What a lovely hotel. Perfect base for experiencing Marrakech. The tourist bus stops right outside and was great fun, as well as informative. The rooms were spotless, with fresh towels every day and the staff generally very helpful.
On our first day we fell a little foul of the trickery used to get you to visit a friends shop. One of the concierges from the hotel spotted us on the way to the souk and told us it was closed then was very determined to get us to go to particular places. We initially thought he was being helpful but soon realised the direction he was sending us in wasn't right and when he kept appearing on his scooter and shouting us directions realised it was a ploy. We politely continued back to the right road, but he wasn't impressed.
The hotel has a cash machine in the foyer, which caused much amusement when we discovered on our last day that the reason we hadn't been able to use it was that the english options were displayed on the wrong sides of the screen. There is an exchange at reception, so it wasn't really a problem.
On arrival we opted not to queue in the airport to exchange currency and this caused a few problems with tipping, paying the local taxes and getting a safety deposit box, but the receptionist was very helpful.
The pool is great, if a bit cold after an hour or two of sunbathing, and pool towels are provided by the obliging pool boy. As with many european resorts, competition for loungers in a prime position is stiff, with many paying the pool boy in advance to place towels and sun cream on beds before breakfast then appearing mid morning or early afternoon to take their positions.
We usually went exploring in the mornings then just took whichever were free when we came back in the afternoon, hence returning not much more tanned than when we left.
The spa was nice and not as expensive as we'd expected. The massage was definately invigorating. The hotel does have special offers advertised at the desk.
We were half board and had no complaints whatsoever with the food. The choices at breakfast were quite good, loads of pastries, breads, toast etc, as well as cooked to order omelettes and pancakes. You have to try the pancakes, delicious, as was the freshly squeezed orange juice.
You can choose to have either lunch or dinner. Dinner was nice, always a meat, poultry, vegetable and fish option. I like couscous so was quite happy, although my sister craved potatoes. The dessert pastries were fantastic. Lunch is served from a small menu and was even better than dinner.
The only down side was the length of time you had to wait if ordering lunch, dinner or drinks outside of the half board allocation. This may have simply been that I wasn't a good tipper, I never quite got to the bottom of how others ensured faster service, or whether 10% wasn't enough in Morrocco. Although convenient, in hindsight, and now knowing a bit more about the city, I would simply go to one of the cleaner looking cafes in the surrounding streets.
Marrakech itself is quite hectic, but you get used to it after a few days and it's far less intimidating. Be prepared for the attentions of shopkeepers, hawkers and taxi touts, we found that poilite but firm usually worked. The souks are an assault on the senses and really vibrant, expect to get lost and that you will emerge eventually. Taxis from the hotel to the souks were only around 30 dirham, less than £3 and well worth it when laden down and so hot. If you get a chance, take a pitstop in one of the few roof terrace cafes above the crowds.
The night market is spectacular and we enjoyed watching the bedlam from a front row seat in one of the main cafes.
We will be returning to Marrakech and Hotel Diwane.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recently built, our four star establishment welcomes you with its typically Moroccan decoration. Its warm lines and colours, mixing Zellige Fassi, marble and mosaics, offer to the traveler a haven of peace, combining oriental charm, great comfort and wellness. The kindness of the personnel welcome you as well as the delicate smell of the mint tea which is offered to you upon your arrival already launches you in a feeling of relaxation. Your stay will be unforgettable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diwane Hotel Marrakech