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“An Oasis in the Bustling Medina” 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 462 Hotels in Marrakech
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“An Oasis in the Bustling Medina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

On arrival at the Riad, we were immediately welcomed by owners Lisa and Michael with a pot of mint tea and biscuits. The Riad itself is peace and tranquility,and very romantic, especially at night when the courtyard lighting is complemented with lots of candles. It is also very centrally situated within the Medina. Lisa gave us a map and proceeded to explain all the additions she had made to it, including where to shop, cafes/restaurants and even good WCs!
Our room (the Sahara) was lovely, and naturally decorated in typically Moroccan style, with a large basin separate from the shower room/toilet, which was extremely useful.

We had an excellent dinner at the Riad on the first night, where we were seated in a beautiful alcove in the courtyard - an amazing atmosphere! Lisa and Michael also recommended many restaurants, and every one we visited was very good. We would especially recommend Pepe Nero, set in a beautiful courtyard, and with lovely food and various complimentary "extras". The service was also very good, especially for dar Charkia guests! We also really loved Al Fassia, which it is said has the best tagines in Marrakech - again the food was really good and the portions are very large - a lovely restaurant, plush and with a good atmosphere, and obviously very popular, judging by the number of people going in an out all evening!

The breakfasts at the Riad each morning - served in the courtyard or on the roof terrace (or anywhere you wanted!) - were delicious, with a different "treat" each day, and could be taken at any time of the day - the staff were all so helpful and couldn't do enough for us. Tea, etc., was always available and on the house, and could be taken at any time - it was lovely coming back in the evening to a warming cup of mint tea!

On our first morning we were given a tour of the Medina by Najib, who gave us some very interesting information and history, and orientated us with the Medina. We also went on a wonderful tour of the Atlas Mountains, our driver and guide being Abdu, who was an excellent driver and made us feel quite safe on the steep mountain roads.

We had a great time, and thanks to Lisa and Michael and all their staff for making it even more enjoyable.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
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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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Wantage
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We have just returned from an absolutely amazing 40th birthday celebration for my husband. We spent 5 nights at the Riad and could have stayed longer - much longer!! Lisa and Michael were really helpful, kind and informative. Every member of staff couldn't do enough to help - from Little Samira who helped with day to day running and booking trips; 'Big Samira' who helped serve the most amazing breakfasts; Otto and the very smiley night porter (who's name I can't remember) who helped get my camera back which I'd left at a restaurant, to Abdu who took us on a fabulous day trip which I can't recommend enough, with the 'walk' to the waterfalls being a highlight - be sur to take some good footwear!! The souks, restaurants and people were all fabulous and I would definitely go back again!! Cannot recommend enough!

Room Tip: We had the Khissima Suite which had it's own personal staircase but think all rooms would be lov...
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  • Stayed February 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel-Aviv
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I had decided to surprise my girlfriend with an early Valentines surprise trip.

I chose Dar Charkia on the recommendation of some friends, we were there for 4 glorious days in the first week in Februaryand had a wonderful time.

The attention to detail at the riad is incredible and the owners Michael and Lisa are really really helpful; Their well trained staff cannot do enough for you but also know when to stand back and leave you in peace. The riad is spotlessly clean and very well looked after.

There is a lot of love there!

We stayed in the Sahara double suit on the 1st floor gallery overlooking the lovely courtyard with orange tree.

Breakfasts were fabulous and you could have it anytime of day! Having arrived on a very late flight we had breakfast the first morning on the roof terrace at around midday!

Our room was very stylish and very spacious with a safe for our valuables.

We loved our time at Dar Charkia and it was a welcome oasis at the end of each busy day in this hectic town. Restaurant, spa, daytrip recommendations were all spot on.

We loved our trip and will be back and there is only one place we will stay - DAR CHARKIA.

Room Tip: Lisa & Michael Really know their stuff!
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
Cornwall
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I chose this riad simply because of the excellent reviews I had read on Trip Advisor and I am thrilled to say I was not disappointed.
I planned a four night break as a surprise for my husband's fortieth birthday and with the help of Lisa and Michael it came to fruition without a glitch.
On our arrival at the riad, Michael and Lisa greeted us and introduced us to a few of the staff, all were so friendly and couldn't do enough for you.
In our lovely room there was a 'happy birthday' banner on the fireplace mantle and some twinkling confetti sprinkled around. The decor in our bedroom was tastfully done and the bathroom had luxury finishing touches such as really fluffy white towels and dressing gowns, scented filled hanging hearts, delicious smelling soaps, shower gel and body lotion. There were even some pink rose petals scattered in the shower.... all very romantic.
On our first evening we had a log fire made for us in our bedroom with was really cosy and added oodles to the atmosphere.
The bed was wonderful, a decent king size with a very comfortable mattress which meant we both slept brilliantly for four nights.
On the morning of my husband's birthday we got up at the crack of dawn to take a flight in a hot air balloon which was all organised for me by Lisa and Michael - they really do take the stress out of the little mundane jobs that need doing when you're planning a trip.
On our return to the riad later in the morning we sat down to eat a late breakfast. We were touched to see that the staff had decorated our table with another birthday banner, sparkles sprinkled on the table and balloons hanging from the wall!
The food is delicious at Dar Charkia and we ate a lot during our stay there! We had umpteen cups of tea and coffee made for us throughout the day upon request.....nothing was ever too much trouble for anyone.
After long days exploring Marrakech we often came back to the riad and enjoyed a beer on the roof terrace. On our last eveing, Lisa and Michael spoilt us with a bottle of delicious Moroccon Rose 'on the house', which was a kind gesture.
The restaurants we ate at were all those which had been recommended by our hosts and I could not fault any of them, we thoroughly enjoyed eating out and we know we wouldn't have been able to find such good eateries without their advice.
I would highly recommend this riad to anyone looking for somewhere beautiful, clean and charming to stay in this bustling and mysterious city. Huge thanks to Lisa, Michael and all of the staff for making my husband's birthday surprise so wonderful.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Kinross
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My husband and I got back a week ago from a wonderful six day trip to Marrakech to celebrate 20 years together. Lisa and Michael could not have done more to help us arrange our trip in advance, or to make the most of it whilst we were there. You will be greeted with an orientation meeting, and a highly annotated map! It lists clean toilets too, because, you know, these things are important!

