Dar Zemora

Marrakech, Morocco Book from £128

Reviewed by Laila Ram
Romantic, tranquil and stylish gem surrounded by beautiful gardens in the heart of the Palmeraie
Just a short taxi ride away from the hustling Medina and its souks lies Dar Zemora, a lovely country villa surrounded by orange and lemon trees, palms, roses, oleander and bourgainvillea. As you enter the drive lined by olive trees and flickering lanterns at night, you instantly feel the mayhem of the city drift away.

At Dar Zemora the English owners have created a discreet country-house style hotel, which allows you to be as social or as private as you want. Relax in one of the 2 large sitting rooms, chill out in the ‘Fan’ room with its swaying drapes, floor cushions and low tables, browse through the coffee table and guide books in the library, or just idle the day away by the pool in the wonderful gardens that have been created to excite the senses.

This is the perfect retreat for those who have been to Marrakech before, or those who just want to dip in and out of the Medina's frenzied madness.

Highs

  • Staff are friendly, helpful and will look after your every need
  • Little details like the free bottled water, iPods, scented candles and flowers make this place feel really special
  • The wonderful hamman is open for pampering and pummeling
  • Oasis of peace and tranquillity after a busy day sightseeing or shopping
  • Lovely 3-acre garden and heated swimming pool
  • Luxurious light-filled suites with fireplaces and large private terraces

Lows

  • Nearer to the medina than most Palmeraie hotels but still requires a petit taxi to get around
  • Villa unsuitable for very young children
  • No televisions (a plus for some) but portable DVD players can be borrowed from reception
  • Lunch and dinner usually require advance notice (traditional Moroccan food can require lengthy preparation)

Best time to go

Marrakesh is very hot in the summer months of July and August - a dry but extremely relentless heat beats down on the city, and Dar Zemora is closed for all/most of August each year. The best times to visit are certainly the spring and autumn. By the end of October the evenings are cold, although the midday sun is still warm enough to bask in. The weather in winter, from November to March, ranges from cold and rainy to sunny days, warm enough to sit outside. Here you can swim all year round as it's one of the few places in Marrakesh to have a heated swimming pool, and there are lots of communal areas for lounging in the colder months.

Our top tips

Don't miss the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, an enchanting 12-acre garden created by French painter Jacques Majorelle over a 40-year period. It has an excellent Berber museum.

Great for...

Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Makes the grade
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 6
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Closed: 21 Jul 2015 - 19 Aug 2015
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Perla Suite

Rooms

There are just 3 Suites and 3 Standard Rooms. All have customary finishes like tadelakt walls, stone bejmat floors covered with Moroccan rugs, hand painted zouak ceilings, complemented by a mix of Moroccan furniture and furnishings, both traditional and contemporary. Paintings by local artists adorn the walls and the feel is elegant manor home, rather than modern minimalist hotel.

For extra privacy and space, book one of the Suites, which feature a four-poster bed, a sitting area with cosy fireplace, a large terrace and the added bonus of WiFi. The top-floor Perla Suite has a big roof terrace where you can laze on daybeds in the shade of wafting white curtains; the dramatic ground-floor Zahara Suite has its own shaded garden terrace by the pool. The Pavillion Pool Suite is a separate house in the gardens with 2 double bedrooms (1 can be twin bedded) with terraces, 2 bathrooms (enamel rather than marble bathtubs), large living room, large dining terrace and own private swimming pool.

All the rooms have large marble bathtubs and showers (some over the bath, others with separate cubicle), small safes, iPods, phone, bathrobes, air-conditioning and central heating.

Features include:

  • Wifi internet
  • Phone
  • Cd player
  • Ipod dock
  • Safe box
  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Cots Available
  • Bathrobes

Eating

Breakfast is simple but delicious: freshly squeezed juice (often with fruit from the garden), fruit salad, eggs and homemade traditional pancakes. An afternoon pot of tea and slice of cake is also included in the nightly rate.

A 2-course lunch is served daily, and in the evening, dinner is served at 8.30pm. The cuisine on offer varies according to the day of the week, but will usually be a 3- or 4-course Moroccan meal cooked by chef Jamilla. Local produce is used wherever possible, and guest can choose from the best of Moroccan wines to accompany them.

Meals can be served wherever you want - on your private terrace, on the dining terrace overlooking the ornamental pool, in the elegant dining room (perfect for cooler evening or special occasions) or by the pool-side.

Features include:

  • Room service
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Dinner by arrangement
Eating: Zahara Terrace
Activity:

Activities

After a day at the medina, this is essentially a place for rest and relaxation.

  • Spend at least a day just lazing by the pool, strolling through the garden and indulging yourself with a massage in the dedicated treatment room or relax in the hamman

  • On cooler winter days or evenings, curl up in one of the lovely sitting rooms with a book in front of the open fire

  • For the more active: tennis, golf, horse riding are all available locally and can be organised upon request

  • Half day and full day trips can be arranged to the sea and the lovely coastal town of Essaouira or the Atlas mountains by four wheel drive

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Horse-riding
  • Museum
  • Tennis
  • Shopping

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, as long as they are well behaved and respect the other guests' privacy. However, the property is not considered particularly suitable for toddlers & pre-school children due to the steps, smooth bejmat flooring, and open, unsupervised swimming pool.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Babies and infants can only be accepted in the Zahara Suite and The Pavilion where suitable accommodation space is available.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available on request.

Baby equipment:

Two baby cots and highchairs are available on request (free of charge).

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly: Perla Suite terrace

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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