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“"Beautifully restored Riad."”
Review of Palais Sebban

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Palais Sebban
Ranked #69 of 500 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 December 2013

Lovely building, very convenient for the souks and the Djemma el Fina and minutes away from the Koutoubia and the Casba,, The rooms are beautiful and clean but the pool too small and has far too much chlorine in it to be tempting!Breakfast is a very average affair and the problem of most staff not speaking any English is rather annoying as not all tourists speak Arabic or French !The staff were friendly enough but not efficient enough and so the service is rather slow .The food is not great I suggest eating out rather than in !!All in all a pleasant stay in a beautiful Riad but not up to international standards but charging international prices!

Room Tip: The rooms in The old building are the Best.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank culturebuff8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 December 2013

The taxi driver took us from the airport to the entrance of the medina. We were a little terrified through the way to the riad. After a few days, we understood that without reason. After entering the small gate of the Riad, we realized that its like an oasis. very good localization 10 minutes walk from Jamaa el fna, very clean, beautiful and architecture, The breakfast was a little bit poor, but nothing that we could not get along with.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Rony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2013

Stunningly beautiful riad within 5 minutes easy walk of Djemma el Fna....but absolutely no noise from the alleyway etc. Luxurious with a medieval feel. Wall to wall mosaic/tiling which give the Saadian tombs a run for their money. Certainly this is a perfect riad for people looking for authentic Marrakech rather than contemporary European chic.
Location for getting around is great - just 2 mins walk to Bab Ksour, with lots of taxis available there (15/20 dirhams to most parts of Marrakech).
I had been slightly worried about the service after reading the reviews - but every member of staff was charming. All speak English very well and are very understanding if you want to try French and a bit of Arabic too.
This riad has a lovely little hammam and we would highly recommend the hammam gommage and massage (discount for guests). The public hammams are a good experience but here you can be together as a couple in private.
Breakfasts are a good selection of egg, breads, cakes etc. We did not have dinner here but it looked comparable to most restaurants in Marrakech.
Will certainly try to come back. A wonderful stay for our 10th wedding anniversary !

Room Tip: Oudaya is exceptionally beautiful and a little bigger than others in the prestige category.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank HugoMidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2013 via mobile

We stayed a couple of nights at the Palais Sebban in Marrakech in the month of October. The hotel is beautiful! The architecture and decor are breathtaking and the staff and owners are very friendly. The location is perfect, we were literally about 10 min away by foot from the world famous Djemaa el-Fna and the Koutoubia mosque. A couple of negative comments are that our room was quite small and the shower must have been clogged because every time we showered the water leaked out of the bathroom into the room; however, we were too busy having fun in our vacation that honestly we didn't take the time to report it. The breakfast was quite simple and there were many flies enjoying the breakfast buffet. I would say the positive things definitely outweigh the negative so I would definitely recommend this Riad.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank SOBETraveler1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Context - One of us had already been to North Africa on business and we both had Middle East experience but neither of us had never been to Morocco. So when a special offer appeared in Secret Escapes for a five day holiday in Marrakech we decided to book it.

Selection - The selection of venue and flights was defined by the offer so all we had to do was make the booking. Feedback from colleagues and friends confirmed that the choice of a Riad style hotel and EasyJet for the flights were both good. Their experience of Marrakech was also positive with a few warnings about pickpockets and the Souk which we noted but did not worry about.

Accommodation - It was easy to spot the local contact - TravelLink - at the airport who took us to the bureau de change for local currency and then whisked us off in a well appointed people carrier to what we thought would be a typical canopy fronted hotel. Instead we were dropped off at the kerbside of a busy side road and were surprised to see our luggage offloaded by a uniformed hotel employee into an oversized wheelbarrow. He led us through a system of narrow but well lit alleyways arriving a few minutes later at a nondescript studded dark wooden door. An even more nondescript passageway led to what looked like the back entrance of the hotel but was in fact the only access to a small old style reception desk.

Check-in was rapid but included leaving our passports with the receptionist for a couple of hours which made us uncomfortable so we were relieved when they were handed back as promised later that afternoon. We were grateful that the staff took our luggage to the room because there were no lifts and only very narrow staircases reflecting its 14th century origins. Note: If you have mobility issues this hotel is not for you.

Our ‘Prestige’ room was nevertheless well appointed and comfortable complete with satellite television showing an assortment of mostly Middle East channels but surprisingly there was no kettle and no tea/coffee making facilities in the room. An air conditioning unit sat high on the wall but as it was autumn - a mere 35C during the day - and sheltered by the central open air Courtyard we did not need to use it.

