This was our first visit to Marrakesh and hopefully will not be our last. The experience enhanced by the welcome to the lovely Riad set within the walls of the city.
We were collected from the airport by Abdul and whisked back to the Medina in 15 minutes where we were welcomed by Mohammed with a welcome glass of fresh fruit juice. After being shown round the Riad we were taken to our room (303). The room has a dual aspect looking out in to a courtyard on one side and the pool on the other. The bathroom had both a shower and bath and the basin and towels were decorated with rose petals – these were replaced daily. The bed was also covered in petals and each day a different design was left. Despite the fact that the bed was 2 large single mattresses pushed together with a double sheet over, it was still very comfortable and no one disappeared down the gap!
On the first full day we took a walk around the city with a personal guide (Camil) – this was a wonderful way to see some of the sights and understand what we were looking at, as our guide was very knowledgeable about the various historical sites he took us to. One note of caution – he did take us to a shop where it was almost expected we had to buy and to pay in cash – while the spices we bought I have enjoyed using it was not clear if we could have had a better deal elsewhere. This did leave us without any cash as we walked through the medina but I think my partner was secretly pleased I could not buy everything I saw. We did eventually have to go to a cash point and at this point it was useful to have the guide as he pointed out that some cash points are not as safe as others!
Another day we took a drive out to the Atlas mountains – the only problem was that I had not taken any walking shoes and my sandals were woefully inadequate for the trek up the mountain so we had to stay at the bottom – not a bad thing as we sampled the local tea and watched the local life in the village. There were plenty of hawkers trying to sell you anything even though we had no cash. On the way up we had stopped at a Berbers house and were shown around and even offered to have some to the bread that had been freshly made We had also stopped at a local cooperative where the ladies of the village sat and cracked the nuts of the argen tree to make the oil that is used in many different ways. On the way back we stopped at a pottery where there were thousands of pots of all shapes and sizes and colours.
On the last day we took a horse drawn carriage ride around the city – what an experience in the Marrakesh traffic! We went to see the gardens that Yves St Laurent restored – defiantly worth a visit. The driver dropped us at the door and waited for us to return. He then took us on a tour of the city, very nice to see it from a different angle.
Breakfast & Dinner in the hotel is in an open air courtyard with a room to one side (just in case of rain) however we discovered that this courtyard did have a roof that was slid over – just as well as one night the heavens opened and a spectacular thunderstorm hit Marrakesh. The food was lovely and a good selection of local and European dishes were on offer. It was my birthday on one night and after dinner a cake had been arranged and all the kitchen staff came out and sang to me! Another night there was some local entertainment, music and dancing – the belly dancer was mesmerising to all! There was also a girl who was henna tattooing during dinner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Les Borjs de la Kasbah is a charming boutique hotel (opened in 2007) combining all the character of a traditional riad with the modern comforts and professionalism of a luxury hotel. Adjoining two borjs (defensive towers), the hotel stands at the southern edge of the walled city, close to the royal palace, a 15-20 min walk through the kasbah from the Place Jemaa. There are 18 rooms, 3 lounges, a bar, restaurant and meeting room, all with free internet access. In a separate, secluded part of the complex there is also a 10m swimming pool (a rarity in the kasbah), with poolside bar, and a spa with traditional hammam, treatment rooms and sauna. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Les Borjs De La Kasbah Hotel Marrakech