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“Great expectations...reality bites.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Charkia

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Dar Charkia
Ranked #15 of 505 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Cairo, Egypt
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great expectations...reality bites.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

let me preface this review by saying i was very excited to stay in this riad after the # of 5* reviews here on TA. however, i have since learned to take such reviews with a grain of salt. unless you are a middle-aged, european (preferably british) traveler, i suggest steering clear of this unwelcoming and rather pretentious place to stay. the riad itself is very pretty (though with more indian/chinese/japanese than moroccan flair), but the attitude of the owner lisa and her immediate demands for payment as soon as confirming availability (as if it was a gift to allow me to stay at the riad) should have tipped me off on what to expect before arriving, which was also less than smooth. despite several messages requesting that a driver pick me up from the station and communication this would be done, i waited for 20 min while harassed to death by random drivers bc the driver sent by the riad was standing somewhere totally not obvious. anyway, after a frazzled arrival, the mgr samira who seemed very nice greeted me and sat with me while i had a very good breakfast. however, apart from the breakfast, the rest of my stay was unrelaxing and depressing due to the owner's attitude - and she was not even in the riad in person during my stay! there was little guidance on what i could do apart from the standard copy-and-pasted xerox guide from the owner in a packet that was impersonal and clearly for the well-to-do traveler -- all the references were prices in british pounds,which is an indication again of the clientele this place caters to. the guide sent by the riad explained hardly anything on the sites we saw over the 3 hr tour, which include 20 min of walking to hail a taxi as well as stops to random shops that who knows if he receives a kick back from. i could have learned more from a guidebook than this local, though his english was good and that was why the riad chose him - again, the reply from lisa was that moroccans do not speak english and implied that i should take what i can get regardless of quality. when i came back to the riad and emailed lisa after a disappointing day, instead of a nice response to make my stay a bit more pleasant, i received the nastiest message basically blaming me for the experience i had on my first day in marrakesh. the second day was a disaster as a result of my email since the mgr that was nice at the beginning immediately was less friendly and did not even offer to make any reservation for dinner beyond a half-hearted attempt at places that were totally not what i was looking for. i am happy to be out of the riad as i am not a well-to-do british traveler that would make lisa and her staff happy to serve. instead, as a young, solo traveler, i would avoid this place due to the service (or lack thereof due to the pretense) that really detracted my wish to enjoy the riad and my stay in marrakesh. stay here if you fit the profile and take the reviews with a grain of salt - including this one as this was my personal experience. i believe there are many choices of riads in marrakesh with a level of service that can only go up from here...

Room Tip: i stayed in the Mali room, which was cozy - ie small - and loud due to the fact that dinner was serv...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kathmandu74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lisaberlin, Owner at Dar Charkia, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
On the 10th of June "Kathmandu74" felt compelled to post 4 different hotel reviews on Tripadvisor and awarded each of them only 3 stars, Dar Charkia amongst them. Even an unsuspecting mind could probably only conclude that such a uniform display of deep dissatisfaction is a reflection of the reviewer's regrettably negative disposition rather than a fair assessment of the objects under review.

Her, what can only be described as a rant against the English language is -to say the least- curious as the reviewer corresponded with us in perfect English and should have at least a notion of Arabic as a Cairo resident. However, the reviewer's unashamedly self professed ageism, anti Englishness and class preoccupations are quite discomforting hints of deep-seated and disconcerting prejudicial attitudes.

Her astonishment at the request for a deposit payment to secure the room booking reveals a strong touch of unworldliness, topped only by her ungratefulness for obtaining our special 25% reduced rate offer despite her change of stay to under the minimum required duration to be eligible for the offer.

We regret and apologise again for our driver's 15 minutes delay for the pick up from inside the ultramodern and safe Marrakech train station, but to use this mishap as an excuse for an allegedly entirely spoilt day is another example of a fierce over reaction.

Contrary to the reviewer's assertions she did receive a thorough introductory talk by the said Samira accompanied by a detailed hand annotated map. She also was offered a complimentary breakfast on the day of her arrival. Her personal guide is a distinguished and experienced gentleman whose praises are documented by scores of satisfied customers on these very pages.

The reviewer has issues with prevarications and indecisiveness: She first asked us to book a cookery class, than she cancelled it herself and consequently blamed us for the cancellation. All her emails sent to us at midnight during her stay were of course politely and constructively replied to, however the notion that apart from providing ample information on alternative options available and offering a most comprehensive concierge service the riad staff should hand hold a guest at all times only because she is uncomfortable to explore new environs is indeed a fallacious misconception.

