
Breakfast, though, is very unimaginative: a ramekin dish with some fresh fruit; a yogurt and three bakery items. These were a tiny soft roll, a Moroccan fried pancake and a third item which changed daily. I can’t say that any of these were to my taste: oh for a piece of baguette or a fresh croissant!
We had dinner in the hotel twice and were surprised to find that the soup was the same on both nights, even though they were only two days apart. The portions are miniscule and the courses served up much too fast (as one dish is cleared the next is put down) so the whole thing is over in about 25 minutes.
The staff are delightful and helpful, but I did feel it was inappropriate to leave the house without a member of the management team for long periods from early evening until after breakfast. This type of property always benefits from resident owners or at least managers.
Reading over this review, I think I have been a little harsh, because we really did have a very lovely time and I would recommend the hotel to a friend, but I think a little constructive criticism can go a long way.
- Also Known As:
- Dar Zemora Hotel
- Dar Zemora Marrakech
- Dar Zemora Hotel Marrakech
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the Palmeraie area of Marrakech and set within 1 hectare of gardens. Large swimming pool. Traditionally built with some contempory features. Great space for a maximum of 14 guests. Many sitting rooms, Dining Room and Hamman on site. 4 Suites, 3 bedrooms. ... more less
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