Hotel Review: Dar Sofil, Marrakech in Morocco
Words by Dimitra Brokalakis Maron Amitay
It wasn’t easy to find; We drove up and down streets with no signs to point us in the right direction. Eventually, Hassan, our driver, gave in and contacted Dar Sofil. They sent us a chauffeur. Ismail drove through back roads and residential neighbourhoods, further and further away from the city. Turning onto a small road, it grew quieter and the sky around us, darker.
Located in the outskirts of New Marrakech City, we had finally arrived. It was late and it was dark. Finding our way to Dar Sofil had created a sense excitement mixed with uncertainty. The tension came to a head when Ismail parked the car. He approached the gate, and as it slowly slid open all of the uncertainty was replaced by awe. Behind the black, metal gate stood a modern-day Moroccan palace. We had finally arrived to Marrakech.
Riad Dar Sofil is a small luxury hotel located in Morocco’s popular main city; Marrakech. The Riad opened its doors in 2016, boasting 6 large suites and an outdoor infinity edge pool. Between the Hammam spa, on the bottom level and a restaurant with an on on-site chef, it is hard to believe this Riad was originally meant as a summer home. French businessman, Fouad Ghomari, found himself in a pickle due to Morocco’s building regulations and thus his summer escape turned into a summer escape for many as a Bed and Breakfast of sorts.
Tired after a long journey to Marrakech, Ismail gave us a tour of the hotel. The lobby is a large, open concept space. Two seating areas, a dining room and a lounge area blend into eachother, framed by enormous ceiling to floor glass windows, looking out onto the pool and bar area. The space is warm in nature, with earth tones setting an inviting and relaxed mood. The overall feel of the hotel is a modern take on Moroccan style with a burst of French accents. The furniture is chic, channeling a vibrant European atmosphere, while the African Berber art hangs on the walls.
Next, we were shown to our room – or rather mini apartment. There was nothing “junior” about this junior suite, which featured two lounge areas, access to a shared terrace, a large Moroccan inspired bathroom, and a balcony leading to the pool. Rooms start at $300.00 USD however, during high season, $3000.00 a night can rent you the entire villa.
Despite having arrived late, Mohammed, the chef, was welcoming and warm spirited. Asking us if we had any requests for dinner, we asked for the couscous and salad. The food was served family style by the pool. We ate alone, other guests were nowhere to be seen (although the Riad was fully booked). The salad was bold and fresh, with ingredients that screamed with flavour, whilst the couscous was light and aromatic, accented with fresh vegetables. Hands down, the best couscous of the trip, in fact, we requested it for every meal during our stay.
The buck didn’t stop at Mohammed either, Dar Sofil offers a very personalized service and a unique experience for each guest. Our intent was to recharge after a trek through the Sahara, as such, lounging by the pool with coffee after coffee and soaking in the spa tub was on our list of must do’s. With a staff of 11 at our disposal, there was never a moment of tension or despair; everything from special dinner requests to drives into the city were taken care of. Infact, this is the least I’ve ever had to not-think. They’re operation is turn key that our stay in Marrakech was absolutely effortless.
If you’re looking for a quiet retreat, far, but not too far, from the busy city center, Marrakech than Dar Sofil is a must. The grounds of this Adults Only villa is the definition of serenity and relaxation, while the candlelit spa can sooth even the most tense soul. Our stay at Dar Sofil left me relaxed, rejuvenated and completely unbothered.
P.S. There’s also an awesome tennis court. I don’t “tennis” but if you do that’s a bonus!
Address: Km 10, 5 Route de l’Ourika Commune de Tassoultante, Marrakech 40065, Morocco
Phone: +212 5243-91983