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“A haven of peace” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Amira et SPA

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Villa Amira et SPA
4.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   78, rue Sakia El Hamra, Semlalia, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #451 of 1,101 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Taunton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A haven of peace”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

We took a well-needed trip away from the floods of the Somerset levels 8 -15 Feb.
I must admit, we initially chose Villa Amira as there was a Groupon offer at a substantially lower price and Easyjet has just started flying to Marrakech from Bristol airport. However - Villa Amira was everything it said on the tin and was perfect for us.
It is a longish walk (35 - 40 mins) to the walls of the Medina and so, a lot more walking once you get into the centre of the old town, but taxis are cheap, even when you feel you might have been done! They varied in price from 25MAD day time to 50 at night, but when you are talking about £2 - 4 then that's really not so bad.
We had fantastic weather of 23 - 27C which was just about perfect during the day for wandering the souks without getting heat exhaustion and Villa Amira proved a haven of peace away from the noise, bustle and hassle of the city. I can imagine that it would be even more so in the heat of the summer.
Our room was lovely. It was airy, had a staggeringly comfortable bed, beautiful copper washbasins and plenty of hot water, though the shower head power and position left a bit to be desired. Within our Groupon package we had breakfast - pancakes, coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, fruit and yoghurt - setting us up well for the day.
A wonderful 40 massage was also included and one full moroccan evening meal with two types of meat tagine, couscous, salads and all the works. So much food, but it was freshly cooked and as good as I think you could have got anywhere.
We did sample street food in the night market and we can recommend it. It too is tasty, freshly cooked and served boiling hot and is stupidly cheap! It's an experience that is well worth it if you can stand the hassle from all the stalls trying to vie for your custom and the night market is just so exciting.
All in all, we had a wonderful time experiencing Marrakech in all its glory and even with the low points of being constantly hassled! If you like to make eye contact and chat and don't like bargaining or hassle, then maybe Marrakech isn't for you. To do both lays you open to being led down alleys and taken to places that you are quite able to find on your own and of being asked for money for the priviledge - it's OK once, but after a bit it just becomes tiring. Still, made the return to the peace within the carved double doors of the Villa even more welcome.
Downside to the Villa? Paola was really lovely and helpful with places to visit, but her suggestions of places to eat were very up-market and expensive and way beyond our budget. Also, as she was out of the building when we came to pay extras on our bill, the staff said they could not take cards despite the fact that the machine was just inside Paola's office door. We had to pay with Euros and the rate was 1euro - 10 MAD which is pretty appalling.
I can however, recommend Villa Amira unreservedly. It was beautiful, relaxing and just what we needed!
PS beware the pool in February - so cold I thought I was having a heart attack, but did feel tingly afterwards!

Room Tip: Poolside rooms are quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    67
    33
    4
    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

Villa Amira is to be recommended. Although it is a bit of a walk out of the main centre (about 30/40 mins), its close to nice restaurants and shops of the Gueliz area. The breakfast is simple but enough to get you started and the evening meals are worth staying in for. Paola, the owner is very welcoming and knowledgeable about the best places to go, the things to see, the Red Bus trip (a good way to see the city and to get around once you have a 24hr ticket). The staff are very warm and friendly - and little bit of French goes a long way! We had a hammam (wash, steam and scrub!) and a good massage there as part of our deal. The experience was marred somewhat by the luke warm water - but we did go in January! - so a warmer experience would have been nicer. I'm sure the same thing later in the year would be great! It is worth just emailing Paola just before you leave to confirm their taxi to pick you up from the airport, otherwise you can get stung at the airport taxi rank. Be prepared to haggle - 100-150 MAD should be what you aim at. Taxis from the medina to the Villa are 25 MAD local prices. Tell them this is what you know it costs and what you're prepared to pay and you're more likely to get it for that price - that's Paola's advice and it works!

