I think the true test of a good hotel is not necessarily in its successes, but how it deals with its mistakes or failures (no hotel is perfect after all). This hotel was truly beautiful and offered really great service, but it truly distinguished itself with how it dealt with one of its mistakes (more on that at the end).
I stayed at La Sultana with my partner for a quick romantic getaway and we were drawn by the reviews on this site. They did not disappoint...we have had an amazing stay.
The roof terrace (where they take you for your check-in - inc. mint tea and lovely Moroccan pastries) was like a small paradise. Palm trees, wicker chairs in the shade, loungers with parasols (needed in June!), a plunge pool and a very helpful and attentive staff. In the heat of the afternoon, there are misters under the gazebo spraying quietly to keep you cool. The pool in the courtyard was absolute tranquillity and lovely in the heat of Moroccan summer. We made excellent use of their Spa (a little expensive, but well worth the top-class treatments), and would HIGHLY recommend a four-handed massage and a traditional hammam!
The Restaurant was lovely (we made a point to eat out on most nights, but for our last dinner, we couldn't resist the La Sultana tasting menu!) and the setting is truly perfect - up on the roof terrace with the musician and the adhan serenading you...it felt a little too good to be true at times! Breakfast was great and can be brought to your room at no extra cost.
As mentioned, the worst part of our stay was the excursion to the Ourika Valley (including visiting a traditional Berber village) which the hotel arranged for us. This trip just went all wrong from the very start. The 'driver' / 'guide' could not speak English or French and he stalled our 4x4 several times (not giving us a great feeling of security as he drove along some VERY precarious roads in the High Atlas). He stopped at several unscheduled places (usually friends of his who tried to sell us things) and he didn't make any effort to speak to us or explain anything. To top it all off, he took us to a restaurant for lunch which was FOUL! We both became ill as a result and could not go out the next day.
So why have I given La Sultana 5 stars despite this? Because I am willing to accept that this was caused by a bad tour agency and that the Hotel will not let this happen again. When we returned to the hotel and told them of our 'adventure', their reaction was admirable. Almost immediately afterwards, the desk manager came to find us and apologised unreservedly. She offered an explanation, made no excuses, refunded the cost and offered another day trip gratis as compensation. We could not, unfortunately, take her up on the kind offer as we only had 1 more day in the country, but even then she offered us a free guide to take us around Marrakech. I am sure if we had been able to stay at La Sultana any longer, they would have more than compensated for this error made by the outside agency they used, but perhaps this will have to wait until next time.
I can't say for sure if we will be returning to Marrakech, but I can definitely say that if I do, I would be staying at La Sultana.
- Excellent staff who bend over backwards;
- stunning roof-top terrace and swimming pool; and
- great location.
- Room was a little dark;
- pretty pricey (but they do offer a lot of freebies!); and
- the excursion (maybe source this yourself with a reputable company).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Near the Royal Palaces, La Sultana is over a combination of 5 riads.Featured in Elle Decoration for its gorgeous interiors, this member of SLH is a stylish retreat set in flower-filled courtyards. Elegant and sophisticated, each of the individually decorated rooms and suites captures the essence of old Marrakech with vaulted ceilings, antiques and objects d’art. Guests can also enjoy the spa, an outdoor heated pool and a fantastic roof-top terrace. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Sultana Marrakech Hotel Marrakech
- Hotel La Sultana