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“Hidden gem”

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Mansouriya Palace Hotel
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Aleppo
Reviewed 22 March 2013

My review about this hotel is a sort of homage for the difficult situation that this wonderful city in the beautiful country of Syria is suffering for the insanity of man.
I've been there three years ago when the situation was peaceful and nothing of what will have happened was foreseeable.
The hotel is hidden in the alleys of the old city. As many other beautiful location in this area you can't see anything from the exterior. Te entrance is just a little door concealed at the end of an arcade..but when you open it a little paradise come out. There is a wonderful open courtyard with a fountain, typical of middle east palaces. Rooms are magnificent, all decorated in different styles and all with that hint of ancient luxury. The palace offers a lot of surprising corners nestled between doors and stairs.
Prices are (were) not cheap but if you go in a city like Aleppo there is no other choice that going in a charming place like this in which it seems to live centuries ago.
The only unconfortable point is that the hotel can't be reached by car, so is necessary to leave it outside the city door and walk for around 200 meters in the alleys.
I strongly hope that Aleppo and its people can find again the peace that they deserve to give back to humanity their wonderful heritage.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank micius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 8 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 10 December 2010

The location of the hotel was great for walking around the old city but it also meant a taxi could not drop us outside and it is very hard to find. The hotel has no sign and is down a side alley. It would be very helpful if it was made clear that calling the hotel to meet you is a necessitity rather than a luxury.

The hotel is a lovely renovation but is very over priced for what it is. We stayed at a boutique hotel in Damascus which was half the price and a similar standard with better service. Examples of small details where we found the price did not match the service;

- there was no welcome drink unlike the other 2 hotels we stayed at in Syria which were alot less expensive
- the pillows were lumpy and the bed linen and towels well used
- the food was mediocre and at Euro 30 per person expensive
- the service seemed to run more for them than us eg. we said when we arrived at 7pm we'd have dinner at 8pm they rang the room at ten past to ask if we were coming - as the starters were cold and the main was roasted this seemed unnecessary. We also had to give a time we would come for breakfast even though it was cold middle eastern selection laid out on our table (which rather wastefully was hardly eaten by any of the guests, a buffet would have been more practical).
- the toiletries in the bathroom were very cheap, a lovely hotel we stayed at in Palmyra which was half the price had Occitane toiletries so they can be obtained there.
- the 7% service charge is cheeky as the bellmen who help transport luggage to the gate and up stairs wait expecting a tip.

Talisman is apparently opening a hotel in Aleppo - I think that would be a better priced option

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Berkeley08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2010

There's not much I can add to previous correspondents' paens of praise. This is a world class hotel, with world class rooms, service and food. But - and it's a big but for now - be aware the hotel is currently adding five rooms to its magnificent stable of suites. The work, we were told, will go on for a year. It is major, major construction work and involves - as you'd expect - a great deal of noise from builders between 10am and 5pm. Most people will no doubt be out and about during this time, but if not, bear it in mind. The work is taking place above the Iznik suite - going for the Byzantine will make sure you're better insulated.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank secretguest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2010

We spent 3 nights at this hotel during a tour of Syria, and it was one of the best stops. Service was above reproach; the hotel was extremely beautiful, clean and comfortable, and had great character and charm. Each room is decorated in a different theme, and it is both exotic and comfortable, with all of the amenities. There are many stairs to negotiate, but that is true of all of the boutique hotels that have been created out of old palaces. Breakfast was not a buffet, but served individually, but the plates covered our entire table top with choice goodies! We dined one night in the candle-lit courtyard, and the meal was not only romantic but also delicious. It is also possible to reserve the Hammam (Turkish Bath) for yourself alone, which we did one afternoon, and it was terrific having it all to ourselves. We appreciated the free internet available in the library. The hotel is located in the old city, and we felt very comfortable wandering around on our own in the souk.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PoisonPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2010

This is a truly well restaured palace in the old city of Aleppo . The interior design is ecclectic Middle Eastern undoubtly by a French interior designer, but historically very sensitive and tasteful. We had four rooms all of them were different in style (one even was decorated like a bedouine tent) but all very comfortable and large with ample bedrooms. You are in an old city in one of the most authentic souks of the Middle East, so a certain lack of infrastruicture quality needs to be accepted (trying to take a hot bath in the marble bathtub proved to be impossible because the water was brown) . The hotel has a private hammam and pool
which is reserved for private use at extra cost. The dinner is table d´hote style , set menu but absolutely delicious one of the best meals I ever had in this part of the world. The hotel manager is very friendly so is the entire staff and as you sit in the authentic Syrian
Patio sipping a glass of Lebanese white wine you feel like a private guest in a princely residence.

When we were there there was some noise from the adjacent building which was acquired by the owner to extend the nine rooms hotel to a 20 rooms property. For any visitor who wished to indulge in Middle Eastern opulence this is the perfect place to go. It is worth the 400 euros a night (dinner included) per room.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank WORLDTRAVELLER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2010

My wife, twelve year old son and I had a most enjoyable stay at the Mansouriya Palace Hotel in March, 2010. I highly recommend it other travelers.

