Mogador Kasbah Hotel in Marrakech
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
I flew to Marrakech to kick-start my BA Tier Point aim of getting to Silver status. This was booked with return next day flight. As such I needed a hotel. To gain further points i booked Mogador Kasbah hotel and spa (to give it it's full name #MogadorKasbah), using RocketMiles. Avios is linked up with various 3rd parties like #Rocketmiles, Kaligo, Points & hounds to gain points, so plenty of options out there.
I added my BA membership number when purchasing through Rocketmiles.
The flight landed at Marrakech late in the day around 6.30pm. The airport is very chaotic and has its fair share of challenges. From multiple passport\boarding pass checks, money exchange queues to taxi drivers. Patience is required!
The hotel is located in the Agdal area, which is around 10 minutes by taxi from the airport, and the old city (Jemaa el fna). It's not a hotel for those who want to experience a riad, you can find lot's of those around the old city area. But for me it was ideal as it wasn't too far (nor expensive) for my early morning flight.
After I had managed to get swindled off by the taxi driver for a 12 minute ride (literally got taken for a ride!), i arrived at the hotel.
It’s got a very moorish grandeur look. Red coloured, fountains, with a drive that shapes around it so it can be admired. It shows how much Spain was influenced.
On entering the hotel, you go through a metal detector. However it’s not monitored, and I’m guessing it’s there to alert staff. I’m sure there could have been a cheaper way to do this! Kind of hoping that they had the old fashioned loud bell on the reception desk.
Some melodious Moroccan music was being played on an instrument by an elderly gentleman who was sitting at the lobby. This made sure i realised i was on holiday!
I think this is key for memories. If a theme or sound of the country is established within a hotel and you have a good stay, your more likely to come back. I'm sure the hospitality business around the world pay a lot of money to get psychological research on tourists, so they can be catered for. Music must be the at the top somewhere.
I walked to the reception with my small shoulder bag, where they took my passport to check-in. I was asked to fill a form in as well. I had already payed upfront for the night, but also paid the city tax for each night.
Marrakesh like most touristic cities now, have a city or tourist tax. For one night it worked out to be 12 dhirams.
Having received my card with the room number i got details about breakfast and wifi. There was no reason to get a local sim for 1 night as i thought that WiFi in most public areas would be available. In this day and age it should be available at tourist areas.
A side note about Marrakesh: It’s been a popular destination in recent years(at least the last 2 decades).Apart from a slight improvement in the airport I don’t think they have done enough to make it efficient for 2019. Free WiFi should be a basic element available in most area. But even the commercial aspect of it. It's still seen as a cheap brits holiday. Almost like it wants to replace your Ibiza's and Magaluf's. The country has a lot to offer, but needs to update it's technical and land network infrastructure.
Back to the hotel. When I did get the WiFi details from reception to connect, the internet wasn’t stable or good at all. There were under a 100 guests in the hotel, which has over 190 rooms.
I didn’t even try to use my laptop to update documents to the cloud. My phone using Skype and WhatsApp kept cutting out. Breakfast i was told was between 7.30am to 10am. Perfect for me to have a quick early breakfast. I went back towards the lifts to go find my room.
There are only 3 floors at the hotel but it’s widespread. The inside lobby looks decent for what I would term a 3-4 star hotel. There is an elegant chandelier in the centre which goes all the way to the top of the ceiling of the hotel. So you can see up and down from the top.
There’s 2 lifts, and stairs which are almost as quick. The lifts are small and can get tight with 2-3 people with large bags. I took the lift to get to the 2nd floor.
The hotel room numbers are a bit strange, as the 2nd floor has a number in the thousands. Perhaps they are planning for a future expansion!
The hallways seems relatively clean for morocco. I think expectations have to be managed for this country, especially Marrakech hotels.
Upon entering the room, I was relieved to see it was reasonably well kept and maintained.
The bathroom was clean with a bath\shower, toilet, a large sized washroom sink and a bidet. It was very well spaced. As most hotels in the square are boutiques so the size is normally restricted for each room. But this twin room had enough space to put your bags and clothes away in the cupboard.
