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“A (very expensive) rip-off” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Zemora

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Dar Zemora
Ranked #52 of 505 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A (very expensive) rip-off”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We came here on the final stop of our honeymoon in March 2013 and all I can say to others is: don't do it!
There is no question that hotel is not beautiful - but you'd expect nothing less for the price: £295 for a suite and £195 for a double. Remember: this is Morocco and sterling goes a long way!
Despite the claim on its website, the hotel is not "a short step away from...Marrakech’s Medina". On the contrary, the hotel is hidden deep in the Palmeraie and you need a not unsubstantial taxi ride to get both there and away.
While this could lend a wonderful air of privacy and exclusivity, the problem comes with the *appalling food* served here, starting at breakfast with the stale pasteries, the cheap, sugary yoghurts, the low-quality, cardboard breads. The fact that the food was so inedible made the measly portions a blessing.
We had a (very expensive) tasting menu dinner on our first night and honestly, I felt sick halfway through and couldn't finish it. There was - quite literally - nothing that wasn't beige, soggy and entirely bland. Not a vegetable to be seen. It was like student cooking at its very, very worse. I was still feeling icky the next day.
We were here for three or four days and ended up getting a taxi to take us to the nearest supermarket and stacking up on food for breakfast and dinners. We were so frustrated with the hotel that we were completely unembarrassed to ask them to keep our food in the fridge and asking them for it at every mealtime. The fact that they never commented this weird state of affairs suggested they were either used to people doing likewise - or didn't want to know that their chef was substandard. (Which explains how the chef gets away with being quite so appalling!)
It wouldn't have mattered so much had we not been paying a king's ransom for our stay - and if we'd been able escape to nearby restaurants As it was, however, the exclusive situation of the hotel left us feeling trapped.
Please don't make the same mistake as we did and stay here. Morocco is overflowing with wonderful hotels that don't rip you off when it comes to the all-important details ....like food.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MidnightMoon2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindsay K, Owner at Dar Zemora, responded to this review, September 21, 2013
The Palmeraie is a location of choice for visitors to Marrakech. Dar Zemora is one of the closest and more easily accessible hotels to the Medina of those located within the Palmeraie.
Our food is highly commended as can be seen by other reviews as to quality and cost both before and subsequent to this reviewers 2 night stay, 6 months ago.
The hotel has no recollection of any request being made to store food in the hotel's fridges, let alone serving it to a staying guest, which would not have been done without detailed discussion between the Management and the guest.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
london
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

This was our second stay at DZ and it was good as the first. DZ really has a charm about it, especially if you want peace, tranquillity and put a premium on not feeling like you are in a hotel but a house / villa that happens to have guests. Having previously stayed in the Zahara Suite we tried the Pavilion Suite, which has its own pool and 2 bedrooms, of which we only used one. We are glad we made the switch - the hotel was virtually empty ( totally other than us for 2 days and then just 2 other couples) but the privacy in the Pavilion is excellent. The bedroom was good, with a v good bed & the sitting room v good as well, not that we used it that much. Staff v good and helpful. Their food was as good at the restaurants we tried and we have been to Marrakesh 6 times before. We wouldn't go anywhere else.

  • Stayed September 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
Helpful?
Thank TedmeisterGeneral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

My wife and I chose Dar Zemora to stay for a short break in Marrakech after extensive research on Trip Advisor. We were looking for a lovely, charming boutique hotel where we would be made to feel valued. We didn’t want to stay in the Medina as we felt that after a day’s sightseeing, it would be nice to relax and unwind a short journey from the hubbub and bustle. As it turned out, we loved the sights, sounds and smells of the main square and the souks, adored visiting the Palace and other sights recommended by the wonderful manager, Youssef, but as we expected, were glad to get back to the peace and tranquility of the hotel for the evenings.

We enjoyed the dinners very much – the mix of International cuisine on two nights a week and Moroccan tajines served on five nights meant we could really enjoy high quality food, whether it was a reminder of home, or a sampling of what the locals eat. We particularly enjoyed the Moroccan evenings, and must throw in a special word for the chef, who not only cooks beautiful Moroccan cuisine, but makes a crème brulee style dessert to die for. The chef also accommodated my wife’s rather picky eating habits and omitted foods she does not eat. We did eat out a couple of nights, but found that the food served at Dar Zemora to be outstanding in comparison.

Our research told us that the staff would be attentive and caring, and agree they were both. No request was too much trouble – Youssef even went out on our behalf to buy a particular type of cooking oil that my wife wanted to try at home but was unable to find in the souks (more likely, did not know how to ask for it). Although there was a large family party staying in 3 rooms whilst we were there, we did not feel that we were neglected at any stage. The staff were warm, friendly and welcoming – but not intrusive. Our room (we stayed in the Perla suite) is absolutely lovely with a charming indoor lounge and a large outdoor lounge terrace where we ate our breakfasts.

It was a very enjoyable stay, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to others who would like to experience the joys of Marrakech, with a little luxury thrown in.

Room Tip: We chose one of the two suites, but from what we could see, all the rooms look lovely and are beaut...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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
Helpful?
1 Thank GaryChelsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

The thing about Dar Zemora is this: it's very English. And despite the fact that the gardens are green and sumptuous, the croquet a pleasant distraction and the pool area, serene, I wanted to feel that I was in Morocco and a little bit spoiled, and I didn't feel either.

