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“Spa - gorgeous to look at but a disappointing & frustrating experience” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mansour Marrakech

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Royal Mansour Marrakech
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #105 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
NYC
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Spa - gorgeous to look at but a disappointing & frustrating experience”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

I wanted to experience a traditional hammam scrub and also to see and experience the design of the Royal Mansour Spa. It comes highly rated in many places. I was extremely disappointed. It was the only hammam treatment I did in Marrakech so I can only compare it to spa experiences in other countries (Japanese baths, Korean Spa scrubs, regular western high end spa experiences in the USA, UK, Australia) and this fell short in terms of my overall satisfaction.

It was by far the most expensive treatment in town. I knew that when I chose it. 1400Dirhams for a 60 minute traditonal scrub, plus I chose to tip 10% as the treatment people were nice and competent at their part of the experience. Fatema was my scrubber and she was warm, friendly & made me feel comfortable.

One thing that was annoying - at the end of my treatment I was wrapped in my wet towel, then my bathrobe wrapped on top, then my very wet hair clipped on top of my head - I was starting to get a bit cold then led upstairs to the "relaxtion room", where I could lounge and read magazines (none in English, none of any quality, all trashy - I flipped through French Glamour. I did my best to be patient & enjoy myself when all I wanted to do was take off the wet layers (ill-fitting treatment thong, wet towel, wet hair, wet robe) and put some moisturizer on my face. I waited 10 mins for my tea, then drank some, so by the time I got downstairs I was colder than I wanted to be and my face had completely dehydrated. In the scrub they scrub you face too so it was stripped clean and they apply no moisture layer to you. By the time I got downstairs to the change rooms where the Dr Haushka face moisturizer was available I had a very badly peeling nose and my body skin was drying out on the extremities. I blow dried my hair, slathered my whole body in Dr Hauskka products, then was very ready to leave.

Overall complaints. Lack of common sense in the staff. No-one shows you around the premises - you are supposed to be allowed to use the sauna, the pool, the jacuzzi before your treatment, yet when I got there 40 minutes early (they told me to arrive 30 minutes early on the phone) no-one knew who I was, why I was there & I was left sitting for 5 minutes (with a beverage which is nice). It took me a bit to realized no-one was coming to help me and I explained who I was. I was told somewhat indignantly that I was early which I thought was rude and defensive and not a professional start. Then I asked to do the sauna and was told it was not turned on, could I wait. I said fine, I will swim for 10 mins. After swimming and showering, 20 minutes later I asked to sauna and was met with some inexplicable resistance but I was insistent as I was feeling very cold. The pool is heated but not that warm. I get to the sauna and it is not turned on, I am told to sit and wait again, by a new staff member. I get angry and say I had been told the sauna was turned on 25 minutes ago, he says sorry let em go find out. I am left alone, cold and wet under my robe and after 5 minutes I go upstairs and say, you know what I think I will just leave. This is ridiculous and I am not having a good time. I am not relaxed. I am cold. This is a terrible US$200 experience so far and just not acceptable. Then a very sweet woman apologizes a lot and talks me into staying, then Karim the hairstylist smooths everything over with his EXCELLENT manner. He is an asset to them, really good sense of how to handle customers, I relaxed in his chair while he applied coconut oil to my hair.

The Scrub:
If you like Korean style body scrub, this is not for you. This scrub experience is very very mild. You receive one mild going over with the exfoliating glove and a black soap. It's fine, but notjhing I couldn't do myself, it is not particularly thorough or vigorous (unlike a Korean scrub where you see old dead skin coming off you in gray fragments and ribbons, this is mild to the point of ineffectual). Then some "mask" (looked like scrub again) is placed all over you but not rubbed in, just left to sit on you, then washed off. Then some gelatinous moisturizing layer is added to you and you lie there some more. Then your face is scrubbed and your hair is washed. You are lying down on hard marble the entire time. My low back ached by the end. My neck ached from when I was lying face down on the marble. There is a towel folded like a pillow, but marble is hardly a comfortable surface for an entire hour.

Overall, I was shocked by how many people there are in spa uniforms, all being super sweet and sort of trying to "help you" being and friendly and warm, while everything just seems really illogical & you dont feel well served. I suspect the size and physical functioning of the space that is not helping the staff - the fact that it is divided over 2 floors and has a lot of rooms, but still, perhaps it is also the system in place by management on how to flow a guest in and out of a treatment? Perhaps it is poor training - no-one seems to have service industry common sense. Whatever it is, I had a really rocky and expensive experience only salvaged by Karim's efficiency and good service instincts and then Fatima's ability to make me comfortable (it's not her fault I think the scrub is just not a thorough treatment, I dont think it was her application, I think it is just the nature of this kind of scrub - too mild for my taste).

