We have been putting off staying at La Mamounia for many years, instead preferring to try a variety of riads and other hotels in Marrakech. We were also concerned about some of the less positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Oh, how we hoped the less positive ones were wrong, but they aren't. I really hoped I was going to be writing a great review for one of the most expensive hotels in Marrakech. But what a waste of money - and food poisoning too!
We were certainly pleased to finally see what this famous hotel is all about - but we are left rather empty. For sure it's a very nicely decorated hotel, but not jaw-dropping. It certainly lacks any charm or charisma, and the staff looked so bored and appear to have very little to do, and can barely raise a smile. Our Katoubia deluxe room was very charming, had a sense of history,
but was very small considering the price paid. NB: few room rates include breakfast which works out at around £30 \ $40 per person. However its a pretty good buffet. Though as we both got food poisoning from it we obviously wished we'd avoided it. And despite me writing to inform the hotel we've been completely ignored.
AND, let me make it clear, we ONLY ate at La Mamounia.
We checked in for 2 nights, and if all had been great we could have stayed on for another week. But there are far nicer places to stay in Marrakech which are far more deserving of our money, so we left after our 2 nights.
There were five things that really stopped me wasting anymore money here:-
1/ On our first evening a maintenance man appeared out of nowhere to fix our TV. We
didn't know it wasn't working. And it appeared no one on reception knew what was
going on or why he was in our room. I was asked to leave a recorded message with 'customer
relations' - yet no one bothered to return my call. Finally, an hour later our TV was working, all the while we were trying to shower and get ready to go out for dinner with a stranger in the room.
2/ The clocks went back an hour 7 days ago, yet no one at La Mamounia has had the common sense to change them. And even after me pointing this out to reception, upon leaving the hotel still no one had bothered to change the clocks in our room
3/ We ordered some tea. What arrived was a luke warm pot of water with a silly little tea bag
which could not flavour a thimble full of water. We sent it back. But another luke
warm pot of water arrived. Why is it so hard for staff to not know how to make tea?
Does no one at management level teach them? And wouldn't you expect a
hotel at this level to offer real tea leaves and not a silly tea bag? Don't give guests
garbage and expect them to pay for it.
4/ In two days of being sat around the pool in over 40 degrees not once has a guest been given a bottle of water, a cool face cloth - nothing. Am I the only person to think that's really strange? We haven't even been asked if we'd like to order a drink. I am finding it really
hard to think of a single hotel I have stayed at where I've never been offered a single thing.
5/ Obviously, the fact we both got food poisoning after having breakfast stopped us wanting to eat here.
This is clearly a hotel resting on a past reputation. Now it's simply a faceless charmless building. The exterior is certainly nothing worth commenting on. The Interior is nice, very dark, but pretty forgettable. There was a strange irony in that we walked around the very lovely gardens one afternoon - and at the end of the garden is an enormous discarded
stained glass lamp which would have originally hung inside the hotel, but is now smashed - a relic from the past - the glass just left broken on the gravel path. It's been like it for months, if
not years, as can be told by nature naturally distressing it. That smashed lamp is the real La Mamounia. And clearly the owners and staff have very little interest in it.
I don't know if we were really unlucky, but the behaviour of quite a lot of guests, different nationalities, was appalling. Loud mouthed, shouting people, yelling their heads off around the pool. I suspect the hotel only had a 10% occupancy rate, though they still manage to cram 200 chairs around the pool with no privacy at all. Yet, we could here every obscenity, and the appalling way some guests spoke to the staff.
So, I am pleased to now have been to the famous La Mamounia. And I'm certainly not going to tell you to stay away. But I do suggest checking in for one night, have look around, and then spend your hard earned cash at a more deserving establishment where they are delighted to see you and make an effort to make sure you enjoy your stay. And hand-on-heart I can say we have stayed at some fabulously decorated and charming riads within the medina which far exceed anything you can expect at La Mamounia. La Mamounia simply takes your money
and gives you nothing in return.
There are moments in travel when you pick a very expensive hotel and view it as
a treat. If the hotel is good, and they ensure you have a wonderful time you may
exceed your budget, but you really wont care. Whereas La Mamounia manages to do the opposite - it gives you nothing, so you make the decision to not spend a penny more than
you have to.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.