I had so looked forward to staying at the legendary La Mamounia that I spent more for a 3-night stay here than at any other 5-star hotel. It was a total waste of money as it had the least charm of any 5-star hotel I had ever stayed at anywhere in the world.
Service was terrible. My husband & I were supposed to have a transfer from the Marrakech airport to the hotel but when our flight from Casablanca was cancelled by Royal Air Morocco (the worst airline in the world, by the way) the hotel did not bother to find out what happened to us (we do not travel with cell phones.) The hotel sent a car only after we borrowed a stranger’s cell phone to call them & it took a while for reception to look up our confirmation. With the flight delay & transfer delay we missed a whole day in Marrakech & our hotel. Hurricane Sandy was making landfall at the same time in the US & we were so very worried about our home, business, friends & employees. We were terribly tired, hungry & frustrated by our travel day & worried about Hurricane Sandy, but received no word of understanding & got the stilted check-in ritual by a robotic beautiful hostess who could not speed up or deviate from her check-in script. We begged for an express check-in but to no avail. Only later we found out most guests hire a private car through the hotel for transfer from Casablanca rather than use the fickle & often delayed ½ hour RAM flight. Too bad the hotel did not advise us of that at the time of booking,
The hotel is grand but cold & lacking charm. Our room was elegant but rather small. As per another review, the master lighting console was ridiculously complicated—we never mastered it. There were no simple on-&-off switches or even normal dimmers. As a result, the room was always dim. We could NEVER get the room bright enough for comfortable reading. The television had only 2 broadcast stations in English—one was Bloomberg financial & one was an international news station. We could get updates on hurricane Sandy thankfully but nothing to take our minds off of it. This became an issue as there were relentless torrential rains for our entire stay there so we were stuck in our rooms more than normal. Every other hotel we stayed at in Morocco had more English language stations than La Mamounia & these other hotels were not as exclusive.
La Mamounia is famous for their dramatically dressed doormen. However, when we requested loaner umbrellas from them to venture out in the downpour, we were told there was no such perk. This is the first time anywhere in the world where we were not provided loaner umbrellas at a 5 star hotel! Apparently, guests come & go by private car. When we went for a walk with our hooded rain jackets & returned drenched, we were challenged as to our being guests & had to show our key while continuing to get wet. This was a little insulting because during our check-in orientation, we were advised that there was a dress code for the lobby & public areas & yet there were guests in their bathrobes in the Grand Lobby yelling across the entire length to one another in French. We asked our hostess how that could be acceptable: she said they were on their way to the spa. These guests weren’t bothered but we were simply because we came in from a walk in the rain.
We are more fitness oriented than spa oriented, but the fitness center was in a separate building on the grounds & we got drenched getting there. Working out was out-of-the-question because it was so oppressively hot in the gym. The outdoor swimming pool was gorgeous but when it finally stopped raining, I did not even consider swimming laps in it because there were dining tables along the pool &, as a woman, I would have felt too uncomfortable in a swimsuit so on display in a Muslim society with their very restrictive cultural dress taboos. NO ONE was in the water. It was very weird.
We never ate at the hotel because the restaurants were outrageously expensive. Every little thing was expensive. A simple bowl of rice from room service would have cost nearly $50 US. This was so incongruous with the overall cost of living in Marrakech. This made us feel like we were being gouged. Thank God, our breakfasts were included. I would have hated to pay for them separately.
The famous grounds of La Mamounia were a total letdown. The grounds lie in a rectangular courtyard within high walls & have groves of small trees planted on a grid & there was a culinary herb garden as well. The city garden just outside the hotel is much larger & more beautiful with many blooming roses & a variety of plantings & groupings & walks.
We totally regretted our stay at La Mamounia. I would not recommend it to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Mamounia, a symbol of traditional Moroccan hospitality, is located in the heart of the imperial city, nestled in a 17 acre park, 5 minutes walk from the Jemaa El Fna square, La Mamounia will remain the place for worldwide celebrities. DESCRIPTION The Moroccan legendary palace has been redesigned by an internationally acclaimed designer, Jacques Garcia, combining a true Moroccan style and ambiance with new technologies. With its luxurious decorations, fabulous gardens and its trendy 2500sq m SPA, la Mamounia guarantees the amazement of its guests. ACCOMODATION 136 rooms (30 to 45 Sq m) 71 Suites including 7 Signature suites (55 to 212 Sq m) 3 Riads each with 3 bedrooms, Moroccan salons, private swimming pool, terraces... (700 Sq m) ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Mamounia Marrakech Hotel Marrakech
- La Mamounia Hotel Marrakech