Marrakech, Morocco

Dar Nanka & Spa

Rates from (inc tax)$88.11

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Peaceful Provençal


Palm-filled gardens

A peaceful villa with a design inspiration more rustic French than bold Moroccan, Dar Nanka hotel offers respite from the nearby Technicolor souks of Marrakech. Distressed furniture and cosy sofas might remind you of Provence, but the final flourishes are all Moroccan riad. After successfully scouting the markets' stalls, kick back here with a poolside nap or garden stroll.

Smith Extra

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A welcome cocktail


Photos Dar Nanka hotel - Marrakech - Morocco

Need to know


Eight, including three suites.


12pm, but flexible on request. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $87.98 (€81), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR89.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Continental breakfast, afternoon tea and airport transfers are included in the room rates.


Polish your serve with the hotel's very own ex-professional tennis teacher.

At the hotel

Swimming pool, gardens, boules court, clay tennis courts, library, stash of CDs and DVDs, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TVs, DVD players, radios and iPod docks.

Our favourite rooms

The rooms in the main house are themed – our favourite is the Café Chocolat, featuring upholstery made from vintage coffee grain sacks. If you’re looking for space, the main Suite has plenty of room and a generous terrace, as well as a wrought-iron four-poster bed, leather Chesterfields and a (rather intriguing) basket of violins. The Pavilion rooms are more private and contemporary, designed according to colour themes and featuring day beds and sunken baths on the roofs, topped off with soaring domed ceilings.


The outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by palm trees, terracotta plant pots and cast-iron sculptures by the locally based Alain Gerez. There are wrought iron sunbeds for solo sunbathers as well as double day beds for honeymooners. An outdoor bar next to the boules court serves refreshing drinks; on the other side of the hotel, manicured gardens are bursting with white roses.

Packing tips

Bring bags of energy for souk searching, but you can leave your sunhat at home – they’re ready and waiting on the sun loungers.


You can have manicures, pedicures and massages in your room. Common areas are wheelchair-accessible. Each Sunday there's a poolside brunch with music – nudge the owners if it gets a little loud – which is open to guests (including children and pets).


Kids are welcome, and some rooms are able to accommodate a single bed and cot. The restaurant doesn’t have a kids’ menu, but provides highchairs and is happy to heat up baby food or adapt its grub for little Smiths.

Food and Drink

Photos Dar Nanka hotel - Marrakech - Morocco

Top Table

We liked our table outside, surrounded by olive trees and shaded by a white canopy.

Dress Code

Think floaty: an Ozzie Clark kaftan, accessorised with the day’s souk finds.

Hotel restaurant

It’s all very laid-back: there’s no real menu (the kitchen will accommodate most requests) and no need to book – just let the staff know your plans at breakfast time. As well as traditional tagines, you can sample European dishes such as fresh fish, grilled meats, salads, omelettes and sandwiches, all made to order. Choose between eating inside the main house, whose large sliding doors open onto the gardens, or dine outside, where the wrought-iron tables and chairs are dressed with white cloths and comfy cushions.

Hotel bar

Sink into the squashy leather armchairs and admire the antique silver French till in the indoor bar or sip your tipple poolside.

Last orders

Breakfast is an all-day affair; lunch goes on until 4pm and dinner until 11pm.

Room service

24 hours a day; choose whatever you’d order from the restaurant.


Photos Dar Nanka hotel - Marrakech - Morocco
Dar Nanka & Spa
Domaine Fréha km 13, Rte Ourika


Marrakech airport is 15km away (a 20-minute drive). Transfers are included in the rates.


Casablanca station (connecting to Rabat, Tanger, Fes) is 15km away.


The hotel is off the main road to Ourika and has plenty of free onsite parking. It's definitely worth bringing a car to explore the countryside and surrounding towns.

Worth getting out of bed for

Those looking to explore won’t be disappointed, with the famous Jemaa el-Fna square, Marrakech city and the très chic Jardin Marjorelle all within easy reach. Dar Nanka can arrange activities including cooking classes, jet skiing at Lake Lalatakerkoust, horse and camel rides and, for those most intrepid of travellers, trekking through the Atlas Mountains.

Local restaurants

Try Le Comptoir for a peek at Marrakech’s in-crowd, with less-than-demure belly-dancers and skilled musicians serenading you and your trad Moroccan or international cuisine. Go with a group of friends for best results (; +212 (0)524 437702). Le Foundouk is a riad eaterie with a cosmopolitan feel, good cocktails and tasty Moroccan/Mediterranean fusion food – nab one of the highly sought-after tables on the first floor overlooking the giant wrought-iron candelabra, and it feels a little like you’re sitting in an art installation. Watch out, it’s closed Mondays. (; +212 (0)524 378190).


