Not sure what to make of this hotel. Some things are exceptional, others ordinary. On the whole is is unusual and special enough to make it a rewarding experience.
Architecturally, it is stunning. It is built like a Moroccan castle on the outside, a palace inside. The internal court with its long pool, pillars and carving, is reminiscent of the beauty of the Alhambra, which is also recalled in the bannisters of running water. Each time I took the beautiful staircase and wound my way back to our room, through the scented corridors and halls, I was struck by the superb and atmospheric blend of minimalist modern and traditional Maghribi design.
As some reviews have said, the lighting is a bit low sometimes, though this adds to the charm in some public spaces and creates some dramatic effects. The lighting in our bathroom was remarkably dim however. The electricity in the room did give out altogether on one occasion.
We were two adults and two kids (4 and 7) in a very spacious suite with its own roof terrace - terrific, with pillows and a tent overlooking the palmeraie. This is actually much scrappier than it sounds, but at sunset, or at night with the stars overhead and the Atlas looming in the distance, it's pretty spectacular. We camped out there with our boys on two nights of our stay. Or rather we went to sleep there under duvets and then decamped downstairs. At New Year it is very cold at night in Marrakech.
Some of the suites have their own pools. The one next door to us had their pool on the roof - fun. The main pool is large and flanked by palm trees. It was not heated enough to swim, though the staff continually assured us that it was going to be hot enough tomorrow...
The spa is underneath the hotel, with good massage and a great hammam, though they can be a bit disorganised. There is a unique outdoor spa in a ruined building which would be amazing in the summer.
Service is uneven and not in the same league as the really top Marrakesh hotels like the Mamounia or Royal Mansour, for instance. But the staff is friendly and eager to help.
Make sure you order your breakfast as early as possible, especially the Moroccan breakfast, which takes a long time to make but is delicious when it arrives. Apart from some decent room service, we ate out for all other meals so can't comment further on the food.
This hotel is isolated and really is a long way from the action of the old city. You have to take a cab into town to do anything. Still our kids weren't bored. We spent a lot of time in the old town and on excursions, but in the hotel they enjoyed the hammam, exploring the grounds, the rose walk and the herb garden, chatting to the resident hawk and taking a camel ride through the building site of the palmeraie.
I liked the Ksar Char Bagh and would recommend a short stay, especially for romantics.