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“Most Beautiful Hotel Ever + Several Key Opportunities” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sahara Palace Marrakech

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Sahara Palace Marrakech
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bp 12440 | P.O Box 12440 Annakhil, Palmeraie, Marrakech 40016, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #168 of 462 Hotels in Marrakech
Newport Beach, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Most Beautiful Hotel Ever + Several Key Opportunities”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

My best friend and I stayed at the Taj for 5 days earlier this month - we were anticipating that this would be the highlight of the trip, and the hotel's impressive structure and decor did not disappoint. It is magnificent. Our room was the most beautiful hotel room I'd ever stayed in, and I travel quite a lot and have very high expectations. We were upgraded upon check-in to a Palace room, and had an incredible view of the pool. The opportunities are slight, but they're definitely there. Every employee that we encountered was incredibly kind (our favorite was Khalid, he was amazing, and gave true, 5-star service. I became very ill at the hotel, and he kept checking in on me, sending up hot tea, etc. - he is a gem! This help endeared us to the hotel, and made up for many of the opportunities.). The bigger issue is that the hotel seems to be both under-filled and under-staffed. We were 2 of 6 people at the huge hotel all day. Not complaining, but kind of bizarre. I've listed the Pros and Cons below - although there are many opportunities, this is truly an amazing hotel and the Pros carry a lot of weight with me.

Pros:
Seriously Impressive Structure: The photos explain this.
Phenomenal Room Decor: I'm not expecting to witness anything more incredible, ever.
Beautiful Pool: Absolutely beautiful and huge. A welcome refuge from the craziness of Marrakech's city center.
Warm Welcome: The reception staff and bellmen were lovely and helpful.
Thoughtful Concierge & Reception: See comments about Khalid, above.
Great Indian Food: Expected at the Taj, but very, very good nonetheless.
Love the Fresh Flowers in Room: This is a nice touch that was very appreciated!
Nice Breakfast on Patio: We had room service out on our patio. It was dreamlike!
Lovely Spa: Beautiful spa, and although we didn't manage to carve out time to experience it, other guests spoke of how great it was.
Housekeeping: Extremely thorough.
Stunning Grounds, Flowers, Garden Areas: Everything is enchanting!
Toiletries: Hermes, and as a result, the only hotel I've considered stealing the small bottles from.

Cons:
Under-Staffed (in general): There were several times that we tried to call either Room Service, Reception, Housekeeping, but no one answered...this is totally unacceptable to me. It felt like there was only one person staffing each area, so if they got another call, we were out of luck.
Pool Cleanliness: The pool's floor felt a little slimy. Gross, but I witnessed them cleaning it several times, so I don't get it.
More Dining Options: What if we don't want Indian or Japanese food for dinner? Although delicious, we came to Morocco, and might actually like Moroccan food. This drove us away from the hotel into the city center almost every night. The poolside restaurant was fine, but overpriced and uninspired. I didn't really want a boring club sandwich for lunch.
Shower: The shower seems to completely flood the shower room, and I couldn't figure out how to get around this.
General Maintenance: The hot water went out in our room until it was completely cold. Maintenance came and fixed it, but left dirty boot tracks all over the bathroom, and then the shower room had a weird stench to it after he left. It put a damper on the day.
The Shuttle: Was broken when we were staying at the hotel. I'd recommend that maybe you keep it on call for guests to come and go upon request.
Overpriced Beverages: I expect to be overcharged at five-star hotels, but $20 for two iced teas, really?
Minibar Mishap: Upon checkout, the hotel attempted to charge us for a couple of vodkas and strawberry juice. I wish I could say that we enjoyed these, but we stayed away from the minibar, so that was strange.

All in all, a beautiful hotel with several service-related opportunities. I would definitely return again, pending reviews that speak to improvements in these areas.

Room Tip: Stay in the Palace, if you possibly can.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
TajPalaceMarrakech, Guest Relations Manager at Sahara Palace Marrakech, responded to this review, October 27, 2013
Dear Ms. Loftis,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay with us at Taj Palace Marrakech.

Your comments are invaluable, as they help us to achieve our objectives of meeting and exceeding your expectations.

If you would like to discuss your comments in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at angela.mcguire@tajhotels.com

We hope to welcome you back to Taj Palace Marrakech in the near future.

