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“Loved the place, full stop!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar el Souk

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Dar el Souk
56 Derb Jdid | Riad Zitoun Ked, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Ranked #226 of 1,064 Marrakech B&B and Inns
sydney
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Loved the place, full stop!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2008

My cousin and i decided to take a trip together and Morocco it was. As soon as we arrived the welcome was warm and friendly and it stayed that way. From Maddy the owner, to the chefs, night watch man and the cleaners, everyone was wonderful. The rooms were clean, cultural and the ambience fantastic. The breakfasts were amazing and we loved the roof top :) Our favourite part of the stay of course, was the opportunity my cousin and I had to cook our lunch with the Chef in the kitchen. We had a great day and learned alot about Moroccon cooking. We will definately recomend this place. Maddy (the owner) even drove us to the Atlas mountains for the day.

  • Liked — the security, peacefulness and the food.
  • Disliked — it was cold at times
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2008

We (mum, dad and adult daughter) stayetd at Dar el Souk for three nights to celebrate my 62 birthday. We couldn't have done better! Although our flight was delayed by several hours the hotel pre-arranged taxi was waiting for us at the airport. The Riad is in the centre of the old city (the Medina) where the street are too narrow for even the smallest taxi, so your bags are transported from the taxi stop to Dar el Souk by a man with a hand cart. Sounds antiquated, but it's a very efficient system. The 5 minute walk thru the narrow streets is a little disconcerting initially but it is REALLY very easy to get your bearings.

Entering the Riad is a awesome experience - from the noise and sights of the narrow streets to almost total silence (except for the tinkling of water in the fountains and the twittering of the birds in the courtyard) is remarkable. The staff are REALLY helpful and friendly. The ambience is REALLY serene. The food is REALLY nice (we had breakfast every morning on the roof-top terrace and on arrival we had a traditional dinner in the dining room/lounge in front of the roaring log fire). We had other meals at various city locations, some were very good, others quite disappointing.

The beds were comfortable, the bathroom facilities were fine - only complaint was the dawn chorus from the local birds at 5am! On our first morning we were met by Madeline who gave us a map and spent a good deal of time explaining places we should visit and the restraurants where we should dine.

If you don't stay at Dar el Souk then stay in another Riad. If you stay in one of the modern chain hotel outside the city walls you'll be missing out on one of the major attractions Marrakech has to offer. We recommend Dar el Souk 110%. Don't hesitate - go for it!!

uncletony, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

  • Liked — The ambience, the staff, the location, the food
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, Uk
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2008

Even before we arrived in Marrakech, we had recieved helpful emails from the riad's owners helping us with our journey planning- arranging a taxi for us from the airport and a porter with a cart to take us from the taxi drop off point through the alleys to the riad. I am sure if we had been left to our own devices it would have taken us twice as long and we would have been far more frazzled when we arrived! As it was, we were welcomed into a calm, cool and inviting house with mint tea, comfy sofas and a chat with Madi, our gracious hostess, with advice on places of interest, good places to eat and other useful nuggets of information as well as a handy map.
We soon met the house staff; Imane, Naima, Fouzia and later Reda, all of whom were extremely obliging, never intrusive but always ready and willing to help if we needed them. I can't thank them enough for helping us to feel so at home and for being very tolerant of our mangled French!
We rested for a while and then set off to explore the wonders of the Place Jemaa el Fnaa and to have dinner at the Marrakshi restaurant, as recommended AND booked for us by Madi. We feasted like kings on tagine, pastilla and oranges a la cannelle as we watched the activity in the Place from the enormous windows. On our return I was genuinely touched to find we had been left a charming note and a bottle of fizzy in our room which we took upstairs to the terrace to enjoy by lamplight. What a perfect way to spend my 40th birthday!
The house is beautifully decorated in opulent style without being so over the top as to feel like you are visiting an art gallery. Each floor has small, quiet seating areas as well as the roof terrace with its honesty bar - a lovely touch and most welcome after a hard day's shopping - so you never feel confined to your room in your downtime. The situation in the medina is perfect, with many sights within easy walking distance and the Place only minutes away. If you want to go further afield there's a handy taxi rank very close by too.
The local shop owners and stall holders soon became familiar and greeted us each morning, even when they knew we weren't stopping to buy. We ate breakfast in the courtyard each morning - a splendid array of pancakes, fresh juice, bread, cakes, coffee... it really sets you up for the day! We met some new friends at breakfast too, of the avian variety. Two small birds joined us each day to share our crumbs and entertain us. If they had been any cuter we would have been in danger of becoming a Disney cartoon!
Madi organised a trip to the mountains which we were delighted to join. She accompanied us herself, translating for us with our driver, mountain guide and at various places of interest along the way, all of which were well worth stopping for and none of which we would have found alone.
Our week came to an end all too soon but right up to our final moments in the riad, the staff were still helping us out, making sure we had a taxi ready to take us to the airport in good time for our flight. I actually had a bit of a tear in my eye as I left!
I fell in love with Marrakech, but Dar el Souk was the matchmaker. Can you imagine that some people still choose to stay in boring hotels with anonymous staff and identikit furnishings? Nope, I just don't get it. Go to Dar el Souk instead and really have a holiday to remember.