In conclusion, while we regret that the reviewer subjectively did not enjoy her stay with us -as our raison d'être is to please our clients- we wish to remind the fair minded reader that Tripadvisor contains 915 "excellent" 5-star reviews of Dar Charkia contradicting overwhelmingly "Kathmandu74" not particularly acute or representative observations.

Lisa & Michal
Owners and Managers
Dar Charkia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,284 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 (160)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We returned here following a stay which we had very much enjoyed a few years previously, and were delighted to find it unchanged.
The staff, without exception, are delightful and nothing is too much for them to want to do for you. They seem to manage this whilst at the same time leaving you as much space as you need and never being obtrusive. Lisa and Michael are very experienced in the breadth of their knowledge of Marrakech, and their advice as to where to go and what to see is valuable information. They can also arrange trips and outings for you, should you wish.
We had dinner one night at the Riad, and the cooking was some of the best we had in Marrakech. Had we had longer, we would have chosen to eat in again.
Altogether, a real pleasure. We will return again!

Room Tip: All rooms seem to be quiet and well appointed and with plenty of space. We have now tried three of...
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  • 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?
1 Thank Londoner063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights and couldn't have asked for a better place to stay. From the moment we arrived we were treated like one of the family. We were well prepared with detailed maps provided by Michael and Lisa, as well as given great information by Michael on where to go for good quality goods in the Souks, how to handle ourselves in the main square and where was good to eat. All the other staff that work in the Riad are kind, friendly and helpfull! This Riad is a little oasis in amongst the craziness of the Medina! Breakfast was provided every morning it was delicious and fresh and provided us with a great start to the day. I highly recommend staying here!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 524Claire524
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Just had the best weekend, the owners Michael and Lisa were full of fantastic advice which meant we didn't waste a second, the Riad was an oasis in the middle of a busy Marrakech, nothing was too much trouble even midnight snacks! - Lisa's resturant advise was great and meant that we sampled traditional and modern cusine. Great weather this time of year too all in all a great weekend i will definately be returning.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jodie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I stayed here as part of a large group, we hired the whole Riad for 4 days. From the beginning there was nothing that was too much trouble. Lisa and Michael, the owners, were extremely helpful before/during/after the trip, organising regular drivers to take us about the sights, arranging a lovely group dinner in the Riad one night when we didn't want to venture out, even pointing out the best cafes with the cleanest loos in the Souk! The staff are also lovely and helpful - breakfast on the Terrace, or by the pool, never a problem.

I know there are tons of places to stay in Marrakech and it's difficult to make a decision, but you won't regret staying here!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 BexieP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

We stayed at Dar Charkia for 3 nights for a girls weekend at the end of May 2013 and hired the Riad exclusively for our use; which was just a wonderful option. Lisa, her husband and their excellent team could not have done more to ensure we made the most of our time in Marrakech. The service was impeccable, the food delicious, the styling superb and the hospitality beyond what we could have hoped for! This is a "must-stay" Riad, well located in the Medina and one which I have already started recommending to my family and friends. Thanks so much to all at Dar Charkia once again for a brilliant mini-break.

Room Tip: All rooms are lovely, but the suite really is a super option if available!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 Zoe G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We were a party of 8 visiting Morocco for the 1st time. Dar Charkia was a fantastic experience. The owners Lisa and Michael are simply impeccable hosts. They made us feel so welcome even before we set foot in Marrakesh. They had patiently answered all our questions through email prior to our trip. The team working for them is equally warm and go all out of their way to make guests feel at home. Special thanks to Sami for her care throughout our stay.

The Riad is within walking distance to the famous souks, a must see to immerse in Marrakesh. Lisa had provided us detailed maps on arrival, highlighting places of interests, restaurants, quick facts, tips on tipping, bargaining etc.

At the entrance of the Riad , i recall reading a signage that holds so true.....Enter as strangers; leave as Friends. Lisa & Michael, heartfelt thanks for making our stay in Marrakesh a memorable and wonderful one. Look forward to seeing you in Singapore for Chilli crabs and chilled Tiger beer!

Ruv Alwis

Room Tip: Rooms are tastefully decorated. Book early to avoid disappointment!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RuvAlwis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Charkia

Property: Dar Charkia
Address: 50 Derb El Halfaoui | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40030, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#10 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dar Charkia 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
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

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