Room Tip: Some reviews talk about noise over looking the street, but we didn't notice it that much. It ca...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Oslo, Norway
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

It was all that we could have expected. Such a lovely place with such lovely staff. It was the perfect stay for a perfect travel! I recommend this hotel, and me and my friend would definitely come back.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

The villa amira presented a tranquil escape from the busy medina and although there were many positives, it could certainly be improved. The decor was quite nice, essentially in the style of a traditional riad accommodation outside the centre and is therefore run in a similar way. The downstairs part and the pool are certainly very pretty. We arrived later on in the day and were met by a lady who was pleasant but could only speak little English. We filled in the tourist forms and were shown to our rooms without much further information. It was only the 2nd afternoon after a day of sightseeing that we met the owner who is very welcoming and helpful but often not present. The rest of the staff are lovely but speak little English so it can be difficult unless you know some French. The room was the main disappointment which feels a little rickety. The heater didn't really work to warm the room so it was often cold. The shower was a pain as temperature not stable and had to be held up. The food and massage were better than expected. Do be aware if you have a group on voucher which says dinner and breakfast included as we were only allowed one dinner - certainly not clear. Location isn't great if you plan to walk around, especially when it's hot but can use taxis quite cheap. On the whole, for the price, this isn't bad but certainly not a luxury stay. With a few changes e.g. English speaking contact always available and updated rooms, this could compare to the nicer riads in the medina.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Paris, France
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

As a twenty-something female who was traveling to Marrakech alone, I researched a lot of hotels and riad's and decided that staying in the newer part of town might be safer. I found the Villa Amira and read you had to take taxi's but it was worth it.
Yes, you do have to take taxi's, but they are so cheap and the Villa Amira definitely made it worth it! The women who work there were so welcoming (they all spoke english and french) and when I asked one employee about taking the bus to go to the Jardin Majorelle, she took it with me! I got a hamman and a message in the spa and was really impressed by the service and the price. Breakfast came included and was a traditional Moroccan breakfast (and delicious!) The hotel has wifi and the room had heaters, which surprisingly I needed to use a few nights during late December. I never write reviews, but I was so happy with this place and thought I'd put in a good word. Highly recommended!!!

Room Tip: Some rooms have balconies, this might be a nice thing to request!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

Booked this trip via Groupon for a long weekend and this place is a real little gem. We had asked for them to arrange a taxi to pick us up from the airport but he wasn't there, he later told us he was but we came prepared. I advise you to get Hassan's number from the Villa so you can call him from the airport if you don't see him. Make sure you have the Villa's address as most drivers didn't know where it was, it's close to Faculte de Sciences which they usually know. It is a bit out of town (40 mins walk to the main square Jemaa El Fna) but it's a nice walk which my boyfriend and I were happy to do and just taxi back. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Language wasn't a problem as I speak French. The massage was very relaxing and worth every penny. After reading some reviews I asked for a room overlooking the pool that was on 1st or 2nd floor which they happily arranged and we didn't have any problem with noise. Breakfast is free and was delicious, hard boiled egg, fruits, local pancake with jam, delicious coffee or mint tea, and pain au chocolat. If you want full english breakfast don't come to Morocco, as you won't find that anywhere. Food at Villa Amira was the best in Marrakech and we felt stupid we left it until the last day to eat there when we should've done so almost every day. Other places the service was poor/arrogant, food was average and expensive (Comptoir, Stylia, etc), Pepe Nero was the best out of the restaurants we tried but Villa Amira does the best food hands down in Marrakech (order the beef tajine with prunes!).

Taxis should be between 40-60 MAD one way, don't get ripped off, they can ask 100/200MAD and hope you'll agree. Get ready to haggle in market places, if they ask for 700 start at 200 and work up to the price you're happy to pay for. 99% of the time they'll agree to your 'absolute final last price'. That's how they do business and can be fun as they joke a lot/have funny sales skills (best quality in Marrakech! You'll have this for a lifetime! etc). We visited visited a few sites by walking to them (Jardins Marjorelle, Jemaa el Fna, Main Mosque (cannot enter if not Muslim but still beautiful from the outside), Souks) and did the rest with Hassan as a driver who was very nice and very informative.

A fantastic trip, and Villa Amira was the best place to come home to after a day in busy noisy Marrakech. Couldn't thank the employees there more.

Room Tip: Room overlooking the pool, on 1st floor was perfect.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Old Hastings
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We had a great relaxing time which is exactly what we wanted.
Paola is a great hostess and has excellent staff who are very attentive, helpful and discrete.
The Riad is well kept and clean.
Great stay
Geoff & Sarah Jane.

Room Tip: Get one with a bath as the hot water can change temperature without warning.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Amira et SPA

Address: 78, rue Sakia El Hamra, Semlalia, Marrakech, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #451 of 1,101 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Amira et SPA 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Amira Et Spa Hotel Marrakech

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