I just joined Tripadvisor so I could write this review! This was probably the best winter holiday I've ever had. We stayed over Christmas, to get some winter warmth, and we certainly did. Lisa and Michael are an ideal bridge for European travellers into a city which is truly great, but can require a bit of guidance. They are well-connected with the town, and they made very good recommendations for us. We were looking for a pampering kind of break, but with good food, too. We had several superb Hamman and massage experiences in nearby hotels suggested by them, and wonderful food at restaurants in the city, and from the superb kitchen of Dar Charkia itself. I'd go back tomorrow, if I could.
Their staff are absolutely excellent, helpful and genuinely friendly, without the obsequious, and often insincere "have a nice day" style of the chain hotels. I believe they are happy working there, and it really helps to create the "home from home" experience everyone is writing about in the reviews. So big thanks to Little Samira, who ran things so perfectly when Lisa and Michael were away, and to Zahira, Nedya, Fati and Big Samira for preparing and serving great food, for helping to look for the phone we lost ( and found in our room), thanks too, to Rashid, who looks after the night duties, for lighting candles in the room, when we asked, and for being a cheerful presence when we decided to stay in, and enjoy the comfortable courtyard, or the roof.
Some highlights for me were: breakfast (which can be ordered anytime) on the roof, with the Atlas Mountains in the distance. Evening meals in the riad I've already mentioned. They don't brag about their own food as much as they could. It's a really good, simple menu, the quality of which challenges some much posher places we visited. Also good: guided walk through the Medina from Najib, who told us stories of the '60s in Marrakech, and took us to a good place for buying teas and spices. An outstanding drive into the mountains to the village followed, with driver/guide Abdu, a really nice bloke who seemed to enjoy showing us the absolutely STUNNING scenery around the High Atlas. Highly recommended. Conversations with Abdu, who is of Berber descent, and the sights of this trip, made the Berber museum in the Majorelle Gardens make more sense too. (Also recommended).
We also had some great spa/Hamman treatments, notably at Jardins de Koutoubia, Emira Hotel, and Riad Idra which I'll review elsewhere on Tripadvisor, as well as the places where we dined out.
Morocco has a big gap between rich and poor, which is a shock for affluent Europeans, unless you have a heart of stone. Marrakech needs tourism, and people like Lisa and Michael are bringing business into the city, and reliably employing good local people, who reward them by generously and warmly helping their guests to have a comfortable and relaxed holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a six-bedroom, exquisite boutique oasis of tranquility managed hands-on by the owners and located in the safe vicinity of the Dar El Bacha royal palace. Rooms are stylishly individually decorated, 3 with working fire places and all with en-suite bathrooms. Superb eclectic cuisine combining Moroccan and international dishes. Comprehensive free concierge service and 24h front desk presence. Free wi-fi. Fantastic roof terrace with view on Atlas mountains. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dar Charkia Marrakech
- Dar Charkia Hotel Marrakech