I'm not that keen on big, hot, busy, hot, bustling, hot, hot cities when it is hot...but...my companion was eager to explore another souk and so we did. To arrive at Les Borjs was a delight after the drive in from Essaouira. It is dark and cool and water trickles in many quiet places where lush plants abound. We were welcomed by the hotel manager with mint tea and biscuits and given a quick sketch of the services and general layout of this jewel of a Riad. The room air con was perfect and controlled via a remote; our room a haven with a minibar and safe and plenty of hanging storage. Did I say the bathroom was a dream? Hand tiled and with both bath and two showers, it was complete with double sinks, lots of lovely toiletries and big, white bathrobes. We had two 'neighbours' on our landing and never heard a squeek.
We soon got into an early morning visit to the dining room for a slightly chaotic breakfast service complete with Moroccan delicacies and could order pretty much whatever one wished. Do try their 'smoothies' - a combination of fruit and vegetables. btw The staff were full of fun and returned smile for smile and were typically fluent in a couple of languages.
Couldn't wait to try the menu in their dining room the first night but I suspect a new chef as the service was tentative and food a bit heavy-handed. Meknes rose wine was delicious & that the room is open to the stars made it a magic evening. The Riad has a convivial bar area next to and overlooking the table area; put it to good use as most restaurants do not serve alcohol.
What else? Walking to the usual suspects - tombs & palace & marketplace - was fairly easy, even with a recent hip replacement. A guide and an air conditioned car will get you to all the nooks and souks; do shop at the co-operatives for haggle-free buying.
A week old restaurant, The Kasbah Cafe, about a 5 minute walk from the riad, served wonderful Moroccan dishes on a rooftop over-looking both the Palace walls opposite as well as the storks perched high above the churning crowds below. The rooftop dining area was cooled with the same technology as airlines - automatic mist lines were strung above the rattan umbrellas making the decor as sophisticated as the menu.
All in all, Les Borjs is a peaceful oasis of beautifully thought-out rooms and common areas. We felt pampered, catered-to but service was never intrusive. Salads and light lunches at the pool bar were absolutely perfect. Books-around-the-pool time in the afternoon was simply heaven after a hot trek thru the big, wide world outside.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Les Borjs de la Kasbah, a charming boutique hotel (opened in 2007), combines all the character of a traditional riad with modern comforts and the professionalism of a dedicated staff, close to the Royal Palace, 15-20 min walk from the famous Jemaa el Fna square. 18 non-smoking rooms, 3 lounges, bar, restaurant and meeting room, all with free internet access. There is also a secluded 10m swimming pool (a rarity in the Kasbah), and a SPA with traditional Hammam and treatment rooms. Direct access to front door by car and minibus. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Les Borjs De La Kasbah Hotel Marrakech