Friendly staff and very enjoyable visit. Beware 3% charge for credit card, plus agree (in writing - they'll ask for it) price for evening meal in advance. The following is a general review of Marrakech -
As a general location for staying in Marrakech the Hivernage area seems to fit the bill nicely. There are a selection of varying hotel standards to fit your choice but, more importantly, it is centrally connected for several key point, starting with the airport and working clockwise - Menara gardens; Supr@tours bus station; Marrakech train station; Gueliz; Place Du 16th November; Majorelle gardens; various city gates; the Medina; Ben Youssef Medersa; Djeema El Fna and the Koutoubia Tower. The Hivernage feels pleasantly safe to walk around, whilst still getting a feel for the real Marrakech and provides a variety of cost effective restaurants.
A brief synopsis of some of the sights are as follows -
The Medina – Certainly an experience, although not always a good one. Beware being told ‘it is closed that way’ or something similar, which is used to channel you towards awaiting shop keepers. If staying in the Medina I’d suggest being on the western side if possible, so you can easily dip out of the chaos more easily. Ben Youssef Medersa is fairly limited in what it has to offer, yet well worth a visit, whereas the Marrakech Museum is less rewarding of your time.
The train station has a simple charm, with a large glass frontage, mixed with elegant Arabian styling – particularly attractive when lit up at night. It also serves as a bolt hole for when a toilet is needed, plus a McD’s if quick, reliable food is needed. There are also a couple of rooftop restaurants as a dining alternative.
Gardens – the Menara gardens are quite basic, little more than olive trees in a sort of scrub land, with two saving graces. Firstly, a square reservoir with a pagoda set against a back drop of the High Atlas mountains. Secondly, the approach road is part of a long avenue leading from the Koutoubia Tower in the distance. In contrast, the Majorelle garden is a lush, compact space, teaming with visitors, so it’s a benefit to visit early or late on in the day. Although it is tricky to find trying to locate the garden itself, rather than just going by taxi, will add to the experience and give a deeper insight into Marrakech. Elsewhere two simple highlights are the Cyber Park and Hrati gardens, both offering an enjoyable stroll with plenty of shade from the sun.
Gueliz and Ville Nouvelle present a slightly more European feel. Allowing you to just meander without the usual hassle found in the souks.
A couple of self-organised trips are recommended -
1. Essaouira – at just £8 each way a Confort Plus luxury coach leaves from the Marrakech Supr@tours depot (just west of the train station) at 09:00 each day, with a return coach at 17:00. Essaouira is much more relaxed, clean and probably more tasteful in its overall feel than Marrakech. It is home to a criss-cross of streets with the usual souvenir outlets, several of which are set into the rampart walls, delivering a real sense of old Morocco. Just a few paces away are castellated ramparts and a lookout post, impressive on their own, but accentuated by the amazing view of huge waves crashing onto the rocks below or a stunning sunset, if timed right. However, the highlight has to be the beautiful sweep of curving beach, leading to a castle-like rock formation (around 1km from the harbour), with vast dunes beyond this. Walking along this beach it is likely you are offered the chance to ride a camel or a horse (£12 per hour). The later presenting the rare opportunity of galloping (or trotting) through the surf – truly memorable!
2. Imlil, High Atlas mountains – It’s possible to take a grand taxi from Marrakech to Imlil (£35 each way) or if staying overnight you can ask your riad, in advance, to arrange it. The upper reaches of the High Atlas have a distinctly Himalayan appearance, offering snow covered peaks as a spectacular backdrop for some relatively easy hiking. Some initial planning and internet research can reveal suggested routes, including a basic survey map if lucky. A gem of a walk departs from the bridge in Imlil centre up the roadway to Tizi’n Tamatert. After half a mile or so break off to the right onto a path (near ‘Chez ...?’) which climbs up through the trees to Aroumd. From Aroumd carry on up the dried river bed (water flow permitting) and onto a trekking path to Sidi Chamarouch, a sort of base camp for Jebel Toubkal – North Africa’s highest peak. Decent is by the same path to Aroumd, before following the road on the east side of the river until a zig-zag path descends steeply to Kasbah De Toubkal then continues on to Imlil’s bridge (four hours reasonably strenuous walking).
As an alternative from the same starting point again head up the road leading to Tizi’n Tamatert. Just before the small village of Tamatert is a fairly broad path that winds its way through the extremely basic streets of the village – in fact almost through the homes themselves. After rejoining the road another path runs alongside the stream, through an attractive small valley of trees. Once the road is again joined you can descend back to Imlil by the same route or it is still pleasant returning by the roadway and taking a short detour into the village of Ait Souka (around 2 and a half hours).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With a rooftop terrace and panoramic views of Marrakech’s Old Medina and the Atlas Mountains, this riad features an authentic Moroccan design. Guests can relax in the hammam or in the Spa or cool off in the plunge pool in the patio.The air-conditioned guest rooms at Riad Dar Nimbus are traditionally decorated with colourful Zellige tiles. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and an en suite bathroom, and some include a TV and a fireplace.Moroccan cuisine can be enjoyed in the dining area or on the terrace, and a continental breakfast is served daily. The riad can organise on-site massages, babysitting and visits of the surrounding area.The property is 1.6 km from the Majorelle Garden and 4 km from Bahia Palace. Marrakech – Menara Airport is a 15-minute drive away and an airport shuttle service is available upon demand. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riad Dar Nimbus Hotel Marrakech