STAY MARRAKECH: RETURN TO THE ROYAL MANSOUR
Six years ago we visited the Royal Mansour for the very first time. In so many ways, it seems so long ago- life was so different for us then. No kids, no global pandemic, much less experience in terms of travel and specifically luxury travel.
I know the word “luxury” can seem exclusionary at times, and there’s no getting around that the Royal Mansour is indeed a luxury property in every sense of the word. A term that is used more often than it should and doesn’t always mean anything truly. But this is the best example of what a luxury experience should look and feel like. 6 years later and the property hasn’t aged by a day. There’s nothing sadder than returning to a place you love and seeing that the property owners just let things go, that the spaces feel dated, that service and standards have fallen by the wayside. It was with immense glee to find that the place we fell in love with felt just as immaculately fresh as when we visited 6 years ago.
I previously shared a review of El Fenn, another hotel we stayed at and I remarked that it felt like where the cool kids go, where the artists hang out- that it had a very specific style and flavor. And that’s so important for a hotel, for it to have a very specific identity. Much the same, the Royal Mansour has a very specific identity, and it’s right in it’s name, if El Fenn is where the artists hang out, the Royal Mansour is where the royals hang out. But not the stuffy ones, because for all it’s grandeur and opulence, it stops just short of seeming stuffy or snooty. And I think, the reason it maintains warmth is really due to the staff and how they engage with guests.
We visited with our twin boys (Kai & River) and every interaction was filled with genuine warmth towards us and them, we would have little laughs and were made to feel extremely welcome and like true guests. That extra special touch truly makes all the difference. While service was warm, it was also unobtrusive, the goal is to have you feel like you are at yours and not constantly surrounded by staff trying to help. I have experiences the kind of service where they wait on you for every little detail and I tend to find that overwhelming and quite frankly exhausting. So, it was nice to see that they had figured out just the right balance.
A unique feature at the Royal Mansour is that you get an entire riad as your accommodation, as opposed to a room in a riad, as if often the case. Ours was 3levels which included a ground and roof terrace, a masters bedroom, with masters closets, and a main living room area on the ground floor. They all have unique features and designs so it won’t hurt to ask when booking which are the most popular ones. We stay in room 33 – so lovely but I have to give our previous riad the win, for it’s incredible entryway Moroccan tilework (see photo below).
A few callouts especially if planning a stay with kids or older family members, riads are generally designed with stairs and no elevators as is the case here. So be ready to go up and down stairs in getting from living area to bedroom to terrace. The stairs are marble and a tad slippery. We have stairs in our home that the boys go up and down by themselves, but we didn’t trust that here and ended up carrying them each time we had to go up and down. I’ll admit, that bit, wasn’t much fun.
Another small callout, while you are extremely close to the souks and the Medina, the hotel is about an 8-10 minute walk. You might enjoy the peaceful relief you get from being a little bit away from it all, or maybe you were actually looking forward to being in the heart of it. If that’s the case- well, you’ve been warned. I for one, love the little bit of distance but I recognize we all have different preferences.
Lastly, this is not an all inclusive resort, so be prepared to pay $$$ for meals from the hotels restaurants. Really great food, but you came here to try some local dishes, so step out the hotel and do just that.
Let me know if there’s anything I failed to cover or if you have any questions.
P.S. If you’ve never had a harman, get a hammam treatment at the spa. I’ll be writing a detailed review of my experience very shortly.