Kind regards,

Angela McGuire
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Royal Wootton Bassett, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We have stayed at hotels in the Taj group before and at several Leading Hotels of the World. We were looking forward, therefore, to staying at the Taj Palace in Marrakech, but unfortunately were somewhat disappointed with the experience. First, the property is most impressive and really does resemble the palace of a Maharaja. The public rooms are enormous and our bedroom was large and airy with great views over the Palmerie. The balcony was a lovely place to sit and contemplate life and the setting sun at the end of the day.

As other reviews have pointed out, the swimming pool is very large in keeping with the rest of the property, but the bathing experience was not enhanced by the areas of slimy sand on the bottom. It needed a bit of loving care. Indeed, unlike other guests who had assistance, help to arrange chairs and umbrellas around the pool was not too much in evidence. We did get a glass of iced tea and a fruit plate one day but not on the other 3 days we used the facility. Apparently there is also some rule about the amount of complimentary drinking water available but trying to get to the bottom of that was opaque. This same thing applied to the coffee capsules and tea bags supplied in the room. One couple was charged 90 dr for 3 tea bags! Great marketing but even the most skinflint of boarding houses supply free beverage makings and one could expect a 5* hotel to do the same. Obviously one is not expected to use the in-room facility as the glasses we used were not cleaned, washed or replaced. Most disappointing for a hotel of this purported standard.

Turning to the dining facilities, the manager's welcome letter said that breakfast started at 07.00am. Twice we wanted to take breakfast early. Once at 07.45 they were hardly ready for guests with many items missing from the buffet. On the second occasion we went down at 07.20. Nothing was ready or set up and indeed the lights didn't come on until 07.30! We used the restaurants, but compared to the food in a city restaurant the Moroccan food was disappointing. The Indian restaurant was acceptable and we enjoyed two Indian meals. However, the Sunset Bar was closed and the Bombay Bar was like drinking in the snooker room of a men's club.

Finally, there was no information in the room about hotel facilities. We had to find the spa for ourselves and book treatments which were good. All in all we were left with the impression that there was a complete lack of supervision and attention to detail in many aspects of running the hotel was sadly lacking. A disappointing stay and will make me a little sceptical about staying with the Taj group again as it seems to be going downhill.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TajPalaceMarrakech, Guest Relations Manager at Sahara Palace Marrakech, responded to this review, October 27, 2013
Dear Ms. Judi F,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay with us at Taj Palace Marrakech.

We are sorry we did not meet your expectations during this visit, but would like to thank you for your constructive criticism, as we are always hoping to improve our services and facilities in order to better meet and exceed your expectations.

If you would like to discuss your comments in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at angela.mcguire@tajhotels.com

We hope to welcome you back to Taj Palace Marrakech in the near future.

Kind regards,

Angela McGuire
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013 via mobile

Writing this review from the taj, room 235. Problems since we arrived :
mini bar not working, called twice for repair but still not working (hot drinks when u wake up at night).

The price of alcool drinks are not in the mini bar menu (is it free ?)

Toilets not working, making noise all night

no Bed in our room terrace (other delux rooms have one)

In room breakfast ordered yesterday night, arrived 30 minutes late, cold harira (moroccan soup), lime juice with no sugar, industrial jam (whereas advertised as home made), missing ordered items (had to call in room dining to get it).

No Jiva spa (signature spa of taj hotels)

I shall complete this review after leaving the hotel with pictures.

We are very disapointed, taj should really take appropriate actions to "save" this hotel.

Regards



  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TajPalaceMarrakech, Guest Relations Manager at Sahara Palace Marrakech, responded to this review, October 27, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent stay with us at Taj Palace Marrakech, and we do hope you enjoyed your friend's wedding whilst you were in house.

