Les Borjs de la Kasbah
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... evening we headed down along the cobbled alleyways past the stall holders and across the wide, currently dry, river to visit the Kasbah, which dates back to the 17th century. As we climbed the steps and wound our way up through the ksar to the top of the hill we stopped to admire the rustic buildings, some of which are still inhabited. Glad to reach the top and catch our breaths we were rewarded with sensational sweeping views back over the ksar, now ...
... and pillows, the individual compartments also had doors you could close, and the toilet had toilet paper, soap and a hand dryer. As I write this now it seems like a really silly thing to get excited about but after 2 months in India we have come to expect nothing from anywhere and always carry our own toilet paper and hand soap. Each couchette compartment had 4 beds in it and so we shared ours with a local man who spent most of his night not in the ...
... to be picked up for our tour. We met the group in the main square and made our way for the Atlas Mountains and Sahara dessert. We snagged the front seat (good thing too cause of all the twists and turns in the drive). We made pit stops all along the way for pictures of the mountains and bathroom and drink breaks. In the afternoon we stopped in Zagora and did a little one hour walking tour to see the old town and where they filmed a few movies like ...
... down the main streets, and ducking off into random wee side streets to get to all the places we went to!
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Historical Traveler Reviews Les Borjs de la Kasbah Marrakech
i have tried to make a reservation 3 times over the phone and twice by email.kept getting told to call back another time and email was not responded.friends stayed here and loved it but unfortunately in our case no matter how great the place is they were not interested in a booking for four nights.they are obviously content in the knowledge that the rooms will sell themselves without them caring about service.what a shame
A. Tayeb (Director)
Arriving at Marrakech Airport, I was met by a driver organised by the hotel and within eight minutes I had arrived at the huge city wall which encloses the Medina and through the magnificent Baba Agnaou gateway. I'm heading for the hotel through the chaotic, exciting and very exhilerating Kasbar with mopeds, horse-drawn carriages, taxis, exotic smells, pavement cooking and lots and lots of happy people. Suddenly chaos became calm as I stepped out of the taxi to be welcomed by hotel staff (how did they know when I would arrive?) into the tranquility of what surely must be the best find in all of North Africa, a new 18-room riad hotel near the Royal Palace, right under the city remparts called LES BORJS DE LA KASBAH. Opened in 2006, after four years converting six townhouses and one riad into this style gem by Mike and Francoise Bruce-Mitford, the owners, and an up-and-coming young Moroccan architect. The interior is traditional Moroccan with acres of deep-cut white plasterwork hand carved by local craftsmen - often carved without the aid of templates or stencil drawings - and all the walls are polished, tinted plaster shedding a soft glow on everyone. The large bedrooms, some with their own terraces, have very spacious ensusite bathrooms. The best feature, besides unbeatable comfort, are the beautifully coordinated fabrics and drapes, so carefully chosen by Francoise to give each room its own style. Throughout the hotel, unusual and interesting paintings hang, all of which were chosen by Francoise, who toured the local art galleries and studios to discover emerging Moroccan artists. Continental breakfasts is served in the dining room or on your own terrace, with oodles of fresh organe juice and the legendary Moroccan pancakes plus wonderful pastries and yoghurt and fab. coffee. (You can choose cooked, but with this morning fare, you can have Full English back home!) You can stay around for lunch and dinner in the Jasmine Restaurant where French cuisine with traditional Moroccan specialities is served. The head chef, with an excellent reputation, was persuaded to join the hotel's team as his dream is to make the Jasmine 'the best one in Marrakech'. I stayed for three days and was enchanted by the friendly professional young Moroccan staff and when the many readers of this site visit the hotel, do introduce yoursleves to le Directeur, M. Tayeb, who is an absolute 'pro' and has huge local knowledge as well as the ability to steer this young, fledgling hotel to stardom. Soon to open is the Spa with pool, jacuzzi, hammem and poolside bar. Francoise and Mike, who live in the UK, have paid enormous attention to the environmental credentials and have partial solar energy, all energy efficient lighting and are involved in upgrading and enhancing the close environs by redesigning and planting a small public garden
As we climbed out of the taxi late last Sunday evening and looked into the entrance hall of Les Borjs de la Kasbah, it was difficult to imagine that this was the project that had caused so much heartache and angst. Electricity seemed to have arrived and the staff were charming and most hospitable.
