Palais Aziza & Spa
What We Love
- A shuttle whisks you to/from the medina in 10 minutes (service available on request)
- The mix of traditional Moroccan styling and luxe touches
- Exclusive private hideaway vibe
What To Know
- There’s not much to see within walking distance of the hotel
- WiFi is free, but the connection can be a little patchy
- The spa uses homegrown products by the brilliant Les Sens de Marrakech
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Surrounded by five acres of lantern-lit gardens, Mosaic Palais Aziza & Spa in Marrakech feels a world away from the roar of the Red City. In the leafy Palmeraie district, home to princes and politicians, this boutique retreat is all about rest and relaxation. Head to the pool, or to the hammam for a pummeling, and if the sounds of the souks call, you’re only 10 minutes from the ancient city walls. Opened in September, 2012, after four years of meticulous preening and perfecting, this intimate 28-room hotel is hidden within jasmine- and lemon-scented maze like grounds. Shaded by palm trees, a tangle of paths cut through a series of low-rise riad-style buildings, complete with traditional arches, intricate tiling and carved wood.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms are dressed in a Moroccan color wheel of burnt ochre, rusty red and deep purple, with plenty of luxe touches (down bedding, Egyptian cotton bathrobes, Bose docking stations, tiled bathrooms with sunken tubs and/or rain showers), and all feature balconies or terraces with views of the gardens and pool — and beyond to the Atlas Mountains from the upper level. The self-contained Pavilions are worth splurging on for extra space and privacy. Styled after Moroccan cities such as Casablanca and Fez, these jumbo villas are built for indulgent lounging, from the private gardens to the gorgeous bathrooms, which have twin sinks, shower-cum-steam-rooms, and giant whirlpool tubs overlooking a shaded courtyard. The double-height ceilings and huge windows let the light flood in.
Breakfast is eaten poolside, and the feast can easily see you through until late afternoon. Tuck into French pastries and Moroccan pancakes and eggs made to order, served with fresh-squeezed orange juice and strong coffee. There’s not much to see within walking distance of the property — La Palmerie is all about gated mansions and private retreats — but a free shuttle runs to/from the medina twice a day. The beauty of the location is that you can spend days hopping from sun lounger to spa (a scrubdown in the traditional hammam is highly recommended) and the evenings rummaging for trinkets and tucking into street food in the city’s labyrinthine souks. You’re close to the action but far from the medina crowd.
In the Area
Take a day to visit the medina. Wander the souks, take in Jemaa el-Fna Square, and make time for the 16th-century Ben Youssef Madrasa — which has Islamic designs that give Granada’s Alhambra a run for its money — and the vast, eerie ruins of the Badi Palace, on the outskirts of the medina. After wandering the labyrinthine streets, take a moment to catch your breath at the Jardin Majorelle, the stunning personal gardens of Yves Saint Laurent, which have been turned into a living museum. An evening at the Megarama Cinema, beside the Almazar, gives you a fascinating glimpse into modern Moroccan life. To immerse yourself entirely, see a film in Arabic — the comedies are so slapstick you don’t need to understand the language. Run entirely by women and set in a traditional house complete with pretty gardens, Al Fassia Aguedal is one of the best traditional restaurants in Marrakech.
How to Get There
The setting is beautiful and very elegant but everything else is a disaster. The service is truly appalling with no attention to detail and a feeling that everything you ask for, including the basics such as the lights and bathtub to work is hassle for the staff. Daniela the manager is absent and unhelpful. Of the 3-night stay, we spent over 50% of the time in the hotel waiting for an answer on whether things had been done or fixed
1. Rooms: The rooms should be great but unfortunately they are not functional. On the first day our Jacuzzi bath did not work, it turned out that it was not plugged in but that took 24 hours and 5 interactions to fix and then subsequently flooded the room below us. On the third day the lighting in the bedroom did not work, we asked for it to be fixed and no one came so we ended up using our phones for light. At no point did we receive any apology on either of these fronts. The hallway lights sometimes work and sometimes don’t.
2. Room service: There is no evening turndown. We used the champagne glasses one evening and they were not replaced nor were the items that we used in the mini bar.
3. Restaurant: The service for dinner in the restaurant is abysmal. There was one server for the whole restaurant. We received our drinks an hour in. We had to ask for bread and never received any olive oil or butter for it. Breakfast is a joke, half of the pastries are stale, if you want tea be prepared to ask many times, and if you don’t arrive early enough be warned you may have missed out!
