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“Sharon and Gemma adore the Palais Sebban” 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 #176 of 464 Hotels in Marrakech
Torquay, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Sharon and Gemma adore the Palais Sebban”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

My daughter and I stayed at the Palais Sebban for 3 nights. I had never been to Marrakech before, although my daughter had, but not at the Palais Sebban. We booked a prestige twin room through Expedia. We had to arrange transfer from the airport to the Riad, by phoning them before hand and having a quote for 20 Euros – well worth it, as we didn’t feel like haggling with taxi drivers, two ladies on their own. It all went very smoothly, with the taxi driver there to welcome us when we arrived.

I had never been to a Riad before and didn’t realise that you couldn’t drive a car up to the entrance, but a porter (who was lovely and named me Fatima and my daughter Aisha), took our cases along the narrow dusty non descript, alley ways; to the door of the Riad and the reception area.

Oh my Goodness is all I can say, when the carved doors were opened in to the Riad for us. The Moroccan mosaics, carvings, pillars, furniture were breath taking. The ceiling looked like an intricate wedding cake turned upside down. We were served mint tea and Moroccan pastry on arrival and were shown around the restaurant, plunge pool and roof terrace. We couldn’t believe how lovely it was.

THEN we were shown to our room. An even bigger ‘Oh My God’. The porter had a key that opened the large old padlock attached to the heavily carved double doors and we entered our room. It was a breathtaking, palatial, mirrored, maroon and gold paradise. It took us a couple of hours for it all to sink in. Took photos, but none truly captured the magnificence of the room. You had to see it to believe it. Our room was called Oudaya. All the rooms and suites are called different names and are all individual in design and décor. All of the guests we spoke to, were enamoured with their rooms, but we never got to get a peek at any of them. That didn’t matter, we were so pleased with ours. Just one thing; the Palais Sebban was so fabulous, that we were spoilt and other Morrocan architecture just wasn’t as good as where we were staying. Richard Branson has a Riad just around the corner that he rents out to people. We had a look in there and it wasn’t a patch on the Palais Sebban!!!!

The Riad is really central to everything, within the walls of the Medina. You only had to go out of the Riad’s lane, turn left, then left again, walk a few hundred yards, then left again and straight in to the main square. We were two women on our own, and never felt threatened in any way. We respected the local tradition and wore head scarfs and long dresses and were commented on how we had made that bit of effort. However, there were a couple of teenage girls staying at the Riad, who went out every day in mini skirts and had their bottoms pinched and prodded and were leered at – and I am sure had a completely different experience of Marrikech than we did – poor things. It doesn’t take much to cover up a bit.

We had breakfast included, and had a glass of fresh orange juice and a buffet at our disposal. You could order omelettes, fried eggs, pancakes and the like and there was a nice choice on the main table for you to indulge in. Fresh breads and a chocolate cake, fruits and ham and cheese. I think that I read other people who weren’t happy about the breakfast, but I certainly was, and the setting you enjoy it in, is superb. I have to say that prices at the Riad are expensive compared to other eateries in the area. We had a lovely bottle of wine for £22 (you can’t buy alcohol anywhere else in the Medina) and the Terrines are about £12, but fabulously delicious. Their Moroccan deserts are certainly worth a dabble for about £5.

I read one review that complained about the location as he had nowhere to park his car (obviously doesn’t know what a Riad is) and said that the staff were unfriendly, well all I can say to that man is perhaps you get back what you give out.

Be strong ladies. You don’t need a guide. If you get a good couple of guide books (we had DK Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Marrakech and Marrakech Select – an unusual book that I bought on Amazon with a fabric Mosaic cover and lovely descriptions of the city by someone who lives there). You must walk around as if you know what you are doing, even if you don’t! People try to get you to buy things and take taxis or get henna tattoos, and have photos with their monkeys or wrap snakes around your neck; but you must be firm and friendly and just say ‘no’, with a firm swipe of the hand, and they will go away. You don’t have to get stressed about it. Everyone is just trying to make a living.

We bought a lot in the Souks. It’s a bit tiring, but generally, we found that we started our bidding at about 30% of the asking price and paid no more than 40%. We were firm and found that we were quite good at it all!. I think that sometimes I drove down the price a bit too much, and genuinely felt that some of the traders weren’t happy. I think that you need to pay what you feel is a good price, and that is how we did it at the end of our trip, and felt better for it.

