- Style World of interiors
- Setting Funky old Medina
A quirky private residence in the heart of the Marrakech Medina, Dar Darma boldly partners 300-year-old zouak ceilings and faded antique textiles with Versace-esque velvet settles, distressed metallic stripes and leopardskin rugs. An Italian Orientalist's fantasy holiday home, this Moroccan boutique guesthouse offers its own homely hammam, mountain-view roof terrace, and a very private, ever so Moorish retreat from the nearby souks.
Need to know
- Rooms Five suites, including two apartments, each with two separate doubles. The hotel is desinged to feel like one residence, so most of the doors don't have locks.
- Rates Double rooms from $284.77 (€207), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.50 per person per night on check-out.
- More details Rates include breakfast and, if you're staying more than three nights, return airport transfers. Whole riad, on request (excludes Christmas/New Year), including dinner on first night, breakfast and transfers. Rates exclude local tax.
- Facilities Courtyard, roof terrace with plunge pool, hammam, massages, library, WiFi in rooms. Suites have showers and large baths, TVs and DVD players. Rooms are phone free for maximum relaxation.
- Poolside There's is a little tadelakt plunge pool on the roof terrace, where there are recliners and daybeds for sunbathing, and distant mountain views.
- Check–out By arrangement, depending on subsequent bookings.
Children Welcome (€30 a day for under-14s; €50 for older kids), but large internal windows, an unsupervised courtyard pool and lots of antiques mean it’s not ideal for little ones. Babysitting can be arranged with a few hours’ notice; cots can be provided.
- Also Minimum stays of four nights over Christmas/New Year and over the Easter and May Bank Holiday weekends apply.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms The first-floor Red Apartment is the largest and quietest suite, and the one the owner chooses to stay in when he’s visiting; it’s more like an antique-strewn private flat. As well as 18th-century period details such as original doors, hand-painted ceilings and carved plasterwork, it has two generously sized double bedrooms and bathrooms, both with twin sinks, showers and big baths. The Blue Apartment’s cupola-lit, fire-warmed dining and sitting room is flanked by two double rooms, one featuring a four-poster in a wood-panelled recess and a red-walled bathroom; the other (also with a four-poster) has a huge round bath. The smaller, split-level Orange Suite has a handsome black and white sitting room with stairs leading up to an orange and gold-themed bedroom with ensuite bathroom.
- Packing tips Sketchbook, camera or travel journal, depending on your creative bent. Some good books or DVDs. A long kaftan or djellabah for lounging around in.
- Also The riad has its own hammam; give staff a few hours’ warning if you’d like a treatment, so it can be brought to the correct temperature. Staff are very accommodating, so if you’d like to be serenaded at dinner or massaged on the terrace, just ask.
Food and drink at Dar Darma
- Hotel restaurant Dar Darma’s housekeeper Maria is also a talented cook, creating French and Moroccan dishes for lunch or dinner, from tagines to tarte tatin. You may be joined by gnaoua musicians in the dining room.
- Dress code Entirely up to you, but interesting vintage pieces and chunky tribal jewellery will feel just right.
- Top table Choose your own adventure: if you don’t fancy the decadent dining room, staff can set up private tables in the courtyard, on the roof, in the mirrored ground-floor salon or in your rooms.
- Last orders You’ll have to give a few hours’ notice if you want dinner, but otherwise there are no rules, within reason.
- Room service 8am–9pm, or later with prior arrangement.
- Hotel bar Drinks can be brought to you anywhere in the riad.