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“A hidden gem”
Review of Riad Dar Darma

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Riad Dar Darma
Ranked #198 of 1,146 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Dar Darma is a truly luxurious ryad in the heart of Marrakech's medina. We stayed in the red apartment which was spectacular. The service was great and the staff were all very attentive. They organised a guide, booked our restaurants and organised our taxis - nothing was too much trouble for them. The ryad was perfectly located for a short walk to the souks and the main square. A peaceful, tranquil oasis after the hustle and bustle of the medina.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ansa77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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181 reviews from our community

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London
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2010

One of the great details regards a trip to Marrakech is the fact riads/hotels always send a driver to collect you as you're unlikely to find their establishment by yourself. And I particularly applaud the staff at Dar Darma who had to wait for our delayed flight to arrive in Marrakech at 3.00am. Also, due to so many vehicles not being able to manoeuvre around the smaller lanes within the Medina, we thought it excellent that more staff were waiting at a nearby square to carry our heavy luggage when our vehicle could go no further. This is incredibly comforting when arriving in a country in the middle of the night.

We took the very spacious quirky Blue Apartment for 5 nights - and it really is something special. We both had our own bedrooms and bathrooms, plus there's a pleasant lounge and dining area. As the Dar was very quite we were nosey enough to look in most of the other rooms, and I can state that all are very nice and very individual. What I love about these buildings is the way they twist and turn and you often come across something quite unexpected.

There is a gentleman called Saeed who's role I think is that of a manager. And in 5 days I don't think we once saw him without a smile beaming across his face. Plus, as can often be said of many Moroccan staff, nothing was ever too much trouble. We must also give very special thanks to Kareem who served us breakfast and lunch most days, and too was an absolute delight. I will always be very thankful that he secretly assisted me get a birthday cake for my partner, and had a greeting iced on the top.

We hardly left Dar Darma in 5 days - having been to Marrakech a few times before it wasn't necessary for us to be out and about. But one of the staff will guide you to the souk which is only a few pleasant minutes walk away.

I was also fortunate to have the roof top pool to myself every day. Don't be mislead by the photo on the website which makes it look a bit like a small plunge pool - it is much bigger than that, and much needed in the summer heat. I also think it important to mention that we had a very good internet connection - that can be quite unusual in many establishments in Morocco. It also had excellent A/C. I've noticed elsewhere people sometimes complain about the beds being too hard in Morocco - personally we think they are great. We loathe those awful soft beds that swallow you up at places like the Four Seasons. I slept brilliantly every night in absolute peace at this Dar. Not once were we disturbed by the call to morning prayer - however, you do hear it every 30 minutes when on the roof terrace, but I think that a bonus, it reminds you you're somewhere different.

Personally we found the lunchtime meals better than the evening meals. There were some rather strange dishes in the evening - but each to his own. And if I were to add a single piece of luxury it would be to have a DVD on the premises. I know some people will think it appalling to care about such a detail, but we do love to catch up on movies late at night when on vacation, and as the only English speaking channel is usually BBC World or a sports channel you do sometimes want something else. Also, food wise I don't rate many of the restaurants in Marrakech so we wanted to just enjoy being at Dar Darma - and we can honestly state that we did.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Serial_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newport beach
1 review
Reviewed June 10, 2010

The night after our wedding In Italy we arrived to Marrakech to our
pleasant Riad Dar Darma, We didn't even have to check in, they brought us to our
amazing room (The Blue Apartment) and right away brought us amazing mint tea.

It was such a peaceful place with gorgeous decor. I didn't hear another person or see one the whole time we stayed. The staff was beyond helpful and kind. Brought us an amazing lunch on the rooftop. They made everything so wonderful for our honeymoon. I would stay here again for sure, and so should you.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank laurenjol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jersey
2 reviews
Reviewed March 24, 2010

We just returned from our 5 day stay in Dar Darma in Marrackech and although I have never before written a review about an accommodation I feel like writing this is the least we can do to say thank you to all involved in creating and running a place like Dar Darma.

It is truly amazing place, an oasis of peace in the middle of fascinating buzz of Medina. Location is perfect, you are on the doorstep of entry to the souks and few minutes away from Jaal el Fna.

We were picked up from the airport and transported to the heart of Medina where we were met by Saheem and guided through tiny streets to the riad.
Once you walk through the door you feel like you stepped into a different world.

To say that the riad is beautiful is not enough - designed by Maroccan architect and Italian interior designer the place is simply stunning, full of charcter, original features, atmosphere and great attention to detail.

We were welcomed by a candlelight dinner served on the roof tarrace, and after eating in few very good restaurants in Marocco I can say that the food was up to a very high standard.

Everybody in the riad is exceptionally helpful and always there when you need them, but never intruding. The staff were just as important to our overall impression of the place as the beautiful deco.

On our first day Maria - who looks after the riad and also cooks - and Saheem recommended a guide for us for couple of hours to show us around the Medina, explain the every day life and custom. Yousef - our guide was fantastic, without him our stay in Marrakech would not be the same, he also thought us the way back to the riad in case we got lost, and believe me, if it's your first time in Marrakech you will get lost at some point:)

There are six rooms in the riad, two suites: Orange ( on two levels) and Mirrors suite where we stayed, both on the ground leel, separated by the traditional pond with fresh rose petals changed daily!

Apart from that there are two apartments : Red - with original 16th entury ceiling and Blue, both can sleep for up to 8 people if beds are added, and two other patio suites. All rooms are decorated beautifuly with great attention to detail and amazing features like walls of mirrors, four poster beds, chaiz longs , fireplaces etc. If you are looking for hotel type room with no charcter but huge tv and safe - Dar Darma is not for you. Everything here is about character, style , comfort and peace.

To address the safety issue mentioned in one of the 'poor reviews' I can understand why it was mentioned, as sadly most of us nowdays are thought we have to be weary. However you really dont have to be worried. Morocco is extremly friendly place and people are kind. The entrance to Dar Darma was always locked when we were there, and there was always member of staff around waiting for us to come back, no matter what time of night. You can leave your passports in the 'reception' room if you like but ours were never touched in our room.

I disagree with the comment regarding prices of food in the riad, food and drinks were excellent value for money, if I had known how cheap it was we' d have been dining in the riad more often ( ex €4 for Heineken, €2.5 for 1.5 ltr water , lunch €25 per person, which is really good when you compare to what you pay in restaurants).

Our stay in Dar Darma was fantastic, I can not recommend it enough. We went to have a look at Noir d'Ivoire which I originally wanted to book and decided we much prefer the intimacy and style of Dar Darma. We will most definitely be recommending the place to all our friends and we will come back.
Chedck out their website, it actually gives you accuarte information and the riad looks exactly like in the stunning photos.

Enjoy your stay!

PS. baloon flight with Ciel d'Afrique was great, Yakut - traditinal Morrocan and Beau-zin - more trendy are very good rtestaurants, we were very disapointed with the Comptoir though. Book early Les Bains the Marrakech - heavenly spa but gets very busy. Bargain, bargain and bargain again in the souks,you can easily get the price down to the 20/ 30 % of the original asking price, negotiate price if the taxi beor or ask riad to contact one of their taxi drivers, careful not to look lost when walking down the souks, before you know someone will start showing you the way and escort you to your destination point for a smal:) fee.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Jerseybean2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dchub3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank ParisGirlParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank SuzieBoud
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

Property: 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 #198 of 1,146 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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