Nestled in the madness of the Medina is a quite oasis of calm, that place is Dar Hani. A beautiful Riad (traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard coming from the Arabic word for garden “ryad”) formed around a stunning heated swimming pool Dar Hani has been decorated and furnished to a high standard throughout, mixing the traditional with the modern to create a chic and original style.
One of our favourite features of Dar Hani was the feeling of space with its 3 sitting rooms and a music room with a piano. The boy was in heaven strumming his guitar and cajoling me into keeping time with the maracas. One of the sitting rooms is called The Blue Room and is decorated in the stylish Majorelle Blue (you can see more of this stunning colour at the Majorelle Gardens – a Marrakech must see), and contains comfortable banquettes to relax or wind down after a day of shopping or sightseeing; one-wall features stuccoed Fatima’s hands. I became quite obsessed with this and purchased a silver copy in the souk.
The lighting and décor of this room give a stunning effect once the sun sets – a truly magical time in Marrakech.
Another sitting room is the “Indian Room” that has an ornate painted ceiling, and a large exotic Indian-style day bed for those that wish to relax, read or doze which I did it bucketful’s spending hours pouring over 20 year old Vogue magazines. A seating area at the other end provides an alternative eating area, and together with the other sitting rooms, allows guests to have their own private corner if they wish.
We stayed in the magnificent ‘Walnut’ room, which had the biggest bathroom we have stayed in for a long time! It is amazing how such a packed Medina can lead you to these fantastically large rooms and bathrooms. The sense of space is fabulous. The centre point of the bathroom is the large circular red clay bath. We dipped into the bath twice on our trip bringing a bottle of Moroccan wine with us.
Upstairs on the roof the large terrace is really breath taking with a view to the Atlas Mountains in the south, and a sumptuous tent to gaze at the stars, hide from the sun, or relax over a drink in the evening. It really is the perfect place to laze over a Moroccan breakfast of pancakes, preserves and lovely hot, strong coffee.
The house is staffed with a housekeeper and cook – both very pleasant, and there is an English host fluent in French to greet you on arrival, and to give advice on places to visit and where to eat. For those that wish to relax at home, Moroccan or western style meals (lunch and dinner) can be prepared by the house’s cook.