Marrakech, Morocco

Dar Nanka & Spa

Rates from (ex tax)$94.26

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 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR84.50), 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 & Spa facilities

Need to know


Eight, including three suites.


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


Double rooms from $94.26 (€77), 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 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR76.82), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Continental breakfast and afternoon tea 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 an extra bed (€65 a night) and cot (free). 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 & Spa food and drink

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 & Spa location
Dar Nanka & Spa
Domaine Fréha km 13, Rte Ourika


Marrakech airport is 15km away (a 20-minute drive). Call our Smith24 team to arrange transfers (€20 each way for four to five people; extra for additional luggage or pushchairs).


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 Majorelle 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. 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.


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.


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.


Photos Dar Nanka & Spa reviews
Tim Chester

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

My experience at Dar Nanka will be completely unforgettable and it made our trip to Marrakech truly remarkable. My partner and myself decided to spend some quality time in this exceptional hotel and stayed in their Master Suite without really knowing much about it, but upon arrival it did not fail to go beyond our expectations. We did have some difficulties finding the place because we had rented a car and the information in google maps didn't match the real location (they do offer an airport service though). Since even before arriving, Philippe and his team were very diligent in their emails and helpful to assist with anything we needed. This also translated in person when we arrived and we cannot stress how nice everyone was, especially Said who was a joy to speak with and his fireplace lighting skills were extraordinary. In terms of the room, it was huge, comfortable, stylish, elegant, and even had its own terrace that overlooked the Atlas Mountains. The bathroom was also incredible with its own jacuzzi, spacious shower and personal bathrobes. The breakfast maintained the same standard, fresh orange juice, bread, spreads, and eggs made it an excuse to wake up to take advantage of it. Overall, we had the best time and I would really recommend it to anyone who is looking to spend some luxury and relaxed time in Morocco. Dar Nanka is an incredible and dreamy place to be in and we hope to return some day. Merci beaucoup!

Don’t expect

Rent a car if you go to this hotel as it is in the outside of the city and will make your trip a lot more comfortable. Don't expect to get in the pool during winter unless you're up for the challenge or steaming hot water in the shower.


Stayed on 8 Feb 2018

We loved

The staff, the help from MMS and Tourcity, the beautiful boutique hotel, the pool, the candle lit dining, the tranquility for 19 hours a day. The staff were very helpful with restaurant recommendations, bookings and transfers. Comptoir Darna in Marrakech was great, and Bo Zin (halfway between) was excellent. The Atlas mountain day trip had a fantastic driver (Mohammed), but other than a Berber experience and one walk, was really just a drive more than anything else.

Don’t expect

To be able to hear yourself think from 1-6pm daily. The hotel opposite has a massive pool party/rave daily. Outside of those hours, it's beautifully silent. The food is actually very good, but limited if you're staying more than a few days. The tennis court is not part of the hotel, costs 20 per hour and is in bad condition (relevant to very few, I know).


Stayed on 20 Sep 2017

We loved

Everything! The attention to detail here is brilliant. The staff are warm, welcoming and tend to your every need offering a very personalized service. The rooms are lovely, big, cool and quirky in décor. The pool area is completely stunning and extremely peaceful, all you can hear are birds singing and soft, relaxing chill out music in the background. The food and drink are absolutely brilliant, the standard matches the feel of the hotel. It is more of a French cuisine than Moroccan, however. The spa is highly relaxing. I had a one hour, full body massage and I can safely say this was the best massage I have ever had! All in all, peaceful, calm, relaxing and utterly beautiful.

Don’t expect

Action and adventure/lively nights/lots of people/Moroccan food.


Stayed on 28 Jun 2017

We loved

Remote location, quiet and peaceful. Beautiful gardens and building – a home from home. Five stars. Nice restaurant and bar approximately three miles away. Free shuttle.

Don’t expect

Wake up calls! Massive breakfast.


Stayed on 17 Nov 2016

We loved

Soft, velvet sofas; relaxing atmosphere; peaceful and uncrowded. Delicious food; good service.

Don’t expect

Night life, or easy access to city, although a free shuttle goes thrice daily.


Stayed on 15 Nov 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