Stayed for 5 nights in the second half of May , and booked the Bab Doukala double room on the first floor ... the one with the copper bath tub . Lovely room , well furnished and very comfortable .
This is a fairly new Riad which opened as recently as Nov 2012 or thereabouts . The refurbishment work has been done very well , and it is a beautiful small Riad with about 6 or 7 rooms. Its best to get a room on the first floor giving the view down over the centre of the Riad
The terrace on top of the building is stunning and most definately 5 star . There are sun loungers , umbrellas , shaded day beds , and a Berber tented area to relax in the shade . All very well done . A great place to relax in late afternoon after a day out in busy Marrakech .
The location is also good being just 400 metres to the North of the Souks whilst still being in the old Medina area . So you easily get everywhere in the Medina on foot .
This could become a wonderful 4 star boutique hotel one day , but first it has to find its feet and work out how to cater for international travellers . Here is a few of the problems we encountered which they could easily fix if they wanted to :
- Breakfast is mostly cereal , bread , cake and more cake . No eggs , no cheese , no cold meats , no fruit . Just carbs and "stodge" , day after day . So if you like fresh bread and fresh cake daily this will be heaven . The other option is to do room only and get your breakfast at Le Jardin for Dh 70 including omelette .
- They offer free WiFi but it doesn't work very well , and most of the time there is no signal and no internet access . Most of the cafes around town had good WiFi so why not at this Riad ?
- There isn't much space to store clothing and they provide only 2 hangers per person which is hopeless .
- It was mostly quiet and peaceful in the Riad , but you may not get a full night's sleep . One night there was a wedding next door and a raucous party all through the night . Hotel residents are not given a key to the Riad and when they come in at night they have to ring a bell . So when residents come in at 2am and ring the bell , and then ring the hotel phone to get in as the hotel staff are all asleep , then everyone is awake .
- All bills have to be paid in cash as they do not have a credit card machine which is incredibly inconvenient .
These problems , and others like them , could mostly be attended to . Idris and Yaseen are very helpful and do what they can to attend to problems . But there is no Hotel Manager on site at any time to monitor guest experiences , so it may take some time before this wonderful facility reaches its full potential .
Some eating out experiences .....Le Jardin ( for breakfast ) , Riad Donab (5 star Riad nearby for dinner ) , Al Fassia ( top class in new town for dinner ) , Cafe Arab ( drinks only ) .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Palacio de las Especias recovers the splendour of a building erected in the 19th century. The building was originally owned by the Echerid family, who were spice merchants but, unfortunately, the years and neglect had taken their toll. Today, respecting the original building, but adapting it to provide the comfort that an establishment of this nature deserves, it opens its rooms from within the heart of the Medina, in order to provide its visitors with the enjoyment and relaxation they are looking for. The decor of its rooms, the coolness of its patios, the murmuring of its fountains and the peaceful evenings on the terrace mean that resting inside its rooms becomes the happy ending to a perfect day. ... more less
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