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“Secret Oasis” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Dar Darma

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Riad Dar Darma
5.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   11/12, Trik Sidi Bohuarba - Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #366 of 1,080 Marrakech B&B and Inns
los angeles
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Secret Oasis”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

We arrived after a long flight via London to be met at the airport by the designated driver. Upon arrival in the city Sasheem met our car and escorted us via foot to the hotel which one would never find on their own. You pass thru a door, down a small staircase and suddenly you're in another world. They had a candelit dinner waiting for us beside the fireplace. Our room, the orange suite was wonderful. I had concern how we might be treated as a gay couple but the staff went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. The hotel has a mystical feel and you can actually get lost making your way to the roof deck. We enjoyed a a sunset on the roof and the sights and sounds of the city are magical. The first morning they will escort you around the corner to the museum which is a must to get your bearings. You have to resign yourself to the fact your going to get lost in the souk and once you do then everything is ok. We spent 4 days in Marrakech and used one of the days to do a day trip in the Atlas Mountains. We checked out the Riad Farnatchi around the corner from Dar Darma and much preferred the feel of Dar Darma. Kosybar is a great spot for drinks. Le Foundouk is around the corner from the Riad and a great place for dinner. Enjoy the Riad it's a worthwhile endulgence!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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96 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
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    2
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Paris
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

What a beautiful place! This riad was stunning, with gorgeous luxurious bedrooms with plenty of space in every room, with traditional furniture and architecture. There is a lovely terrace at the top with sofas, hammocks, and chairs to relax. The service was excellent, high quality and very professional - the staff were always willing to help but were never too intrusive. Top quality traditional food too.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dorset
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2009

I arrived in Marrakech, a little jaded from my early flight and from rubber necking every native on the transfer in to the old town! As I entered the door to the Dar Darma, it became immediately apparent that I had found a peaceful and staggeringly beautiful oasis in which to enjoy time with my friends and relax.

Every room has been impeccably designed with authenticity and attention to detail. The rooms were not only a triumph in terms of their styling but were also immaculately clean and very comfortable. The staff were fantastic; polite, helpful, friendly and only too happy to provide for our every requirement. They were always on hand and never intrusive. The location is wonderful, only a short walk to the souk and square.

This is the first review I have ever written about accommodation I have stayed in, motivated quite simply by how impressive the Dar Darma is. If you go to Marrakech, I would strongly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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italia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2009

Recently come back from Marrakech and the amazing Dar Darma.
We found it by chance surfing amog the thousand property of the city and we would absolutely love to recommend it!
The house is full of decoration, the moroccan atmosphere is really alive!

Staff is very helpful, at every time Maria and Said were keen to offer a cup of mint tea or an advice about what to see and to do..all 3 days spent in a such magic city were wonderful, especially the journey through the precoius boutiques where to find some caftans (their typical dresses) accompanied by the personal shopper of the Dar Darma.

Surprised by the food tasted, absolutely spicy and delicate at the same time! So relaxing also the Hammam and the scrub treatment ( suggested by Maria on our arrival)

Want to return as soon as possible with some friends!!!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Jason.Charity
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2009

We chose Dar Darma with our eyes wide open in the knowledge of some mixed reviews. We were sold on the incredibly stylish look of the riad, that has been executed superbly. Our previous visit was to Riad Fernatchi, amusingly next door to Dar Darma, which was a true 5* riad in look and feel and experience. I guess Fernachi was our yard stick of comparison so the bar was set high! Please also read this review in the context that I'm a fussy traveller who has stayed at some of the worlds best hotels, as well as some of the worst! I understand that, generally, you get what you pay for. In Dar Darma's case, the rates were at the top-end of riads so my expectations where reasonably set high.

We stayed in the Mirrors Suite. You really need to like shabby chic to enjoy this riad and for me, I prefer a more refined style, which is probably why I really enjoyed Fernachi. Could of points if you're thinking about the Mirrors Suite:

- The suite opposite can hear every word so if that puts you off, be warned
- Atmospheric lighting was great but there was no task lighting, which made simple things like looking in the wardrobe and looking in the bathroom mirror a complete pain. One might as well have a blind fold on!

We did look in the apartments suites (Blue and Red Suites), which are truly wonderful.

What really let this riad down was two things in my mind. First, the poor service. Not all staff at the riad were below par. Maria, the assistant manager, was excellent and without her we would have moved to another riad. The guy who serves breakfast was obnoxious and for the first three mornings, various items were missing from our table and when we requested such things as salt and pepper, we just received a look that said "are you supid". Not how to make a guest feel valued!

Maria is the only member of staff who has a good command of English, which is a surprise as most of the good restaurants and other quality raids do have the majority of staff who speak English well. This was a problem at weekends when Maria didn't work.

I also found that when Maria left in the evenings there was a a further drop in service to the point that it was just lack lustre. We did complain after three days that not one person had approached us to ask if we needed anything. I don't like in-your-face service but occasionally it is nice to be asked!

I also found that there was a complete lack of atmosphere in the evenings. Unlike other riads who light candles and play music, Dar Darma is uncomfortably silent to the point of being cold. A simple thing that could be sorted.

We were offered a great meal (complimentary) on our first night which I have to stay was excellent. A table was laid out which was romantic and away from everyone else, and the food (prepared by Maria) was one of the best meals that we had in Marrakech.

Overall, I think that there are other riads that offer a better service and stylish accommodation so please think carefully about this one.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Newcastle upon Tyne
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2009

Others have commented on the internal style of Dar Darma - for us, the main highlight was the simply delightful and helpful service. The staff display quiet thoughtfulness. A meal was provided on our first night - which was equal to the best we had eaten in Morocco; advice on where else to eat was good and for one of them we were escorted to ensure we did not get lost. The roses in our room were changed; wine left over was sealed, our clothes were washed and so on. And of course, the place itself is gorgeous - with a roof terrace to die for.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2009

A beautiful building that has been done with great style and eye for detail. I won't try too hard to describe it as my architectural and design vocabulary is limited, but the salient points are;

1. It's beautiful, striking and full of stylish touches.
2. The staff were wonderful. Helpful and non-intrusive.
3. The food was excellent...
- Moroccan dinner for 2 was delicious and intimate. More special than large dine-by-numbers establishments around.
- breakast was all fresh breads, great conserves and good coffee. Perfect.
- lunch one day was a simple italian salad and pasta.. simple, light a nice change from Tagine overload when I was saving myself for a big dinner that night.
4. It has a large roof terrace with enough areas to have your own space. Most places in Marrakech do so this isn't a USP... but it was spacious and private.
5. It has a rooftop lap pool which was a god-send.

In short - I'd go back again and would definitely recommend to friends.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Riad Dar Darma

Address: 11/12, Trik Sidi Bohuarba - Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #366 of 1,080 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Riad Dar Darma 5*
Number of rooms: 6
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 
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Also Known As:
Dar Darma Hotel Marrakech

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