Neither a pretentious brand or a pretty boutique, this hotel instead offers incredibly friendly service and big rooms at an excellent location close to the Medina.
The staff here are by far and away the best of any hotel I have visited in Marrakech. They genuinely want to look after guests and appeared to be having a great time doing it. There was nothing forced or disingenuous about their approach.
Location - superb:
It's about as close to the Medina as possible for a mid-sized hotel - 5 minutes' walk to the mosque, main square and souks. Any closer, and it's pretty much riad-only territory.
Fellow guests varied from seniors, to mixed race families and 30 something gays. All with a good splash of cash are welcome, it would seem. No riff-raff.
There was a good club menu for lunch and breakfast was fine - usual mix of egg dishes and continental items, plus big pots of home made preserves. Room service was very efficient - none of the usual three or four calls of doom to reception as is too often the case in Maroc hotels.
There was a random DJ in the brasserie style bar/restaurant one evening playing club versions of maudlin songs, such as 'Losing My Religion' - not what any of the above wanted to hear.
The junior suite was pretty big, though the standard rooms are also a good size. The juniors had two washrooms on either side of the room, a huge bath and walk-in shower. The smaller rooms lose the walk-in shower, have a slightly smaller bed and slightly smaller balcony.
The pool was clean, huge and welcoming. Even when busy, it was still relaxing - the people here are discrete.
Pop in to the small gym and see Mustapha. He will pick up where your personal trainer left off. He's working in France later this summer, and I wish him well.
The only disappointment was the spa. The treatments were a third more expensive than the far superior one at the Delano a few streets away. The 'U' area as it is called looks tired. The big jacuzzi that looks amazing on the marketing pictures smells of damp and has paint peeling away inside. The spa had been the main attraction for me when booking. But while that was a disappointment, the professionalism, energy and commitment to customer service and the quality of the accommodations more than made up.
I had a look at the on-site riads. They are magnificent and very private. Do it, if you can afford to.
The smaller rooms on the ground floor only have plants to separate your outdoor terrace area from other guests - might be an issue for some and check before booking. However, I would add that there is a good security presence at this hotel.
There was free valet parking (i had read somewhere this was charged - not the case for my stay) and free wifi around the grounds and in the room.
This is a good, solid recommendation and it's clear that this joint attracts repeat guests each year. If you want brand chic, go to the Delano or Four Seasons, if you want pretty then go to Les Jardins de la Medina. If you want a friendly, mid-upper priced hotel with all you'd expect for the cost - and if you want to be very close to the Medina but not in it, then I can't think of anywhere better - and a big part of that is down to all the staff and whoever trains them.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel And Ryads Naoura Barriere
- Hotel Ryads Naoura Barriere