Stayed here for 5 nights in early May and we were very pleased with our choice. It's not really a Riad, which tends to have only a few rooms and limited facilities, it's technically a hotel since it was formed by combining several Riads. The advantage of this is that it has many more facilities, such as a nice swimming pool, spa, full service restaurant and bar and an internet room, which you might not find in a normal Riad, but is still relatively small, so still feels quite personal.
In terms of decor and ambiance, I'd describe it as comfortable and pretty rather than seriously upscale and luxurious. We visited plusher place like Villa Flores and Jardins de la Koutarbia, which are maybe more at the luxury end. However, this is no bad reflection on the Borjs as the decor is tastefully done, but it is more of a 'kick your shoes off' style ambiance which we much preferred. It is, as others have pointed out, a very pleasant haven to retire to after a day in the madness of Marrakesh Medina.
There are two main courtyard areas, the one at the back being home to a pleasant swimming pool with a small cafe for lunch and drinks, plus the spa and hammam. The front courtyard, with fountain, is classic Riad and a lovely place to sit with an early evening glass of wine (still too cool in early May to dine outside) and includes a Majlis style sitting area at one end and a library/enclosed sitting room opposite. The restaurant and seperate bar are also situated off this courtyard.
We opted for a suite (303) which was situated away from the main courtyard and found this to be very comfortable, spacious (though I suspect the standard rooms are quite modestly sized) and surprisingly quiet, with the morning birdsong the only thing likely to interrupt your sleep. Importantly, there isn't a mosque within near earshot so you won't be disturbed by a 5am morning call to prayer amplified through speakers, which we came across in other riads/hotels.
Food is a pretty good quality, not haute cuisine, but nicely prepared and tasty. In a city where hygiene is a consideration, the kitchen can be viewed through a large glass window, which is re-assuring. Breakfasts were the standard fare of fruit, yoghourt, pastries, Morrocan pancakes and eggs any way, but most if not all were home made (including all the pastries and even the chocolates after dinner). We can vouch for there being some skill in the kitchen because we took advantage of a cooking course where, with the chef's help, we prepared our own lunch of Moroccan Salad and Chicken Tagine with preserved lemons. This was a fun and informative morning and thanks are due to the friendly and helpful chef for being patient with us.
It's a good point in this review to make a mention about the staff generally. In addition to our chef, all the staff were friendly, helpful and pleasant to deal with. It was one of the things that made the stay so relaxing, and so was much appreciated.
Marrakesh actually has a surprisingly large number of attractive looking Riads and hotels. I think the Borjs would suit those who appreciate quality but want the ambiance to be more relaxed, rather than hushed tones-a place where you can be comfortable. I think Borjs de la Kasbah fulfils this brief perfectly.
- 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