Dar Zemora

Marrakech, Morocco Book from £170

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

Best time to go

Marrakech 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 Marrakech 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, 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
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 6
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Closed: 22 Jul 2016 - 24 Aug 2016
  • 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, hand-painted zouak ceilings and stone bejmat floors covered with Moroccan rugs, plus a mix of Moroccan furniture and furnishings, both traditional and contemporary. Paintings by local artists adorn the walls, and the feel is elegant manor house rather than modern minimalist hotel.

Standard rooms have large marble bathtubs and showers (some over the bath, others with separate cubicles), small safes, iPods, phones, bathrobes, air-conditioning and central heating; two, Mecila and Bebra, can be twinned.

For extra privacy and space, book one of the Suites, which feature four-poster beds, sitting areas with cosy fireplaces, large terraces, 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 tubs), a large living room, a dining terrace and a private pool.

Features include:

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

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 a slice of cake are also included in the nightly rate.

A 2-course lunch is available daily, and in the evening dinner is served at 8.30pm. The cuisine on offer is modern Moroccan, with a more traditional feast on Sundays, and local produce is used wherever possible; there's also a selection of the best Moroccan wines to choose from. If you're arriving late on your first day, a light supper can be pre-arranged.

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 evenings or special occasions), or at the poolside.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Food and wine
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Room service
Eating:
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 (solar-heated in the winter months), strolling through the garden, relaxing in the hamman, and indulging yourself with a massage in the dedicated treatment room
  • On cooler winter days, curl up in one of the lovely sitting rooms with a book in front of the open fire
  • For the more active: tennis, golf and horse riding are all available locally and can be organised on request
  • Half-day and full-day trips can be arranged to the sea and the lovely coastal town of Essaouira, or to the Atlas Mountains by 4-wheel drive

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Food and wine
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

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 and pre-school children due to the steps, smooth bejmat flooring and open, unsupervised swimming pool.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Baby cots can be added to Standard Room Mecila, the Zahara Suite and the Pavilion Pool Suite; the latter has 2 bedrooms and so works well for families. The Zahara Suite and Pavilion Pool Suite can also take an extra bed.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available on request.

Baby equipment:

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:

Our guests' ratings...

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

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