Riad Dar Baraka & Karam, Marrakech

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Just 5 minutes walk from the royal palace and 10 minutes from Bab Doukkala and the main bus station, in a very relaxed part of the medina, the quiet alleyways leading to Dar Baraka and Karam (they are 2 separate places to stay, under the same management of Marrakech Riads and joined by a connecting door) ready you for the utter tranquility that awaits inside the Baraka.

A darkened entrance hallway leads out onto a silent courtyard above which the building reaches for 2 storeys.

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Apart from the call to prayer and the occasional birdsong the only other sound that we heard here during our 7 nights stay was the tinkling of the courtyard fountain, which rises just a couple of inches off the tiled floor and ejects water into a pool strewn with fresh white roses.

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It was here that we were served mint tea and biscuits when we arrived and where we sat, in a comfy alcove, each day for an hour or so to check our emails – the wi fi connection here is free, fast and constant – and to browse the art, history and design books that inhabited wall niche and coffee table.

Narrow stone stairs led to a first floor where there were 2 guest rooms, the massage room – for a fixed price you can have a treatment here – and an ornate sitting room. Bordered with wide, white divans on 2 sides and a fireplace for use in winter, the wooden ceiling and stone carving on show here is both original and stunning. The entrance arch is a special treat, whether you’ve an interest in architecture or not you can’t fail to look at it and appreciate its beauty and the skill needed to create it and the intricately painted wooden ceiling above.

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A doorway next to the sitting room leads to the courtyard of Dar Karam and a corridor and flights of stairs took us to the roof where our room was located.

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Our room was long, with the bed and air con at one end, 3 French patio doors hung with indigo full length curtains running down the side opening onto the terrace and a bathroom at the other end.

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Here’s a view of a bathroom in another room, just to show that all rooms have the same clean, well designed appearance.

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I couldn’t tell if the bathroom fittings – the taps and the faucet – were antique or contemporary, but I did like their minimal feel. Earthy was the way many describe Morocco (it’s a word that well sums up the colours, the spices used in the food and the atmosphere of the souks) and you could say that the upper tier of the Baraka was just that, whilst the lower floors were more traditional. It’s a fine mix of styles and a combination that we enjoyed. There was always hot water and fresh towels if needed, and a safe above the closet. The room was made up daily and it was extremely tranquil at all times of the day.

Outside our room began a rambling 3 level terrace and to me this was the finest roof terrace of all those I’ve experienced in Marrakech.

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A mini maze of walls and steps painted the colour of the Sahara desert sheltered a variety of white cushioned divans, chairs, sun loungers, straw hats and shady corners.

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We ate breakfast here and also lay watching the stars before bed. It was a haven of peace, a sun trap and a visual treat – white cushions and tented coverings sandwiched between orange walls, muted floor rugs and deep blue sky. 

Breakfast was extensive and included tea, coffee and juice, yoghurt, eggs, fruit, crepes, bread rolls and a variety of jams.

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As for the staff, they’re very friendly and Ahmed, who handles the day to day operation of the place, speaks good English. Nothing is too much of a problem that he can’t sort out.

Here’s a short video we shot upon arrival at Riad Dar Baraka. It’s not meant to be a professional glossy film, just an honest look at what you’ll experience if you were to stay here yourself.

We thoroughly enjoyed returning to Dar Baraka every night after our days out in Marrakech, and lingering over breakfast on that fantastic rooftop was a true privilege. We recommend the place and also the other Marrakech Riads properties (we had a look around them one day, all seemed lovely). It’s a well run company in our experience, honest and reliable.

Discover more at www.marrakech-riads.com

and about Dar Baraka in particular here - www.riad-dar-baraka.com

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