The water system was surprisingly good supporting a basin, a shower and a shower equipped bath all of which functioned without freezing or scalding either of us when we both used the bathroom at the same time. We had a safe in the room secured by a long stemmed key, and the room door locking system is shall we say unusual, one might even say unique, but reasonably effective; I'll leave you to discover that charming aspect of the door furniture should you decide to stay at the Riad!

We successfully hooked our chunky UK three pin electric plugs into the plentiful supply of power sockets using a European two pin adapter that also had a hole for the earth pin. All of our adapters were built that way so I assume this is standard, but if you already have a European two pin plug that can cater for the earth pin - or maybe one of those neat flat two pin plugs - you should be fine. Side note: When is the UK going to catch up?

The Riad had reasonably fast wifi in the Courtyard which also housed the main restaurant seating and the small swimming pool that was located rather publicly in the midst of sitters, surfers and diners. This area also led to the Riad in-house Hammam massage but unfortunately a busy sightseeing schedule meant that we did not find time to try it out.

Our first three breakfast buffets were outside and supplemented by a liberal helping of flies as there were no protective covers of any kind over the food, so fresh cheese, processed ham and local bread lost some of its appeal; the buffet was moved indoors later in our stay which alleviated the problem. The Riad’s lunch and dinner cuisine was not impressive - for example one of their signature Tagines was dry and unappetising - the service was well meaning but slow if more than two or three couples were dining. So we used outside restaurants for most of our meals enjoying good food at Hotel Les Jardins De La Koutoubia, La Brioche Cafe, Les Terrasses de l'Alhambra and for the full calorie experience the Patisserie des Princes. These were all ten or fifteen minutes from the Riad in the vicinity of the main market square opposite the Impressive Koutoubia Mosque.

Location - The Riad is located within the Medina - the old town - not far from the Souk and the main square. Shopping in the Souk was a trial, even the slightest hint of interest brought down an avalanche of 'very cheap, how much you want to pay, I make special deal for you'. Saying we were not interested - genuinely not interested - just made it worse and we were pursued along the alleyways more than once by an over eager stall holder. This worked in our favour a few times when we did use 'not interested' or 'too expensive' as a negotiation ploy, which brought some items down to a third or quarter of their first quoted price. We also confirmed Morocco’s well deserved reputation for leather goods and if you are thinking of changing your carpet or rugs then hold off until you've seen what's on offer in the Souks or Artisan markets.

if you visit the market square after about 5pm you’ll find a comprehensive selection of food, fruit, spices, herbs, monkeys, henna artists and snake charmers. But wherever you go you will need to have eyes in anatomically unlikely places if you want to avoid colliding with scooter drivers and youths on bicycles trying to emulate scooter drivers.

Alongside the market square is one of the Red Bus hop-on/hop-off stops that takes in the historic aspects of Marrakech. We went all the way round the first time to get oriented then hopped off twice, once for lunch and the second time to visit the Kasbah. Be aware that the timetables displayed on the many tour bus stops are not to be taken seriously; the bus will turn up when it turns up. But it was worth the occasional wait to exercise our cameras and learn more about Marrakech, old and new.

The local contact - TravelLink - also arranged a trip for us to Tallatast, a hillside pottery village about an hour and a half outside of Marrakech that has a single room school supported by TravelLink. The guide was friendly and knowledgeable which made the journey, part of it bumping along potholed mountain tracks, both educational and informative. This was just one of a number of tours that were available to us had we stayed longer.

Transportation - We started our journey to Marrakech via easyJet at London Gatwick, their bag drop was efficient but remember to check in online beforehand and take a print of your boarding pass to avoid additional charges. I missed the checked baggage link during the online check-in process and spent an age on the phone waiting to have an operator fix it, so be careful. Because we had pre-reserved seats we had priority boarding, but then again so did pretty much everyone else on the plane which surprised me. The flight left on time - be sensitive to their check-in timing policy - and arrived early which is just as well because the seats were as hard as the proverbial nails and did not recline for a snooze. They offered inflight catering at extra cost - of course - but a Full English at Garfunkel's Gatwick North meant we were all set until later that afternoon.
easyJet did not give us immigration forms during the flight so when the immigration officials in Morocco signalled us to forms dotted around the pre-immigration arrivals area the whole process turned into a chaotic race to find forms, pens and suitable hard surfaces to write on. No blame attaches to the Moroccan authorities, much international experience with other carriers told us that easyJet should have arranged to distribute the immigration forms before we landed.