To top it all off, on my way out a nice receptionist was accompanying me to the main door to outside. She had just given me directions to my hotel and we were walking in comfortable silence down a long and poorly lit corridor, and it did not occur to her to point out that there are lots of shallow wide steps and I did not see them. I twisted my ankle and almost fell. It was a moderate twist, 3 hours later it still throbs a bit plus I spasmed my back from the jar/jolting action if stumbling, so at the time I just stood still on 1 leg for 2 mins waiting to be able to put weight on it agaon. She offered to get me a cab, but I really really wanted to leave. So, again - the complete lack of service common sense caused me to have a bad experience, in this case in the form of an injury. It seems obvious to me - a client new to the space who arrived in the day and leaving by night, plus relaxed post spa-treatment, it seems only common sense to say "Please be careful, there is a step here, and a few more ahead". She was perfectly nice, but nice didn't stop me from tripping. Common sense and proactiveness would. With all of the reception staff at this spa there seems to be no service instinct or common sense beyond the warm smiles.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

A really outstanding hotel. Willing and capable staff throughout maybe a few more grey hairs might improve matters further. A couple of negatives , rooms are very poorly lit and the food is at times very overpriced. Bar these 2 issues the hotel is really quite outstanding.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
atherton, ca
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

There is no question that the Royal Mansour is among the most beautiful hotels, perhaps the most beautiful hotel, that we have ever stayed in. Every surface is hand decorated by Moroccan craftsmen, and no detail is overlooked. It is a remarkable place to stay. However, it is an extremely formal environment, and every little thing you might want, while available, is charged at a ridiculous rate. A cola from the minibar is $10; a sandwich from room service is $50. The negative reviews, one regarding the restaurant asking someone to leave for failing to dress sufficiently formally, and one regarding the staff ignoring problems in the rooms, do not surprise me. The hotel is not focused on making guests comfortable. It is focused on creating the most luxurious and royal experience possible for people for whom expense is irrelevant. If you want to wear your designer silk suit and be served by waiters in white gloves, then the Royal Mansour is the right place to stay. If you are looking for a place where you will feel a warm welcome and where luxury means truly personal service, then Royal Mansour is not perfect for you. Just to give you a sense of the place, every time we returned to the hotel on foot, we were stopped at the gates by staff who politely inquired who we were (apparently, you are not allowed on the property unless you are a guest). They didn't seem to get that we were guests at the hotel, and I guess the fact that we were walking and not in a private car made them question whether we belonged there. They always seemed mildly surprised when we showed them our room key. In the end, we enjoyed our stay, but have some reservations.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leusden, Nederland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012 via mobile

Looks like a palace. But heard many people complain of problems. One had no hot water, another not enough cold water. I slept in a basic room. First my door lock didn't work. Then I almost fell over door matt that curls up because it doesn't fit under door.
Crazy detail: no good shower. Just a small hand shower. Afraid to use it as an electric lamp hangs just above you if you stand in bath.
Got back to room at night to discover no light near door. Once inside a strong sewer smell coming from bathroom. Had to sleep with door shut and ventilation high. Bad night.
Wonder if designer ever tried his own hotel room. Hotel is all show. another example: had to walk over narrow path between water in semi dark to go to room.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Buffalo, New York
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

I brought my girlfriend to Morocco for her birthday; we stayed at La Mamounia for the first two nights, Kasbah Tamadot for the second two nights, and Maison MK for the final night.

While staying at Royal Mansour is a bit pricy, the restaurant, La Grande Table Marocaine is a must to celebrate a birthday or any special occasion. I had made the reservation directly by email and received an immediate response; when I inquired if a birthday desert could be created with included dates and figs, I was informed that they would "do our best to make this moment truly memorable and the first step in the Royal Mansour discovery."

The hotel is amazing; the King brought all artists and artisans of Morocco and had them do what they do best.... magical. Definitely make time to tour the grounds.

The dining experience is amazing. White gloves on the staff. Music from a gentleman in the entrance hall; so the sounds are just far enough from the table so as to be enjoyable... you want to hear it. Subtle.

The service is an important part of the adventure... so be adventurous with the food. Pigeon pastille was amazing! We sampled The breads addictive.

The desert that was created included pastry and ice cream. My girlfriend loved it. Then, there were cookies... which we asked to take with us. No problem; a cute little box was presented- but not for the cookies that were on the table... they brought new cookies!

Expensive. Yes. Worth the expense. Yes. When you depart, you are smiling and asking each other how soon can a return visit be planned....

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Marbella, Spain
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Simply the best hotel i stay in my life.
After i travel all around the world, i visit the 5 continents, hotels and palaces, here you have the best of all them. We stay in a business trip in a 2 bedrooms Riad with 500 meters squared with a 24 h. butler service who made our stay simply perfect.
So elegant, so calm, charm...
The restaurants there where stunning in every angle, menu, wine, service, atmosphere, alive music by a professor of the conservatory...
I seriously recommend this hotel owned by the king of Morocco (guarantee of excellence and security) and its managed by a veteran general manager who use to work for the best hotels in the world.

But.... please this is a hotel (Palace) for elegant people, so if you are this is your hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

You can’t help but be impressed - it’s a very slick operation.
Well hidden in sumptuous gardens it’s very discreet.
It’s approached through what almost looks like a back road that wouldn’t appear ( at first glance ) to particularly lead anywhere. It’s classic Moroccan style everywhere with an excellent staff to guest ratio. Obviously it’s at the top end of the price scale but the hotel always exceeded expectations. The Bloody Mary Cocktail came up exactly as ordered ( extra hot and spicy ) whilst the Lychee Martini was the perfectly cool foil.
Ideal to do business in - especially for “sotto voce” discreet meetings. We enjoyed it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Royal Mansour Marrakech

Address: Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#37 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#39 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#80 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#126 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Mansour Marrakech 5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Mansour Marrakech Hotel Marrakech

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