With eight hotels in Mauritius and one in the Seychelles, Beachcomber has now added its luxury brand to Morocco. The Royal Palm Marrakech is aiming to deliver the same kind of prestige and luxury in North Africa, that its namesake does in Mauritius. Our travel expert Jo Shayler-Tarrant has recently had the pleasure of seeing if all the ‘buzz’ was true – she wasn’t disappointed!
The Royal Treatment In Marrakech – By Jo Shayler-Tarrant
The Royal Palm Marrakech is a change for Beachcomber as their other 9 hotels are located in Mauritius and the Seychelles. Having set the bar incredibly high in terms of quality of accommodation and service, I was worried that the hotel may not live up to expectations – I had absolutely nothing to worry about, and I don’t have enough superlatives to praise it.
Located around 7 miles from the city’s hectic centre, it feels like a breath of fresh air when arriving at the huge grounds. The gardens contain over 1000 olive trees and bearing in mind how new this hotel is, the gardens look like they have been here forever.
I had the pleasure of staying in a ‘Palm Suite’ which gives you a little more room than a ‘Junior Suite’ – other than the room size all the furnishings are the same. The suite was decorated with plush carpets, a huge bed, an armchair and couch. The bathroom had the largest shower that I’ve ever used and an enormous freestanding bath. The furnished terrace was bigger than my first apartment in London!
On the night of our arrival we ate in the hotels brand new Al Ain restaurant, which serves traditional Moroccan fare in a fabulous style. We were seated outside with our very own ‘Berber band’ and a blazing fire. We devoured the tagine and sampled their ‘condiments’, the chillies are not for the faint hearted!
We spent the morning on a tour of the hotel and this including the incredible Presidential Suites and a breath-taking Prince’s Villa, which comes complete with its own private pool. The fitness centre is another sight to behold with its very own 25 metre lap pool, state of the art gym and tennis courts. During the morning tour the skies were hazy and we couldn’t see the Atlas Mountains from the hotel – when the temperatures begin to drop they are more apparent.
The other hotel restaurant L’Olivier offered more culinary delights, and after lunch we were whisked off into Marrakech centre to visit the iconic Bahia Palace. We then ventured to the famous Medina and spent several hours having our senses compelled, by the numerous wonders the souks had to offer. There’s quite a skill to haggling down the price on pashminas whilst avoiding goat-carrying mopeds. We reached Jemaa el Fna Square just as dusk was approaching, and we were mesmerised by the abundance of snake charmers.
First it was back to the hotel to freshen up and then head to the bright lights of the Hivernage Quarter. With a plethora of hip bars and restaurants to choose from, we decided to dine and party at Le Comptoir Darna (it’s open until 3am). They put on a thoroughly enjoyable belly dancing show and Shisha in the gardens afterwards.
Another great feature of the hotel is the outrageously large swimming pool, and at 2000m2 could easily be confused with a lake. We were also forced to try out the newly opened spa (it’s a hard life) which ‘knocks the spots off’ of any previous spas I’ve attended.
It’s also worth mentioning that the staff were incredibly polite and attentive – they simply couldn’t do enough for us. The Royal Palm Marrakech is a truly luxurious hotel, where you’ll get your money’s worth and more.
Top tips for Morocco:
1. Get fast for fast track customs passes for arrival and departure to save time.
2. Spend a couple of nights in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains before spending some time in the city. Having a good travel agent in Morocco is a must as decent transfers and communications are sometimes hard to come by. For information and prices on the Royal Palm contact me on the details below.
Tel: 01255 851 708