Everybody wants to feel special, and arriving at the Sahara Palace Hotel, a The Park managed hotel in Marrakech, Morocco for a sneak peek and dinner with General Manager Mr Rahman, I certainly felt pretty special.
The visit had started low key enough, I was collected from my riad in the heart of the busy Medina of Marrakech by the assistant manager and driver. Twenty minutes later, stepping into the luxurious surroundings of the hotel reception however, I immediately felt overwhelmed, even intimidated; the majority of the management team and several other employees greeted me. I couldn’t help wondering who they had expected to arrive, surely not just me.
More about Marrakech: The Marrakech Medina – Berbers and souks in Morocco
I kept looking around, half expecting somebody important to arrive or maybe somebody was about to jump out and shout “Smile you’re on Candid Camera“!
As some of you are probably aware, I’m not a great fan of site visits. As an experiential traveller, a site visit isn’t the experience I’m normally seeking.
However, this was a visit way beyond any site visit experienced before. I spent the next hour being shown around the hotel, full entourage in tow, opening doors and allowing me access to the opulent suites. Even in the dark of a Moroccan evening, it was blatantly obvious this was an impressive hotel, and the morning views were likely to be equally impressive.
Despite my initial impression, the friendly team soon had me feeling more comfortable and I spent a pleasant few hours at the hotel. Although, at this time of year, there didn’t seem to be many guests, just a handful enjoying a musician playing live music in the bar it’s easy to imagine it being a popular. Especially, as the bar is well stocked and the cocktails very quaffable.
We had the restaurant and chef to ourselves when I sat down with Mr Rahman and PR management team for dinner. Paired with a first class wine of my choice, making the fact it was excellent slightly surprising, a satisfying meal of local and Indian dishes was served. The company was both charming and interesting, allowing for some lively conversation.
More photography in Marrakech: More Joy of Souks – Marrakech Edition
By the time I was provided a lift back to my riad, my ego had been massaged as if it had spent an hour in the well-equipped spa on its own, and I was feeling too smug for my own good.
As a The Park managed hotel it is unsurprisingly luxurious. It is set in 54 hectares and the accommodation is split into the main Palace and four separate accommodations styled as riads. With pleasant, landscaped gardens and views of the Atlas Mountains there seem to be plenty of places to relax and just enjoy the surroundings.
Located in the Palmeraie region about twenty minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Medina, and daily excursions into the old city, it’s ideal for those that wish to visit, but be able to escape the noise and hectic pace of the town.
How to survive the souks: Marrakech – Morrocan Souk Survivalism
It isn’t surprising to learn that sheikhs and celebrities choose to stay here when visiting Marrakech, some of the suites can only be described as opulent. Several even have butler suites, which are more luxurious than almost any riad in the Medina.
Thank you to Mr Rahman for making me feel so special during my visit, but the pampering, all views are my own.
*All photography courtesy of The Park