Despite being rated as 5*, and despite meriting that rating in some respects, the Ryads Naoura Barrière in Marrakech is a patchy affair.
Its good features are (1) its service levels, which are generally high; (2) its breakfasts, which are generous and varied and can be taken at times that don't require rising with the lark; (3) its location, which, although a leisurely 10 to 15 minute stroll from most of the sights, ensures that it's quiet and set apart from the maelstrom that is Marrakech (4) its bed, which was huge and the best ever; (5) its spa, which gave the best massage ever (but without any queries about existing conditions); (6) the cocktails; and (7) the balcony - but avoid ground floor if you can.
Its disappointments are in its Wi-Fi offering, its layout and in some of the "little things" that should not be an issue in this type of establishment.
Wi-Fi first: many people who come to a hotel that's as expensive as this one need to work at the same time. Unfortunately the Wi-Fi in the rooms was lamentably unreliable: sometimes it worked; sometimes it worked on some devices, but not others; sometimes it didn't work at all. This was frustrating. Fortunately the Wi-Fi in the public areas was more reliable, but was never 100% so. In this type of hotel, it should be reliable all of the time.
Layout next: one of the features of premises where space is not at a premium is often that insufficient thought is given to what fits where. This hotel is one of those. We stayed in room 304 - described as a junior suite - but in practice it was a large room - about 25 square meters - that adjoined a similarly large space, into which had been fitted 4 additional rooms: a toilet, a shower room, a bathroom and a large wardrobe. The wardrobe was undeniably good. But to have 3 additional rooms that could have been fitted into one well designed room would have left space for the bedroom area to have proper seating area - instead of which there were 2 uncomfortable chairs placed at the foot of the bed, but with their matching footstools some 2 metres away - too far for even the most long-legged guest... A sofa would have been a sensible inclusion in a suite.
And now for the little things: a broken bulb on the balcony that made sitting out somewhat gloomy; a missing shower curtain to give privacy to the shower area, which, despite there being a curtain track and having raised the issue with the concierge, wasn't installed; towelling dressing gowns that were so tight as to have been prepared for size 0 models; an air conditioner that was impossible to adjust from 23.5C; and 15 (yes, 15) different light switches, many of which had no obvious function at all; and breakfast that professed to start at 7am, but didn't really get going until about 8am. But the fridge was good and the safe was excellent and included an integral plug for charging phones and other devices.
So many of these things could be resolved by a mystery guest programme or by a member of staff staying in their own hotel, to assess how some parts of the hotel just don't "work". So, overall, and unfortunately, it was an expensive mixed bag.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel And Ryads Naoura Barriere
- Hotel Ryads Naoura Barriere