Local cafés

Café de France on Jemaa el-Fna is the most famous of the city’s coffee spots. It’s a little shabby round the edges, but the balcony is a classic perch from which to see the hurly-burly of this teeming main square in all its glory; go for a coffee at sunset and watch all the stalls setting up for the evening (+212 (0)524 442319).


Local bars

Just five minutes’ drive from the hotel, Bô & Zin’s international cuisine ranges from spring rolls to melt-in-the-mouth macaroons, via beef tenderloin. For decor, think the lovechild of a New York hipster and a Moroccan beauty: leather seating, cool cocktails, flickering candles and an understated fireplace (; +212 (0) 524 388012).


Photos Dar Nanka hotel - Marrakech - Morocco

Anonymous review

A big part of enjoying Marrakech revolves around escaping Marrakech. It’s the city’s great paradox. While the souks are captivating and the locals intriguing, our fondest and strongest memories centre on the moments when we shut the place out… Diving into a hammam to evade the hustle; slipping into a riad to shake off the bustle; slamming the door of a palace restaurant into the face of a thousand salesmen and snake charmers and hearing their murmurs evaporate into the ether.

Dar Nanka does cloistered like no one else. They know the value of first impressions too. From the hand-painted wooden sign held by our driver at arrivals (a subtle but significant step up from the scrawls of names on A4 proffered by his peers) via the huge, Jurassic Park-style gates swinging open at the compound’s edge, to a lobby the size of a small airport, everything about our entrance was designed for maximum wow.

The Belgian owners Mika and Nancy understand the value of the grand reveal – the theatre and drama present in the world’s greatest hotels – and the sense of arriving somewhere spectacular followed us along the palm-fringed drive, past an outdoor bar and boules court, up a birdcage-littered spiral staircase and into a room larger than our apartment back home.

‘This is the roof terrace’, the receptionist declared, passing a four-foot speaker wafting something vaguely Balearic and throwing apart two more sliding doors, leading us into the desert heat and a patio overlooking fruit trees, a spa, and six bronze eggs shining in the sun by the pool. Closer inspection revealed a burnished six-pack belonging to a David Gandy-alike in a lounger, an intimidating figure for any man from on high, but a personable guy with his shirt on, who epitomised the glam-but-friendly clientele.

Bagging room number three at Dar Nanka forces you to recalibrate all sense of bedroom size. It’s so improbably vast that a 48-odd-inch TV seems tiny across its expanse. The terracotta-tiled floor manages to swallow up a carpet the size of a small swimming pool, curtains that could sail a ship, two huge battered leather armchairs, a magnificent fireplace, vintage packing cases and an enormous desk covered with gold leaf.

Elsewhere and in these Marrakech-meets-Provence rooms vintage ephemera abounds: antlers and ancient maps of Britain and the Americas hang from the walls; the desk displays an old-school telephone and a magnifying glass with tusk handle; a wicker box houses a random cello with only two strings. Bookcases are stuffed with decaying novels, such as Dante’s Purgatory, that look as though they’ve been chucked in a pond by an impressionable Victorian child. Mrs Smith and I spent about a week exploring it and settling in.

‘There are seven different wardrobes here,’ she announced incredulously from a distant part of the room. ‘Seven!’ Sure enough, the corridor to the bathroom had enough storage space for a royal family. The bathroom, meanwhile, boasts double sinks, a huge shower and best of all, a space-age spa bath with an Xbox kind of remote control that turns up the jets to 11. I spent a lot of time playing with this.

After an afternoon catching rays and catching up with Hercules by the pool over a few margaritas, we forced ourselves into Marrakech itself. The hotel is a quick 15 minutes from the city, a kamikaze rush through arid scorched earth, past rickety vehicles, lemmings, laundry, and donkeys nose-deep in feed-bags.

Mrs Smith fell headfirst for the souks, propelling us through the labyrinth passageways and picking up lampshades, cushion covers and, through my half-baked attempt at haggling, a backgammon board. Personally, I could take or leave it. If I wanted to argue furiously over the price of fake Dr Dre headphones, I could have stayed in Lewisham.

We exfiltrated the chaos that evening at Dar Marjana, one of the many palace restaurants offering peace and serenity with endless side helpings of Moroccan cuisine. Over the course of three hours, all manner of delights were brought forth to the sound of live Gnawa music: umpteen meze dishes of olives, vegetables and pastry parcels, pigeon pie, lamb tagine, vegetable couscous, sweet Moroccan pastries and fruits. We scoffed with demented abandon, unaware the meal was to finish with us dragged up from our reclined orgiastic slump on our cushions to belly dance with all the grace of Boris Johnson.

The following morning a cleanse was in order, so we hit the hammam. Getting washed and scrubbed by a stranger is one of those regressive pleasures most of us don’t experience enough. Mrs Smith and I felt more rejuvenated and less destroyed from the previous night’s excesses with every slosh of the bucket. In fact, we were so fresh we tackled Dar Nanka’s lunch. If you’re not up for more taxi rides you’re somewhat captive here, so prepare to eat: the owners only offer a set three-course lunch during the day. Ours centred around chicken breasts and mash – not your traditional North African diet. Nevertheless, it filled a hole we didn’t really have, and another afternoon chilling on the various shady couches prepped us for Marrakech Part Deux.