Your comments are invaluable, as they help us to achieve our objectives of meeting and exceeding your expectations. We apologize that we were unable to deliver in some areas during this visit, but do hope that you may return in the future

If you would like to discuss your comments in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at angela.mcguire@tajhotels.com

Kind regards,

Angela McGuire
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Stayed mid September, the hotel was empty, employees went on strike twice during our stay (3 nights) which also explain by itself the difficult relationship between employers/employees. While Moroccans are fantastic people and in the best hotels love to give the best they can with a smile, we notice the hotel was managed by Indians and Occidentals which could explain some of this. In-room food was a deception but dinner at the Asian restaurant excellent. The other restaurant was closed so could not try it. Breakfast was below average, probably in line with a 3 stars hotel in Paris. On the day we arrived, it was impossible to use the kids pool as it was very very dirty. Even the main pool (which is huge and beautiful) suffers from the formation of seaweeds at few places in the middle (on the floor). They have pergolas around the pool but half are broken and the other half so dirty that at the end you cannot use them. Ponds were so dirty with green seaweeds that it looks like no one clean it for ages. Positive points : rooms are amazing as well as the complex and the lobby. The hotel is 30-40 minutes out of town but they offer a free shuttle (and the driver we had was very very nice). This hotel is or will probably be a money loosing hotel in coming quarters or years unless they find a new shareholder and management. My guess is that in the meantime they will be working with Asian travel agencies to try fill the hotel with big group of people. Try instead the Mosaic Palais Aziza or the Palais Namaskar or Four seasons or even the Mamounia.

Room Tip: Room 15 in main building. Nice view
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TajPalaceMarrakech, Guest Relations Manager at Sahara Palace Marrakech, responded to this review, October 27, 2013
Dear Mr. Jean-Phillipe B.,

Thank you for sharing your comments about your recent stay with us at Taj Palace Marrakech.

We appreciate your feedback, as it helps us to improve our services and facilities in order to better meet and exceed your expectations. We do apologize for the shortcomings your family experienced during this stay, and have since taken necessary steps with the departments involved to improve our offerings.

If you would like to discuss your comments in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at angela.mcguire@tajhotels.com

Kind regards,

Angela McGuire
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

This is pure luxury, the rooms are gorgeous, the foyer is breath taking when you first walk in and staff couldn't do enough for you. Don't think of spending any left over money at the airport as the duty free shops don't except them.
It was hot in August but was quiet so very nice and relaxing.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs, California
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

The grounds of the property are something to see: wide open spaces, centered by an enormous pool, crowned by the main domed building -- all very evocative of the temples and gardens of India, particularly the Taj Mahal. (We were in India just last week).

We were initially concerned that the hotel was not in the heart of the city and were opting for a up scale Riad, but we were SO glad we stayed here. This was a most welcome respite after a long day in the bustle and cramped city. It was just such a great relief to get back and relax in that open expanse and the gigantic pool.

But the real treat here are the amazing rooms -- like a fantasy. My girlfriend and I travel a lot and both agreed that this is surely one of the best suites we have ever inhabited, if not the best. (The designer somehow got it just right: colorful, opulent, but never kitschy or over the top. Spacious and lux without ever feeling formal, stuffy or inaccessible -- just very, very comfortable. Its everything -- the woods, arched doorways, flowing colored cloth, four-poster beds -- it all magically comes together and just feels right.) It was a joy just staying put in the room. In fact, we opted to have dinner in our room more than once, on our balcony overlooking the palm groves at sunset. We felt like royalty. We did not want to leave.

Room Tip: Splurge for a suite with four poster beds, elegant living room and dual balconies. Its like a dream...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

I have never been lucky enough to stay in such a beautiful and opulent hotel as this one! On arrival I was amazed even on our approach along the long driveway. We were greeted on the front steps with a shower of petals and then taken into the beautiful lounge area where we were given a welcome drink of Moroccan iced tea.

I stayed at the hotel with my Mum and she had booked a twin room for us. (We live a long way from one another so this was to be a lovely relaxing time for us to spend quality time together.) After waiting for a while we were told that the holiday company we had booked with had not requested this so we had been allocated a double room. We were also told that there were no more twin rooms available as they had all been booked out for a company event. Very disappointing at this point but we agreed to see the room intended for us. Mum had even emailed the hotel prior to our arrival to check this but she had not received a reply just to mention.

On the walk to the room we were amazed at the surroundings - the pool was stunning and our rooms was situated in a riad style building with beautiful walkways through pools and fountains. When we entered the room we were stunned at the opulence and size of it and the bed was huge! We immediately agreed that we were happy to share the bed as the hotel had offered to bring in another bed for us but we felt it would have spoilt the room. There was a dressing area, huge bathroom and also a separate shower and toilet. Also there was a lovely terrace with views out to the beautiful surroundings.

