before i start and go into more detail, may i just say that the diwane is an excellent choice for a first time stay in morocco. it is incredibly well placed 30 min walk to the souk,with a supermarket about 5 min down the road, lots and lots of restaurants and cafes within spitting distance. also it is, opposite the renaissance hotel, (which has an amazing roof terrace which serves cocktails and drinks) you can get a free map from the tourist information opposite, ( easily recognised by its red facade).
if you want a cab (petit taxis) walk away from the hotel and flag one down. this means you will get a working driver rather then one who’s hanging around outside an attraction hoping for a large payday. they are by law required to use their meter (le counter). don’t pay any more than 20-25dh. a lot of them will try to charge you 40 or even more. just say ’non merci’ (it helps if you have a bit of french as most don’t speak english) and get out, there will be another one along in a minute, quite often the driver is then also then prepared to drop the price. remember everything is haggleable in morocco.
the diwane is on the surface a very impressive place, large entrance hall, comfy sofas arranged in groups, shiny stone floors, magnificent chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
our main reason for choosing it was for it’s excellent gym facilities. we like working out first thing and then having breakfast afterwards.
however on the first day we discovered that the gym does not open until 10am and breakfast finishes about the same time. when we asked reception for a key so that we could get in earlier they said the rules would not allow it. they suggested that we write a letter of complaint to management. the chap who is in charge of the hammamm and gym was even less helpful his main interest was trying to sell us his spa services. we did try out the equipment once, the space is warm to the point of uncomfortable it being very close to the sauna. half the equipment isn’t plugged in or working, in fact some machines had large weights from the weight training equipment placed on them, you figure.
the room we were given was reasonably spacious, a bit outdated but generally well equipped, beds have firm mattresses and we even had a small balcony, not enough hangers in the cupboard and only one synthetic pillow per person. i asked housekeeping for 2 more so we could sit up in bed and read and some extra hangers. to our surprise the pillows which arrived were feather ones. the bathroom had seen better days and could have done with a deep clean, mosaic tiles, white and forest green. you can rent a safe for about £12 a week. there are no kettles in rooms, in fact it states at the entrance that no food or drink was to be brought in from the outside and beverages consumed to be bought at the hotel. we ignored that and no one said anything. on the first couple of nights the staff put petals on the bed which was a nice touch.
the air conditioning unit was very noisy.
on the day we arrived we tried the restaurant for lunch.i had the spaghetti bolognese and my partner the kefta skewers. the pasta was soggy, nearly disintegrating on the plate with a tiny amount of tomato sauce in the centre, the cheese was of indeterminate origin slightly resembling mild cheddar. the keftas had a sweaty perspiring look and were swimming in grease, the chips which came with it were the cheapest of their kind. i think we lost the will to live at that point as we hadn’t eaten since 6 in the morning and were absolutely starving, apart from breakfast we never ate in the hotel again.
music is played at a fairly high level thoughout restaurant and pool areas through very poor speakers
for breakfast you won’t get you full english, but they did do a nice omelette, coffee is very weak, teabags are available, fresh yogurt served in a large bowl, orange segments on a platter freshly squeezed orange juice, delicious.
also available are toast, french bread, reconstituted meat masquerading as ham, danish pastries and little cakes, didn’t see any cheese.
we asked reception to phone a hammann in town and make an appointment. when we went to have our massage and rubdown the staff then told us that the hotel had asked for a cut. now i can understand that the hotel would have arrangements with various businesses in town but i don’t think they had a previous relationship with this spa. this incident left as feeling slightly uneasy and we never asked reception to make any more arrangements.
if the food would have been just bit nicer i would have hesitation of given an extra star.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recently built, our four star establishment welcomes you with its typically Moroccan decoration. Its warm lines and colours, mixing Zellige Fassi, marble and mosaics, offer to the traveler a haven of peace, combining oriental charm, great comfort and wellness. The kindness of the personnel welcome you as well as the delicate smell of the mint tea which is offered to you upon your arrival already launches you in a feeling of relaxation. Your stay will be unforgettable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diwane Hotel Marrakech