Dar Les Cigognes
What We Love
- The cozy setting in a riad, a traditional Moroccan house
- The kitchen has published its own cookbook and makes everything from yogurt to monkfish tagine from scratch
- Sunset dinners on the lush rooftop terrace, as the storks (after whom the hotel is named) come home to roost
What To Know
- The full-service spa has its own range of argan oil-based products, plus a hammam and traditional henna tattooing
- The kitchen offers private Moroccan cooking classes, including pastry and bread-making
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Just 11 rooms make up this riad hotel, comprised of two courtyard residences joined by a bridge walkway. Here, Tunisian-born, Morocco-based architect Charles Boccara has created a luxurious space that doesn’t overwhelm: original details like keyhole arches have been retained, but additions like polished concrete baths strike a modern note and stop it all from feeling too “Arabian Nights”. If you’re looking to splurge, go for the Orientalist suite, which has a fireplace, views of the palace, a separate living area, and a larger-than-life bed. All rooms have courtyard views and copper lanterns, beaten silver sinks, and often a welcoming scattering of rose petals. It’s tempting to lounge in the library, sweat out impurities at the spa, or simply linger on the flower-filled roof with a strong coffee and a house-made pastry without ever leaving the property.
In the Area
Just opposite the Royal Palace, this hotel is well-situated in the heart of the medina, and many important sights are within walking distance. (If you’d rather not walk in the enervating Moroccan heat, the hotel can arrange a car). For shoppers, the nearby souks are ideal for sourcing spices and jewelry, while the Place des Ferblantiers, where you can find crafts ranging from lamps to metalwork to rugs as well as charming open-air cafés, is just a minute’s walk away. The must-see Jemaa el Fna—a lively plaza where the locals meet in the evenings for the musicians, fortune tellers, freshly squeezed juice, and host of other entertainments—is a mile from the hotel.
How to Get There
This delightful raid was located just outside the heart of the Médina. The raid decor was extremely charming and relaxing. The staff is incredibly professional and attentive, especially Hyat and Hajiba. Had the Hammam and I would have to say it was the best Hammam I had in all of Morocco......and we travelled to three different areas. Food was amazing. My only regret was not taking the cooking class, but I will most definitely return to fit that in on my next visit. This was a great place to end our journey in Morocco and I thank everyone at the hotel for this lovely experience and hospitality.
At the outset it’s worth stating that this is not a hotel but a riad and therefore you shouldn’t necessarily expect the things you would find in a hotel. So for example there are no TVs or fridges in the rooms so if you fancied a ‘ night in ‘ it might be an idea to bring your IPad. Personally I could have done with a little more light in the room particularly for when getting dressed but I recognise that due to the design of riads , this is to be expected.The riad has a very authentic Moroccan charm and great character. We stayed in a Deluxe room which though by no means massive was reasonably spacious. If you are looking for all mod cons this might not be for you , but if you’re looking for tranquility after a tiring day in the souks then this is ideal.The staff are the friendliest I have ever met and could not do enough for you.As to the cost of food and drink , this was a little more than I had expected and the service was a little slow on occasion. I would definitely recommend Dar les Cigognes but you need to be understand that if you are used to staying in large hotels this is a completely different , though nonetheless pleasant , experience.
Tucked away opposite the Royal Palace is a small doorway in a city wall. There is only a small brass plate tucked away to give you any clue as to what is beyond. Step through and you enter another world, - a Moroccan paradise. A beautiful house,(actually two houses combined),with an open court yard to the sky. The first thing to catch your eye is the fountain bowl with floating red and white roses. Beyond this are rooms on three floors, each decorated in a traditional Moroccan style. Beautiful frescos on the walls. Exquisite islamic designs on the ceilings with typical Moroccan lamp shades hanging down. We were shown to the rooftop. This has the wow factor!
Moroccon lamps standing amongst tall clay pots of blossom. Look out over the ramparts and you can see the Storks standing guard over their nests on the Palace walls.
This is no ordinary hotel with a busy reception to keep you waiting. We were greeted by Hayat the manageress. Mint tea awaited our arrival and menus to consider for dinner. You can choose to have dinner wherever you like. No contest - we chose the rooftop. Sure enough at 8pm we ascended the stairs to Marrakesh in the moonlight. There is one thong that we have learned about Morocco and that is that the food is delicious. The salads ate to die for and the Tagine dishes straight from the oven are something else. The soft murmur of the city, the minarets in the distance calling to prayer, and the glow of moonlight beats any romantic dinner we have ever had before.
Hayat looked after us well. Nothing was too much trouble.
If you are new to Marrakesh - look no where else - you have got to stay here. We loved it.