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“A wonderful oasis in the heart of the Medina” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #231 of 1,040 Marrakech B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A wonderful oasis in the heart of the Medina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

My husband and I have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Marrakech. We spent five nights at the Dar El Souk Riad (which is ideally situated in the heart of the Medina) and cannot fault our stay there. We arranged to be met at the airport, which was very convenient, and we were dropped off close to the Riad. A chariot handler helped to carry our bags to the door of Dark El Souk (all of this was conveniently added onto our bill).

We were met by Abdallah who is the night porter at the Riad (Madi - the owner was on holiday during our stay) and after we had settled in he sat with us and pointed out places to go on the map (over some mint tea).

Breakfast was very nice and we had it served on the small seated area outside of our room - but you could have it on the roof terrace or down on the patio if you wanted. Breakfast consisted of mint tea or coffee, pancakes, crepes, fruit & yogurt, bread jam and honey - and sometimes a boiled egg. And freshly squeezed orange juice. It was ideal for us.

We were upgraded on our room as we had booked the Cherratine (which is the cheapest!) and we were invited to move to the Attarine - to be honest both were very nice and I would have been happy in the Cherratine - the Attarine was just bigger with a seating area. The bathrooms of both were lovely with pretty tiles, brass basin and a wet room style shower. We did need the heater as it was a bit chilly at night (we went in February) - I can imagine the rooms being lovely and cool in the summer.

We took a trip up to the Atlas Mountains which was organised by the Riad. It cost 900DH which is about £90 (which as some people have said on here seems expensive) but we thought it was well worth it for the convenience and quality of the experience. A driver came to meet us at the Riad and walk us to his car. Mustapha was the perfect guide on our trip and we would highly recommend asking for him in person. The car was comfortable and he was a really safe and considerate driver. He also kept pointing out sights the whole trip. He stayed with us all day. We left at 9am and got back at about 5.30pm.

The trip took in a visit to an Argan oil co-operative (this stuff is PRICEY! - 150DH for 60ml) which was very interesting (10DH per person to visit), we stopped off along the way to take photos too, next we visited a traditional Berber House (10DH pp) which was quite fascinating but personally I felt a bit odd traipsing around someone's home (but it is worth visiting). The best part of the excursion was the walk up in to mountains to go and see some of the lower waterfalls of the High Atlas. We had a guide called Abdul who took us up (Mustapha negotiated a 100DH price for us) and it was really fun. It was pretty steep and slippery - so wear grippy trainers or ideally walking boots! It was beautiful up there and Abdul was really nice. We stopped off for tea by the waterfall and when we got back to the town we had lunch by the river. On the way back to Marrakech we stopped off at some stalls and we also visited a Saffron Farm (10DH pp) - which was beautiful. And we had some delicious herbal tea there too. I'd definitely recommend the trip - it was worth seeing and also nice to go somewhere different.

We had dinner at the Riad on one of the evenings. A three course meal is £20 - you can get cheaper in town of course - but it was absolutely lovely to sit in the lovely lounge at the Riad by the fire and have dinner specially prepared for us. You can also get wine too (although we didn't). Abdallah is a really nice man and he thoroughly looked after us. We sat by the fire and had a chat with him and it was great to get his opinion on stuff like haggling in the souk (which is a nightmare!).

We met Madelaine (who is Madi - the owner's daughter) a couple of times and she is great at giving advice and sharing tips on where to go.

During our stay we also went to Bain de Marrakech - which I highly recommend as it is gorgeous (am going to write a separate review of this - but I'll just say here that is is LUSH).

In terms of location I don't think you can really beat Dar El Souk - it is down a quiet alley (which is good - and you feel safe - it's not threatening at all) but a short stroll from some avenues which lead down to the main square Jamaa el Fna. It is nice not to be right on the square as it is pretty crazy there - loads of people, and bikes, and horse and carriages, and donkeys and snakes and monkeys and noise! The little shops around the neighbourhood are great - and it's not far from lots of Artisnal stalls where you can see people actually making the goods they sell (I bought a beautiful handbag from Adil Andaloussi - Riad Zitoun El Jedid 58 - he is a lovely man too! www.tamaroc.com).

