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“Amazing! The only place to stay in Marrakech”

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Palacio de las Especias
Ranked #21 of 1,130 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing! The only place to stay in Marrakech”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2014

After doing a lot of research into the various Riads in the city, I chose Riad Palacio de las Especias. I could not have made a better choice. From the moment I booked the rooms the staff sent me helpful information regarding transfers and arrivals. I booked two rooms for myself and my parents. We chose the transfer offered by the hotel as believe me, you do not want to be wandering around the maze of streets looking for the Riad when you take a public taxi! The staff were consistently helpful, friendly and smiling. I have stayed in many upmarket hotels and the staff here were the best I have ever encountered. The management should be proud to have such lovely and genuine people working for them. Nothing was ever too much trouble, refreshments were provided in an instant and tours etc organised when we wished. Marrakesh is an incredible city but after London, it is very hectic and so it was lovely to come back to the Riad after a day out.
Breakfast could not have been better. There was a gorgeous spread of fruits, cakes and cereals and then as you sat down you were presented with fresh orange juice, coffee or tea and freshly cooked pastries, bread and Moroccan specialites (crepes, pancakes, vegetable pastries etc). Out of the three nights we stayed we had dinner at the Riad twice (if it had been my choice I would have eaten there every night!) The food was simply beautiful, authentic and so reasonably priced and accompanied with some incredible wines. Coming down for dinner in the evening with the fire lit and the table beautifully set is one of my favourite memories of my holiday.
Another thing I must mention is the terrace. It is such an incredible feature of the hotel, beautiful sun loungers and canopied sofas along with a Berber tent for shade. We particularly loved the pet tortoises that roamed around..so cute! On our last day there, the lovely Driss brought us exquisite cocktails to enjoy. Such a kind gesture..thank you! Additionally on the last day as our flight wasn't until late the staff were all so kind in allowing us to check out of our rooms later for no extra charge. It made our last day that much easier and relaxing. Although I hope from my rather long description that I am able to relay how incredible this place is, words cannot truly describe just how wonderful it is. Please ignore any silly remarks about noise or other qualms from other reviews: this honestly is a Riad without faults! For me and my family this is the only place to stay in Marrakesh so please do go! We cannot wait to come back very soon! Thank you so much to all the lovely staff at the Riad for making our holiday so memorable and so enjoyable. We will see you soon!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alice H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Hello Alice, we don ´t know how to say thank you for your kind words and your time in write it. Just thank you very much for your description, it ´s for that, our staff and ourselves work hard, we want our guest feel Palacio de las Especias like a very special experience, and not only like one more trip. the atmosphere, the lights, the details and of course the kindness of the workers have the purpose of the happines of the person that choose our riad for their holidays (like you and your parents). you will be wellcome if you decide to be again with us.

kind regards
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506 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2014 via mobile

I'm very lucky to find this place. It's very beautiful riad in nice Morrocan style. The staff are very nice and friendly. The food is very special. It's really romantic place like a dream. The location is very good. Everything is like a dream. I will definitely stay there again. If you want to know Marrakech well, you have to stay at Palacio de las especias. I highly recommend this place.

Thank you very much for making feel very spacial and happy in Marakech.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Prapan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, March 30, 2014
Thank you Prapan for your fabulous experience in Marrakech with us, our staff always try to be nice and friendly and do it better day by day and our guest can fell here like a dream as you say, so is for that your words make us feel good. you always will be wellcome to Palacio de las Especias. regards
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London, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2014

I love this riad, it's a hidden gem in the heart of Marrakech. The rooms are stylish and the roof terrace is the perfect chill out place after a day of sightseeing. We celebrated a friends birthday and hired the entire place for 3 nights at the end of Feb 2014. The owners and the staff couldn't be more helpful in terms of recommendations of places to visit, things to do etc. etc and they made our stay very enjoyable. It felt like we were relaxing in a more luxurious home from home.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place to anyone and I'll certainly be returning when I visit Morocco again.

