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Marrakech Morocco


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Villa des Orangers

 
Morocco   Marrakech   Near Koutoubia Mosque   Why Marrakech?
Marrakech 10km
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27
 

 

 

Reviewed by Michael Soffe


STYLE AND SUBSTANCE ..............

Through an unassuming entrance off a busy, bustling street, just five minutes from the Jmaa El Fna Square and a stone’s throw to the landmark Koutoubia Mosque, lies La Villa des Orangers. It is a delight for all the senses. During a visit to Marrakech in 1998, Veronique and Pascal Beherec discovered this large Riad built around four verdant courtyards – love at first sight! A very grand Riad it is too, owned by a former magistrate and constructed in the 1930’s. The Beherecs already owned a very successful Hotel business in Paris and Morocco seemed an obvious base for a new and exciting project. End result: a luxurious boutique Hotel with an eye to tradition combined with modern-day comfort. The Hotel opened its doors in 2000 and such has been the success (most notably a very faithful clientele who return year after year), two further small extensions have been carried out in 2003 and 2007/2008 (recently finished) giving extra bedrooms, three swimming pools and the all important Spa and Hammam. This is now the largest boutique Hotel in the city with 27 bedrooms.

Reception leads you to the first of the patio courtyards, filled with comfortable nooks and crannies with plumped-up cushioned sofas, and dining tables and chairs under the orange trees. In early spring, the orange blossom pervades every corner. Wonderful ornate plasterwork arches surround the patio – testament to the incredible skills of master tradesmen. Galleries surround the patio on the upper floor. It is cool, calm and very inviting. A fountain tinkles gently in the centre. In true Moroccan style, the salons are on the ground floor off the patios and were originally used for entertaining by the wealthy family that originally built the Riad. Hotel guests are free to choose to rest in any of them, one now with a bar and others just to relax or dine in – the roaring log fireplaces are especially welcome in the winter months (when that warm sun goes down the temperature can drop dramatically at night!) If you have to turn on the lap-top – the patios and salons have Wi-Fi access.

The swimming pools are all different. Hard to select your favourite. I loved the small one on the roof terrace with views over the city and the mosques, and a tantalizing glimpse of the snow capped Atlas Mountains when I was there in early December. The 16-metre long pool in the largest patio is heated in the winter and is large enough for a serious swim! Both are surrounded by terraces and sun-loungers are available. There is a newly opened Spa with a whole selection of massage and beauty treatments available. The Hammam (steam room) is delightful and an excellent way to relax after all that shopping!

The 27 bedrooms are large by Marrakech standards. They are comfortable and traditional in the furnishings. They are comprised of 4 Deluxe Rooms, 2 Deluxe Rooms with terraces, 6 Junior Suites, 12 Suites with terraces and three further Luxury Suites (more on those later!). All rooms come equipped with air-con, heating, mini-bar, safe, satellite TV and telephone. Bathrooms have fluffy bathrobes, leather Moroccan slippers, an exotic range of toiletries and hair dryers. There is no lift in this Riad (staff do of course help with luggage) but there are many stairs and the gorgeous Suites with terraces actually have internal staircases up to their own roof terraces. Many of the rooms have the odd step or two within in them, so the Riad is not the best place for those with mobility problems. The Luxury Suites are enormous – 100 square metres, and are all on two levels. They all have salons with fireplaces, sofas and writing desks on their lower floors and again, an internal staircase leads you up to your sumptuous bedroom (with another open fireplace!), bathroom (with double sinks) and separate shower rooms. There is also a separate dressing area and a lovely private terrace or balcony overlooking the pool and garden. To add to the sense of luxury, these Suites have large plasma screen TV’s and DVD/CD players. A laundry service is available and unusually, is included in the price of the room.

Service is paramount in this highly staffed Hotel. The staff are friendly, smiling and charming, but never intrusive. The concierge/reception service will arrange private guide, personal shopper, trips to the Atlas Mountains, camel rides in the desert, etc. Just ask and they will help!

Breakfasts are served at your leisure almost anywhere you want; roof top terrace, courtyard, your room – you name the place and they will serve it there, on the dot, at the requested time. It is a mini-feast with a choice of teas and coffee, muesli, yoghurts, eggs, cheese and ham. No bottled preserves here – I had a delicious home-made fig jam to accompany my toast! Light lunches (salads, omelettes, and club sandwiches) are also included in the room rate and as with breakfast, can be taken in a location of your choice. Dinner (which needs to be pre-booked), will entrance you – a mix of Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine, tagines and cous-cous delight – all washed down by a bottle of “vino” from an impressive wine-list of both local and international wines. The dining room is a romantic setting matched only by dining under the stars surrounded by the orange trees in the patio courtyard. Candles and scattered rose petals only add to the enchanting atmosphere.


An ideal Hotel for those who want a beautiful escape on an intimate scale for the very necessary “down-time” from the “madness that is Marrakech”. Excellent location and impeccable service. Not cheap, but when you take into account that prices include the airport transfer, breakfast, light lunches and a laundry service which are “extras” in other Hotels it makes it easier on your pocket!



The Hotel has won several awards and has, of course, has been featured in many glossy travel magazines.

Complimentary airport transfer from Marrakech Airport
Complimentary light lunch
Complimentary Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Complimentary Laundry Service
Restaurant
Bar
3 Swimming pools - One Heated
Spa with beauty treatments and massages on request

 

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From 355€ to 745€

Click here for detailed prices

 

The hotel requires a minimum stay of 5 nights between the 20th December and the 7th January which is considered "peak season". Full pre-payment 3 weeks before arrival is necessary for reservations in this peak season. This is not refundable under any circumstances.

To confirm a reservation a deposit is required (Full details will be provided in response to any enquiry outlining the amount of the deposit that is required corresponding to the duration of your reservation).

Cancellations made up to 7 days before arrival will incur no penalty charge and a full refund of the deposit.

Cancellations recieved between 3 and 7 nights before arrival will result in the full amount of 2 nights total cost of the accomodation being charged.

Cancellations received less than three days before arrival will result in the total cost of the reservation being charged. This also applies to "No Shows" or early departures.