I have no complaints at all about this Riad - it is reasonably priced, in a great location, comfortable and the people who work there are lovely and really look after you. I would go back for sure!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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232 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
Versonnex, France
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We stayed here three nights in Dec 2012 and were impressed by its beauty and the hospitality of the owners. We met up with some friends and wanted to invite them to have dinner with us at the riad. The owners were very accommodating and served us dinner for 8 in a private room. Wonderful!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Before we even arrived in Morocco I was impressed with Dar El Souk. The booking and communication was excellent. Airport transport and all the advice offered was valuable. I was asked if we wanted to pre-order dinner for our rrival at the riad. I said no as I knew I’d be excited to get straight to the place jemaa el fna, which I regretted once arriving as I could smell the other guests meals being served in a beautiful and characterful dining room.

Madi was a very welcoming host and gave us lots of good suggestions for the city and answered our myriad of questions. She also made bookings at restaurants and hammam for us. Her team of Moroccan staff were wonderful. So friendly, welcoming and charming. They really couldn’t do enough for you. Genuine, lovely, friendly, happy staff.

Breakfast! One of the deal breakers for me on such a holiday. Dar El Souk put on a great show. We stayed at many other riads on our Moroccan holiday, but I think Dar El Souk wins top price for breakfasts. All the usual suspects for a riad breakfast, plus each morning there was a different prepared fruit. I guess it’s dependent on seasonal produce as all food in morocco is. We were there in December so lucky you have a classic pomegranate and goats cheese mix. So good!

The room was comfortable and full of character, but it is the communal areas that are really special here. There are leafy green private sitting areas outside every room, and the roof terraces have a well-established, relaxing and exotic charm.
We were there as a couple but I think this Riad would also be a great place to stay with a group of friends, or family.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
UK
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

The Riad experience is different from your average hotel and better for it! Dar el Souk is a lovely collection of individual rooms (you can view them on the website!). All furnished individually and very much it feels like you are a house guest rather than a visitor to a typical hotel chain. The rooftop courtyard is calm and shady with lemon trees and other things and throughout the property there are nooks and crannies where you can have breakfast served or just hang out and read. The staff were exceptional. The owner is a charming English expat who spent a long time showing us maps and discussing things to do and the rest of the staff were great as well and very accommodating about late check-outs and the like. We loved our time here. A few practical things. Any Riad in the Medina has the positive experience of the narrow streets and atmosphere and it is pretty easy to navigate but I'd be wary of having toddlers in and around the medina as you need to be quite aware of the bikes. Also in January, it is a quite cold at night and the rooms have a heater but if you are obsessed with needing constant 70 degree heat travel a bit later in the year! Would thoroughly recommend this lovely Riad.

Room Tip: Try and view them on a website (we used Hip Marrakech) and find one you like
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We hired the whole Riad as a family of 9 (including an 80 year old and one 7 months pregnant!). The Riad was beautiful, clean, traditional and fantastically located. Our breakfasts were delicious and all the staff are thoughtful, fun and generous with their time and knowledge. They could not have done more to make us feel welcome. The roof terrace is great and the sitting room is comfortable and great for lounging. A wonderful Christmas break for the whole family!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012 via mobile

We only stayed in Marrakech for one night on our way back to England and this place was lovely. The courtyard boasted list of plants and privacy with small terraces to each room where you can sit outside on comfortable chairs. The staff were polite and helpful, arranging a driver to the airport and making mint tea on our arrival. The shower was amazing and hot, the best one of our whole trip and the place was clean and we'll aired.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Kettering, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

My wife and I found this absolutely fantastic little courtyard house with about 8 rooms with balconies facing a charming courtyard and a roof garden with sun loungers and a shady tent (for eating meals that the cook will bring up to order) -where the roofstops and battlements of the old city are spread out 360 degrees round you, storks nest on nearby chimneys, and the Koutoubia Mosque can be seen gleaming in the evening 's golden light. Heaven! I have not wanted to spread the news round before as this is a place with romantic memories. We went there to spend 5 nights on the 50th Anniversary of our first meeting and we revisited on our Golden Wedding anniversry last spring. Along with countless other couples who have found this place, it is sort of OURS and we didn't want too many to know.. ... However we are clearly getting on in years and there other places to visit while we are fit..... so just find it by Google mapping it and you will see its perfect location close to one of the main taxi and tour bus termini and only three zig zag streets from the wonderful Dar Nejjarine restaurant. And the local kids and local traders get to recognise you as you leave the narrow lane onto the busy main street - you feel so SAFE when you venture out in the dark.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 #231 of 1,040 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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Also Known As:
Dar El Souk Marrakech
Dar El Souk Hotel Marrakech

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