We had a lovely four days at the hotel which was very quiet. Nice for us as we sometimes had the pool area nearly to ourselves! As the hotel is about 30 mins from the centre of Marrakech there is no where near to go out to nearby. We found the hotel prices for drinks and food particularly expensive. The restaurants and bar were extremely quiet in the evenings unfortunately as guests chose to go out probably because of the this and also for some life and atmosphere. There is a hotel free shuttle service during the daytime so it's easy to go out and taxis are approx 200 dirhams each way to the centre of town so it's possible to go out in the evenings.

We found that we received some fantastic service when we arrived but this seemed to pale after the first day or two. The pool area seemed to have some particular service problems where we were made to feel rather an inconvenience when ordering drinks on one or two occasions. Considering how expensive drinks were you would think the staff would have been trained to actually go round and ask guests if they wanted them every now and again. I believe there was a problem one day when the pool staff actually went on strike! The pool bar only opens until 4.30pm which is strange as guests including us would be making the most of the wonderful weather and wanted to stay by the pool until later. A couple we met had a problem ordering drinks and ended up having to wait at least an hour and a half before anyone came to take their order despite a small complaint in between. A bit shocking considering how quiet it was and the staff seemed hardly rushed off their feet!

On the last day I was sleeping on a sunbed by the pool just before all this happened and found myself being rudely awakened by the pool attendant rudely slamming the backs of the unused sunbeds all around the pool and right next to me. It made me feel like we weren't wanted there and it rather soured an otherwise lovely stay. Not the kind of thing you would expect in a 5* hotel!

On a positive note we ate in one of the hotel restaurants 'Mantra' on the last evening and whilst expensive I can honestly say we had one of the best curries we've ever had - absolutely delicious! The service was great too so I would definitely recommend even if you only eat in for one evening of your stay. Food is served at the pool bar during the day time but it's a shame the hotel don't have a slightly cheaper option for those guests wanting a more relaxed eating experience in the evenings. At least the hotel would then be making money even from the less affluent guests like ourselves.

Overall I would recommend this beautiful hotel as it was an amazing experience to stay in. I would not normally complain but would hope the hotel will take note of my comments. I appreciate the hotel has only recently opened this year so will have teething problems. I would definitely recommend it to friends for the experience of staying in such a wonderful palace.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sahara Palace Marrakech

Address: Bp 12440 | P.O Box 12440 Annakhil, Palmeraie, Marrakech 40016, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #168 of 462 Hotels in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Sahara Palace Marrakech 5*
Number of rooms: 161
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serenely nestled between the soothing Palmeraie landscape of palm and olive trees and the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains, Taj Palace Marrakech has been meticulously crafted with a vivid blend of Moroccan, Indian and Moorish themes that unfold from a magnificent Palace block to the four exclusive and expansive Riads. With its five glorious alabaster-white domes resting atop the luxuriant main building, the Taj Palace Marrakech is regal and resplendent in this breathtaking Moroccan landscape. The hotel unfolds like a beautiful painting from galleries of hand painted frescoed wood ceilings and ornaments, restaurants of rich colours and texture, to the serenity and calmness of the Jiva Grande Spa. The high vaulted lobby, highlighted by a sparkling 22 meter chandelier centerpiece and three kilometers of gold leaf adorning various ceilings, cornices, furniture and ornaments, makes this a truly royal experience. This palatial desert oasis features 161 well-appointed, spacious guest rooms, including 25 luxurious suites, spread between the magnificent main Palace and four exclusive Riads. All rooms and suites enjoy stunning views over the Atlas Mountains, the Palmeraie desert landscape or the calming pool and gardens.Our celebrated chefs have gathered the finest ingredients that span the Moroccan, Mediterranean, Indian and Pan-Asian in one unique destination. Our guests can wine and dine in some of the most stylish and charismatic restaurants and bars in Marrakech, whilst the legendary Taj service makes every moment memorable. The hotel houses the renowned Jiva Grande Spa spread across 3,800 square meters with 14 treatment rooms & two extensive hammams in line with the Moroccan tradition. The Jiva Grande Spa is a concept which brings together the wisdom and heritage of the Indian philosophy and wellness. The spa experience includes Indian therapies, signature Moroccan experiences, Ayurveda, yoga and meditation. The Yoga Temple further enhances the overall experience.  ... more   less 
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