Firstly, the Palmaerie is a good 15-20 minute drive from the city centre, which makes trips into town expensive and necessary if you don't want to spend all your time in the hotel. Dar Zemora does not offer a cheap option, but instead a pricey private chauffeur. You're pretty much stuck therefore, unless you decide to have dinner in the hotel, which is mostly 'international'. We didn't take this option because the breakfast, in comparison to other places we had stayed, was distinctly average.

Secondly, although the room was large and beautiful - we couldn't fault it - the staff were inexperienced, if sweet, and it took quite an ordeal for them to book us a train ticket to Fes as well as check on whether or not we'd left a phone in a bar. There were no other guests in the hotel, so it wasn't an issue of being stretched for time.

It's a lovely place in many ways and very relaxing, but it's a little gaudy for our taste, over-furnished and doesn't have the subtle Moroccan luxury of some of the other places we stayed. Furthermore, the flagrant over charging of basics such as transfers, made us feel we were being taken advantage of.

Most pertinently, it was the most expensive place we visited by far, and so we'd hoped for something super-magical with that extra 'je ne sais quoi'. Unfortunately, it was good, but nothing special when you consider the myriad choices in Marrakech.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We stayed at the Dar el Zemora for five nights in the second week of July, which coincided with the start of Ramadan and some high temperatures. After stepping off the plane into what felt like the hot cycle of a tumble drier we were scooped up by the taxi driver and driven to the Dar el Zemora which is located in the Palmeraie district of Marrakech. The Palmeraie is a huge, dry, flat palm grove about 10 minutes outside the central square Jemaa el Fnaa and is home to luxury houses all hidden behind high walls. There is very little to see and it would be easy to get lost as much of it looks the same.

The gravelled drive of Dar el Zemora is surrounded by rose gardens and scattered with Moroccan lamps lit with candles and rom the moment we arrived it felt like we had come to somewhere magical. The hotel, which feels more like a country house, has five rooms and a separate two bedroomed/private pool pavilion oozes understated luxury, nothing opulent just very good taste. The freshly filled vases of roses are a delight, the range of books in the Library comprehensive, everything has been thought of.

The remarks in the guest book are testament to the restorative nature of Dar el Zemora, everyone seems to be touched by the tranquility and the healing nature of the surroundings. The beautiful pool which we frequently had to ourselves is set in the gardens and cooled towels and iced water are brought to the sun beds. Meals are taken on the terrace accompanied by very vocal frogs and bold sparrows and you can opt in or out for as many or as few as you wish.

It is no wonder that guests find it hard to pull themselves away and take the short taxi ride (200 Drs return) to the exotic bonkers-ness of central Marrakech, which when we we there was made all the more dramatic by two spectacular rain and lightning shows. We ate from one of the myriad stalls which start setting up from 5pm in Jemaa el Fna square and enjoyed cold drinks from one of the surrounding rooftop cafes. We also ventured into the Atlas Mountains to see a different side of Morocco, which was organised by Youssef the gracious manager. The hotel is closed for three weeks in August to give everyone a well deserved rest, service which appears this effortless is only achieved by a lot of hard work.

I can not recommend this hotel highly enough, the plaudits are richly deserved.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Boo73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florakaty
Level Contributor
134 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

We have been lucky enough to visit Marrakech several times. Dar Zemora is always THE place to stay. Instead of any large hotel in any large city, which are all the same; Dar Zemora has the feeling and presence of a quiet country house instead. The understated luxury, the attention to detail, plus the wonderful and very discreet service was very welcome. Youseff, the Manager, and his team run a pretty slick operation. And you are made to feel pretty special. Thank you. Can't wait for our next visit.

Room Tip: All the rooms are divine, but if you can, do stay in either The Pavillion or one of the suites.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 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
Helpful?
Thank florakaty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buntingford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We recently stayed here and enjoyed the Zahara Suite which was huge! The fact it was on the ground floor with it's own large, shaded terrace was a huge bonus as it meant easy access to the pool and grounds. Service here is VERY slick and also increadibly discreet. They offer breakfast up to 11am meaning there is no rush which is wonderful as many places stop service at 10am. The food is delicious (lunch and dinner), so much so that we didn't even venture back into Marrakech (we had stayed in the Medina for 3 nights earlier in our vacation) and were happy to stay at this wonderful retreat. I can't rave about Dar Zemora and the staff enough - it's pretty much PERFECT!

Room Tip: Zahara Suite is huge and worth every extra penny - indulge if you can, you won't be dissapointed...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 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
Helpful?
Thank MrandMrsCraddock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Zemora

Property: Dar Zemora
Address: Rue el Aandalib, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#19 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#31 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#32 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Dar Zemora 4.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the Palmeraie area of Marrakech and set within 1 hectare of gardens. Large swimming pool. Traditionally built with some contempory features. Great space for a maximum of 14 guests. Many sitting rooms, Dining Room and Hamman on site. 4 Suites, 3 bedrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar Zemora Marrakech
Dar Zemora Hotel Marrakech

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