I visited Marrakech for 4 days in mid-july; my first visit to Morocco and what an amazing trip it turned out to be. And a highlight of my trip was my choice of hotel or riad. Getting the hotel right in the first instance is reassuring and you just know your holiday is off to a great start.
Even before my flight, I received a pdf guide to the city with travelling tips and advice from the hotel. A first for me! Fussy traveller that I am, I emailed a request that all my pillows and duvet be feather-free and within minutes received a nice reply from Pauline saying that all my bedding would be synthetic as requested. Greeted at the airport by a friendly driver and welcomed at the hotel with a fragrant mint tea and home-made pastry. The hotel is exquisitely decorated, modern, clean and calming. An oasis from the din and clamour outside. It’s the little touches that warms you to this place: the petals on the bed, complimentary waters, ipod-music facilities, remote air-con, hot flask of coffee on your doorstep in the morning. At every turn, you’re confronted with some interior-design touch that just smacks of great thought and care and if you’re into interior lighting as I am, then you’ll delight in this place. It might be modern and chic, but at the same time it can be a nice romantic getaway, with charming areas like the tv/reading room, that’s an inviting den, the only sound coming from the trickling waterfall feeding the interior pool.
I have to admit, that I travel on business quite a lot and my company usually put it up at big, swanky, chain hotels; so the prospect of staying in a small place with just 6 rooms made me somewhat nervous. But, as I was to discover, therein lies the charm of the MK Maison. I only saw one other couple besides us and I felt the place was very much ours; the staff were always present, but quietly hovered in the background. And on the subject of staff, we were very lucky that the manager, Pauline, was on duty during our stay. I was keen to sample some of the best cuisine and I roped in Pauline to book some of my restaurants and get her advice on trips to the Atlas mountains. I even invited her to join us for breakfast on the roof terrace and meeting her was a real highlight; beautiful, friendly, charming and utterly sincere. Thanks Pauline, you made our holiday.
Our room was very comfortable, and on occasion a real retreat from the 38 degree heat. I peeped into an adjacent room to our right (the door was open and it was unoccupied) and was astonished at its huge size and glamorous fittings; probably far too expensive for me and no doubt the room where Jamie Oliver purportedly grabbed forty winks. The hotel has a restaurant for dinner, but as I generally like to savour the cuisine in diverse restaurants (try the Comptoir in the new town and Dar Yacout) for atmosphere and dare-I-say raucous belly dancing, I rarely ate in. However, I did enjoy a romantic dinner on our last night at the MK and had a memorable poached pear desert. I would always recommend eating out, but if you need to unwind on your first night without the hassle of finding food, then by all means, eat in, but don’t expect the vibrant buzz of a restaurant that can only be had in the medina.
Marrakech can be quite exhausting; the sensory overload from the souks and the square is best relieved by some gentle pampering in the form of a ‘relaxation massage’ from MK’s in-house masseuse, Hasnaa. I was transported into another world. My only regret was that I discovered Hasnaa on my last night; wish I got in at least a couple, but at €50 it was quite a luxury.
Maison MK has a quaint location at a turning in a narrow lane, that makes you feel you’re in a local neighbourhood and importantly you are just minutes away from the main square. My girlfriend who is a keen photographer, couldn’t get enough pictures of these alleyways as we strode back to our hotel in the late evening. I have taken lots of photos and video and if I get time one day, I would like to edit the video and upload it.
And another thing I will always remember MK Maison for, will surely be the cutest tea-bags. I asked for one to take home, and the delightful Abdou slipped me three (shh…). What’s so special about those, darn tea-bags…. Well, you’ll have to find out yourself, and if you live in London like me, it’s a mere 3 1/2 hours away.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Maison MK is a cool, romantic, sophisticated house right in the middle of the Marrakech medina. Everything in the riad is curved and organic. Our six beautiful rooms are creative, rich, romantic, decadent and totally indulgent! Brand new in Jan 2008, we have wow-factor suites, spa loveliness, stunning lighting, and cutting edge design. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maison Mk Marrakech
- Maison Mk Hotel Marrakech