Anytime I think about this place, I have to wipe away a tear because I miss it so much. I'd hop on a plane and come back here in a heartbeat if I could.
As other reviewers have said, it's wonderfully serene and remote -- a sharp contrast with Marrakech itself, which I was surprised to find not so different from New York City where I live, even in the off-season; noisy, quite crowded, tons of traffic. So, it was a relief to be in a hotel outside of the city and away from all of that. It does come with its drawbacks; the twice-daily free hotel shuttle (which, when I was there, ran at 10a to/1p from and 3:30p to/7:30p from the city) might be a bit limiting if you were planning a very active vacation. Then again, you can always call a taxi to take you into the city if you need an earlier start, and the hotel staff are more than happy to arrange that for you if you don't speak any French, even before they come on duty themselves if necessary. (Thanks, Yassine!)
Once I got used to the shuttle system, I found that it was actually a good thing because most of the sights and attractions in Marrakech are quite small, so if you're here for more than a couple of days (I was there for 10 nights), it's a good idea to only go into the city for half-days to do 1 or 2 attractions each day. And then spend the rest of the days lounging on the rooftop terrace, enjoying the quiet and the wonderful weather!
The hotel does seem to cater mostly to couples (and rightfully so; it's such a romantic place), so as a solo traveler I felt a bit awkward at first, but the staff did everything to make me feel at home; they were very friendly and unintrusive. I only wish more of them spoke English so I'd been able to chat with them, since they all seemed like such good, fun, interesting people. :)
I booked the room with the half-board option, which consists of a set menu of either 3 or 4 courses of Moroccan cuisine every night. The food was definitely delicious, though I'm not a big eater so I'm not sure if I personally got good value out of it... but that's my own fault. ;) It was perhaps a tad lacking in variety, or at least it became evident that they're not used to guests staying longer than a week, as after the first week, there were several repeats. It's also worth mentioning that the set menu is the only way to eat Moroccan cuisine at the hotel restaurant, as the a la carte menu is almost entirely French, but you can still order the set menu even if you're not a half-board guest. I'm not sure how much that costs, though, but I did find that the a la carte menu items were very reasonably priced (nothing more expensive than 120 Dh, if I recall). Alcohol was also reasonably priced; you could get a bottle of wine for ~$10.
In short, I am completely in love with this hotel and am already counting my pennies trying to figure out when I can afford to come back again!
A couple of tips:
* I found that the rooms were a bit chilly; there didn't seem to be central heating. I normally always travel with my own fleece blanket, but I hadn't expected to need it... I regretted not bringing it! So, I'd advise you bring a blanket if you're going in the winter.
* If you didn't book a travel package that included a transfer to the hotel and you're coming from the airport or the train station, I'd highly recommend contacting the hotel to arrange one beforehand (thankfully they are very responsive to e-mail so you can take care of it that way if you'd prefer not to make a long-distance call), since most cab drivers don't know where it is and the road isn't exactly straightforward. (And 300 Dh is definitely a rip-off...)
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- Also Known As:
- Kasbah Le Mirage Marrakech