Room Tip: Bab Er-Raha, Bab Agnaou and Bab Doukkala suites are stunning.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Juhi G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, March 10, 2014
Thank you very much Juhi for your kind words, It was a pleasure offer you our riad and help you and your friends to enjoy your stay in Marrakech. We really hope you can visit us again on your next trip to Essaouira....kind regards
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Roma
Level Contributor
104 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2014 via mobile

... the owner will solve the issues listed below under Cons. My wife and myself spent 3 nights in February, here our comments:
PROS
1 Good location at 15minutes walking distance by the main square, in a pedestrian small street where you can enjoy a traffic free stay (but unfortunately some other noises are present)
2 Very friendly and helpful staff,always ready to support your needs
3 High level furnishing, very good quality of towels and mattress
4 Very good cooked breakfast with some local specialties
5 Extremely clean
CONS
1 In winter it is cold.
The first day and night we had 16 degree in our room. Only the day after the air conditioning was correctly set and we were able to stay in a sufficiently (for us used to cold weather but not for all) warm room. But do not expect to have 24 degrees even because there is not an heating system and you have single splits in each room which are not capable to make you feel in a very warm environment. Even because as soon as you turn the split off the temperature drop immediately and because of the noise you can not sleep with the air conditioning on. Also in the common areas the temperature is not really comfortable (especially at breakfast) and it was not clear to us why the fireplace was lighted only upon our request and only in the evening.
2 Some noises disturb the sleep.
The air conditioning engine is located in the upper terrace but can be heard also inside the room. Not pleasant at all, and we can imagine that could be even more unpleasant in spring when you would like to quietly relax in the nice terrace laying on the sun beds and sofas.
Secondly there was another noise that we weren't able to identify but that could be something like a water pump or similar that started for few seconds randomly but that at night or early morning gives you an unpleasant wake up.
The following other noices could be considered more typical and out of the Riad's control but in any case they have to be disclosed: at 5,30am the muezzin from the close mosque will call you for the prayer and starting 7,15 am the birds in the courtyard will love to make you listen to their songs.
3 Difficult to set the right water temperature during bath/shower(too hot or too cold).
4 When confirming the reservation the Riad offers you an airport drop on/off for €25 one way with a private car, without mentioning the fact that it is possible to reserve a private taxi for € 10.

Finally we reccomand this place and we would come back again but we hope that the owner could make the needed improvemenst to get no Cons comments also considering the € 127/night cost of the suite that for Marrakech in low season should mean a top level stay.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Just_Me_Roma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
Dear just

First of all I want to thank you the time you have spent sharing your experience with Trip Advisor’s readers.

Secondly, We confirm you that we pay a lot of attention to all the remarks as our self-demanding is really high but unfortunately We can hardly do anything with several of your suggestions.

You told us that the first day of your stay the heater did not work. It was not exactly like that. The problem was you did not know how the remote control works, as you told us the following day. The staff explained to you kindly how it works and you could use it all your stay long without problems. About your problems with water temperature we have a tap with two controls (hot and cold) in order you to select the temperature you prefer.

About the noises you listened in your bedroom. We are really surprised as you are the first guest who talks about these kind of issues, air-conditioning units are not situated in the area where this room is located, they are all located in the terrace, out of the sight and far from the room so their noise do not disturb our clients' rest. All units are first quality, the most silent unitis in the market. We started this business last year, all is new and we have not received any remark about noises.

Heater system in a Riad is different than huge hotels or standard flats, Riads (as you have well experienced) are open buildings, so that the best option to have our rooms in the best conditions is by using individual heater-air-conditioning in each room, as we already have.
.
At breakfast corner you can enjoy the fire burning for you in the fireplace to have a really confortable breakfast. Morning staff considers everyday due to weather conditions if the fire would be on or off. If it was not on during your stay is because in their opinion the temperature was warm enough, however, they would be delitghted to light the fire at your request.

At 5:30 you could listened to the Moecin's bucolic call to pray. This call is made in all Muslim countries worldwide five times a day. This part of Morrocan culture and background, nothing could be done with this.

At 7:15 birds are singing. Nothing can be done again about that. Birds are free, Riads' structure (outdoor patio) makes birds able to fly and sing, being this sound really lovely instead of nasty like horns, sirens or other unpleasant noises of the city. Nobody else has any complaint about this. Our Riad is one of the few which has a movile glass roof instead of noisy plasctic ones used in other Riads.

