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“A real palace” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palais Sebban

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Palais Sebban
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   43 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hsseine | Quartier Laksour, Marrakech 40000, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #195 of 461 Hotels in Marrakech
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“A real palace”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Don't be put off by the short winding alleys to get to this Riad. Upon entering the door you just have to gasp. The place is truely stunning abd beautiful: from the entrance tower dripping with craftsmanship to the amazing wooden, decorated doorways to the rooms. No electronic plastic keys here. The room ( deluxe) was superb, beautifully clean , and comfortable. We had B and B , and the breakfast was well presented and had enough variety to keep most happy. Staff were courteous and helpful . A lovely roof terrace and courtyard made sitting and relaxing a joy. The Riad is right on the edge of the Souks and the main square, so we were able to 'reteat' every few hours to escape the 'full on' experience of Marrakesh- which we loved!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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kent
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

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.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

The hotel definitely has the wow factor. It may be tucked away down a small twisty alley but once through the front door it is an oasis of calm and beauty.
The series of courtyards are stunning and the two rooms we had were spacious and comfortable. We had booked deluxe rooms through expedia and got large spacious rooms with a seating area. These had huge double doors that opened out onto a courtyard. As our room and our friends were the only occupied rooms opening on to this at the time it was like having our own private courtyard.
The roof terrace was a wonderful place to sit and plan our day and to relax with a drink on our return.
All the staff we dealt with were friendly and helpful. Particularly Mohammed who took time to explain the map and suggest trips, as well as organising our taxi back to the airport.
We had a great time and will be back.

Room Tip: Every room in the riad is different and individual so best to call them if you have specific needs.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013 via mobile

This is my second time staying at Riad Palais Sebban and could not complain. It's a beautiful and gorgeous riad in the heart of the old town where the people of Marrakech live, away from large tourist hotels. It's located in the back streets of the old town but please don't let this put you off as its completely safe and everyone is friendly. Once you enter the modest looking doors to the riad, you find yourself in what seems like paradise.

The rooms (and riad) are beautifully decorated and clean. Some rooms are smaller than others but all clean and perfect for a Moroccan stay. Don't expect a modern, sleek hotel as this is not! If you're after modernity then stay in a typical hotel, but if you're after an experience then look no further than palais sebban. It's 5 minutes walking distance to djamma el Finna, souks and koutobia mosque so perfectly located.

Staff are friendly and helpful and go out of their way to help and make your stay pleasant. The garden dnd pool area is gorgeous and a roof top to die for.

I stayed here in 2011 with my husband and loved it so much I came back with a friend who also has fallen in love with it.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

The Palais Sebban is accessed down a maze of twisting alleyways....exactly the same way all Riads in Marrakech are. From the minute we stepped through the door into the beautifully renovated cluster of five separate houses around a magnificent original courtyard we were looked after exceptionally well. Our room was spacious, well appointed and cleaned daily to a high standard. The maids were enviably discreet and gracious. The rest of the hotel staff were friendly, courteous and helpful. The Palais Sebban is absolutely ideally situated and from it we walked everywhere, visiting all of Marrakech's treasures without needing a car/taxi once in ten days. Breakfast every day was varied and delicious and the one evening meal we had in the restaurant was some if the best food i have enjoyed in recent years. Moreover it was free, courtesy of the management as we were staying for more than four nights! I would highly recommend this Riad which, in my experience, was exceptional value for money.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I have no idea why Palais Sebban is advertised as a 4 star establishment.  3 stars, at best. Not worth the money. Do not recommend to anyone.

Low cleanliness standards, problems with hot water, heating, insects, smell, noise and a huge problem with the management's attitude.

Yes, the place has a unique, authentic feel and can look pretty on photographs. But these two pros are completely wiped out by numerous cons.  Here are just some specific examples:

When you arrive: This "4-star" accommodation is not accessible by car. To get to the hotel you either need to be dropped of from a helicopter or drag your luggage through a tiny twisty street in-between building walls. When we arrived, that street was essentially a dirt road with holes dug out in it (was it from some temporary work or was it its permanent state? it's hard to tell in Medina). A hotel employee helped us with some (we carried some too) of our luggage, which was appreciated. However, he did so by simply dragging our suitcases through the dirt and scraping them agains the walls (not ill-intended, he simply didn't know any better).  I am surprised nobody mentioned this major accessibility issue in their reviews here. I was also surprised the hotel staff didn't mention it to us when we called in advance asking about parking our rental car at the hotel.

