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“Unforgettable”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Riad Dar Darma

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Riad Dar Darma
Ranked #191 of 1,130 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Unforgettable”
Reviewed 19 May 2014 via mobile

There are many, beautifully restored Riads in Marrakech. Some have remained 'traditional', others have gone the minimalist route. Dar Darma has gone it's own unique way. It is an extravagant, exquisite piece of set design that will take your breath away. Add to that impeccable service and it's heaven. I will be back again and again

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Azim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Stuttgart
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

... I already visited a couple of different Riads in Marrakech - but this one is from now on my absolutely favorite and the best in Marrakech with the most Extravagance & Luxury & Moroccan Authenticity & Love.

I browsed in the internet for a Riad in Marrakech and discovered the DAR DARMA - it was love at first sight with the rigorous geometry in black and white and the overdesigned vases in the patio and the stunning red apartment with the jaguar skin! I had to call immediately and spoke with Riad manager IBRAHIM who was very friendly and fortified my desire to come to that place as soon as possible …
At the next day I received a so nice email from LAURA from Italy with an offer for a 3 days stay … WOW - that’s professional I thought and a few days later I was sitting in a plain to Marrakech awaiting eagerly my dramatic myth of DAR DARMA!

I arrived late in the evening and was expected at the airport from my driver to the Riad … After a short drive we arrived a place in middle of the oldest part of Marrakech’s medina. I was cordially received by HICHAM from DAR DARMA and he brought me by a little walk through mysterious gaps to the giant gate of my new home - not a house, it’s a secret palace!… what happened than is not possible to describe in words - you become totally immersed into another world - a mix of Thousand and One Nights and glamorous trendy Milano chic … an explosion of all your senses … Another service guy KHALID welcomed me and I had an amazing candle light dinner in front of the fireplace - listening to the chill music and the fountain in middle of the leafy patio … HICHAM and KHALID indulged me and I got the feeling to be the sultan for the next few days ...

My red apartment was illuminated with dozens of floor lamps and table lights and candles in dazzling holders everywhere. The captivating perfume of incense sticks harmonized perfect with the heavy cedar wood carvings.

I slept wonderful in my super comfortable bed and got blessedly awaked early in the morning by the muezzin of the nearby mosque - what a wonderful start into a new exciting day – would be a waste of time to sleep too long at such a magic place!

… at my breakfast on the roof terrace I became acquainted with the third nice service guy ABDO and the most charming female staff MARIA, SIHAM, RACHIDA, NADIA and KHADIJA. They made sure I felt good all around and I had always a lucky stay and very clean home.

MARIA and SIHAM prepared for me every evening a delicious menu with a soup and other phantastic starters and Moroccan tajine or couscous with subtle tastes and novel spice experiences … the desserts were culinary delights and sometimes done by HICHAM after old family recipe … yummy yummy!

The Moroccan director of the riad – IBRAHIM - is a nice likable and very charismatic guy. He and his crew left nothing to be desired! Really so wonderful people - always gorgeous Oriental dressed! …and they were always good for new sweet surprises, day after day.

Once I enjoyed the hammam … MARIA arranged the appointment for the evening hours with a masseur who came especially for me to the authentic beautiful in-house hammam. SOUHAIR (ZOUZOU:) was very polite and he let me in on the Moroccan hammam rituals with black olive soap and gommage. Afterwards I got a wonderful relaxing orange flower argan oil massage in my apartment … This was the best massage I ever had!

The location of DAR DARMA in middle of the historical old caravansary is amazing! There are so much secret exotic places to discover when you are tired of all those touristy things … You can meet nice and interesting locals there and discover the real Marrakech in the old "Funduks“, ateliers and souks … And if you have lost your way home to the riad there is help everywhere. Everybody thereabout knows DAR DARMA - it enjoys a very good reputation there!

… always when I returned to the fold of DAR DARMA I was cordially saluted with a "Welcome - this is your home now“ - and I really felt like this … and immediately I walked through the wooden entrance door I was in touch with the outside world on my iPhone through the free WLAN — anyhow I was in a total different magic world ... And that building is so artful nested and the suites a long way away from each other – I had the feeling to have my palace of my own without any other guests ...

Acknowledgement:
@ the Milanese owners: BRAVO for this breathtaking architecture and dramatic scenery you open to your guests.
@ the complete Moroccan staff: THANKS for your warmth and wonderful hospitality - without YOU the best design would be nothing ...

I’m certain to come back!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AL W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eagan, Minnesota
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2013

This riad was like staying in a fairytale palace! We stayed in the Red apartment and loved it! The staff was so attentive and always ready to help. We enjoyed returning to a beautiful fire, some Moroccan wine and olives, after an afternoon of exploring the Medina. Breakfast and lunch on the rooftop terrace was wonderful! The food was so good and the view even better! I will dream about that orange juice for a long time! The staff was very helpful in recommending a place for dinner and also arranging taxi transportation when we needed it. I will never forget our experience there.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank parrotgirl81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2013

We stayed in two different hotels in Marrakesh-- Dar Darma and the Riad Idra. They are about the same price, very different in style but both are very luxurious and comfortable. To be honest, we like the Riad Idra better and think it's of better value, but the stay at Dar Darma is a very unique experience which we did not regret either.

