10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Beautiful but not perfect
"My husband and I have just returned from a 4 night stay at Dar Zemora staying in the Perla Suite on the top floor, here are some of our observations -
Room - beautiful but being to show signs of wear and tear, cushions were stained and curtains were hanging off the poles, also beware of the so called 'totally private terrace' when we arrived we had staff sitting out on the terrace and if we dared to put the 'do not disturb' on our room door the staff we just pop over the very low terrace wall and walk around to see us! The toilet also had a rather unpleasant smell and no window curtain we ended up hanging a bath robe up against it as anyone walking around on the roof terrace could see straight in!
As previously mentioned in other reviews we could hear the dogs at night, but after shutting all the windows the noise wasn't as bad.
Service - Good once we had found someone, there never appeared to be anyone around, many times we had to go back up to our room and telephone down to ask someone to be around when we came down, also no one seemed to be flexible on times, the first night we were the only ones having dinner but even though we had a agreed a time with the owner this was later chaged by the riad's staff and when we asked if w could have dinner when we wanted we were told ' no this is the time of dinner tonight'!
Taxi - we always used the riad's taxi to go into Marrakech - however on the last day they sent someone who spoke no english and then took over an hour to pick us up and then proceed to 'forget' where he had left the car! On reporting this to the riad the attitude was that we had given him the wrong address and that we were still expected to pay for the taxi!
Overall - the reason why we won't be returning to this riad is that (to be fair we didn't ask on booking) throughout our stay a family were also staying at the riad, this meant that every public space was taken up the entire time by loud screaming children, not very romantic or peaceful. They had nothing to do so would wander around bored and annoying the other guests - this isn't a place for families all the other guests were couples."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of October 2006
Words cannot describe how amazing this place is!!!!!
"My husband and I went to the Dar Zemora in September and it was truly wonderful, we have been recommending it to everyone ever since. The food is divine - eat in the hotel as much as you can. The service is spectacular. The rooms and the facilities are fantastic. Oh and the massage was unbelievably relaxing!!
We booked through chic retreats - a fab website full of beautiful boutique hotels just like Dar Zemora. Lulu the owner of chic retreats couldn't be more helpful.
I recomend both chic retreats as a booking agent and the Dar Zemora completely!!
If you're looking for a relaxing, yet cultural escape in beautiful surroundings then this is the place for you!"
- Travel date: Mon 9th of October 2006
"I stayed here for 3 nights with my husband. We had already stayed at Riad Farnatchi in Marrakech and Kasbah Tamadot (both highly recommended!) so it had a lot to live up to. We stayed in the Perla suite which was a huge room with its own very large roof terrace which was fantastic. The room was lovely, although it wasn't cheap and if it was my place I'd make a couple of improvements to bring it up to scratch with other places in a similar price bracket - the curtains being my main concern (such a strange choice!)! The sheets on the bed were a bit old and bobbly - that might sound very pedantic (and that's because I am) but you can't beat good crisp, non bobbly sheets! However, you're really paying the extra for the space and that vast roof terrace.
The rest of the place was gorgeous; so many lovely communal rooms for reading and relaxing. The pool area was great - there were only a couple of others there so it was very peaceful.
The best thing about Dar Zemora, though, was the service. The guys there just couldn't do enough for you. We ate our lunch there every day - the food was great and the staff were always so polite and attentive. On our last night my husband arranged for us to have dinner on our roof terrace - the staff went out of their way to make the evening perfect. They brought up lots of lanterns for romantic candelight and rose petals to sprinkle all over the table and terrace. Perfect end to a great stay!"
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of July 2006
We don't want you to go here..
"We don't want you to go here because it will be harder for us to book.
We are a hard to please, spoilt and fussy family but our stay at Dar Zemora over Easter was one of the best we have had and we will definitely go here again - if only for the chance to stay here a again. We could take or leave Marrakech !
We were lucky enough to have the top floor suite - the Perla suite - which gave us the whole roof top terrace to ourselves. The time of year was perfect - birds flowers and summer weather.
The room was big enough for an extra bed (for our daughter 8) to go unnoticed - i.e. still leave room for us to lounge about.
The bathroom was elegant with a huge bath that you could never fill - probaly because the plumbing was not the best. This was the only negative.
The staff were the best we have come across, the communal living areas excellent -even the Moroccan wine was palatable! Food was not special but was good.
Some people may think La Palmeraie is too far out - but why would you want to stay in a Riad in the noisy dusty centre when you could take a short taxi ride to this palace and still have access to the same places/restaurants?
We stayed here a full week and then travelled around Morocco. We wish we had only stayed here.
It has only 6 rooms but staff and space for 20.
We have stayed in the best hotels in the world - this is not a 5 star hotel but it is one of the best places we have come across and you will find that too."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of July 2006
"This is a wonderful place....I'm not even sure that I should be sharing this with you as I want to go back in October and already they are nearly fully booked for the whole month!! I noticed in their guest book that a very famous couple who review hotels around the world absolutely raved about it and said that it was the most romantic place they had ever stayed in - I couldn't agree more! We stayed 3 days in the Zahara suite with it's small garden looking onto the pool. Each morning we had breakfast on our terrace and listened to the birds singing and had to try to muster up all our energy to venture into the souks. Each time we did, we found ourselves wanting to rush back to our retreat and soak up the tranquil atmosphere around the pool with afternoon tea and the best homemade cake. The staff are amazing - they seemed to float around very quietly dressed in cream robes and are instantly there for you when you wanted anything. We were meant to be spending our next 2 nights in a riad, but we couldn't leave this beautiful place so stayed on for the rest of our trip! I have stayed at many 5 star hotels including the Kasbah Tamadot and Riad el Fenn but would come back here for it's style, service and location anytime. Had lunch at Jnane Tamsna which is in the same area but much more difficult to get to as the road is very uneven. Lunch was ok - not a patch on Dar Zemora ....overall Dar Zemora definitely the better choice for us!"