  • Liked — The friendly welcome
  • Disliked — A little lacking in privacy, but only because we were on the ground floor.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2008

We chose Dar El Souk after reading lots of reviews on this site and we weren't at all disappointed with our choice for our 5-night stay in Marrakech. Situated in the heart of the Medina, just a few minutes' walk from Djemaa El-Fna, it's close enough to be handy for getting around the city, but far enough away from the crowds to offer a peaceful haven when we needed to escape from all the hustle and bustle.

The staff were very helpful and friendly and genuinely seemed to want to make our stay as perfect as possible, and the British owner, Maddie was really lovely and gave us lots of useful advice on what to see, where to shop, etc.

The riad is beautifully decorated in Moroccan style throughout and a nice touch were all the English language books and magazines scattered around for guests to borrow. We were on a budget and had chosen one of the cheapest rooms (Smata), but it was very pretty and an electric heater helped to keep it cosy, even during the bitterly cold December evenings.

Our favourite place was the roof terrace, where we spent many an hour just relaxing and soaking up the sun during the day. The staff were happy to serve our delicious breakfast up there each morning and, strangely enough, most mornings we were alone in our tee-shirts, with the sun blazing down and just the birds for company, whilst most of our fellow guests chose to eat breakfast in the (much!) cooler dining room, wearing sweaters and fleeces! Incidentally, the dining room was much warmer in the evenings, when staff lit a blazing log fire and we enjoyed a lovely traditional Moroccan dinner in there on our first night.

The roof terrace also has its own "honesty bar" that's kept well-stocked with wine, beer and soft drinks, which was a very welcome feature in the mainly "dry" Medina area of Marrakech. We thought that the prices for the wine and beer were also very reasonable, expecially considering the virtually captive market!

Overall, Dar El Souk was a great find and we would recommend it to anyone looking for mid-priced accommodation with a real Moroccan feel.

Elaine & Mike

  • Liked — The Roof Terrace
  • Disliked — Not enough light in the bathroom
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2008

Since I've never stayed anywhere else in Marrakech, I can't say for sure that this is the best riad in town, but I can't see how any could be better, especially in this price range. The location is perfect (but have them send someone to pick you up at the airport or train station...which they'll do...finding it the first time could be a little tricky). The service is exceptional...so kind and thoughtful. The included breakfast is the best. The decor is beautiful. Staying here was one of the best travel experiences of my life.

  • Liked — The personal service, the breakfast
  • Disliked — low water pressure
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MD
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

Getting there at night was scary, walking through the medina streets. The next morning reavealed how easy it was to get to and from the hotel. It is adjacent to the Jamaa el Fna great square and tons of restaraunts.

The hotel staff and ownership was great and the accommodations were wonderful. The owner was wonderfully helpful and gracious, as was the hotel manager Iman, and her brother.

The breakfast was delicious.

minor point--the hot water was sporadic and water pressure weak at times.


Definitely stay here if you can.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

Booked a stay through Hip Marrakech after reading a few reviews on this site. It was my first time in Marrakech, and for anyone planning to go I would definitely recommend staying in the old town riads rather than going up to the westernised new town. The Dar el Souk had a great location - no more than 10 miutes walk into the centre and the souks, and also within reach of the rooftop Cosi Bar. One of the great advantages of a small place like this is that you really notice the service - right from the start it felt like we were properly looked after by the owners and the staff, who provided plenty of suggestions and booking help. Can't recommend the Dar el Souk highly enough.

  • Liked — Personal Service
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar el Souk

Address: 56 Derb Jdid | Riad Zitoun Ked, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #226 of 1,064 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dar El Souk Marrakech
Dar El Souk Hotel Marrakech

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