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“very well run and with a warm welcome” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Charkia

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Dar Charkia
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50 Derb El Halfaoui | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40 030, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #4 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“very well run and with a warm welcome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

An excellent stay and I would certainly recommend to other travellers. Peaceful, great welcome, friendly staff and a very pleasant breakfast.

An excellent stay and I would certainly recommend to other travellers. Peaceful, great welcome, friendly staff and a very pleasant breakfast.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Khmissa Suite is spacious and wonderfully decorated. It has a lovely fireplace in the winter and you have your own staircase to your room so you are never disturbed by other guests.

The breakfasts were plentiful, freshly cooked and something slightly different every day. We never had room for lunch! The evening meal they provided the day we arrived was fantastic - we had the lamb and lemon chicken tangines which were made with simple ingredients but done to perfection.

You are literally a few minutes to the souks, ten minutes to the main square and the riad can recommend good places, whatever you want to do, within walking distances. They are happy to book restaurants, spas etc. They cannot do enough to help.

We had a really lovely stay and i hope you do too!

Room Tip: Khmissa Suite is spacious and wonderfully decorated. It has a lovely fireplace in the winter and you...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horsham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We spent 5 days at Dar Charkia this November after reading the many, many positive reviews. I can only but agree that this is a great place to stay in a mad place like Marrakech.
We arranged for an Airport pick up with Dar Charkia and as promised the driver was waiting for us and provided us some commentary about Marrakech on the short journey to the Riad.
When we arrived at the Riad we were met with "little" Samira who was very welcoming and a great source of local information. She provided us with a local map which included some great places to visit and the best places to pick up some bargains. We were shown to our room – Khmissa Suite which was wonderfully furnished and very spacious. The Riad itself is beautiful and very, very clean and all the staff are so helpful. The first night we stayed in and sampled the great meal they prepared, it was very tasty and reasonably priced. Throughout our stay we were able to have free tea or coffee with lovely homemade biscuits.
We walked to most of the main sites and enjoyed the Majorelle Gardens. We did use the red tour bus but to be honest it wasn’t very good. La Mamounia hotel is just beautiful (albeit very expensive) All in all a good break and I would recommend anyone who visits Marrakech to consider staying at Dar Charkia.

Room Tip: If you travel in November ask for a room that is not near the drumming display!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Austin, TX
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We like to travel to new locations and learn about the local culture. We have found the best way to do this is to skip the hotels and find some type of bed and breakfast. In Marrakech, the best place for this is the Riads. We selected Dar Charkia based on reviews from Trip Advisor and we were not disappointed. It was all that we expected and more. When we arrived, we were met by Lisa, the owner, who gave us a nice overview of the city, including descriptions on where to go, how much things should cost, and a very detailed map of all of the things that she recommends. This was in essence a private mini-tour of Marrakech.

Some of the good things about the Riad are:
- It is well situated between the old and new towns in Marrakech. You can easily walk to the souk or main square in the old town or to the restaurants and upscale shops in the grid style streets of the new town. All is a 30 min walk or less from the Riad.
- It is very comfortable. It's a nice oasis to escape from the traffic and sounds of the city. We would often sit in the courtyard after a busy day to relax before retiring to our room.
- It is in a safe area of town. The Riad is near one of the palaces, so there is a contant police presence. The only real danger was avoiding the motorcycles that were prevalent in the small alleyways.

I would make the following recommendations to new travelers. On your first night, if you are going to a restaurant that is not nearby, take a taxi there and back and don't worry too much about the price. Paying 50dh each way will help reduce your frustrations as you will likely get lost otherwise. Then, take the city tour with Najib (a great tour guide) the next morning to help get yourself oriented. After that, you will likely be able to find your way around without too much effort. If you are walking to Pepe Nero, the easiest way is to turn right and following the El Basha palace walls to the square vs waling to the square via the Souk. Lastly, reserve high-end restaurants such as Al Fassia and Pepe Neros in advance, as they do book up.

The best part of the Riad was that many of the employees were able to speak some English. By speaking with them, we were able to get a much better sense of the local culture. Rachid was qutie helpful in explaining their local customs related to their version of Halloween. And, Big Samira gave me a great Henna tattoo before we left. They are also good cooks. The Tajines they prepared were as good as any we ate at the other restaurants in town.