This time we tackled the city’s famous square, Jamaa el-Fnaa, disappearing up dark staircases to witness the chaos from up above. We then followed Mrs Smith’s list of Gwyneth Paltrow recommendations, ending up at La Terrasse des Epices for glasses of steaming mint tea before descending to French-Moroccan restaurant Les Jardins de la Medina.

As Joni Mitchell or any other philosopher will tell you, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. As we left Dar Nanka, in a taxi (sadly not big or yellow) embarking on a 10-hour journey to the Sahara, and a camel ride into the dunes, the realisation whacked us sharply: we really, really didn’t want to leave. That following night, as we listened to the frenzied beat of Bedouin drums round the campfire under a starry sky, ticking off another item on the long travel bucket list, I couldn’t help but think about that intergalactic Jacuzzi bath.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Dar Nanka & Spa’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Really pleased to be met at the airport by our free shuttle. So glad to be offered some breakfast on arrival at 11.30am - we were starving! We weren't expecting to be able to check-in until 3pm but we were shown to our room about 30 minutes after we'd arrived (12pm) which was brilliant. Our room was the small Chocolate room which had a great bed. As other people have noted, the hotel is beautifully designed. The downstairs lounges, pools, bars and seating areas are divine! The owner and manager went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. The owner even brought her TV boxset from home so that my husband could watch a big football match on our last night. The spa was also fantastic - one of the most rigorous and satisfying massages I've ever had! There are free shuttles into the centre of Marrakech - check times on arrival.

Don’t expect

Unfortunately we suffered a few hiccups - We did not get our free cocktails on arrival (not a big deal really, we didn't ask for it but just assumed it would be offered). There was no iron in the room, but we could hand our ironing over and have it done for free. Whilst this sounds great, unfortunately on our last day, my husband had to wait more than an hour to get a shirt ironed so we would've preferred to have an iron in the room available to use. The shower is really bad – there is hardly any pressure, the water is tepid and dirty, and the water does not wash down the drain quickly. We would have reported this to management at the time but (due to the issues above) we felt like we had been complaining a lot and so didn't want to cause further issues. The WiFi worked well for me on nearly all days except one. On the other hand, my husband had intermittent problems with the WiFi throughout the stay. I asked the owner what time is breakfast served and she said it doesn't matter, that we'd be able to have breakfast at any time we woke up. One day I went down to get some breakfast at 11.40am, as breakfast was being put away and unfortunately, the waiter was not very accommodating so we had to miss breakfast that day.

Sent to Smith24 24/10/2016 


Stayed on 15 Oct 2016

We loved

Great food, the ambience. The service was very personal. The gardens are stunning - a real oasis of calm. Great food and drink selection. Nothing was too much trouble. Free shuttles into the centre of Marrakech. The spa was also very good. Visit Maison MK - a great riad on the western edge of the medina which does a very good tasting menu. Cafe Nomad, about five minutes walk to the north of the Jemaa El Fna, is a great rooftop restaurant.

Don’t expect

Wild nightlife - this is a place to come to if you want to slow down and unwind.


Stayed on 17 Sep 2016

We loved

I spent 10 days here on my own, I had intended on booking a few day trips - the Atlas mountains, Essaouira but found that I enjoyed relaxing, eating the great food, drinking great wine and reading far too much to actually go anywhere. So my stay ended up being totally indulgent, peaceful and lazy! I met lots of wonderful people who really helped to make it easy for me to stay on site for almost my entire trip. The owners and the staff couldn't be better even with my lack of French, I always felt included and welcome. Thanks to all at Dar Nanka

Don’t expect

To loose weight


Stayed on 5 Aug 2016

We loved

The decor of the rooms were fabulous. The space and views from balconies were lovely. The food was very very good and the staff were like family members very very accommodating and friendly. Recommend visiting the medina and the Yves St Laurabt Jardin in Marrakesh

Don’t expect

The air conditioning was not working from what we could gather all the systems were inefficient . It made it very uncomfortable during the night.


Stayed on 10 Jun 2016

We loved

Feels like private villa or guest house. It's well decorated with a great garden, pool, terrace and spa house surrounded by a rose garden. Skilled staff, genuine good looking Belgian owner, good food. It's ideal for a secluded weekend after parties in Marrakech and the busy medina.

Don’t expect

Much within walking distance: it's located in the residential hubicated posh complex with security outside Marrakesh.


Stayed on 2 Jan 2016

We loved

The staff were amazing, so helpful and friendly. The house was beautiful, small and boutique. The tranquil atmosphere made it perfect for our honeymoon.

Don’t expect



Stayed on 19 Oct 2015