The rooms have been most imaginatively designed, the smallest manages to look spacious with good use of colour and texture. Sab has at least one alternative career up her sleeve!
My room was very welcoming, it was warm and friendly. The BK motif on the pillow cases and towels in the terracotta colour that was to become so much part of the landscape on our trip to the Atlas mountains, looked very smart. The towels were so luxurious.
All the guests had one thing in common, they were old friends of Sab and Mike, and they wanted this project to work.
Dinner, prepared by a reserved young chef, was delicious. The lamb particularly fell off the bone.The combination of chicken, green veg and icing sugar was extraordinary.
Day one was cold and damp and the hotel badly needed a plumber. We dealt with it all by going out and seeing the sights of Marrakech. Would it have been better to be wife number 1 or 4? Secretly I thought the life of the concubine would have been the most fun.
Rows of spices, leather wear, scarves and carpets enticed us into the souk. Later, exhausted we sat down in a herbal "supermarket"
Blue sky greeted us on day two and off we went to the Atlas mountains. Our ability to say "no" was severely tested as armfuls of jewellery was thrust under our noses. Land adjacent to the river was terraced, nothing was wasted. The Berber house was pristine and we began to understand why the mint tea was poured from such a height.
The ceiling in the bar was unlike anything we had ever witnessed. We had dinner here again and the sea bass fillets were simply delicious. What a shame the restaurant was not full.
I have told so many people about this place since I returned that it will always be full and the B-Ms had better get their rooms booked for the rest of the year now !
Carpets have been bought and we were so proud of our bartering skills. Mint tea had become commonplace and we could not understand what Mike meant when he said that this hotel had been dificult to open. Everthing seemed to run so effortlessly.
We will return to see the spa and hamman, perhaps not as soon as May though, after all it takes a long time to switch a light bulb on in Marrakech.
To Mike and Sab, thank you for including me in your select group of clients and for your wonderful generosity while we were there.
Les Borjs de la Kasbah is destined for great things and well done for having the vision to embark on the project and indeed for sticking with it. I loved it all
Hôtel de rêve au coeur de Marrakech
Ce charmant Hôtel, extrêmement confortable est idéalement situé dans ce quartier attachant de la kasbah, quartier populaire tout proche du nouveau Palais Royal : on est en 5 minutes sur la place Djamah el fnaa tout en étant dans un quartier calme et ceci est très appréciable dans Marrakech!
Les chambres sont jolies, avec de belles touches d'artisanat local, mais avec le confort parfait, bonne literie, belles parures de lit, magnifiques salle de bain....le tout chauffé, ce qui est merveilleux en Janvier !
L'équipe est charmante, les patios jolis, les prix raisonnables, les petits déjeuners délicieux (Le meilleur des jus d'orange), l'hôtel idéal avec le charme d'un Riad mais avec en plus le vrai service d'un Hôtel ! dans Marrakech ! Une réussite
Enchanting and Intelligent
We had a warm welcome from the reception staff and when we turned to go further into the hotel there was an enchanting sight; the way ahead was set out with candles in elegant lanterns at every turn and all around the courtyard. (we arrived after dark, of course!)
The hotel is nearly new but it looks like it could have been there for a century or two. The carved plasterwork and painted ceilings are done exquisitely and it still has the handsome proportions of an elegant prosperous family house.
Our room overlooked the courtyard where orange trees and bougainvillea were beginning to respond to Spring. The room was spacious and furnished with what I assume is locally made furniture, the bed was generous (I am above averagely tall) and comfortable and the bathroom was nicely done. The breakfasts make you feel an honoured guest; freshly squeezed oranges, eggy toast speciallity, griddle cakes and much more.
The dinners in the hotel were of a really high standard, good ingredients imaginatively prepared and served elegantly by friendly staff. The chef is a bit of a star and a large picture window lets you see him at work in an immaculate kitchen. I can picture being there in April or May and eating under a starry sky. My favourite was the chef's sea bass.
The receptionists are well able to organize excursions for you and have plenty of local knowledge and the transfers to and from the airport went without a hitch.
The owners gave us a tour of the hotel and we were able to see several of the other rooms. The conversion from houses to hotel has been done very intelligently, and with two charming smaller courtyards and a few single rooms there would be many possibilities for extended family get-togethers etc. Coming soon; and we saw the building works looking well on target, will be a pool, steam room and beauty treatment floor. This will be a fine place to go for a relaxing break and it is all the better because plenty of space has been allocated to public rooms; both indoor and outdoor.