We found some lovely little restaurants in the souks and generally went for first or second floor balconies, so that we could observe all the Moroccan madness below us. We watched the sun go down over the main square, whilst sitting on the top floor of the Café De France, which was surreal and noisy and aromatic and amazing. We went to the best night club in the new town, called Le Comptior and saw the belly dancers and sophisticated Morrocan socialites going about their business. We had lunch in the best hotel in North Africa, the Mamounia; with a fabulous garden to walk around and mix with rich and famous. Small lunch with drink cost £100, yes we had a brain storm, but thought what the hell, we’re here to experience everything, and we sure did! We had a horse drawn carriage around the medina wall and the new town and saw the palace and the storks nesting naturally on the old city walls. We paid 200 durum, which was more than we should have, we haggled him down to that, but he did have the nicest looking carriage and horses. We really wanted to go to the cosybar for our last evening out as they do Jazz and have a very good name, but we were just too tired on our final night, and ate at the Riad instead – tranquil harmony. We met some people on the plane home, and they had spent every night at the Cosybar and loved it . We should have made the effort. May be next time.

We loved our break at the Palais Sebban. It couldn’t have been better.

Sharon Robinson and Gemma Newman (Fatima and Aisha).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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290 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Did we miss something? The Palais Sebban we experienced did not match with the reviews on Trip Advisor. On arrival two large attractive rooms (including an upgrade) were given to us and our three boys. There was a welcome and quick introduction when we from the manager, I think. I say "think" because we never saw her again over the next couple of days. Nor did the young woman at reception ever reappear once she departed for the day about an hour later. This last point is important because most of the time we found that reception had temporary staff in charge of the main desk. Though perfectly nice, the next one I encountered seemed to be more of custodian for the grounds. He admitted (in Spanish, as he didn't speak English) that he really didn't work there. He may have meant working at reception as all I was asking him to do was to call a restaurant and check a booking for us. The morning we left there was a nice teenage boy at reception who couldn't work the PC/printer at all to print out our receipt for our extras bill, which we had to correct anyway as it had been doubled due to us having two rooms. Good thing we checked the bill on his PC screen! The porter however was terrific and wheeled our luggage quickly to help us meet our taxi to the airport. One of the positives about the Sebban is its proximity to the edge of the Medina, thus it's a short walk to find drivers/taxis. Palais Sebban just seems a bit too big and thus it's a tad impersonal compared to the lovely riad we previously stayed at in Marrakech back in September. Moroccan covers of pop music playing constantly by the restaurant, which our rooms overlooked, just isn't necessary and ruins an otherwise peaceful and attractive inner sanctum. We had been to Marrakech before so we understood the charms and limitations of the Medina. Nevertheless I feel the Palais Sebban needs to improve on its service.

Room Tip: Don't get rooms that face in towards the restaurant as you'll have to listen to their music...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Having read the reviews on this hotel I decided to opt for Palais Sebban and so very glad I did. When you arrive make sure the driver gets a street porter to take you and your luggage to the hotel door and don't forget to tip the porter as he doesn't work for the hotel.
Once you get over the shock of where the front entrance is and have walk through the door it's just as if you have stepped back in time.
The hotel decor is breathtaking and the staff are warm friendly and incredibly obliging especially one guy who gives everyone an Arabic name - top bloke
Rooms are large and the one we had came with its own patio. There is a nice little spa well worth a visit for a massage and above all the hotel offered a little oasis of tranquility in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
Whilst you are there just around the corner is Rock&Kech rooftop bar restaurant which has great atmosphere food & staff - worth a visit.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

A really charming hotel in an ideal situation.It was rather difficult to find this place but once we got
there it was delightful.We stayed for two nights and had a charming "split-level" bedroom.We would happily have stayed longer but had to move on.
The food in the restaurant was excellent ( a bit expensive by Moroccan standards) but the food,
wine and service were worth that little bit extra.We would highly recommend this hotel.Another plus is that it's just a five-minute walk away from the main square and other attractions.The interior decoration is beautiful and there is a large sun terrace upstairs.Great place.