Dar Charkia is definitely a great place to stay when you visit Marrakech and will make you feel like you are a part of the city by the time that you leave.

Room Tip: Stay upstairs so that you will overlook the courtyard
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

My wife had long held a wish to go to Marrakech but I was a little unsure. However I relented and booked a surprise birthday present for her in Marrakech and not knowing anything about the city decided to look at Trip Advisor for pointers on good accomodation. Dar Charkia was highly recommended by every review I read and how right they were!
It is right in the middle of the central Madina and all parts of the city are accessible by foot.
The Riad itself is extremely comfortable and Michael and Lisa, the owners, cannot do enough for you and are on hand to offer advice on the best restaurants and shopping and most anything else!
The staff are also a delight and very freindly.
We ate at the Riad on the first night and the meal was excellent. I am surprised that they do not push the food more vigorously because it is so good. I would also recommend the Al Fassia which is in the new town and is a womens co-operative staffed entirely by women and the food again was exceptional.
In conclusion Marrakech was a surprise to me in that it is a vibrant friendly city where we never once felt uncomfortable even walking back from the restaurants late at night and Dar Charkia is a perfect base.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Cobham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

Booked this Riad after reading countless excellent reviews and never having been to Marrakech it sounded ideal. Booking process simple and lots of helpful information rapidly provided in advance by Lisa which made advance planning simple.

Arrived via Easyjet with landing docs handed out on plane and made rapid exit through immigration to find our taxi driver (arranged by Lisa cost 150 dirhams) waiting for us with name board. Dropped off near Riad and handcart boys took luggage in cart to Riad - handed them the 20 dirhams that I was told was customary but they insisted that was too cheap and should be 20 each as there was 2 of them (on that basis they should have brought the family along and charge me 20 for each one present) anyway I gave them 2 dirhams extra and told them that was it - the start of many such encounters in Marrakech!

From landing to arriving at the Riad took precisely one hour so we were very happy with that. A pleasant welcome at the Riad with a free drink offered whilst we completed more forms (pretty much the same as the ones used as landing docs).

As we were evening arrivals we had pre-booked a meal at Dar Charkia and this was ready soon after checking in which was welcome. The food was good as was the wine with the latter costing 185 dirhams (about £13.70).

We were in the Saada room, which is on the ground floor by the pool and very pleasantly laid out it was, extremely attractive. The bed however we both found to be quite uncomfortable being far too hard and ungiving and the doors on this room are largely glass with rather thin curtains which fine in terms of privacy (I hope) did little to keep out the light from the many lights left burning late into the night particularly the ones in the pool which illuminated the room far too much. The real surprise though (which I found no mention of anywhere on any website) was the fact that young boys go around the narrow alleys all night long drumming incessantly for 1 week in November (something to do with Halloween apparently) - as I was helpfully told at gone midnight on our first night by the guy who looks after the place during the night - "it is our custom" - it was not a great thing to find out that this would happen every night of our 4 night stay. Thank god I had taken ear plugs with me - they were essential!. Now I don't want you to think this is just me saying this, another couple at couple at breakfast the next day commented about the loud drumming and said he would be searching for ear plugs pronto. The drummers do wander off but unfortunately they do return for another long session - so be warned if you are planning on going in November find out when the drumming week is!!!

The service at the Riad is excellent with friendly and helpful staff making the stay a pleasure. Breakfasts we found to be excellent and varied slightly every day - it was great to come back in the afternoon to ask for coffee and to have it served up with lovely biscuits (tiny cake type biscuits) and all at no additional charge. The roof terrace we used most afternoons to relax on as even in late November (19-24) we had excellent weather and up there it really is a sun trap.

The Riad is very near the souks and is in the old part so very much out of your door you are in the action - you need to be very careful around the little alleyways as motor bikes and bicycles are incessantly coming at you from all directions - how we never saw an accident in 4 days I'll never know and yes we had a few very near misses - keep your wits about you! Do not wander around with your i-pnone in your hand as you will find like my brother -in-law found earlier in the the year that someone on a bike will soon make your hand lighter.

We went to Pepe Nero and had an excellent meal in very nice surroundings, also ate twice at Cafe Arabe (you can eat upstairs on enclosed balcony with heaters which is very pleasant) or in the equally nice restaurant on the 1st floor.

