10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
An oasis of stylish serenity
"We have just returned from 4 nights at the riad Dar Charkia which is ideally situated in the heart of the ancient medina in Marrakech. The impressive traditional architecture and design of the riad was superbly complimented by the cleaver sympathetic contemporary decoration furniture and fittings which created a mood of calm tranquility which was so much appreciated after the noise and hustle and bustle of the medina. The excellent attention to detail, cleanliness and quality of finish extended to our generously sized room and also the rooftop pavillion with its lovely views over the rooftops of the city and the snow covered Atlas Mountains on the horizon. Staff were courteous friendly and obliging at all times and the food could not be faulted. One of the main assets of the riad is undoubtedly its current owners Lisa and Michael who were present for much of our stay at Dar Charkia. Lisa and Michael were not only very friendly but also provided excellent advice and continuous assistance which enabled us to make the best of our stay in Marrakesh. We very much enjoyed our first trip to Morocco and hope to return one day and we would have no hesitation in staying at the Dar Charkia again or recommending it to friends and fellow travellers alike.
Allan & Lynn Wood
- Travel date: Thu 20th of December 2007
The perfect proposal
"My boyfriend took me to Marrakesh to propose and the whole experience couldn't have been more perfect thanks to Lisa's help. The staff are excellent and I love telling friends and family the story of our engagement on the roof terrace of this riad.
The rooms and courtyard are beautifully decorated and as we are currently renovating our home we got some great ideas. All restaurant reservations and day trips were organised by the staff who made great recommendations. We were also taken to a wonderful shop by Michael where we purchased some good quality items for our new home, safe in the knowledge that we weren't being ripped off!
I would definitely recommend this riad as the individual attention could not be experienced anywhere else."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of December 2007
"We recently spent four days at the Dar Charkia riad in Marrakech and had a fantastic time! We were attracted to the riad right from the moment we saw the pictures on the web site where we made our booking and it certainly lived up to expectations when we arrived. Our room was immaculate and it is obvious wherever you go in the riad that it has been restored with love and insight into the local culture. Perhaps our favourite part of the riad was the lovely courtyard with the orange tree, water fountain and the plungepool with the gorgeous Morroccan lantern overhanging but we also liked the roof terrace with the sun loungers and views of the neigbouring buildings in the medina. The hosts Michael and Lisa were fantastic! When we first arrived, they gave us a short talk about how to get around in Marrakech, how much we should expect to pay for things, etc - all very useful and informative given that we hadn't been to Morocco before. We had actually booked our own trips through a separate company and we were having difficulty finding the meeting point where the trips started from but they even took the time to phone local friends and came with us to the taxi rank in the morning to ensure that the taxi knew where to take us. Overall the riad has a very relaxed feel to it - perfect for just lazing around and enjoying the Marrakech sunshine but Michael and Lisa are only too happy to give help and advice should you wish to venture further. The breakfast was also delicious with fresh pastries, coffee, cheese, tomatoes, bread and jams. The Dar Charkia comes very highly recommended!"
- Travel date: Sat 8th of December 2007
Trip to remember
"Marrakech, December 2007 - Riad Dar Charkia
Just had a birthday break which will remain in our memory for many years to come.
Dar Chakia is a beautiful riad with the most charming hosts and lovely staff who always greeted you with a smile.
Lisa and Michael made us feel so welcome it was as if we were guests in their own home. Lisa's help and advice was invaluable, especially for restaurant recommendations and reservations and tips on shopping in the souks.
Marrakech is a fascinating city and we loved every minute of our stay - we will undoubtedly return for a longer visit in the not too distant future and will definitely return to the Dar Charkia and would recommend it to anyone considering a trip to Marrakech.
Carol & Peter"
- Travel date: Sat 8th of December 2007
A great place to spend your birthday
"I visited Marrakech for a few days in November 2007 to celebrate my 50th birthday with my sister and booked Dar Charkia on the basis of the lovely pictures on the website. I told the owners, Lisa and Michael May, in advance that I was celebrating a special birthday and they were absolutely fantastic in response, recommending all sorts of things to do and places to eat then arranging it all for us when I had decided what I wanted to do. The highlight was a special champagne breakfast in their roof pavilion on my birthday itself plus a surprise at the restaurant where we had dinner that evening as Lisa had told them in advance of my special celebration. The staff at Dar Charkia were also very welcoming, friendly and helpful -I cannot recommend this riad highly enough."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of December 2007
you won't find a better riad
"hello fellow travellers,
if you're looking up dar charkia i would surmise that you are near the point of making a decision on your accomodation. Procrastinate no longer this is the most perfect accomodation you will find in Morocco, and I say that having sampled other riads too.
Everyone else seems to have covered off the marvellous hospitality, the welcome speech and Lisa's legendary shopping advice so i thought I'd share some of the little things that make it special.
Breakfast is served whenever you get up, even if that happens to be nearer lunchtime. White fluffy dressing gowns are provided and no one bats an eyelid when you languish around the courtyard in them enjoying the breakfast, it genuinely is as relaxing as being in your own home but with staff to cater for your every whim.
The riad is beautifully decorated and the extra touches like candels, rose petals and a shopping bag you can borrow make it all the more special.
Their recommendations on restuarants/spas and shopping were spot on and made the trip even more stress free. The people who think marrakech is too hectic obviously weren't staying here.
