let me preface this review by saying i was very excited to stay in this riad after the # of 5* reviews here on TA. however, i have since learned to take such reviews with a grain of salt. unless you are a middle-aged, european (preferably british) traveler, i suggest steering clear of this unwelcoming and rather pretentious place to stay. the riad itself is very pretty (though with more indian/chinese/japanese than moroccan flair), but the attitude of the owner lisa and her immediate demands for payment as soon as confirming availability (as if it was a gift to allow me to stay at the riad) should have tipped me off on what to expect before arriving, which was also less than smooth. despite several messages requesting that a driver pick me up from the station and communication this would be done, i waited for 20 min while harassed to death by random drivers bc the driver sent by the riad was standing somewhere totally not obvious. anyway, after a frazzled arrival, the mgr samira who seemed very nice greeted me and sat with me while i had a very good breakfast. however, apart from the breakfast, the rest of my stay was unrelaxing and depressing due to the owner's attitude - and she was not even in the riad in person during my stay! there was little guidance on what i could do apart from the standard copy-and-pasted xerox guide from the owner in a packet that was impersonal and clearly for the well-to-do traveler -- all the references were prices in british pounds,which is an indication again of the clientele this place caters to. the guide sent by the riad explained hardly anything on the sites we saw over the 3 hr tour, which include 20 min of walking to hail a taxi as well as stops to random shops that who knows if he receives a kick back from. i could have learned more from a guidebook than this local, though his english was good and that was why the riad chose him - again, the reply from lisa was that moroccans do not speak english and implied that i should take what i can get regardless of quality. when i came back to the riad and emailed lisa after a disappointing day, instead of a nice response to make my stay a bit more pleasant, i received the nastiest message basically blaming me for the experience i had on my first day in marrakesh. the second day was a disaster as a result of my email since the mgr that was nice at the beginning immediately was less friendly and did not even offer to make any reservation for dinner beyond a half-hearted attempt at places that were totally not what i was looking for. i am happy to be out of the riad as i am not a well-to-do british traveler that would make lisa and her staff happy to serve. instead, as a young, solo traveler, i would avoid this place due to the service (or lack thereof due to the pretense) that really detracted my wish to enjoy the riad and my stay in marrakesh. stay here if you fit the profile and take the reviews with a grain of salt - including this one as this was my personal experience. i believe there are many choices of riads in marrakesh with a level of service that can only go up from here...
- 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