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
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.
Overall a very positive experience. Dar Les Cigognes is a charming and relaxing riad at the edge of the medina, definitely recommended.
Excellent service. The staff were very welcoming and attentive. The massages are excellent.
The cooking class. Includes a tour of the food and spice markets that you might otherwise miss. The food ended up being the best meal we had in Marrakech.
An oasis in extreme heat. We visited Marrakech during a heat wave (110 degrees farenheit), but the design of Dar Les Cigognes meant the ground floor stayed naturally cool throughout the day, and there is good air conditioning in the rooms. Just walking into the central courtyard was calming and relaxing.
The roofdeck. Breakfast on the deck was excellent, with views of the Atlas mountains and out over the medina.
The location. On the edge of the medina. Led to a calmer stay, but some parts of Marrakech are a longer walk. Easy access by car.
The wifi. Was usable but spotty, and I didn't get great cell phone service.
We did the cookery course with Pierre and his team. One of the best things we have ever done as a family. The market your was interesting and fun and the cookery class was brilliant. End result eaten on the fabulous terrace - nothing about it could be faulted. A five star experience- can’t recommend highly enough.