We took a well-needed trip away from the floods of the Somerset levels 8 -15 Feb.
I must admit, we initially chose Villa Amira as there was a Groupon offer at a substantially lower price and Easyjet has just started flying to Marrakech from Bristol airport. However - Villa Amira was everything it said on the tin and was perfect for us.
It is a longish walk (35 - 40 mins) to the walls of the Medina and so, a lot more walking once you get into the centre of the old town, but taxis are cheap, even when you feel you might have been done! They varied in price from 25MAD day time to 50 at night, but when you are talking about £2 - 4 then that's really not so bad.
We had fantastic weather of 23 - 27C which was just about perfect during the day for wandering the souks without getting heat exhaustion and Villa Amira proved a haven of peace away from the noise, bustle and hassle of the city. I can imagine that it would be even more so in the heat of the summer.
Our room was lovely. It was airy, had a staggeringly comfortable bed, beautiful copper washbasins and plenty of hot water, though the shower head power and position left a bit to be desired. Within our Groupon package we had breakfast - pancakes, coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, fruit and yoghurt - setting us up well for the day.
A wonderful 40 massage was also included and one full moroccan evening meal with two types of meat tagine, couscous, salads and all the works. So much food, but it was freshly cooked and as good as I think you could have got anywhere.
We did sample street food in the night market and we can recommend it. It too is tasty, freshly cooked and served boiling hot and is stupidly cheap! It's an experience that is well worth it if you can stand the hassle from all the stalls trying to vie for your custom and the night market is just so exciting.
All in all, we had a wonderful time experiencing Marrakech in all its glory and even with the low points of being constantly hassled! If you like to make eye contact and chat and don't like bargaining or hassle, then maybe Marrakech isn't for you. To do both lays you open to being led down alleys and taken to places that you are quite able to find on your own and of being asked for money for the priviledge - it's OK once, but after a bit it just becomes tiring. Still, made the return to the peace within the carved double doors of the Villa even more welcome.
Downside to the Villa? Paola was really lovely and helpful with places to visit, but her suggestions of places to eat were very up-market and expensive and way beyond our budget. Also, as she was out of the building when we came to pay extras on our bill, the staff said they could not take cards despite the fact that the machine was just inside Paola's office door. We had to pay with Euros and the rate was 1euro - 10 MAD which is pretty appalling.
I can however, recommend Villa Amira unreservedly. It was beautiful, relaxing and just what we needed!
PS beware the pool in February - so cold I thought I was having a heart attack, but did feel tingly afterwards!
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Amira Et Spa Hotel Marrakech