As I began to put together our trip to Syria, I struggled somewhat in trying to choose among the boutique hotels in Aleppo, The guidebooks offered what I thought was somewhat out of date advice, and the hotel websites varied highly in terms of quality. So, I put an even higher level of trust than normal on the Tripadvisor reviews. I was not disappointed in relying on the favorable reviews of the Mansouriya Palace.

Unfortunately, the Mansouriya’s website – as it existed when I was making my booking choices (it has since improved significantly) – didn’t offer as much as one might have hoped in terms of pictures of the rooms. So, I relied heavily on the pictures from the hotel’s reviews here on Tripadvisor. I reached one conclusion – I thought I’d be happy in any of the rooms, other than perhaps the Bedouin Room. So, I booked.

My research suggested that trying to find the hotel on my own (especially with a 10:30pm arrival time) would be a nightmare, so I arranged for the hotel to pick my family and I up at the airport. The pickup and transfer were flawless – we were met by an English speaking driver (who turned down a tip, to my surprise), who drove us to the Qinnesrin Gate of the Old City. There, a porter with a luggage cart walked us down the narrow pedestrian street to the hotel’s unmarked entrance. Very romantic, in a traveling sort of way.

We were warmly greeted by the evening staff (plenty of English spoken), and then escorted to our room – naturally, we had the Bedouin Room.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Suffice it to say, even though I was pre-disposed not to like the room, I found myself enchanted. We had a writing desk, a low sofa, three closets and a half bath downstairs, and then a large bathroom upstairs, with separate soaking tub and shower, with two sinks. All the craftsmanship was of the highest quality. The bathroom opened to a private patio (alas, one innocent of anywhere to sit).

The nature of the Bedouin Room – being at the top of its own landing on the upper floors of the hotel – made it very private, so we could open our windows without sacrificing any privacy. The room (and hotel) was very quiet – save for the periodic calls to prayer (there seems to be a mosque very near the hotel, so the 3:30 am call to prayer managed to wake me every night).

The bedding and linens were of high quality, and I found the bed very comfortable.

Breakfast is included – which is served in a basement room with high windows to the central courtyard. It was a Syrian breakfast, mainly – cheese, meats, fruits, figs and dates, nuts and bread. Eggs were cooked to order. I enjoyed the breakfasts – but was ready to move on after our 4 night stay. The service was friendly and efficient.

The public areas of the hotel were very nice. The main courtyard is bordered by an iwan (kind of an open air living room) on one side, with an indoor living area on the other side. Every spot within the hotel – rooms, public areas, hallways, etc. – were immaculately clean. The seating, both in the iwan and in the living room, was very comfortable. The staff was promptly available when needed to provide refreshment.

My wife and son enjoyed the hotel’s hammam.

The highlight of our stay was dinner at the hotel. It was our first dinner in Syria, and set a high standard. We had an array of mezze to start (the thyme, white cheese and sweet lemon salad still makes me smile), followed by a wonderful main course of lamb, fruit and rice. The service was excellent, and professional. Knowing what I know now, I probably would have eaten at the hotel two or three times instead of once.

The hotel had wireless internet, which was handy since there is no Blackberry service in Syria. There was also a slow wired internet connection on a guest PC.

A few quibbles and cautions:

1) This is an expensive hotel for Syria. If price is an object, one can stay elsewhere for less money. That said, I thought the Mansouriya Palace delivered good value for what it charged.

2) Having to pay for use of the hammam is a bit annoying. The hotel should reconsider that charge.

3) If you decide to try to find the hotel on your own, note that there are no signs. See my picture of the unmarked entrance.

4) As one of the critics of the hotel noted, the hotel quotes its prices in Euros, but charges the credit cards in Dollars (due to Syrian law). That can mean some exchange rate risk – although I found the rate used to be competitive.

In booking the Mansouriya Palace, I hoped to plant the family squarely in as foreign a location – the Old City of Aleppo – as possible, while retaining the comforts of a small boutique hotel. The Mansouriya more than satisfied that hope. I strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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Thank OrrvilleRedRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

Stayed 3 nights in mid-September. Must rank as one of the most characterful 5 star hotels anywhere, with service to match. Excellent location close to one of the Old City gates, so easy access. Lovely courtyard and very peaceful.
Rooms are all superb, unique and decorated in different styles - ours had lovely tiling, was spacious and very well equipped and comfortable. Nice spa and great Palace room and other sitting areas. Manager very welcoming and hands on and each staff member friendly, polite and very helpful. Breakfast good and dinner one of the best we had in Syria - lovely in the courtyard by candlelight. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank FirstclassSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Mansouriya Palace Hotel

Address: Bab Quennesrine | The Old City, Aleppo, Syria
Region: Syria > Aleppo Governorate > Aleppo
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Aleppo
Price Range: £273 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Mansouriya Palace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is a luxurious 5 star boutique hotel, in the heart of the old city of Aleppo - Syria. ... more   less 

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