You related that the 127€ price for the room you chose should imply a first level room. Our riad is a place made with all our love to offer our guests an unforgettable stay. We work hard to offer excelent breakfast, cleaning, service, etc. We want to remark that the price in 2014 for your room is 150€ + taxes (it is one of the best rooms) but taking in account it was January and we made to you an special offer, 127€ per day hoping your stay would be pleasant (we do not usually make any discount following our standards and company policy, but in this case we made it for being January). You also talked about our shuttle service (one service you did not use so you cannot evaluate). We cope with a company in which we rely on, so we accept their prices. It is an optional service, you could use it or not, it is up to you. This service includes a relaxing arrival to the Riad, our driver picks your luggage up, he transports you to the Riad gates where our staff is waiting you to carry your luggage to your room. We offer an absolutely relaxing vacational start. As you well said you can begin your holidays bargaining with the taxi driver, many people chose this option. Some people were right and some people were wrong.

Some of the good things you spoke about are the good quality of our furniture, mattresses and towels. It makes us happy, we want to offer the best quality and the best service.

If you decide to come back to our riad you will be welcome.

Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth
Level Contributor
41 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

We stayed out of season in January but it was nevertheless a lovely place to stay at this time. The roof terrace is warm and sheltered and is a great place to relax before heading out to the Souk or places of interest.The Riad is well located in the NW sector of the Medina and a walk around the Souk to the main square is about 20 mins or once you've mastered the navigation through the Souk, a direct (if you don't get lost) route to the square is really interesting.
The breakfasts are superb and the service by the staff is first class And they are thoroughly helpful whatever your requests.
The only slight downsides are that noises get transmitted through the Riad - but that is probably true of all of them - and the prices of ancillary items (bottles of wine, tours etc) are a little high.
But notwithstanding these points - highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DandR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, January 19, 2014
Hello
Thanks for sharing your review with TripAdvisor readers.
We are happy to read comments as good as yours.
It is true that in Morocco alcoholic drinks are expensive, This is because in this country the alcoholic drinks are forbidden and the authorities apply high taxes.
With respect to the excurtions, we try to offer the best price with the best quality.
We want to thank you for choosing us, and for sharing this great review.
We hope to see you again in Palacio de las Especias.
Best regards!!!
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1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

A supernice experiance, lovely riad, beautifully decorated, small and cosy.
Great service from Muhamed during the day who served us breakfast and made us feel so welcome on our first visit in Marrakech, a very friendly soul who made us feel right at home.
Special thanks also to Driss who took such good care of us, helped meet our every need and pointed out places to go and the likes. He even spared his private time in leading us on the right track when we were lost in the souks at night :). A great man who we really connected with and who worked very hard to make our holiday a real pleasure. We will miss the riad, the city and Muhamed and Driss and we hope to meet with you again if and when we come back.
Thanks for a great holiday
Maria and Markus Stuxgren
Sweden

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Karl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Hello Maria & Markus

Thanks a lot for sharing your opinion with us.

We are glad that we have made you feel good in the our Riad Palacio de las Especias.

Driss and Mohamed are happy to read your lovely review.

Hope to see you back in the future.

Happy New year 2014!!!

Best Regards

Jose & Higinio
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013 via mobile

We had an amazing time there. The restaurant was so good we only dined out once and the Moroccan bath was perfect right after dinner. Friendly service, they sort out anything you need if you want something for your room or you want to plan a day trip and it's the perfect place to come back and relax after a long day out.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tiansebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jose b, Gerente at Palacio de las Especias, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Hello Sebastian.

Thanks a lot for sharing your review with TripaDvisor community.

We are happy to read your fantastic opinion about Palacio de las Especias our staff will be happy if you feel like home.

We are glad that you have enjoyed your stay with us and hope to see you back another time.

Best Regards from Marrakech
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palacio de las Especias

Property: Palacio de las Especias
Address: Sidi Bouamar 35, Quartier Riad Larrousse, Medina, Marrakech, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 1,130 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Palacio de las Especias 4*
Number of rooms: 7
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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