We chose Marrakech as the destination for a pre wedding trip - myself and 5 girlfriends and were recommended to look at Riad Dar Darma. From the point of booking with Laura (based in Milan), everything was great and nothing was too much trouble. We chose the Red Apartment as there were 6 of us and this was a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with a central lounge in the middle. We arrived and were picked up at the airport and driven to the discreet front door of the Riad - something that we later realised was an almost impossible feat; this was a sign of how far the team would go to make our stay as easy and enjoyable as possible. We entered the Riad from the craziness of the streets outside and were greeted by Maria - a lovely and helpful host - into an oasis of calm and serenity and cool air which was lovely. We were shown to our room and around the Riad - there are little areas all over the place and the rooftop terrace and pool is perfection. Maria was fantastic and gave us a map of the city and made all of our reservations for us - restaurants, camel rides, Nikki Beach etc. The first night they prepared a meal for us at Dar Darma - the food was amazing!! No menu and you were served what had been cooked and we were not disappointed - stunning flavours with fabulous service from Sahid and Abdul. One of the nice things about Riad Dar Darma is that it is very intimate - only 6 rooms and so you know the names of all the team from the housekeepers (Rasheeda & Nadja) to Abdul, Esham, Maria and Sahid. They change over shifts throughout the day, yet the service never changes - we wanted Morrocan Rose wine as this had been recommended to us as lovely - they didn't have it, yet 20 minutes later they did - they had 'borrowed' some from elsewhere and from that moment on, there was always Rose wine. We had no room keys, at first this felt strange and we were't sure and Maria reassured us that we were family in their home and that all would be fine. By the second day, we were leaving our door wide open all day. The Riad is perfectly located in the Medina and less than a 5 minute walk from the souks and the main square - yes you are hassled a little in the street but after your first trip out, you gain your confidence and are used to this. Anybody who complains that there is no sign on the front door clearly doesn't understand this city and the culture - the whole point is that the Riad is hidden and discreet and when you realise this you actually love this. There are no signs anywhere so it would be strange to have a large sign with Riad Dar Darma on the front door. We ate lunch twice at the Riad and dinner also and the food was always beautiful. They lit candles and incense in our room every day and placed an ice bucket for champagne in the lounge every day. The decor in the Riad was absolutely stunning - 100% authentic in every detail and barefoot luxury at it's best. The room we had was 17th century and the details were everywhere. The rooms are a little dark but you also realised that if you were to visit in 45 degree heat - this darkness would be so welcome as it would also mean that the rooms stay cool - again, you adjust to this and I know that if we had asked for extra light, they would have helped and arranged this - it wasn't a big deal for us and we were 6 girls who were doing hair and makeup every evening.There is no phone in the room but you don't miss it as the team are around 24 7 and are always on hand to help - it is as if 'no' is not in their vocabulary and whatever you request - however odd it may seem to them - they make it happen. The medina can be a challenge to navigate however, the team at Dar Darma will happily escort you to the souks or the square or even come and find you and bring you back if you are lost! I have never written before on Trip Advisor but felt compelled to do so the morning after we returned as the experience was so unique - I work in hotels and luxury hospitality myself and truly this place is special. Aside from the Riad, I would recommend a day to Nikki Beach (not at all authentic Marrakech but fun non the less), dinner at Bo&Zin - very cool place with beautiful food and a lovely vibe (taxi ride) and also Le Foundouk - traditional Moroccan place that is walking distance from Dar Darma. Definitely visit the souks and buy a leather holdall that can carry all of your purchases home - I bought a tagine, two lanterns and more! I would recommend this place to anybody and will definitely be returning with my husband after we get married. I would not recommend this place if you only like large chain hotels where you could be anywhere in the world when you stay - Dar Darma is the real Marrakech and allows you to be a part of their world for the time that you are there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dar Darma is a private dwelling that can offer privacy, low-key services and traditional Moroccan hospitality in a relaxed, exclusive atmosphere. A few steps from the Museum and the Medersa Ben Youssef. You can enjoy this experience in the intimate surroundings of your suite, in the relaxation areas or on the terraces with breathtaking views of the Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas Mountains. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Dar Darma Hotel Marrakech