4. Spa/Hamman: Good luck booking. We tried and failed despite half an hour of discussion with the spa assistant and front desk manager, we finally negotiated a time just to receive a call 15 minutes later to say that time was not available with no alternatives being offered and a promise of a call back with times which did not happen. This was pure laziness, we could see the availability in the schedule
5. Reception: Reception staff were unhelpful and grumpy. It took us half an hour to check in and an hour+ to settle our bill, with charges manually added to the printed copy and nothing itemised. To top it all off they tried to charge someone else’s card for our bill!!
6. Location: The location is beautiful. It is 20 minutes from the Medina and you need to order a taxi at least 30 minutes before the time you want to leave. The cost is 200 MAD.
Even at 3* prices I would have been disappointed but at 5* prices I felt like I was being ripped off especially when everywhere else we went provided amazing hospitality at a fraction of the price. All in all if I was asked to recommend this hotel I would give it 0 on a scale of 10
I had sent a couple a emails to the hotel ahead of our stay to alert them to the fact our stay was to celebrate my Husbands 50th birthday. Whilst I wasn't looking for any 'special treatment', I was looking for attentive and excellent service. I booked a Pavilion for our stay, we arrived at 6pm and were taken straight to room - nondescript 'greeting' but, we were given a bottle of water!! We entered our Pavilion and found no towels/water/tea bags/kettle/water/rugs for the floor/outdoor cushions were dumped on the floor..totally unprepared and utterly underwhelmed - this class of room totally not worth the money. Towels/water/kettle rectified asap, the rest wasn't until next day. Chipped tiles, chipped ornaments, un hooved room..rugs (when they reappeared) weren't done all week, shower door wouldn't close (so could use steam).
There were some excellent individual members of staff (one at the pool, one at dinner and one of the reception team) however, the rest were just average staff that didn't go 'the extra mile' in any way at all and 'excellent service' isn't really a concept they are familiar with in my opinion.
The food, although expensive, is generally good and the chef did cook specific and simple things as requested to accommodate me being vegetarian. Breakfast however is pathetic offering for a supposed 5 star hotel. You are only offered orange juice...no other juice options. Pancakes/french toast etc is available but, precooked and cold so, you are expected to stand there and reheat your own rubbery pancakes (that have been sat around with birds on them for a couple of hours) on a prehistoric salamanda. This is also for cooking your own toast and it only fits 2 pieces of bread at a time...there is only one of them so, you can imagine waiting for this with several people is a little dull and reheated pancakes are gross in case you fancied trying them! I did ask for fresh pancakes as they do have a chef in the morning cooking only eggs to order - I was told this was not possible. I have never stayed at a 5 star hotel where I have been expected to cook my own breakfast??!! There was fruit but, on several days the selection was minimal, weird as there's an abundance of fruit at the medina so, it's clearly easy to come by. They also had no pancakes at all one day..no ingredients apparently (??) and the hotel also ran out of diet coke. In some far flung place, one may expect these things but, in Marrakech..come on, this is meant to be 5 star??!!
The pool area was ok, although during our stay the weather was poor, we did stay by the pool on one day. several loungers and shades have seen better days as have the pool towels provided...very tired.
I had a facial at the spa that was advertised as a head and neck massage together with a facial for 1200 dirham. The 'facial' consisted of the 'therapist' squeezing pores (?!) and there was no head massage (just poured oil into my hair and later showered it off with freezing water..not a good combo) and there was no shoulder massage either...worst treatment I think I've ever had and not at all as advertised!
At no point during our stay were we made to feel in any way that we had special service and no reference by the hotel at all was made to my Husbands birthday.
I would never return as the hotel lacks on every level and I could never describe it as '5 star' . It is also expensive - money I would happily spend had we received what we'd anticipated however, for what we 'actually' received, we felt seriously disappointed!
The last straw was when a rather surly female on reception told me we weren't eligible for a return airport transfer free of charge. Before staying, the hotel had offered us a complimentary one way transfer from or to airport. I had agreed to organise our own way from the airport but, had accepted a return transfer as offered. The day before we were due to leave, the receptionist told me it was ONLY available from the airport and not to - if I wanted that, we would have to pay! I advised her I had email confirmation at which point, she demanded to look through my phone. I sorted the matter by showing her the emails however, there was no apology on her part and furthermore, she was not interested at all in the poor experience overall we had endured - no one was!