Room Tip: Have a look at all the rooms on their website.We loved our "split-level" room.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

I posted a review a while back on this place but for some reason it hasn't come up. But this place it worth the trouble of writing another one, they really deserve it!
What a stunning place! A real oasis of calm and beauty. The staff are lovely and organised and the food was top notch. The management really went out of their way to make us feel at home. On arrival we were upgraded to the Berber sweet. SO amazing! We had our own terrace and fountain which was really special. They even organised a special birthday dinner on the roof top for me and my boyfriend, lighting candles up the stairs and throwing petals everywhere. They cooked us a traditional dish that wasn't even on the menu and brought sofas and music up to where we were eating. They were also really helpful when my boyfriend got ill (from a dodgy kebab in the market), getting us medicine. They went out of their way to make us feel special. It was a five star experience from start to finish. Also i would recommend getting a massage here!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penarth
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

When we arrived the neighbouring Riad was having the lane resurfaced (it's so much better now for those who have found it a pain!) Down a couple of twisting lanes to an innocuous big wooden door on a featureless wall..... oh my... as soon as you walk from the midday heat of Marrakech through the cool dark cave-like hall and through another large ornate wooden door your senses are instantly assaulted by a riad of such craftsmanship and beauty it is hard to comprehend. (It is also totally impossible to show the beauty of this Riad in a photograph!). We were greeted by the superb Faisal with hot mint tea and delicious Morrocan sweet cakes and shown around this most magical of Riads. We were booked into a 'basic' deluxe and were absolutely blown away by our little nest. Dark and cosy and totally authentic, from the intricately carved wood and stunning painted panels to the 'double' door with the [pretty tricky first time] locking centre. Now... I'm being honest... I REALLY didn't fancy a trip to Marrakech, this was a treat for the hubby as it's somewhere he's always wanted to go... but within the first few minutes of being at the Palais Sebban I was hooked! We decided to eat in the first night, tiny little beautifully decorated restaurant with a limited but nonetheless delicious menu. My husband had the beef tagine and I (feeling a bit crook after a week of flu) opted for a lighter choice of the salmon pate (actually a salmon carbonara!) blimmin lovely! Sitting outside in the square in the riad at night with the heater over our table drinking the {slighly pricey} g&t and delicious Casablanca beer, washed down with some mint tea was a delight. The staff are absolutely wonderful - Faizal, Mohammed, Abdul to name just a few - fabulous throughout. The hotel is kept beautifully clean and has a faintly shabby chic about it - perfect old Palais! We dined in the main square on our second night (this was a whistle-stop 3 nighter!) after having spent the day with a wonderful guide... I shall be reviewing this star shortly!...traipsing through the heart of the Medina - which was great fun and good to be slightly above the madness and choas that a Saturday night in the square holds! It was my birthday on our last full day and the staff went out of their way to make it special - everyone seemed to know and I had a chorus of happy birthday at every turn. We plumped to have our last evening meal at the Palais Sebban so had ordered the previous day one of the house specials (I'll probably get the name wrong...) Mechwi - a shoulder of lamb for two which had been slow cooked for ten hours.... get it!! eat it!!! love it!!! It was stunning - and a special candle on the table along with my favourite almond cakes for desert! (Sorry I'm waxing a bit lyrical aren't I!) I just can't get across too strongly how fabulous the Palais Sebban is - the location... right in the heart of everything...the Palais itself... the rooms...the decor... the food... and most importantly the staff! I will most certainly recommend this jewel to all my friends and hopefully make a return trip very soon.

Room Tip: Our roon (Menara) was the basic deluxe and we loved it! Very quite, very compact, quite dark, but at...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lake district
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

We stayed for four nights at the Riad and I shall start with the positiv: Very beautiful roof terrace invites you to linger and public areas very attractive and mostly well kept. The bedroom suite we stayed first in had a lovely "feel", bathroom was not quite so good. On our last night we asked to be moved to a ground floor room, because I broke my ankle, and this was done with efficiency and smiles. That room, although compact, was tastefully furnished with a wetroom. Breakfast plentiful with a welcome Omelete for choice. We had dinner once and found it ok, but overpriced.

Now to the not so good: Comunication amongst the staff is not at it's best. Breakfast was booked for 7.30 and reception told that a driver would pick us up at 8 o'clock. A dark dining room awaited us with no food in sight, the receptionist did his best to send the driver away, saying nobody was downstairs yet. Faulty shower, but messages not passed on, eventually fixed though. Waiter "telling me off" for not signing for drinks in the evening. Same waiter insisting on watching tv, because it was "a very important game". This took place in the very beautiful and cosy lounge with a lovely fire. Mix-up with my borrowed wheelchair on the morning of departure didn't help.
I know, that all these are only "little" things, but in four days it was just too much. Perhaps I just hit it unlucky. Language was at times a problem, but that is my fault for only speaking english and german.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#70 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#71 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#82 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#132 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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