On Arrival- We spent our 1st night in Morocco here. Since I wanted to avoid bargaining with taxi driver after our long flight, I booked the airport transfer (150DH) for the four of us. The driver arrived early and was holding a sign which said "Dar Darma". He was polite and friendly, waited for us while we exchanged the money and told us a little about the area during the short drive (~20min) We were a little nervous when he dropped us off on a busy street where a young man took our luggages from the trunk and put on his he tricycle without a word. We assumed he was the porter from the hotel and followed him to an alley, where he asked us for a 100DH. We didn't know that was the door of the hotel as there was no sign, so we got quite alarmed as we worried he would just leave our luggages there if we didn't pay. Finally we gave him 50DH and the door was opened, not a very welcoming experience.

The hotel- The first impression- a labyrinth of long corridors, dark and mysterious. Things got better afterwards as we got used to the dimness and entered the brightly-lit courtyard. The rooftop terrace where we had dinner and breakfast was lovely too, we could have good view of the medina from there. There were lots of steep stairs, people with mobility problem should take caution.

Room- Very uniquely decorated, like the other reviewer's described, "private luxury in a shabby chic, story book way". We had never stayed in a room quite like this, so it was a very special experience for us. The red room was very spacious with lots of details, tho some furnitures appeared to be a bit aged (or was that the design?), everything was super clean and neat. We wondered how they could keep everything so clean and dust-free as there were lots of decorations. There were two bathrooms with three showers in the room, they were not bad, water pressure ok and water temperature stable. Would appreciate toiletries such as shower caps, cotton swabs, shampoo and lotion etc to make Dar Darma a real 5-star hotel.

Service- On arrival we were a bit annoyed because of the greedy porter, but the staff calmed us down in no time with mint tea and very nice service. We were severed by mainly one guy (sorry I didn't get the name>.<), he took all our suitcases into the room by himself while we enjoyed our mint tea. During our stay, he treated us like royalty, very friendly, attentive and helpful, and when we offered him tips, he refused and left the tips in our room. The staff was very thoughtful, I asked for hot water at night to make some drinks, and he brought me a tray with cups, a pot of hot water with spoons.

Meals- We had one of the nicest dinner here during our ten days in Morocco. We shared 3 dinner sets (chickenx2, beefx1) among 4 people since we had small appetites. The chicken and beef were all soft and tender, nicely flavoured even to our spoilt Chinese taste buds. Breakfast was bountiful with fresh fruits and homemade bakery. We really enjoyed our meals a lot, thanks to Maria.

Location- very centrally located, close to the square and other attractions. There are many shops around too. Need to pay extra attention as the area is very touristy and there are lots of locals trying to make money from tourists.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our stay tho Dar Darma was more like a unique boutique B&B than a 5-star hotel. The value was good since we paid half price only (~EUR 180 for the red room for four). It would be overpriced if we had to pay the full price... I suppose ~EUR 250-300 would be a more reasonable price for a stay of this quality.

Room Tip: we stayed in the red room (known as "presidential suite" on splendia, very spacious with 2...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rilakbuta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 June 2013 via mobile

This riad is amazing.... The staff treated us like royalty, the rooms are stunning, with parts of it dating back hundreds of years. This place is like a sanctuary. We have stayed in Marrakech around six times previous to this visit, staying at a 5* hotel & other riads... All of which are of a 5* status, but this place just has the edge on all the others.

The staff at dar darma are so professional & attentive, they go the extra mile to ensure you have an enjoyable time.
They offer you drinks while you are relaxing in the sun to make sure you are not dehydrated !
They even arranged taxi's for us that were like having a personal chauffeur & took us door to door, even ensuring our friends made it back to their own riad safely.

Anything we asked for, the staff at Dar Darma were able to fetch it /find it/ bring it/cook it. I really enjoyed the 5 days I spent here .... And plan to return, with friends.

This is the perfect place to escape with your other half but is very different from staying in a "hotel".... More like staying in someone's private residence with fantastic staff. It was very clean & the food & wine here are really good.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Nina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2013

Dar Darma is an oasis of calm in a totaly hectic city. Behind an unimposing entrance is a secret world waiting to be discovered by those fortunate enough to stay there. We had a lovely suite which was filled with all sorts of interesting antiques and marvelously quirky bathrooms. Lovely and attentive staff who could not be more helpful (Maria deserves a mention!). Breakfast on the top deck was very nice indeed and there is even a small swimming pool if you fancy a quick dip. A great place to stay to take in the charms of the Souk and Medina so close to everything it really is a great place to stay-will be coming back!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank G528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2013

We stayed in the red apartment. It is darkly bohemian beautiful.
It is private luxury in a shabby chic, story book way.
The service is very personal, and super friendly.
The food has a very nice morrocan-home-cooked feel to it.
And the Dar Darma location great - but bring a small compass to find your way in the Medina.
Over all a luxury treat for persons - who do not need everything to bee new, whole and shiny.

Room Tip: Pick the red or blue apartment for extra luxury, or the smaller and lighter patio suites, higher up...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jacob-Therese
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
Region: 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 #191 of 1,130 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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