The floor had tiles across the room and bathroom. What i found was a nice touch to the room were the small carpets on either side of the bed. This gives it a nice sense of luxury, when going to sleep and waking up in the morning. Your feet will thank you.
There was no safe in the room which was a shame. However I could see that that the rooms and hotel generally looked safe.
BUT, I was staying for 1 night and as such wouldn’t have my luggage in the room whilst it was being cleaned. I’m sure it’s rare, but if you’ve got expensive equipment, then perhaps reception could arrange something. The cards, with hotel information and services, around the room were helpful. This gave a sense that you could call upon them for your requirements. Service, it seems, they were keen on making sure it was to a high standard.
The rest of the room looked pretty standard. Until I noticed the curtains wouldn’t close. It may be an issue for some who want a dark room to get some sleep, but I’m generally OK with it. The curtains were faulty so couldn't get them to slide to block out the moonlight.
However upon trying to fix it, I noticed the window was actually a patio door, which led to a good size balcony.
Bliss. On holiday, opening an entrance to go to a balcony during the evening humidity. It's a holiday feeling.
Balcony's give an extra luxury experience to a hotel stay. The room could be rubbish, but if it has a balcony, chances are, it will have a view. This allocated separate space can be used to be away from the bags in the room and relax looking at the new world you are in.
The lighting was a neat setup, as you can control most of them from your bed side. This includes one main switch which you can press and it shuts all the lights in your room.
The AC was already running on entry, and gave a very nice cool air. The size of the room helps to circulate it. But I never felt too cold, and always felt cooled when entering the room.
The beds themselves however left a lot to be desired. The beds were on wheels (no headboards), so sitting upright meant you could wheel yourself away. I’m sure kids would love it!
Sleeping on it didn’t seem to pose too much of a problem. I’m someone who can sleep in most new places.
The mattress seemed a little hard and felt like it needed to be replaced. The duvet cover. Uh oh! This...was a mangled mess. It seemed so old, that it could have been mine which I threw away last year! Not great.
But, thankfully I managed to get a good nights sleep. The patios seemed as if they didn’t let in too much sound, albeit they didn’t seem the most secure. The hotels off a main road, but there’s that grand entrance driveway with a fountain in between so perhaps the sound of the taxis beeping would have been drowned out in the distance.
Woke up in the morning and took a shower. The shower was running off the taps, so the power wasn’t too strong. They have a slip mat in the bath which may help people. There’s plenty of towels and some nice smelling shower gel and shampoos.
There’s plenty of space in the cupboards to hang your clothes. But no other amenities like iron. However, I’m sure these can be had if you ask.
Breakfast is behind the reception. You can walk around either side of the Reception desk, and you get to the dining room. Here you have a big square area plus outdoor seating. The weather was nice so I was going to sit outside. There was a chef to make an omelette for you. He didn’t seem to be taking requests for eggs any other way. The omelette was plain so you had to do your own DIY. As it was, the salads were all fresh, so i added these which complimented it well. It didn’t seem like a lot was on offer in the buffet. But the fruits and salads were very good as they seemed all local. Makes a change in buying from a store which has it frozen by chemicals for days if not weeks!
Quite a bit of patisseries as well, no doubt part of the French culture. A man serving fresh Moroccan tea, which was amazing. The rest of the food is you would find in any continental hotel.
There’s a pool outside. And the hotel (as it’s full name suggests) has a SPA.
Overall I can’t say too much of a bad word about the hotel. I got more than I expected in one sense, but was let down in some other departments (the bed duvet shouldn’t have been given to anyone let alone paying guests). Nice open spacious room, with a well maintained bathroom. Let's be honest, your not going to spend a lot of time in hotels when in Morocco. However it's nice to have a cool place to relax from your day haggling with the locals in the searing heat.
I did enjoy the breakfast. It just didn’t seem a lot, apart from patisseries. So if its the same every day, you could get bored. The location is in between the airport and the Markets and Bazaar. You need a taxi to get to either place.
The balcony, the look of the hotel from the outside and the lobby, were all impressive and general maintenance overall seems very good. I didn’t go during peak season, so would be interesting to see how it’s handled with much more guests.