Once we’d cleared the formalities and collected our luggage the local travel contact TravelLink carried the usual taxi style name signs and were easy to spot in the arrivals area. We were greeted warmly and they made sure we received the correct amount of local currency at the exchange desk. At the time of our visit to Marrakech - October 2013 - the Moroccan currency was closed so we could not exchange until we arrived in-country. However, the rates offered at the airport and local bureaus were comparable so it was easy to top up our reserves. Marrakech also has a good supply of ATMs that provided an alternative source of cash.

Our journey from the airport into Marrakech was uneventful in a very comfortable people carrier and only the previously mentioned wheelbarrow trip along narrow alleyways gave us any cause for concern.

The trip back at the end of our holiday was pretty much a reverse of the arrival and TravelLink took good care of us from Riad to check-in, in fact they didn’t leave us until we reached passport control. The departure terminal airside was adequate with good food outlets but limited last minute shopping, so after a drink and some light dinner we found our iPads useful to pass the remaining time.

easyJet got us home on time and all the comments about priority boarding, catering and seating applied; next time we’ll take cushions with us! But you pay your money and take your choice, so on a value for money basis we had no complaints.

Bottom Line - As mentioned at the beginning of this review we had never visited Morocco so the stories of pickpockets and aggressive Souk stallholders put us on guard for the first couple of days. But by exercising reasonable care and eating at places that looked busy or clean we ended up having a very enjoyable five days holiday.

Would we go again? Yes. Would we stay at the same hotel? Yes, the Riad Sebban took good care of us in spite of the few negative points we identified, but we would be open to try somewhere else such as the Hotel Les Jardins De La Koutoubia to see how it compared.

Room Tip: Our 'Prestige' room overlooking the Courtyard was well appointed but guest chatter and backg...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank GeoffreySB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We were so very well taken care of for one week at the Palais Sebban in October 2013. From the moment we arrived at this stunning building to the instant we left, the staff could not do enough for us. They all helped create a welcoming family atmosphere.Travelling as 2 adults with two girls of 14 and 11 years old from our home near Paris, the two beautiful rooms we were given opposite each other were our clean, cool base for an exciting Marrakesh experience. The outstanding aspect being how peaceful the hotel is in the heart of the mayhem of the Medina. The rooftop terrace is a perfect place to unwind. The breakfasts were plentiful and we ate the majority of our evening meals by the pool. The service headed up by Abdijalil being exceptional and the food created by chef Zak was excellent. You can order specific Moroccan dishes outside the menu 24 hours in advance. Not many local people eat in and around the main place in Marrakesh and from the many locals we spoke to, for good reason. One of our daughters was taken ill for 24 hours from one experience we went for at a roof terrasse restaurant that backfired. This was when the excellent hotel staff came into their own, arranging a doctor to see her at the hotel rapidly and thereafter becoming even more attentive to our needs. The Palais Sebban and it's creation has an intruiging, admirable history behind it and it is well worth asking someone to tell you the story of how it came about. There is a book in the reception that adds to the mystique. In conclusion, I cannot recommend this place enough. We felt safe, secure and at home. If there was one advice I would give world travellers coming here, that is to brush up on your French. Even a little goes a long way in this wonderful country.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013 via mobile

The riad is beautiful and clean, but the staff really treated us as if we were a nuisance instead of guests. There was only one young gentleman working who spoke English and was very helpful. The others we dealt with there were very unhelpful and couldn't even manage to secure a booking at a local restaurant for us. Perhaps if we were fluent in French we would have been better received. There are many great places to stay in Marrakech. I'd look elsewhere unless management changes.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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1  Thank Elisabethski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maylis A, Responsable commercial at Palais Sebban, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

hello,

We're really sorry your feelings.
Our staff does its best to help you organize your stay.
However, it must remain in the position, the receptionist you have never been charged any cost wire you requested, sometimes too much is too c, your concerns on economy tainted your relationship with the staff.
Since there is a rule, the receptionist must notify the customer the price of telephone consomations order to avoid abuse.

We ask you to accept our escuses for the inconvenience.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palais Sebban

Address: 43 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hsseine | Quartier Laksour, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#38 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#45 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#49 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#99 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: £67 - £434 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Palais Sebban 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The owner and former king in Sebban give his name to his beautiful Palace that has been care fully ma intained by his family for over a centery.In 2006 and efter 4 years of renovationand restoration, it became a Moroccan Andalusian architecture jewel. (Zellige,Marbre,carved plaster ,Berber carved wooden, ceilings and original ceilings (Glaoui period),Marbled fontaine ....Everything in this palace of a thousand and one night makes you dreaming and soak up the Oriental culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palais Sebban Marrakech
Palais Sebban Hotel Marrakech

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