I’ve stayed in Marrakech several time, mostly at the Es Saadi Hotel, but also, once at the Riad Noga. I’ve visited many hotels but I don’t feel it’s fair to review a hotel I haven’t actually stayed at. If you’re looking for good hotels though both of these fit the bill for different reasons.
Es Saadi Marrakech
My first impression of Es Saadi Hotel was the doorman rushing to put my luggage into the gilded cage. Dressed in white, with a ceremonial Berber sword at his belt and a white fez style hat he was an imposing figure. This hotel, owned by the Bauchet-Bouhalal family for three generations offers the warmest of welcomes offering the traditional Moroccan hospitality with French twist. No wonder they have so many repeat guests, myself included.
Conveniently located in the Hivernage district within walking distance of the Medina, the hotel is set in 8 hectares of beautiful gardens with breathtaking views over the snow capped Atlas Mountains. As dawn breaks clouds of little birds fly from the bougainvillaea to start another busy day and at dusk you will see them return to roost.
The Es Saadi boasts a Spa, Welness centre and Casino it is a great place to stay for the first time visitor to Morocco. With three restaurants serving traditional Moroccan or French cuisine don’t forget to take breakfast or an evening meal on the terrace at stylish wrought iron tables overlooking the pool and gardens. A great place to watch the sun come up or go down.
Suites on the top floor have the best view of the Atlas Mountains. Stand on your balcony in the morning and they look like a painted backdrop of mountains in the distance. Stunning!
If you like nightlife and have had enough of the madness of Djemaa el Fna Morocco’s first casino is set in the grounds of Es Saadi. Established in 1952 it has been extensively renovated and has all you could want, Slot machines 2pm-4am, Roulette, Black-Jack, Stud Poker, 3 Card Poker 8pm-4am, Texas Hold’em Poker 6pm-4am. Open till 5am on the week-end. In the casino the Theatro night club is the hippest in town from and definitely the place to be seen in Marrakech. Open from 11:30pm.
Since my last visit a new wing, The Palace, has been added with 90
spacious and exquisitely decorated suites. Also new are The Villas, 10 private villas in their own gardens with private pools. I hope to get the chance to go back soon to review them so watch this space…
Riad Noga Marrakech
If you fancy something a little more intimate, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in the Grey Room at the Riad Noga. A few minutes walk from the bustling Djemaa El Fna at the end of a narrow alley you will find a large wooden door. Knock and you will be let inside the most enchanting courtyard filled with flowers and plants, a little oasis in the middle of the busy city, complete with resident parrot.
Sit amidst the white Moorish arches and sip a welcoming drink as you check in, then cool off in the green tiled pool. There are just seven cozy rooms, each with its own distinctive décor featuring local art and quickly feeling like home. A series of roof terraces provide quiet places to sunbathe during the day and at night sit and relax while listening to the sounds and watching the smoke rising and the from the madness of the square.
The Riad Noga sleeps juat 14, so large parties can have the place to themselves. With nine, English speaking staff and Fatima, the chef to prepare traditional or international meals a stay at Riad Noga is one you will never forget.
Since my last stay a luxury apartment has been added next door. I was lucky enough to see it as it was being renovated and it looked like it was going to be fantastic. Hopefully I will get to go back and stay there one day.