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“A lovely stay at Dar Charkia”
Review of Dar Charkia

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Dar Charkia
Ranked #34 of 502 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2010

My boyfriend and I stayed at Dar Charkia the 10th-14th of May. To book a stay at Dar Charkia you can email them directly or ring them. I rang them originally and gave my credit card details to secure the booking (they don't charge your credit card) and then we were sent an email with information on how to pay, details of trips and recommended restaurants. The deposit (half of the overall balance) was paid by bank transfer and then the remainder of the balance can be paid on arrival or the day of departure.

We booked a trip through Dar Charkia in advance of our stay to the Ouzoud Waterfalls which I highly recommend. We also booked a transfer through Dar Charkia to pick us up from the airport and take us to Dar Charkia, which was 150 dirhams. Its well worth the money, it only took about 20 minutes from the airport but you'd probably get lost if you decided to make your own way there.

When we arrived at the airport, before passport control you're required to fill in a white form which asks you details such as the date of issue of your passport, where you're staying during your visit and other details, so make sure you have a pen handy. You also need to fill in another white form on your departure as well, so again make sure you have a pen handy. As soon as you exit departures and pass through passport control, the driver was holding a sign with my name so we knew who to meet. Also in this area you''ll find the exchange desks where you can change your money to dirhams. Morroco's curreny is closed meaning you can only spend it in Morroco and you shouldn't be able to get Dirhams outside of Morroco, however I checked with my bank and they did have them available to exchange, but the exchange rate in the UK isn't good so it's definately better to exchange them when you arrive. If you do decide to bring Dirhams in with you there is a limit of 1000 dirhams which is about £80.

When we got out of the car the driver motioned for one of the locals who put our suitcases in a chariot (trolley) and showed us to Dar Charkia and the driver advised us to tip him 20 dirhams (about £1.60). This was a bit presumptious as we weren't asked, we were told to do this and didn't seem to have a choice but without the local we would have most definately got lost trying to find Dar Charkia even though it was less than 5 minutes from where we'd been dropped off so it was worth it.

When we arrived at Dar Charkia we were showing to seats in the courtyard and greeted by Michael who offered us a welcome drink and then Michael gave us a welcome chat which lasted about an hour and he also gave us a map and drew points of interest on it for us. The welcome chat was very informative and useful.

We didn't get to meet Lisa, but Michael and all the staff at Dar Charkia were more than helpful and very polite and friendly.

Dar Charkia is very serene, calm and relaxing, a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The courtyard has a small pool, tables in the centre and then two alcoves (salon) with seating areas. Its beautifully decorated with a tree in the middle with decorations hanging from it and lots of birds in the trees, everything was orange, purple and white.

We stayed in the Sahara room which overlooked the courtyard. The room was very clean and the shower was nice and big and had rose petals scattered in it. The room was nicely decorated and had a spare hairdryer, travel adapter and sewing kit in it as well as shower gels, soaps etc and 2 dressing gowns. We did find the bed a bit hard and the room did get very hot at night, my boyfriend and I didn't sleep the whole night through during our stay due to this. Also, around 5am every morning there is a call put out over the loudspeakers calling the locals to the mosque to pray so this may wake you up, as it did me but it didn't take me long to fall back to sleep.

The only meal we had at Dar Charkia was breakfast so I can't comment on their lunch or dinner. The dinner which is a 3 course meal is 400 dirhams per person (about £32 each) which I think is quite expensive considering a meal in the main square for two people is only about 150-200 dirhams, and this included desert. We did speak to one couple who had eaten dinner at Dar Charkia and they did compliment the food and say it was really nice though.

The breakfast varied each day. On our first morning it consisted of fruit in what I think was yogurt which was absolutely delicious. There was also pancakes, crossaints and bread with strawberyy and fig jam. We were given the choice of english tea or mint tea and we also had fresh orange juice. The breakfast on the second day was a yogurt with nuts in (I have a nut allergy so asked if it was possible for me to have the yogurt without the nuts and the staff were obliging and this didn't seem to be a problem). Again we had pancakes, bread and this time also some sort of sticky egg roll laced with honey. Again with orange juice and a choice of english or mint tea. The third day was much the same but with omlette also. You can choose to have breakfast in the courtyard, on the roof terrace or outside your room.

After a busy day wandering around Marrakech, Dar Charkia was a peaceful haven to return to. We did use the pool once during our stay, it was pretty cold but the temperature was hot so it was very refreshing! One thing I will say was that if you stayed in the shower for too long it did tend to go cold. We did sunbathe on the roof terrace on the sun loungers which was very relaxing.

The room was cleaned daily and to a very high standard.

I'd highly recommend Dar Charkia as a great place to stay in Marrakech and if I was to return in the future i'd definately stay here again.

Some tips about Marrakech: A great place to eat in the square is the Argana restaurant, they have a lovely terrace overlooking the square and the food is fantastic especially their tagine chicken with lemon.

You are expected to tip wherever you eat and if you don't the waiters will most likely ask and be offended if you don't.