- Travel date: Fri 21st of April 2006
"We stayed in the Dar Zemora at the end of March. We were surprised that the weather was so hot (34 degrees) at that time of year, so we took advantage of the Dar Zemora's wonderful gardens and swimming pool. The staff were excellent and couldn't have been more helpful and the whole place was like a sanctuary of tranquility after staying in the Medina for the first two nights of our holiday. I'd definitely recommend this as a place to stay if you want to take it easy. The only negative was that the food was a bit on the pricey side though."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of April 2006
"Dar Zemora is the perfect place to stay in Marrakech if you want the best of both worlds: a short taxi ride will take you into the busy, noisy Medina. Then, after you've been beguiled by all the colours, sights and sounds, you can escape to the idyllic peace and sumptuous comfort of this friendly, relaxed riad. The staff are, without exception, amongst the most helpful and courteous I've ever come across. The public rooms are spacious yet welcoming and enormous care has gone into the design, decor and comfort of each. I happened to be there at the same time as a journalist and photographer commissioned by a well-known travel magazine to produce a feature on 'intimate riads with an authentic Moroccan feel'. That says it all, really."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of April 2006
"I thought it was a big disappointment. We stayed in the Berber room which was small and dark. Whilst beautifully decorated the house has the soul of a Laing home and completely lacks atmosphere! It's obvious it's staffed rather than lived in by owners( the staff are lovely though.. but obviously follow rules - even saw a list of what cd's are to be played on each day with result that it all lacks a certain something).We stayed in far nicer and much beter value places in Morocco.
Dinner is a rip off - nearly double that of other hotels and was a rather miserable subdued affair - our main course was meat and two veg with soup for starters and stewed fruit for dessert!! all done very nicely but not what we expected at all. Charged for coffees at end of it which seemed a bit much considering the cost was similar to London prices. Noticed that everybody ate there the first night but we didn't see much repeat business!
I'd stay in the Medina next time as Time Out is right, it's too far from the centre and too much of a hassle to get out to Palmeriae."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of April 2006
Excellent hotel close to the centre of Marrakech
"Having read the entry which states that Dar Zemor is just ok, I simply had to reply. In particular with regards to the kitchens not being stocked. The reason for this is that the hotel buys fresh produce on a daily basis for those who wish to dine in in the evening. The practice of providing no choice is common in Marrakech (I have stayed at several riads and hotels where this is the case) - they prefer to serve courses based on the best produce they can get on that day. However, Dar Zemora will go out of their way to ensure that you will be provided with a meal suited to your tastes - you merely have to inform them of your likes and dislikes.
We were lucky enough to arrive at Dar Zemora at night and greeted with a warm welcome by candlelight which romantically lit up this small boutique hotel in the Palmeraie region of Marrakech. With only 3 double rooms and 2 suites in the main house, this is a unique and personal hotel offering excellent and friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere. Despite only having the 5 rooms, Dar Zemora is incredibly spacious with general living areas including a library, a fan room, dining room and terraces. High ceilings and open spaces make for an incredibly airy feel and it was with much delight that we reclined on brightly coloured silk cushions drinking our gin and tonics in the evenings with a warm breeze floating over us from the gardens.
Meals are taken where you would like them â in your room, in the dining room or on the terraces, and the authentic Moroccan food is fantastic. Make sure to pre-order dinner for your first night so that the hotel can cater for you as ingredients are bought each day. Therefore, if you know you would like to eat in one evening, make sure you state this at breakfast so that they can buy the relevant items fresh from market. This also means that if you are a fussy eater you will be well catered for!! Breakfast and afternoon tea is included in the price, although there is an extra charge for lunch or dinner. However, prices are extremely reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food.
Travel into the medina is a maximum of 10 minutes by small taxi, and the cost about 3GBP each way so close enough to take many trips in. In fact, being able to lose yourself among the hustle and bustle of the souks but then return to an oasis of calm and relax by a pool was complete pleasure. Alternatively you may wish to visit one of the superb golf courses just a couple of minutes away, or take a day trip into the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Either way, the staff at Dar Zemora would be able to organise this for you, as well as recommend other sights to see and places to visit.
My husband and I spent four nights at Dar Zemora and we will definitely be planning a return trip at some point in the future!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of March 2006
"rooms very small, smaller (1/4 size) than place i stayed at in the medina! adjacent properties guarded by dogs that bark all night, internet didnt work the entire time i was there, took two hours for staff to make simple salad because they dont stock kitchen...dinner menu is 1 choice, take it or leave it...place is a bit isolated...
nice grounds, staff excellent, common areas very comfortable, yet this is to be expected no?"
- Travel date: Tue 7th of March 2006