The room: We booked a suite and were checked-in into the Mogador suite.  Having stayed in one or two suites before, I would never call that room a suite. It is not big enough, has only one single-space room, only one bathroom, no kitchen or anything of that kind.  Be aware: The Mogador "suite" is located directly above the kitchen and gets smelly and noisy from the kitchen; We were woken up multiple times by the noise of falling pan and pots. The windows have no nets and are not sealed by design, giving insects an easy point of access. At some point, we had a 2-inch cockroach-like insect crawling alongside our beds. 

The bathroom was so bad that we seriously contemplated not taking showers for the duration of our stay. It had two sinks, but one of them was not draining properly. The shower was scary to step in. Partially, because it was lacking lighting. Partially, because whatever i could see with the dim light was not helping. The shower chamber is certainly not tall enough for anyone above 6 feet (180 cm). Be aware: The shower runs out of hot water on the second person, and it does not come back for at least half an hour.
Overall, would not recommend this room to anyone.

Upkeeping: The cleaning staff are nice people and mean well, but the cleanliness standards set by the management are just too low. Dirty fingerprints on light switches are a norm. When we checked in, there was a dead bug in the bathroom, right by the toiletries - and i quote the management - "its okay, they come from the outside". When we checked in, there were no towels in the bathroom and, although our reservation was for 3 people and we paid a hefty 3-rd person surcharge and called a day before to confirm, there were only two single beds in the room.

The dining: Slow, very slow service. Very limited selection. And mostly not tasty. We were staying in December (it does get quite cold at night in Marrakech in December), and the restaurant was always too cold.  We had to wear our outwear and were still getting extremely cold. Not a pleasant way to have your breakfast or dinner.

The management: They could not care less. Not professional. Not courteous. I noticed that tend to reply to negative reviews posted online with a comment like "why didn't you tell us during your stay". Trust me, I was telling them. Everyday. At best, there was no reaction. At worst, we were given an attitude like "what are you talking about - your room is clean" or "insects can happen in any hotel" or "we are not a five-star hotel".

The bottom line: Palais Sebban is a NOT a 4-star establishment. 3-stars at best. Because of the management, I won't give it more than 2 stars.  Plenty of true 5-star hotels within 1 km from Medina charge comparable rates but provide better much better services and amenities. Don't stay in Palais Sebban.

Room Tip: The Mogador "suite" is located directly above the kitchen and gets smelly and noisy from t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Couldn't fault this jewel of a hotel inside the Medina of magical Marrakech. A free upgrade to a suite as soon as they heard it was my birthday, 26/11. Luxury accommodation, in the true tradition. The staff couldn't have been more attentive, nor helpful. Breakfast was a feast each morning, plenty of variety and yummy crepes or omelettes freshly cooked to accompany the buffet. The dining room had a welcome chimney with lovely log fire for sumptuous evening meals, better than the local restaurants. On the ground and lower levels it was chilly, not much sun, but the roof terraces gave great views over the city and had the sun all day. Don't forget this is winter, so not expecting a tan! I've just noticed a review by Rhiannon L. I had the same problem, but I blame Olotels.com who booked us. I found them less than useless in the after sales support, their call centre in Romania of all places! The management and staff at the hotel were very helpful, giving guide prices for various products and outings. We found the Kasbahs best for shopping, nice environment and fixed prices far less than opening offers from the persistent salesmen in the Souk!
To conclude, I can't wait to go back and there's no way I would book elsewhere. Well done, everyone!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palais Sebban

Address: 43 Derb Moulay Abdellah Ben Hsseine | Quartier Laksour, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#78 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#80 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#122 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#144 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Palais Sebban 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The owner and former king in Sebban give his name to his beautiful Palace that has been care fully ma intained by his family for over a centery.In 2006 and efter 4 years of renovationand restoration, it became a Moroccan Andalusian architecture jewel. (Zellige,Marbre,carved plaster ,Berber carved wooden, ceilings and original ceilings (Glaoui period),Marbled fontaine ....Everything in this palace of a thousand and one night makes you dreaming and soak up the Oriental culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palais Sebban Marrakech
Palais Sebban Hotel Marrakech

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