There is so much to share about this well hidden jewel under the African sun. I have stayed in some spectacular and unique hotels all around the world, but this is something even more memorable.
So I invite you to sit back, dear reader, to relax and perhaps pour yourself a glass of wine and allow me to indulge you with the tale the Villa Makassar from the perspective of a couple of English travellers.
Your experience of the hotel starts long before you start packing as they mail you to enquire if they can assist you in arranging airport transfers and confirming your travel details. Not an automated spreadsheet, no sir, a warm and personally typed note from the owner.
When one arrives at Marrakesh from London becomes acutely aware that the world looks somewhat different, one drives down large avenues lined with gardens and palm trees then with hardly a warning the car veers off into a tiny gateway in the sandy covered wall signalling that you have entered the 1000 year old Medina. After driving past King Mohammed VI's humble abode the car squeezes into a tiny lane and abruptly stops outside a large and ornate door.
With some trepidation you crack open the door and something remarkable happens, your eyes struggle to adapt to the dimmed lighting in the gorgeous entrance hallway. You are ushered into the sumptuous lounge, sink into the feature sofas and check in commences.
The staff look after every detail and immediatley start to "fix" things, excursions, reservations, transfers. Nothing is too much. We were most privileged to have an opportunity to discuss our trip intentions with the owner over Arabic Pastries and a glass or two of Mint Tea. A more kind, informative and warm person you will not meet. He took time to answer our every question, to alert us to the latest street scams (there are many in the Kasbah and in the main square) and to help us to understand the correct costs of standard things like taxi fares etc.
You are then given a tour of the entire walled hotel (essentially 2 x quadrangles, a huge roof terrace and bar, a small plunge pool and the restaurant and kitchens). The spa is under the main quadrangle and is worth a look just to feast your eyes on a stunning example of interior design. Another interesting feature is the "fish tank" kitchen. There is no part of the spotlessly clean kitchen, or any food preparation that cannot be witnessed from the square.
There are 2 classes of room, each individual in every respect and following a tour of the entire hotel you are shown your room and briefed on its features.
The decor is magical with subdued lighting, stunning furniture, delightful art deco design features and object d'art cleverly arranged to magnify the experience. The bathroom is gorgeous with a huge feature shower and in our case the most stunning towel rail (it was elliptical shaped and stored the towels as well as warming them) as well as a heated floor. Naturally there is WIFI throughout which enabled us to be able to have a video call with our children from the Kasbah!
A lovely nights sleep is followed by a relaxed breakfast with the warmest and most considerate service. We had local Breads/Pastries/yoghurt with fresh orange juice and tea.
Now my dear friends, some of you are a little more focussed on the self indulgent practices than I am, but with some gentle coercing I was convinced to try the spa package at the hotel. I was washed, steamed, scrubbed (and I mean every inch of my hide!), oiled, rinsed and then massaged. We had the spa package as a couple and it was such a treat. The hotel had arranged a BIG day for us with a day long excursion into the mountains (a "must see" dear friends) followed by a spa treatment then a dinner at the hotels excellent restaurant (more of that later). The spa is sumptuously arranged and the tepidorium has a remarkable feature of ceiling fish tanks....
After a brief interlude to put on some fresh clothes we descended to the restaurant for dinner and were treated to the best of Morocco and washed down with a surprisingly good local drop of vino. The food and service were Michelin star standard and to be frank it was like finding a discrete dining room being run by the staff from the Savoy grill.
If you have any doubt of the ability or intent of the staff, let me assure you that they are totally focussed on making your stay something magical. As we went to depart our local tour company messed up our airport transfer, we had limited currency left and our stress levels were rising like a Russian space rocket. Claudine, the manager quickly arranged a cab, paid on account and took payment from me via card. We arrived on time and with a sensation that we had never really been in any jeopardy.
When you think about it, that is the most precious feeling a hotel can impart to a guest.
To the Owner and staff, Sam and I would like to express our sincere thanks, you made a long weekend into the trip of a lifetime, I even heard the phrase "This has been the best day of my entire life" from my partner after the day that the hotel arranged for us. We cannot express more heartfelt admiration.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 5 stars Art Deco Boutique Hotel with heated swimming pool and SPA, restaurant, 10 non smoking rooms and suites, 5000 sqf terrasse, lift, 3 patios, 2 lounges, direct access with car. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Makassar Hotel Marrakech