Given all the above, I really couldn't recommend this hotel to anyone unless you enjoy paying high prices for poor product, you revel in an unclean and outdated room and you enjoy reheating your own breakfast when on holiday!
Contrary to some of the previous reviews, I couldn’t fault the service. It was actually some of the best we’ve encountered on our travels. Everyone was extremely friendly and attentive without being overbearing. This definitely added to our enjoyment.
The hotel is situated about a 15 minute taxi ride away from the Medina but this suited us perfectly and we opted to pop in and out as we pleased.
We visited the Atlas Mountains for a day, which we organised separately. If was definitely worth taking a day out to do this.
We stayed at the Palais Aziza for 6 nights and will definitely return.
My partner and I stayed from the 3rd March 2018 - 10th March 2018 on a Bed & Breakfast rate in a Junior suite (Aisha).
Reception and room issues:
The Aisha suite is very well appointed and is a beautiful room.
The reception area was very dark on arrival and not very welcoming, however later on in the week I realised that the chandelier had been turned off. Later on in the week the chandelier was lit making reception more atmospheric at night. Other lights around the hotel were also off, such as on bedroom balconies and only half of the pool lights work. Other reviewers have also mentioned this.
Maids coming into room and servicing room when red slipper was on the door (The red slipper indicates maid not to enter, green indicates maid can enter).
WIFI hit and miss on mobile phones, especially by the citrus bar (pool bar).
Laptop only worked near reception.
No turndown service two nights running, even when I had alerted the receptionist to this mistake. The last night of our stay (Friday) turndown service happened but left us with no towels.
There is a Nespresso machine in the room however there are only 2 coffee cartridges and 1 peppermint tea bag issued complimentary. Other tea bags are available (3 others) however I only drink peppermint tea. When I enquired why the maid had not replenished the tea tray in the room, I was told that anymore coffee cartridges or peppermint tea sachets needed to be paid for. The receptionist had omitted to tell us this at check-in. I ordered a standing order of 2 coffee cartridges and 1 peppermint tea to be added to my bill however this never happened.
The pools, seating and planting are excellent with the addition of 7 fantastic peacocks.
The chap who looks after the pools and delivers drinks to your sun lounger is excellent and attentive.
I have a phobia of cats, and the hotel cat does come and pester you whilst you are sat on the sun loungers and having lunch by the pool. The hotel staff do try and shoo it away however if like me you have a phobia you may need to be forewarned. Other reviewers have mentioned the hotel cats and the hotel management have said the cats have gone to good homes, however I can confirm that a ginger one (receptionist said hotel cat) does still live there. Other stray cats do come and visit but pass through. I was not disturbed by the stray cats.
The breakfast items on the buffet are hit and miss, however the service at breakfast is excellent.
The addition of breakfast menus would enhance the service at breakfast, as there is more choice to be had, however we were not told about them.
We ate in the restaurant on the Saturday and Sunday evenings, however the menu lacks choice if you are staying a week.
My food on both nights was luke warm.
I feel the chef is being too clever with dinner menus, too many hand processes in delivering the food to the plate, leaving opportunity for the food to go cold. Keep it simple!
Lunch menus and food from the Josper grill were excellent.
Not all the choices on the menus are available. Other reviewers have said the same.
Staff at the hotel seem lethargic. We were told by several people that the season in Marrakech did not start until the Wednesday of our stay. The hotel during the beginning of our stay was perhaps running at 25% occupancy and by the end of our stay perhaps 70%.
I did ask to speak to the hotel general manager (who was on duty), however she decided to send the front office manager instead!
We spent half an hour together and he listened diligently to my feedback. He said he would come back to me, however when he did come back to me (the next day) I was eating lunch. He said he would speak to me after lunch however he never did.
The hotel general manager caught my partner paying the bill on the last night of our stay and had a chat, however we had a taxi waiting so had to go.
Overall, if you go to this hotel thinking the property and service are both 5 star you will be disappointed, whereas if you go to the hotel thinking the hotel is 5 star and the service 4 star you will not be disappointed.
Very pleasant room, very good service by the room staff. Good swimming pool, excellent service by the pool staff. The restaurant was also very good, with attentive staff and fresh, good food. Friendly competent spa staff.
The location is far outside Marrakech. You'll need to book transportation via the reception staff, waiting time approx. 20 minutes - and then you generally get a car with private driver.