Palais Namaskar is away from the centre of Marrakech in an area called the Palmerie. So if you want to be amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, then this probably isn't the place for you. However if you want the most relaxing, spoiling time possible in the most stunning surroundings imaginable, with Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains nearby, then look no further.
The moment you arrive and are whisked through the gates, you feel you have entered an oasis of stylish calm, a paradise where you can really relax and enjoy being in this fabulous country. There's a free shuttle bus into town several times a day, and the hotel is really good at organising visits if you want. We know this because we asked the hotel to organise our visit to Marrakech medina during our stay - absolutely everything was taken care of, and was exactly as we wanted.
The gardens are pretty extensive, with the main pool and restaurant building in the centre, and the residences (where we stayed) to one side. The villas looked lovely, but as it was just the two of us, we chose a Deluxe Room, which was huge, and came with its own whirlpool and delightful outside terrace area.
Everything seemed to have been thought of in our massive Deluxe Room. The room itself was really cleverly designed, with amazingly thoughtful, generous touches (an exercise mat for us in the room, masses of practical storage space, a big safe, a separate room with loo and bidet, fabulous Bulgari products in the bathroom - including refreshing towels and even an eau de toilette spray - and last but definitely not least, the biggest, most indulgent double shower I've ever seen!) Our lovely terrace had comfortable chairs, with two comfy mattresses, each with its own cushion and freshly laundered towel on for lounging. There was masses of room on the terrace for us both to sit, eat, lie, drink, bask in the whirlpool and generally chill out. There was a parasol over the table for our delicious room service breakfast al fresco, and all with the calming, beautiful water feature and gardens around us too. The main bedroom was also very big and spacious, with floor to ceiling windows and doors to our terrace and the water gardens outside. The bed was massive, and very comfortable indeed. The big sofa was at the bottom of the bed, with plenty of space for a soft coffee table slash foot stool (room service arrives on trays so can easily be laid out in front of the sofa) and a big Bang & Olufsen TV, which for me just sums up how no expense had been spared. The entrance area has a big desk and proper, practical chair if you want to write or work there, and a good quality coffee machine & kettle, with plenty of cups, tea bags, coffee and so on in a large sideboard. This also houses two fridges (one for soft drinks, one for alcohol) and glasses. The staff were very generous with still water for the kettle and for us at night (the tap water is not good at all).
The staff were all, without exception, charming, friendly AND also highly efficient. A rare combination! Room Service was a good example of this: the phone was always answered quickly, our order was taken down efficiently, repeated back to us as a confirmation, and appeared within minutes. All the correct items arrived, every time. Everything that should have been hot was piping hot. Everything was fresh and beautifully presented, delivered with charm, and laid out beautifully for us, usually on our terrace in the sun each morning!
In the restaurant the waiters were also completely charming, very helpful and everything appeared quickly. The quality of the food is amazing - I have rarely tasted better in a hotel - but we'd advise steering clear of the obvious "must be on the menu" items, like the Club Sandwich and ubiquitous Burger. The local dishes and more inventive international / French ones were absolutely delicious, and the chef is clearly on top form, with creative, modern takes on all sorts of things. Although the food is not cheap, there are items on the menu that aren't too expensive that are really excellent. I particularly enjoyed a tuna carpaccio with a citrus Thai dressing one lunchtime, and loved their take on a Pastilla (delicious chicken, mixed with prunes, vegetables, herbs and spices, all wrapped in a light pastry-like envelope - it tastes a lot better than my description I promise!!). Although bargains are hard to find on the menu, each lunchtime there's a daily changing menu of two courses for 180Dirhams, every day except Sunday, which was always delicious and excellent value, featuring sea bass one day for example, risotto another.
We used their golf carts to take us to and fro (I'm recovering from an illness, so couldn't walk very far). Each time I called and asked for one, it arrived almost immediately, every single time. The drivers were always charming & helpful, so we could really relax.
There is one thing we all want from technology, and that is that it "just works" The Wi-Fi at Palais Namaskar was free, and worked seamlessly and quickly everywhere we went around the substantial grounds with our iPhones and an iPad. In fact it "just worked" so well with no need to log in every day, or fiddle with codes, or find you've logged in too many devices or whatever, that we almost forgot it was there! We also forgot how unusual it is to have hotel Wi-fi that works that well.
The gardens, pools, lakes, water features and so on are beautifully kept, and always looked fantastic. Everything was always laid out beautifully - lamps were lit each evening, everywhere there were cushions, loungers (always with a clean rolled up towel on) hammocks and parasols, all ready just in case someone wanted to relax a bit more in a different place. We particularly appreciated this in comparison with the many hotels we've been to where if you arrive any time other than the most expensive high season, you are continually reminded that it is "off season" by the sight of closed up facilities, chairs or loungers piled away in corners or just not set up. We found the exact polar opposite: every day every single lounger was set up (the king size ones by the pool even have their own mattress toppers) with a fresh, clean, rolled up towel on the end. Every day for every meal, every table was set up and ready and looking lovely in the restaurant and around the pool. The whole place always looked exactly like the beautiful photos in the brochure and on the website. It really did!! INCREDIBLE! And a first for me!!
And finally. We were there to celebrate our 20th anniversary. When we returned to our room one night we found candles everywhere, rose petals arranged in heart shapes on the bed and around the bathroom, and a delicious chocolate cake, complete with the number 20 in icing on the top and twenty candles around it. We were completely blown away.... What a fantastic, thoughtful and beautiful thing to do!
Palais Namaskar is HIGHLY recommended. It was absolutely perfect for us, and for me, yes, it is probably the most fabulous hotel ever! We will DEFINITELY be back!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- More than a hotel, Palais Namaskar, nestled in the heart of a magnificent park of more than 5 hectares, is a real destination. Between the Atlas Mountains and the mysterious Djebilet hills, the hotel offers its guests a space and unlimited freedom for unforgettable experiences. ... more less
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