Often when you imagine going on a romantic getaway, images of a place where you can be secluded from the rest of the world come to mind; perhaps a private, discreet place with a secret garden, or a fancy pool where you can lounge all day sipping cocktails.
But if you crave the action and excitement of a big city like Marrakech, it can be a bit tricky to find the best of both worlds. Luckily, such a places does exist; Mabrouk Riad and Spa, Marrakech, Morocco.
Located minutes away from Djemaa El Fna square in the heart of the medina, Riad Mabrouk is absolutely perfect for those wanting to be in the center of the action and walking distance from the hottest cafes, restaurants and shops, yet seeking the exotic ambiance and atmosphere that will add some spice to your vacation.
Carved doors and archways, and blue mosaics that conjure up images of ancient Andulusian towns, Mabrouk has been expertly restored, and is now the only riad in the medina with a glass elevator that carries you to the most amazing rooftop bar, restaurant and pool, giving you a spectacular view of the city below.
Riad Mabrouk and Spa offers guests lovely, 4-star accommodations, airport shuttle service, exemplary hospitality, luxurious rooms with exquisite, hand-carved furniture and gorgeous architecture, stained glass windows, and shockingly affordable prices.
Luxury & Beauty
If your idea of the perfect romantic vacation conjures up the image of an Arabian fantasy of a stunning, traditional riad or palace, and the glamour and elegance of “Casablanca” and the sophistication of Bogart and Bergman, you’ll fall in love with Mabrouk the moment you enter the huge, carved arches.
From its grand proportions to the tiniest details, the architecture and design reflect the elegant mixture of Moorish, Andalusian and Moroccan heritages in every carved door, painted ceiling and stained glass windows.
Morocco’s riads (traditional courtyard homes) are built with rooms surrounding center courtyards, and Mabrouk’s architecture was designed to delight; each room has it’s own private balcony, stunning, rare paintings an artwork throughout the private and public spaces, and intricate details that constantly surprise in a subtle way, adding to the peaceful vibe and atmosphere.
Located in the heart of the Mellah district, steps away from Djemaa al’Fna Square, the 14 fabulously decorated rooms and suites of Mabrouk offer flat-screen televisions, safes, mini fridges and bars, and gorgeous wooden wardrobes.
The complimentary toiletries are encased in silver and glass Moroccan containers, and the plush robes and towels are thick and over-sized, a delightful, unexpected surprise that is uncommon and rarely seen, even in the finest hotels in Marrakech.
Skybar Mabrouk, the rooftop terrace bar not only serves alcohol (not always easy to find in Morocco,) but offers incredible panoramic views of the Medina, the Koutoubia Mosque, and on clear days, you can see the High Atlas Mountains in the distance.
The hotel’s 7 suites and 12 rooms are air-conditioned and feature colorful tiles, and clean, spacious en suite bathrooms. Free wifi is available, but you may need to use the public areas or service may be spotty. If you’re seeking relaxation, or more importantly, some privacy for you and your partner to sometimes a lack of wifi can be a good thing.
Most of the rooms have a balcony/ patio overlooking the center courtyard, but if you prefer, you can get a room with a city view. Whether you stay in a suite or not, the beds are luxurious and all have Egyptian cotton sheets and premium bedding. I had an enormous, hand carved wooden canopy bed in my room and enjoyed the best sleep I’ve had in ages.
Rumor has it that Mabrouk was once the harem of one of Morocco’s sultans, and is now one of Marrakech’s most exquisite riad hotels. That isn’t hard to believe when you see the exquisite, rich tapestries, beautiful tiled floors and antique Berber carpets. Carved cedarwood shutters and ceilings and gilded and polished finishes create an opulent and exotic atmosphere, enhanced by the smallest details that conjure up sensual fantasies of a thousand and one nights of pure pleasure.
The rooms exude luxury and culture. At night your dreams will take you on a sensual journey and a blissful, peaceful night after your senses are stimulated by the riad’s traditional decorative art and contemporary design, leaving you with a rare and authentic memory. You’ll love being able to escape to the discreet privacy of your exotic room after a day strolling through the chaotic, exciting labyrinth of the Medina.
One of the most unusual features of the riad is the glass elevator which transports you like a magic carpet to the rooftop terrace. No other riad in the Medina offers an elevator, even more reason this prestigious riad is unique.
Some of the rooms may seem smaller to those used to more opulent, luxury accommodations, but if you need a more spacious room, you can choose a suite. At the incredibly affordable prices Mabrouk offers, you can easily splurge.
Just be aware that some of the suites tend to be overlooking the street which can be noisier than the lower level standard rooms which don’t offer views except of the inner courtyard and street level restaurant.
Anytime you head to a Muslim country, you should know beforehand that the first call to prayer begins super early around 5 am. If you’re thrilled to be learning about Moroccan culture and religion, this will not be a problem. But if your idea of a relaxing vacation means slowly waking up long after the hotel’s complimentary breakfast dishes have been washed and stored away, this might not be so appealing. But no matter which accommodations you choose, there’s bound to be a mosque somewhere nearby.
One other detail to note, rarely do riads or hotels have heated pools, and Mabrouk is no exception. However, since the pool is located on rooftop terrace and not on the ground floor of the courtyard, (unlike most riad pools,) the water does get a bit warm from the sun. But if you prefer simply lounging, there are plenty of comfortable white chaise loungers where you can read, nap, or just enjoy the beautiful roses and abundance of flowers and plants in the garden area.
And More Decadence
Besides the fancy wine and alcohol list and the tasty Moroccan and Western dishes offered by Skybar Mabrouk Restaurant and bar, there are quite a few other pleasant surprises for guests at Mabrouk Riad.
Complimentary breakfast in the courtyard cafe offers more than just a continental array of bread, pastries and pancakes; you can also have omelettes made to order, fresh squeezed juices, Moroccan mint tea or coffee. An always busy outdoor cafe located on the corner of one of Marrakech’s most popular streets for people watching, and the Mabrouk Movie Theater are just a few other businesses just steps away. Museums, monuments, palaces and gardens are just beyond the souks and all within walking distance, and of course, the famous Katoubia mosque is a few streets away. And, the Riad also has a currency exchange, a boutique and a souvenir shop.
If you’re interested in a tour or excursion, he staff is available 24/24 to help you, including assistance with airport transfers, desert glamping experiences, hot air balloon rides, shopping trips through the Medina, camel and horseback rides, and cooking classes where you can learn to make cous cous or delicious tagines.
But probably the most appealing draw at Mabrouk Riad (besides the stunning rooms) is the Hammam and Spa. Whether you’re interested in relaxing in the sauna or Jacuzzi, or you’re seeking a package that includes a massage or treatment which uses local products like argan oil, orange or rose flower water, or honey, this deluxe hammam and spa is the perfect place for you to unwind.
A hammam ritual is something many Moroccans do weekly. Locals seek out the best hammams for traditional scrubs where black soap, followed by a Ghassoul wrap; (a natural mineral, clay mixed with rose water) helps to detox the body from impurities. Spa packages offer various massages that will make you feel as if you’re royalty, so be sure to make a reservation as soon as you arrive.
Mabrouk Riad is absolutely perfect for visitors looking for a more authentic, exotic traditional riad that offers all of the comfort of modern amenities and hedonistic pleasures like good food, good wine, and an opportunity to escape the chaotic madness of the sexy Medina where you can indulge in the passionate embrace of your lover in the privacy of your own secret “harem” bedchamber. Role play and live out your fantasies of a thousand and one nights and bring back the spice to your relationship through the exotic charm and magic you will only find in Marrakech.
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