First the Very Good: this is my third trip to Marrakech and Dar Fakir is a true oasis from the sensory overload of the main square and the souks.
The Iswane Suite was spacious with a sofa so there was somewhere other than on the bed to sit. The bed was enormous with room to get in and out on both sides, which is not always the case in some raids. The mattress gets top marks for comfort. The bath room was the largest in the riad. The toilet got temperamental while we were there, but this has been reported so I would hope the issue is resolved quickly. The room was also air conditioned, which given the unseasonably high temperature (102 degrees!), made the difference between comfortable and meltdown. However, the volume did run a range from reasonably quiet to small airplane taking off, a situation that was reported to the Director so hopefully rectified, but I would check or be sure to take ear plugs.
Some of the smaller rooms that we were able to view did have very small bathrooms and were dimly lit, but that is reflected in the price.
The staff are lovely and made huge efforts to meet every need. Until 2 pm, when Hannah arrives ( whose English is a bit better), there are no English speaking staff on site. We got by with games of international charades and "pictionary" ( try drawing the transfer request for the baggage handler and taxi to the airport). Good fun, but not sure it would be quite so much fun if there was any real problem that a guest needed to have addressed or resolved. They are able to contact the Director, so I assume that would be the fall back position.
We ate dinner at the Riad on our second night. It was £30 per person and we both felt it was well worth the price. The beef and chicken tagines were perfectly cooked and beautifully aromatic. After two days of the full on frenzy, heat and sensory overload that is Marrakech, we found the peace and quiet of dinner in just the restful and relaxing break we needed.
So why not an Excellent rating? We were met at the airport as arranged, but had to wait at the Riad for over an hours and a half for the Director to arrive. Having been up since 0400, we were tired and just wanted to get settled. I do understand that the driver failed to contact her that we were on our way, but I feel she could equally have checked with him or used the Internet to see that our plane had landed. Alternatively, a procedure established at the Riad to contact her when guests arrive might be a good idea.
More importantly, the Riad is supposed to have a member of staff on site during the night, but on our last night, two young women returned at 0020 to find themselves locked out. Luckily, I heard their frantic knocking and was able to let them in. When I reported this to the Director, she stated that the night duty member of staff had been called to an emergency just over the road and had only been absent for a very brief time. Unfortunately, too long a time for me or the young women who were locked out! I suggested that in the future she should have an emergency plan that does not leave guests locked out in the street. If I was going to be out late, I would definitely want to be issued with a key. Needless to say, I didn't have the best nights sleep.
Given, the toilets, noisy air conditioner and the night access issues are resolved, I can highly recommend Dar Fakir and would be very happy to stay there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dar Fakir is a Riad de Charme located just 3 mins walk from Djema el Fnaa square. It reopened at the beginning of 2011 to visitors after a complete refurbishment. We differ from other riads in the sence that we offer an extensive service over other riads including not only the normal cooking courses but yoga, artisanal workshops and a very intimate service bordering onto concierge at very affordable rates. We provide extras such as meet and greet throughout your stay if required by our security guard during the evenings and at night. Mobile phones are provided to guests on request and are free of charge during their stay. We spend a lot of time with the guests making them feel welcome in the riad but also at home in the hectic maze of the Marrakech Medina. In total 5 languages are spoken in the riad - English, German, Swedish, French and the local Arabic, Darija. The rooms all have individually embroided bed linen made from Egyptian Cotton. The toiletries provided by Sence de Marrakech are Shower gel, Body lotion, shampoo and hand soap. For the Suite we can provide black soap and a gommage flannel.All rooms and Suites are decorated in elegant beige tadelakt on the walls as well as in the bathrooms. The floors have terracotta zellige. Rooms and Suites are furnished with traditional dark wood furniture in traditional berber style. The suites in addition have beautiful leather clad writing desks that tastefully match the decor. You will experience the ambience of arabian night in the evening when the handcrafted lamps and lanterns cast magical shadows on the walls. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dar Fakir Marrakech