Wear suncream as the heat of the sun can be very deceptive as I found out on our first day because I burnt.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank emilysj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 May 2010

The Dar Charkia Riad is a fabulous retreat in the medina - coupling extraordinary staff with all the amenities of modern life. An ample, special breakfast on the rooftop afforded a view of the Atlas mountains and an opportunity to enjoy the sun. Dinner was excellent although I wish that I had not eaten lunch as the quantities were very generous. The Riad arranged for transfer from Casablanca and the driver slowed on the return trip to allow for taking of pictures. A guide, recommended by Lisa and Michael, the owners, spent a day touring us around the souks and sights. Thanks to the catering of the staff and the proprietors, our stay in Marrakech was perfect! We highly recommend the RIAD and cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank 12345Dc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2010

First trip to Marrakech. Went with three friends. What a fantastic place to stay.

Everything top quality. Food fantastic, staff fantastic. A tremendous experience.

Huge thanks to Lisa and Michael!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2010

We have just returned from five days in Marrakech, staying at the Dar Charkia. I cannot say enough about this place, it was fantastic!
Lisa and Michael have done an outstanding job in creating this oasis.
The staff were truly attentive and would do anything for you.
We booked a meal at the riad for the first night, as we did not arrive until about 8pm. It was just what we needed. The food was scrumptious and plenty of it!
The riad itself was beautifully decorated and was a peaceful retreat in a mad city!
The breakfast was great; fresh juice, tea/coffee, croissants, pancakes, yoghurt, bread, a great start to the day.
Lisa introduced herself on the first morning and provided us with lots of information on Marrakesh; were to eat, were not to eat, were to shop, drink, visit, etc. Her knowledge about the place was astounding and a great source of information.
There is no doubt that we will return to Dar Charkia, we want to go again this year!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank MarkJones01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2010

Dar Charkia is an oasis amid the mad, frenzied city which is Marrakech. The riad is beautifully decorated (even my 13yr old son noticed this!), the food is delicious and subtle, the rooms exotic and luxurious but what really makes Dar Charkia special are the people who work there. Being the owners, Lisa and Michael might be expected to be helpful but they go beyond merely informative. The time they each spent helping us decide what to do, when to do it was above and beyond the call of duty and really made our visit to Marrakech special. But let's not stop there, Samira, little Samira and Abdul are on hand seemingly all the time to ensure that your stay runs smoothly. I was a bit apprehensive about bringing three teenagers to a riad but the charming people at Dar Charkia can handle anything, with charm and grace, give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank NellieLondon_england
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2010

Highly recommended
The riad is very charming and peaceful, the location in the medina is great, but most impressive are Lisa, Michael and their terrific team. Outstanding service, friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank montecarlopete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2010

I'm not really sure how to write this review because no matter what I say, it won't credit Dar Charkia or Lisa and Michael enough. Like all the other reviews, I cannot recommend this place highly enough - it really is so special.

Lisa will read this and probably smile! I started arranging my itinerary with her 3 months in advance of my visit! She literally knew everything and together we planned the most perfect trip. But even when my plans had to change, she still made my visit one of the most memorable of my life. From restaurants to shops to bars to the sights to the local general info - she knew where to go and where not to. And, how to fill my time so that I experienced Marrakech fully but the way I wanted to. I cannot thank her enough for this.

The riad itself is what I imagine heaven is like! The most beautiful decor inside and the tranquility and calm has to be seen to be felt and believed. The rooms are all magnificent and individual. The beds are amazing and I had 3 perfect nights sleep. The chill out areas are so peaceful and homely - the living area is relaxing, the roof terrace is so romantic at night and the plunge pool is so refreshing after a few hours in the sun. And most importantly, the staff are the best i've ever seen; they will do anything and everything...

It's actually quite simple, if you are wondering where to stay in Marrakech, look no further than Dar Charkia. You'd be a fool not to stay here and I cannot wait to return here hopefully as soon as in a few months (Lisa - prepare for incredibly long emails!).

Thank you for the most incredible trip.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank benjamin_u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarrakchiaBritgirl, Owner at Dar Charkia, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2010

Dear Ben,
I did smile as I read your review and it was an absolute pleasure hosting you at Dar Charkia. It is a real pat on the back when we see the wonderful and not taken for granted reviews on TA from clients who arrive as guests and leave as friends. It means so much that you take the time to do this for us.

I loved your long emails from your first enquiry to your thankyou email after you returned home!!! I was completely blown away that a young man was going to so much trouble to ensure that his girl friend would have a perfect wondrous break especially as we live in such a fast and furious world today.

So it was wonderful to help and advise you on how to make the most out of your trip here in Marrakech. My husband Michael and I live here full time and are always sourcing new great products and venues for our clients to enjoy. It saves you spending your whole holiday trying to discover something hidden and magical when we can give you the information even before you arrive.

Your mum did a great job and you are a credit to her!! Hope my daughters end up with boyfriends like you!
All the best from sunny fabulous crazy Marrakech!
Lisa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dar Charkia

Address: 50 Derb El Halfaoui | Bab Doukkala, Marrakech 40030, Morocco
Region: 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: £78 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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