- Paula Hardy, Destination expert
Dar Zemora sits 6km east of the medina in the Palmeraie (an area of palm groves outside Marrakech). A taxi to the Djemaa el-Fna takes 15 minutes and costs £5 to £10, but guests seem disinclined to leave their tranquil haven.
Style & character
Once you set eyes on this peach-coloured private villa nestled amid gorgeous gardens frothing with huge banks of pink roses and draped in cascades of white and fuchsia bougainvillea, you won’t want to leave. Inside the romance continues with large sitting rooms scattered with hot-red rugs and furnished with comfortable club chairs and cushion-covered sofas. On the walls are paintings by contemporary Moroccan artist Youssef Elkahfai, while in the Fan Room an open-sided colonnade is hung with gossamer drapes in turquoise, lilac and hot pink. Everything is designed to delight and enchant, particularly at night when the romance dial gets ramped right up and the villa and gardens are filled with the soft light from myriad cut-copper lanterns.
Service & facilities
In keeping with the house, service is unobtrusive and personal. There’s no reception but staff magically materialise to cater to every need. A hammam and beauty treatments are available on-site, while tennis, golf, horse riding and hot air balloon rides are all available locally.
- Steam room/hammam
There are two suites and three bedrooms in the main house. They are all vast with double-aspect windows overlooking the gardens. The hand of the English owners is subtly apparent in the décor, which channels English country-house-chic through Moroccan handicrafts – think bedside tables upholstered in lilac leather, rattan headboards, white linen bed-covers with embroidered borders and dozens of ceramic vases filled with yet more roses. The suites have separate lounges and dressing areas, and the independent Pavilion Pool Suite has its own private pool. There are no TVs (how vulgar!), but portable DVD players can be borrowed.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
Meals can be served wherever you want, but why would you want to eat anywhere else other than the red-walled dining room with its terrace overlooking the lily pond? Breakfast is a simple, but delicious selection of fruit, yoghurt and eggs; and complimentary tea and cake is served every day between 4pm and 5pm. In the evening a set, three-course modern Moroccan menu is served at 8.30pm with the exception of Sunday when a traditional four-course Moroccan feast is served up.
Value for money
Double rooms from £190 in low season; rising to £240 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Not really, this is a romantic retreat.