You can see from the pictures on Tripadvisor that the riad is stunning. It's very tranquil - and we expected Marrakesh to be manic - but inside the riad, you can hear very little. Even the early prayer calls are pretty muffled, and I only heard them on mornings I was already awake.

Breakfast was a tasty, leisurely affair every morning, and always different, always fresh. My husband really enjoyed the roasted veg terrine, and the cheese and tomato salad. That left the pastries free for me! But there's an abundance of food - juice, coffee, fresh baguette, pastries, yoghurt with fruit, something savoury... And, although there aren't tea and coffee making facilities in the room, you can stick your head in the kitchen any time, and fresh tea and coffee will be supplied free of charge. Or, if you happen to have a stinking cold like I did, fresh lemon and ginger tea.

That brings me nicely on to the staff. Lisa and Michael are fortunate to have a really great team working for them, and Samira especially deserves particular praise. Not only does she speak flawless English, but nothing is too much trouble. The rest of the staff are also lovely, though a bit of French comes in handy sometimes! In fact, a bit of French comes in handy (and goes down well) everywhere, so you might want to brush up on a few basics. If you are nervous about finding your way anywhere, especially on the first night, ask for Otman to take you! He got us to Pepe Nero, then even came back for us, all for a few quid.

The location of Dar Charkia is perfect- two or three minutes into the souk in one direction, or, if you are still getting your bearings, 10-15 minutes round the palace wall to the main square, and you can walk to the new town in the other direction in about half an hour. It is really safe - we had *no* trouble whatsoever when there. A smile and a 'non merci' is quite sufficient.

Lisa arranged a lot for us in advance, and we are so glad we took her advice - it was great getting picked up and dropped off without having to arrange anything. The hammam at Palais El Miria was pretty empty, but a very *ahem* thorough experience! Leave your inhibitions at the door... Faim d'Epices cookery school was brilliant - learned so much, but be warned - it runs at a very French pace... And Najib, our local guide on day one was so knowledgeable and interesting, it was the perfect beginning to the trip. Make sure he takes you to Bahia Palace! In terms of food, we can particularly recommend Pepe Nero for a special dinner, and also Salama, just on the other side of Djemaa el Fna main square, and Terrasse des Epices in the souk.

All in all, we came back refreshed and revived, and I can't wait to go back. There may be more sumptuous riads, but where I think Dar Charkia excels is in the level of quality you get for the very reasonable price. Do go, you won't regret it.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Douiria Suite, which is lovely, but I'd probably choose the poolside room if we...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Dar Charkia is a truly beautiful and peaceful Riad that absolutely deserves its status at the very top end of the TripAdvisor hotel recommendations for Marrakech. A really great location, just a minute from a main drop off point and very close to the palace. The riad is only 5 minutes from the souks and about 15 minutes from Jemma el Fna and easy walking distance to Gueliz and Hivernage as well, yet once you are inside the hussle and bustle fades quickly and the peace and tranquility of the courtyard or the roof terrace is a great place to re-charge with a mint tea or glass of wine. Lisa and Michael (the owners) and their staff go above and beyond to ensure that every guest feels special and has an amazing visit to Marrakech. Lisa and Michael's love of Marrakech is infectious and is clear in the beautiful riad and the time and attention they spend making sure you have all the information you could need. The personalised map that they prepared for us, restaurant and shop recommendations and tips which they customise to the interests of each guest goes beyond any high end concierge service. The service starts from the moment you contact Lisa and Michael to book your trip, ensuring that by the time you arrive special trips and restaurants are booked to ensure the perfect visit. Each room is individually decorated and very comfortable, feeling both like an exclusive boutique hotel but also like staying with friends. Marrakech is a crazy, chaotic city and having Lisa, Michael and their staff on hand to guide, answer questions and where necessary chaperone us was invaluable. Breakfast is included in the room rate and was always extremely generous with fresh french bread and pastries every day plus fruit, yoghurt and a variety of other delicacies to tempt us each day. The "any time, any place" attitude of the staff was lovely - no need to worry about missing breakfast if you sleep in. We ate dinner at the Riad on our first night and it was one of the best meals we had in Marrakech - delicious food and very generous portions so the only "problem" was that we could not possibly finish! We had a wonderful time at Dar Charkia and highly recommend it!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

We spent four wonderful days in this excellent Riad. The courtyard and facilities are of an excellent standard tastefully decorated and well maintained and the staff cannot do enough to make your stay as comfortable as possible. On arrival we were met by one of the owners Michael sat us down and provided us with 2 maps of the local area and some invaluable information and helpful tips about Marrakesh. One of the best places I have stayed anywhere in the world and would thoroughly recommend ! Indeed, I loved it so much that I proposed to my girlfriend (now fiancée) on the roof terrace under the stars!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#6 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#37 Business Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 6
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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