Here is a charming hotel that has style, peace and quiet, good food, comfort and a very efficient staff. My wife and I liked it a lot.
Charming and full of character
I was told of this hotel by a friend, which opened at the start of 2007, and decided to make my booking, for 4 of us, for a 5 night stay (28/01-01/02). It's an 18 room affair with a spa and pool opening later in the year and is ideally located in the southern part of the Medina called the Kasbah. It's about 15 min walk to the main square.
The hotel arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the airport, at their expense, which was a good welcoming touch, and the driver was very friendly and helpful.
On arrival at the hotel, we received a lovely warm welcome and traditional mint tea. The hotel is very tastefully finished in traditional Morroccan design with tiled floors everywhere, Morroccan paintings, local style rugs and intricate wood and plaster work. In the centre of the hotel is a pieceful courtyard with dining tables and rooms off there for reading and relaxing.
The bedrooms are all individually designed and no two are the same in neither finish nor size. We had a Suite which is huge and has a sofa with two armchairs and a coffee table, desk, minibar and flat screen tv.
The bathroom had twin basins, a bath and a separate shower with the most comfortable towels I've ever used. Bathrobes were also thrown in for good measure.
The hotel hasn't skimped on the bedding either with really comfortable matresses and egyptian cotton bedlinen. Rooms also have a safe and reasonably priced minibar.
Rooms also have heating units (needed in the winter) and a/c for the summer - but do ask reception to show you how to use them as it's not obvious and it can get cold.
The cleaners always left a nice touch with rose petals carefully placed on the bed and around the bathroom - this did seem to appeal to the women more than me though!
The staff were always professional and delivered service to the highest of European standards, without being in your face. The receptionist was very happy to organise a trip to the Ourika Valley and a guided tour of the town for us - both of which were very good and worth the money.
The restaurant is one of few (in the Medina) to have a drinks licence, which is important to most of us Europeans, and the food is excellent. The fixed price 3 course menu changes every day and is cheap at 150 dirhams (less than £10) so we ate there most of the time. There is also an a la carte menu which is also good value.
Their wine list is mainly Morroccan wines, which I was sceptical about, but was pleasantly surprised by them and recommend sampling a few bottles.
A great little hotel
A recently opened riad conversion within the Medina. Staff very friendly and helpful, rooms were spacious and beautifully furnished and decorated. Restaurant food good. Highly recommended if you want to stay in Marrakesh old city.
It was kind of you to add your favourable impressions of Les Borjs de la Kasbah to the Trip Advisor website. Since your visit the bar is fully functioning. We hope you will visit us again when the pool and spa are available (from May).
Beautifully appointed Riad
Wonderful location in the Kasbah, very quiet, close to the main square, attractions and the King's Palace. The rooms are spacious, well appointed and very tastefully decorated in keeping with Moroccan style.Wonderful and excellent professional service. The restaurant has a varied menu, always beautifully presented gourmet cooking. Excellent chef! Breakfasts were a treat and every morning's menu was different and surprising. In particular, we loved the freshly squeezed orange juice,dates and pancakes.The staff were always very attentive and provided us with useful information regarding the local amenities and sights to visit. It was very pleasant to relax in the two different lounges in the early part of the afternoon, sipping a mint tea and enjoying the brilliant blue skies above the courtyard that has been well designed with colorful climbing Bougainvillea, flowers and a centre marble fountain.
We would love to return at another time of year and experience the pool and spa area which will be completed
in the near future.
Wonderful visit and we will definitely come again and have recommended this Riad to all our friends.
Virginie Cameron and family
Beautiful new conversion
Les Borjs de la Kasbah is a new hotel converted from six traditional houses set against the city walls of Marrakech, next to the old palace (a borj is a watchtower). It is beautiful, with inner courtyards complete with orange trees, fountains and bourganivillia. Fine plaster-work, wood carving and hand made tiles give an air of opulence and authenticity. Our welcome was warm, and we were well looked after throughout our stay. The food was excellent and the rooms charming. The electricity had a few teething problems, going off momentarily a few times, and the water was sometimes warm rather than hot, but as we were the first guests so we expected it, and it didn't in any way spoil our stay. A pool, steam room and health spa are due to open in the Spring. Stepping out of the hotel into the Rue de la Kasbah, the walk to the souk is about fifteen minutes.