Prior to my first city break visit to Marrakech I had read many reviews about crowds, unwanted attention and the inability of finding ones way around the Medina and was a bit apprehensive - but dived in head first anyway.
This apprehension was not alleviated initially by my first contact with the Palais Sebban. Despite emailing them beforehand to confirm my booking and to ask them to arrange transport from the airport they remained suspiciously quite and when we arrived in Marrakech I still did not know whether transport would be there or not - the answer was 'not'. So we ended up getting a taxi to the Medina and then having our luggage transported in a cart down a couple of back alleys to be left at a very nondescript front door. But then we walked through....
People have described it as being a veritable oasis and it really is like walking into a secret garden. One minute you are in an empty back alley and the next you are in an exotically tiled mini palace. Everywhere you look there is something pleasing to see from the lovely courtyard overlooking the pool, the relaxing sun terrace on the roof to the individually decorated rooms. Once there you are greeted by friendly staff with mint tea and pastries and your Marrakech experience begins.
The 4 days we spent there were very comfortable with clean rooms and fresh towels. The buffet breakfast was plentiful and varied - cereals, fresh fruit, local breads and pastries, conserves, cold meats and cheeses in addition to omelettes on request. We also ate there a couple of times in the evening and although pricey compared with local restaurants the food was delicious. The staff were also very helpful in helping to arrange excursions.
With regards to Marrakech itself, the Palais Sebban is very close to the main square and the souks and easily negotiated. As this was a short trip in an unknown city buying a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket enabled us to travel all around to see the major attractions. With regards to the unwanted attention and hassling, this was mostly good natured ("You buy - cheaper than Asda") and easily countered with a smile and a "No thank you" although the women attempting to give henna tattoos are a bit more forceful and will try and grab your hands as you walk past. All well and good if you actually want a henna tattoo but beware - a lot of them use black henna.
At the end of our stay, unlike the beginning, the staff were very helpful in arranging transfer back to the airport. All in all Marrakech is not to be missed and I would certainly stay again at the Palais Sebban and would definitely recommend it to friends.