Namaskar, of course, is the Indian greeting. So it was kind of unique that a hotel owned by a Frenchman and run by the German Oetker group in a Moroccan town in North Africa should be called the Palais Namaskar! Anyway, the Indian connection is that the architecture of the hotel is highly influenced by Indian design, down to the archways and the pools of water...
Anyways, this rather new hotel is mind-blowingly lavish and jaw-dropping. Little do you know what it is like; drawing up at the cosy roundabout entrance doesn't give you a clue as to what will unfold inside. The hotel is located quite away from the touristy places of this fantastic town and a taxi ride into the Medina should take you about 20-25 minutes. But will you emerge from it at all?
I was given my room number and of course as is the case with all fancy hotels, a staff member accompanies you to the room. My room was far away. Despite paying attention to the route, I got lost twice. It was a five minute walk, while there's always those electric carts to whisk you.
Opening the clunky door (opening it and locking it is a pain), there is a small entrance which leads to a large hall. There is a giant sofa set, a complimentary bottle of Moroccan red, and a little entry to the side leading to a toilet. Open the door of your living room and there it is - Your. Own. Heated. Swimming. Pool! Don't try skinny dipping, as it faces private pools of others through a maze of archways. In the cold of the morning, the steam rising out of the pool is so inviting... You could also lounge about over here as there are two easy recliners and a table.
Then you move into the massive bedroom with another corridor lined with cupboards which leads to another compact toilet with a bidet. On the other side, the bedroom opens into your own private garden with a bed! Now you are spoilt for choices. And then you enter the bathroom - al fresco shower to the left or al fresco bathtub to the right? You have the choice. The ceiling is incredibly high but somehow the potty areas are curiously tiny compared to the GIGANTIC bathroom. You could get lost inside your own room, forget the hotel! The TV set of course is Bang & Olufsen, if that helps.
My room was spectacular and though I have been to many similar luxury hotels, this one was something else when it comes to sheer indulgence. The closest was the Casta Diva on Lake Como in Italy but even that does not compare to this one. The goodies in the bathroom were all Bulgari, while opening the cupboards had two sets of colourful beach slippers and below the wash basins were beautifully wrapped Moroccan style slip-ons. You know, you just cannot resist taking these as souvenirs...
I stayed at this place unfortunately only for a night, but even that experience was memorable. The staff is warm and helpful, if that helps, while the food is excellent. What more do you want? A hotel like this simply blows your mind...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- More than a hotel, Palais Namaskar, nestled in the heart of a magnificent park of more than 5 hectares, is a real destination. Between the Atlas Mountains and the mysterious Djebilet hills, the hotel offers its guests a space and unlimited freedom for unforgettable experiences. ... more less
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