We have just returned from a 2 night stay at Villa Dar Zina, following a city break in Marrakech. Overall, we left fairly disappointed, however, there were some elements of the stay we were positive about.
Firstly, the location was not desirable - it was a drive of around 10 - 15 mins from the centre of Marrakech, however, it was so remote that taxi drivers were unable to find it - our previous hotel took us most the way and we had to swap cars at the end of the main road for the last part of the journey. When we approached the villa, we realised we were in a remote setting with building sites to keep us company (some banging on our first day but not too much noise fortunately). We had hoped for at least a small convenience shop within walking distance but this was not the case.
If you want to leave the Villa, realistically, it will need to be via their driver - a return trip for dinner cost us 25 euros. Otherwise, you are fully reliant on the Villa for all food and drink. Price list below:
Dinner (3 courses) - 35 euro per head. Decent food but comparable with the same package in Dar 73 (see my other review) which cost 20 euros per head.
Lunch - 25 euros per head, didn't take them up on this so can't judge, We were given a free plate of olives and nuts one day, which was appreciated.
Local beer - 5 euros
Local wine - 16 euros (not the nicest tasting but not unreasonably priced compared to other places).
Bottled water (big) - 3 euros (a couple of small bottles left in the room at check-in for free).
All prices subject to 10% service charge.
Our first night's dinner, with 2 beers, bottle of wine and bottle of water came to 110 euros with service. We didn't feel this was great value for money, although the intimate setting in the grounds was quite nice - a few lanterns were lit around us but not all-round the grounds to enhance a romantic walk after dinner (as suggested on the website).
On the second night, we went to Amaia (currently 9th best rated restaurant in Marrakech on TA), which was more reasonable price wise (and food / atmosphere excellent) but obviously meant we had to pay 25 euros (we were told it would be 15 euros and checked this twice).
On the positive side, the grounds were pleasant, as was the pool (decent size, good temperature). Photos suggest there were a number of sun beds, there were only 4 when we were there, with a load being replaced by leather sofas (not what you want in blazing sun). No problem for us but would be an issue if busy.
The rooms were all of a decent size and reasonably comfortable. Shower pressure non-existent if you want hot water. Satellite system has about 5 channels out of 300 that actually work. Furniture and artwork is authentic and interesting. Some fruit, biscuits and tea offered on arrival.
Most the time we dealt with one man who was around most the time - I assume they have more people when it is busier (we were the only people there). His English was't the best and may have resulted in some confusion with things such as car trips, however, the Villa does state they are English speaking on booking.com.
Despite the English issues, he generally did his best to help us - we asked to swap rooms when we arrived as the door didn't lock and it couldn't be fixed straight away. No issues with this and we were offered a choice of 2 rooms to go into which was good. Beach towels were left out for us when we arrived and on the second day but not on the final day when we were sat round the pool till 1pm. They did let us keep the room until we left, which was helpful.
Upon check-out, we were given a bill and questioned the price of the trip into town, as had been told 15 euros return - we were told it was 10 euros there and 15 back and this information was in our room. This was 100% not the case, i'm also confident there was no pricing in the first room we stayed in. I would have been happy to walk with the receptionist to the room to be shown where this pricing list was but this didn't happen.
We were then told that their card machine was not working. We were given a sheet to write all the details of our credit card down so they could take the payment later - this included the CVC code on the back. I said that I was not comfortable with this and felt it posed a security risk - I was then shown a cabinet with a number of completed credit card forms from previous customers. Yikes. Hopefully they don't get broken into any time.
We eventually agreed to pay the driver in cash on the way back to the airport - word of warning, you can only take 2000 dirham per day from each card, so we struggled to reach the final bill - we were a few pounds short in the end but nothing we could do, as this issue was highlighted to us 10 minutes before we were due to leave for the airport.
Sad to be negative, as this place could be a great experience, although i'm not sure how they will get round the immediate surroundings issue (fine if you elect not to leave, as you can't see it from the grounds). We were able to relax, as mentioned before, the pool area was nice and we wanted some chill time from staying in the town centre. Many reviewers before us seemed to like this place a lot, although a lot of these reviews are now quite old.
I've made this review as balanced and honest as possible - I hope it is off use.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Villa Dar Zina is one of the best Villa Riad in marrakech, ... more less
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