We had a a day trip arranged by Lisa to Lalla Takarkouste Lake & Imlil valley (about £87) and this was a brilliant day out in a MPV safely driven and worth every penny we thought. We really saw life in Morocco outside of the city and the scenery is spectacular too. Our driver could have been a bit more chatty with more information imparted as we went along but he was friendly and helpful enough always stopping at our whim to take photos. The restaurant you stop at in Imlil looking over a river and the Atlas mountains immediately hands you a 3 course menu for 120 dirhams - you do not have to have this (although it is good value )- ask for the a la carte menu if you just want to pick and choose. The orange juice is brilliant, freshly squeezed and a bargain compared to the UK).

We visited Palais La Bahia (10 dirhams - brilliant), The Jardin Majorelle (YSL gardens) - well worth going to and nice cafe for lunch - now 50 dirhams to get in - (inflation!). Also went to Menara gardens (nothing special).

Had great fun bargaining for some decent slippers in the Souk - he started at 450 and we got them in the end for 135.

Thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Marrakech and Dar Charkia staff make a stay special - although we never saw sign of Lisa or Michael. Just please in Saada room get a softer mattress, thicker curtains (or even better shutters) and don't go when the drummer boys are rampant!

Room Tip: do not choose saada room
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
MarrakchiaBritgirl, Owner at Dar Charkia, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
"bobkent" extremely detailed report on his trip to Marrakech is very
informative and of course very welcomed. We are ever so grateful for
all the compliments and positive remarks regarding his stay at our
riad which we manage as a labour of love. We are also happy that all our restaurant recommendations were successful as well as the day excursion.

Concerning how hard or soft mattresses seem to feel we like all hoteliers
are in a no win situation; some guests complain that mattresses are
not hard enough and others vice versa. We assure guests that we have
best quality mattresses which are replaced every 2 years.

However this review with particular reference to the drumming kids in the alleyways of the medina gives us the opportunity to comment on a more general and possibly more important aspect of how to encounter a different culture and religion outside of Europe.

Morocco is a Muslim country tolerating Christian and Jewish minorities. But the overall
character is predominantly Muslim: the call to prayer is pervasive
and echos from dawn to dusk 5 times a day; during the fasting month of
Ramadan there are restrictions particularly in the more traditional
medina. During Eid El Kabir the smell of grilled lamb overpowers the
alleyways of the medina. And "bobkent" experienced the particular
custom of the festival of Ashura when indeed kids are running around
with their tiny drums and try to collect coins from passersby. So while we regret that he has been disturbed by their noise there is very little we can do about it.

We can only request our guests to familiarise themselves with these
customs prior to arrival and accept them as the challenge of an
aspect of the multi-layered Moroccan experience which we are sure
they will enjoy and appreciate.

Though we are daily in the riad it does happen that we sadly miss meeting guests who left the riad earlier or returned late and we much regret that we have never met the reviewer and his partner. Perhaps on another occasion , inch'Allah...


Lisa & Michael
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

This is a beautiful place, an oasis of calm and peacefulness. Lisa and Michael and their staff are so helpful, welcoming and friendly. It was my birthday during our stay, and I was treated to a lovely birthday breakfast and even a gift! The wealth of information Lisa gives on arrival about where to go and what to avoid is invaluable and worth paying attention to - it's spot on. I would recommend Dar Charkia highly for anyone wanting their stay to be special rather than run of the mill. Just a couple of suggestions/comments: we were there during a festival and there was a lot of drumming at night, so it might be useful to pack earplugs! Also, paying the bill by credit/debit card attracts a 4% charge which is a bit steep.

Room Tip: The Dourira suite is spacious with great decor
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Charkia

Address: 50 Derb El Halfaoui | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40 030, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#6 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#35 Business Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a six-bedroom, exquisite boutique oasis of tranquility managed hands-on by the owners and located in the safe vicinity of the Dar El Bacha royal palace. Rooms are stylishly individually decorated, 3 with working fire places and all with en-suite bathrooms. Superb eclectic cuisine combining Moroccan and international dishes. Comprehensive free concierge service and 24h front desk presence. Free wi-fi. Fantastic roof terrace with view on Atlas mountains. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dar Charkia Marrakech
Dar Charkia Hotel Marrakech

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