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Marrakech Morocco

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Dar Zemora

Morocco   Marrakech   La Palmeraie   Why Marrakech?
Marrakech 20kms
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Reviewed by Michael Soffe

A REFINED HUSH ..............

La Palmeraie is an area about 15 minutes by car from the centre Marrakech that has become well known for rather grand villas and mansions. Lindsay and Paul, the English owners, built Dar Zemora and subsequently turned it into a very chic retreat. It is now frequented by “in the know” Europeans (especially honeymooners) who want to stay near to Marrakech, but not actually in the bustling city. It is an extremely relaxing Hotel and a refined hush pervades every corner.

A traditional gated entrance provocatively hides everything within and opens out onto a graveled driveway and flower-filled garden. As you enter into the main house it is immediately apparent how large, spacious and stylish Dar Zemora is. You get a tantalizing glimpse of the gardens beyond through five large columns festooned with wonderful gossamer thin fabrics in lilac, turquoise and pink that billow gently in the breeze. You will find yourself in a circular hallway with three options – to your left the “Omar” salon – an intimate and very cosy place with its roaring log fire (in full use when I was there on a chilly December night). It is an excellent room for a pre-dinner aperitif, and to relax whilst listening to the classical music playing discreetly in the background or discuss your days sightseeing with fellow guests. To the right, another salon, the “casablanca” salon is also festooned with comfortable sofas and chairs.

The third option, and for me the most tempting is directly in front of you – a fabulous semi-circular covered terrace leading directly onto the lawned garden. Escape from the bright sun into this beautiful terrace, lovingly furnished with bright coloured fabrics and rugs in true Moroccan style. In the warmer months (which is most of the year!!) it is another place for that gin and tonic and is lusciously romantic when the genial staff light set the candles aglow

There is a small library (again with a lovely fireplace), with an excellent choice of books and guides to every aspect of Morocco, and a computer/printer/internet has been provided for guests’ use. There is also Wi-Fi available in the library if you have a lap-top.

The landscaped gardens surround the house and are well cared for. The heated outdoor pool area and terrace are lovely, tucked away in one corner. Everything has been thought of, including a shaded terrace for dining poolside, where the ever attentive staff will serve you drinks throughout the day. Also in the garden, in a separate small building, is the obligatory Hammam (steam room) and massages are also available, all done with the famous Argan oil and that “black” soap! Beauty treatments, manicures and pedicures provided on request.

The 6 bedrooms are sumptuous in their decoration and no attention to detail has been spared. Rich
fabrics adorn the furnishings and the windows. There are five bedrooms in the main house and the “pavilion” situated in the garden. All are large and spacious and have large windows looking out onto various aspects of the garden. They come equipped with iPod, heating and air-con and portable DVD players on request. Bottled mineral water is provided daily and some excellent home-made savoury and sweet biscuits on arrival! Room service is also available. The bathrooms are gorgeous (my bath was large enough to swim in!!!), and all the walls are polished with the gleaming “tadlekt” plasterwork that is seen so often in Morocco; marble dust is added to the plaster to give it a warm sheen. The suites are ideally suited for honeymooners and the most opulent of all is the one on the first floor with its own large, private roof terrace (again, it is candlelit at night).

Breakfasts are served at your leisure in the main dining room or on one of the terraces overlooking the gardens, as are lunch and dinner. The Hotel prides itself on its cuisine and I had an excellent four course dinner of Harira soup, Beef Tagine with prunes, Chicken in filo pastry and a fine Klafoutis dessert – yummy!! – all washed down with an excellent half bottle of fine red wine from the Meknes region! The menu varies nightly between typical Moroccan fayre and the more international 6 course tasting Menu. Light lunches are available including pasta and salads (these can be savoured anywhere in the gardens, by the poolside or in the Hotel.

Finally, a mention must go to the lovely, warm and friendly staff who will endeavour to cater to your every whim. Charming service with a smile. They are happy to give shopping recommendations, organize forays into Marrakech and day trips to the Atlas Mountains.

An ideal Hotel for those who want a beautiful escape on an intimate scale. Peace, quiet and birdsong prevail and this is an excellent Hotel from which to escape the bustling and very hectic Souks and Medina of Marrakech.

The Hotel has appeared on Tatler’s “Hot List” for both 2007 and 2008.

Swimming Pool
Hammam (Steam Room), Massages and Beauty Treatments
Restaurant and Bar
Airport Transfer on request


Choose your currency
From 173€ to 328€

Click here for detailed prices


Low Season: 5th to 31st January and 1st to 19th December.

Mid Season: 1st February to 1st April and from 20th April to 30th November.

High Season: 2nd to 19th April (3 night minimum stay) and 20th December to 4th January. (5 night minimum stay).

The Hotel closes for annual holidays from the 1st to the 25th August.

Deposit: A Non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. The amount depends on the total of your reservation and will be confirmed to you in our response to your enquiry.

Cancellations made between 21 and 15 days before arrival an additional 20% (on top of the deposit) of the total acommodation cost will be charged.

Cancellations made between 14 and 8 days before arrival an additional 50% (on top of the deposit) of the total accommodation cost will be charged.

Cancellations made between 7 and 4 days before arrival an additional 75% (on top of the deposit) of the total of the accommodation cost will be charged.

Cancellations made less than 3 days before arrival an additional 80% of the total cost of the reservation (on top of the depositl) will be charged, meaning the entire cost of the reservation will have been charged. No shows or premature departures will result in the same cahrge.

For all cancellations will charge an administrationfee of 15 Euros.

Afternoon Tea and Mineral Water are included in the room rate.