First off - this place is gorgeous. Certainly the best example of art deco design that I've come across. It is also, as the other reviews state, a calm, quiet oasis in the middle of what is a frenetic, crazy place. The moment you step in, you leave the world outside behind. However, while it is a truly lovely place to stay, it did have a few issues.
Location: At the far south end of the old city, in a relatively quiet street of the Kasbah. Everything in the old city is at walking distance - all the monuments and the markets. Great location for the old city.
Design: Absolutely brilliant example of art-deco, combined with subtle touches of Morrocan design. The public areas are wonderful, especially the two libraries/sitting rooms downstairs.
Rooms: This is where the problem lies. We had booked a deluxe suite but the room left us slightly shocked on arrival. For starters, the room had a disgusting smell that hits you in the face the moment you walk in. Secondly, the room itself was narrow, stuffy, overheated and extremely dark. We also noticed that there was a 5cm gap between the door of this room and the wall itself! This meant that when the kitchen, that was located below the room, closed at night, our room was flooded with the greasy smell as they aired the kitchen out. On the contrary though, this room had an amazing bathroom - beautiful art-deco touches, full of light, a big bathtub, a rain shower and lots of space. The bathroom itself was almost as big as the room. We weren't happy with this room though, so we requested to see if any others were available - they showed us the only other room available at the time, which was even smaller - and surprise, surprise, this room stank as well. So we declined the offer and stayed in our suite - requesting them to do something about the horrendous smell - suggesting that they could perhaps use one of their incense oil burners in our room? They did, but it surprised us that they did not think of it themselves before offering us the room! Then, we discovered that the bathroom drain was dirty and clogged. They arranged a plumber to come look at it, who cleaned it out with his hands and it was sorted. We also discovered that they had only supplied us with one hand towel between two people, so we requested an extra towel, which was delivered. However, the receptionist (one of the two French women) decided to be condescending about it the next day and went on to explain how many towels hotels typically supply and how drains work (!). This one person was incredibly rude and patronising (contrary to the rest of the staff who were all polite, charming and did their best in the face of any issues) and we were glad we did not see too much of her during our stay. Her attitude really annoyed us. We also thought that for a hotel that charges as much as it does, they really should buy a new set of guest towels because the ones they supply have clearly been used a million times and are nearly threadbare!
We were however promised an upgrade to the Grand Suite as a gesture of goodwill on our last day, and we gladly accepted. The Grand Suite was absolutely lovely - and we noticed that the service we received in this suite improved vastly as well. But here's the catch - while the room was gorgeous and one of the best we've ever stayed in (and we've stayed in a lot of gorgeous design hotels around the world!), the bathroom attached to this room was entirely another story. For one, it did not have a shower. It had a hand shower attached to the bath, which was impossible to use without sitting in the tub. It was also much smaller than the bathroom of the deluxe suite we were in earlier. And to our utter amazement, while this bathroom was well-appointed in other respects - in a hotel that prides itself on its art-deco theme, and does it rather well - this bathroom had Indian (Rajasthani) decor! Quite befuddling and completely out of place. Also, little things in the suite itself - for example, two large, beautiful art-deco lamps frame the desk - and neither is plugged into a power source and there is no way they can be plugged in either. Why are they there, then?! Still, we had a lovely stay in this suite and we appreciated the gesture. Strongly recommend to give the lower suites a pass and book the Grand Suites right away. The deluxe suites are certainly not worth the price, but the Grand Suites are, even at the top rates they charge. Had we know, this is what we would have booked.
Food: This was the highlight of our stay. The food here is simply the best we had on our trip and we ended up eating in most of the time. The service in the restaurant was also really good - and almost everything that we tried on the menu was delicious. Highly recommended!
Service: Most of the staff and management were excellent - they do their very best to please, and nothing was too much trouble for them. In fact, Juliette, the manager, met us personally to review and sort out the issues we had had early in our stay. That was a nice touch, and we truly appreciated it. We just wish we hadn't come across this one lady (mentioned above) whose attitude was supercilious, condescending and patronising. With that kind of attitude, she really shouldn't be in that job.
Overall, a great place to stay in despite all the (minor) issues. We felt that this hotel lacks attention to detail - a lot of little things are wrong, which add up to a large number and end up impacting your stay. Still, they do their best to sort things out and make your stay memorable. If we return to Marrakesh, we will still stay here - and hope they would have sorted things out by then.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 5 stars Art Deco Boutique Hotel with heated swimming pool and SPA, restaurant, 10 non smoking rooms and suites, 5000 sqf terrasse, lift, 3 patios, 2 lounges, direct access with car. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Makassar Hotel Marrakech