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“Best Birthday Ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar el Souk

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Dar el Souk
Ranked #134 of 1,171 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, Uk
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Best Birthday Ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2008

Even before we arrived in Marrakech, we had recieved helpful emails from the riad's owners helping us with our journey planning- arranging a taxi for us from the airport and a porter with a cart to take us from the taxi drop off point through the alleys to the riad. I am sure if we had been left to our own devices it would have taken us twice as long and we would have been far more frazzled when we arrived! As it was, we were welcomed into a calm, cool and inviting house with mint tea, comfy sofas and a chat with Madi, our gracious hostess, with advice on places of interest, good places to eat and other useful nuggets of information as well as a handy map.
We soon met the house staff; Imane, Naima, Fouzia and later Reda, all of whom were extremely obliging, never intrusive but always ready and willing to help if we needed them. I can't thank them enough for helping us to feel so at home and for being very tolerant of our mangled French!
We rested for a while and then set off to explore the wonders of the Place Jemaa el Fnaa and to have dinner at the Marrakshi restaurant, as recommended AND booked for us by Madi. We feasted like kings on tagine, pastilla and oranges a la cannelle as we watched the activity in the Place from the enormous windows. On our return I was genuinely touched to find we had been left a charming note and a bottle of fizzy in our room which we took upstairs to the terrace to enjoy by lamplight. What a perfect way to spend my 40th birthday!
The house is beautifully decorated in opulent style without being so over the top as to feel like you are visiting an art gallery. Each floor has small, quiet seating areas as well as the roof terrace with its honesty bar - a lovely touch and most welcome after a hard day's shopping - so you never feel confined to your room in your downtime. The situation in the medina is perfect, with many sights within easy walking distance and the Place only minutes away. If you want to go further afield there's a handy taxi rank very close by too.
The local shop owners and stall holders soon became familiar and greeted us each morning, even when they knew we weren't stopping to buy. We ate breakfast in the courtyard each morning - a splendid array of pancakes, fresh juice, bread, cakes, coffee... it really sets you up for the day! We met some new friends at breakfast too, of the avian variety. Two small birds joined us each day to share our crumbs and entertain us. If they had been any cuter we would have been in danger of becoming a Disney cartoon!
Madi organised a trip to the mountains which we were delighted to join. She accompanied us herself, translating for us with our driver, mountain guide and at various places of interest along the way, all of which were well worth stopping for and none of which we would have found alone.
Our week came to an end all too soon but right up to our final moments in the riad, the staff were still helping us out, making sure we had a taxi ready to take us to the airport in good time for our flight. I actually had a bit of a tear in my eye as I left!
I fell in love with Marrakech, but Dar el Souk was the matchmaker. Can you imagine that some people still choose to stay in boring hotels with anonymous staff and identikit furnishings? Nope, I just don't get it. Go to Dar el Souk instead and really have a holiday to remember.

  • Liked — The friendly welcome
  • Disliked — A little lacking in privacy, but only because we were on the ground floor.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank spanishinquisition
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stockport
Level Contributor
80 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2008

We chose Dar El Souk after reading lots of reviews on this site and we weren't at all disappointed with our choice for our 5-night stay in Marrakech. Situated in the heart of the Medina, just a few minutes' walk from Djemaa El-Fna, it's close enough to be handy for getting around the city, but far enough away from the crowds to offer a peaceful haven when we needed to escape from all the hustle and bustle.

The staff were very helpful and friendly and genuinely seemed to want to make our stay as perfect as possible, and the British owner, Maddie was really lovely and gave us lots of useful advice on what to see, where to shop, etc.

The riad is beautifully decorated in Moroccan style throughout and a nice touch were all the English language books and magazines scattered around for guests to borrow. We were on a budget and had chosen one of the cheapest rooms (Smata), but it was very pretty and an electric heater helped to keep it cosy, even during the bitterly cold December evenings.

Our favourite place was the roof terrace, where we spent many an hour just relaxing and soaking up the sun during the day. The staff were happy to serve our delicious breakfast up there each morning and, strangely enough, most mornings we were alone in our tee-shirts, with the sun blazing down and just the birds for company, whilst most of our fellow guests chose to eat breakfast in the (much!) cooler dining room, wearing sweaters and fleeces! Incidentally, the dining room was much warmer in the evenings, when staff lit a blazing log fire and we enjoyed a lovely traditional Moroccan dinner in there on our first night.

The roof terrace also has its own "honesty bar" that's kept well-stocked with wine, beer and soft drinks, which was a very welcome feature in the mainly "dry" Medina area of Marrakech. We thought that the prices for the wine and beer were also very reasonable, expecially considering the virtually captive market!

Overall, Dar El Souk was a great find and we would recommend it to anyone looking for mid-priced accommodation with a real Moroccan feel.

Elaine & Mike

  • Liked — The Roof Terrace
  • Disliked — Not enough light in the bathroom
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Xenos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2008

Since I've never stayed anywhere else in Marrakech, I can't say for sure that this is the best riad in town, but I can't see how any could be better, especially in this price range. The location is perfect (but have them send someone to pick you up at the airport or train station...which they'll do...finding it the first time could be a little tricky). The service is exceptional...so kind and thoughtful. The included breakfast is the best. The decor is beautiful. Staying here was one of the best travel experiences of my life.

  • Liked — The personal service, the breakfast
  • Disliked — low water pressure
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Jason11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MD
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

Getting there at night was scary, walking through the medina streets. The next morning reavealed how easy it was to get to and from the hotel. It is adjacent to the Jamaa el Fna great square and tons of restaraunts.

The hotel staff and ownership was great and the accommodations were wonderful. The owner was wonderfully helpful and gracious, as was the hotel manager Iman, and her brother.

The breakfast was delicious.

minor point--the hot water was sporadic and water pressure weak at times.


Definitely stay here if you can.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike99Md
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

Booked a stay through Hip Marrakech after reading a few reviews on this site. It was my first time in Marrakech, and for anyone planning to go I would definitely recommend staying in the old town riads rather than going up to the westernised new town. The Dar el Souk had a great location - no more than 10 miutes walk into the centre and the souks, and also within reach of the rooftop Cosi Bar. One of the great advantages of a small place like this is that you really notice the service - right from the start it felt like we were properly looked after by the owners and the staff, who provided plenty of suggestions and booking help. Can't recommend the Dar el Souk highly enough.

  • Liked — Personal Service
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul82London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar el Souk

Property: Dar el Souk
Address: 56 Derb Jdid | Riad Zitoun Kedim, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #134 of 1,171 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dar El Souk Marrakech
Dar El Souk Hotel Marrakech

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