Michael looked after us so well during our stay that when Vik and I left we felt we were leaving behind friends. We can't wait to return and are already planning on returning next year.
Thanks Lisa and Michael for a truely fabulous stay.
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of December 2007
Believe the hype!
"Just returned from a 4 day break staying at Dar Charkia and would highly recommend this Riad.
There are number of reasons for this:
Lisa & Michael are excellent hosts who are keen to ensure that your Marrakech experience is as good as it possibly can be, there is a lovely relaxed atmosphere at the Riad and this is further enhanced by the warm, helpful staff.
The location is excellent - the whole Medina is within walking distance with the Souks and main square only a few minutes away.
The accomodation is tasteful and of a high standard (although you begin to wonder where you are going to end up the first time that you walk down the narrow alleys when you first arrive)
Breakfast served in the morning sunshine on the roof terrace is an excellent way to kick-start the day (as is the 5am call to prayer)
To sum it all up - fantastic!"
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of December 2007
We loved this hotel
"We stayed here for 3 nights last week when we escaped from London for a long weekend in Morocco to celebrate my birthday. Loved it. The staff were all extremely friendly and attentive and Michael, one of the owners, couldn't have been more helpful. He pointed out some of his favourite shops - without him we'd never have known they were there - gave us unlimited use of the hotel's laptop and internet and provided us with a level of service you'd normally only expect from a good concierge. He recommended restaurants, made dinner reservations, found us a room in an Atlas mountain kasbah and booked a driver to take us there.
Because we'd left booking until the last minute we'd agreed to room move so we got to stay in a large suite with open fire for 2 nights before moving to one of the standard doubles. Both were well decorated and comfortable.
They serve a good breakfast every day which you can either take in one of the alcoves leading off the central courtyard or up on the wide roof terrace."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of November 2007
An Oasis of Calm
"Not having had a holiday all year and being tired and in need of a break, my husband and I decided to go away for a week and lie by a pool somewhere and relax. We didn't want to waste too many hours travelling but wanted somewhere warm, so we chose Marrakech. Initially we didn't want to do too much, but then it seemed a waste not to experience at least some of the wonderful things Morroco has to offer, so we decided to spend 3 nights in the Medina, 3 nights at a tented oasis outside of the city, and use a trek in the mountains to connect the two.
When looking for a place to stay in the Medina, I orginally wanted an old palace full of Morrocan antiquities so that we could get the full flavour of the experience, but availability was a problem. So having looked at and reviewed other riads I chose Dar Charkia because it had such good write ups. I was a little apprehensive about the reports of modern decor - I'm not a loft inhabiting minimalist! - but thought we would give it a go.
How glad we are that we did - Dar Charkia was an oasis of calm! Owner Lisa gave us loads of helpful advice from the moment we telephoned to make our reservation, and on our late arrival was there to give us refreshments and advice on where to go, what to do and what we should pay for things like taxis, guides, or a fruit juice at the square. Throughout our stay there was nothing that she, her husband Michael, or their team of friendly staff would not do - Lisa even took us and some of the other guests on our first shopping trip so that we would be able to find our way through the souk!
The modernity of Dar Charkia works well - Lisa has a talent for interior design - and has mixed old and new, colour and space to great effect. After a bussling few hours in the souk, Dar Charkia is instantly relaxing and we would recommend it to anyone.
There is even an answer for those who usually twiddle their thumbs in the hours between shopping/sightseeing and dinner - a variety of games are available for guest use and there is nothing Leonora, Lisa and Michael's teenage daughter, likes more than a new partner for her favourite game of Trivial Pursuit. She is a delight and we enjoyed spending the cocktail hour sitting in the courtyard playing with her so much, that we almost forgot to go out to dinner!
We only spent 3 nights at Dar Charkia, but it quickly became home from home, and we cannot wait for another chance to return there. Hopefully we won't have recommended it so much that we find it fully booked...!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of November 2007
"We chose this Riad after researching it through TripAdvisor and were not disappointed. From the minute we were picked up at the airport we felt that we were in good hands. Lisa and Michael are exceptional hosts; they have a good grasp on what their clients want from a short break in Morocco. On arrival Lisa sat down with us (over a well deserved aperitif!!) for a brief overview of the local âhot spotsâ, landmarks and Riad amenities. We arrived fairly late and she was quick to point out a few suggestion for how to spend our first evening, relax with a bottle of wine, take a stroll or venture out to a local bar to sample some Marrakech culture and people watch.
The Riad dÃ©cor was understated sophistication, each room is individually designed with an underlining Moroccan theme together with a twist of other cultures and countries that Lisa and Michael have experienced. I asked Lisa about various dÃ©cor that I liked and she took me shopping around the souks ensuring that I paid a fair price for my goods. This was the sort of ânothing is too much effortâ attitude that we received during our whole stay.
We were overwhelmed by the friendly and considerate staff; I was suffering from a bad cold during the first part of our stay. Hyat came to my rescue with some lovely ginger tea together with some TLC. All the staff had an excellent aptitude for knowing when to engage in friendly chit chat and when to leaving us to chill by ourselves.
We would thoroughly recommend Dar Charkia, weâll certainly be paying them another visit in the not to distant future."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of November 2007