Moroccan Magnificence: The Four Seasons Resort Marrakech
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I recently took a trip spanning two continents — Europe and Africa. I spent a few days in Barcelona, Spain and then made my way south to Marrakech, Morocco. The city has no shortage of fantastic-looking hotels, but a friend of mine spoke very highly of the new(ish) Four Seasons, so I was eager to try it out for myself — especially because this was my first (but hopefully not last) stay with the chain.
One of my favorite perks of my Platinum Card® from American Express is the Fine Hotels and Resorts program, and it's even better when you're booking a hotel like the Four Seasons, given that the chain doesn't have a points program. Booking through FHR makes your stay that much better and can emulate (or even surpass) the perks you'd enjoy with elite status at a chain that has a traditional loyalty program.
At this property, FHR perks included a 4:00pm checkout, 12:00pm check-in, room upgrade (subject to availability), daily breakfast for two, complimentary Wi-Fi and a unique property amenity — in this case it came in the form of a $100 spa credit, which I ended up using toward a massage. I paid 390 euros per night, and a total of 780 euros for my two-night stay. Since I booked through FHR, I unfortunately didn't earn 5x points on my purchase, so I walked away with a measly 780 Membership Rewards points. The rate was steep, but not particularly high for a Four Seasons property, and since I got so many perks thanks to my FHR booking, I thought it was totally worth it.
The Four Seasons Marrakech is located just about two miles from the Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK). The property itself constitutes a compound, and it's just a short taxi ride — or about a 20 minute walk — from most major destinations in the city. The hotel did a great job of flagging down cabs and helping us negotiate prices to wherever we needed to go. Taxis in Marrakech don’t typically have meters (I found this out the hard way after hopping into a cab at the airport), so make sure you negotiate your fare before hand — always haggle! I definitely overpaid for my 10-minute cab ride to the hotel from the airport (we were told it should've cost around 100 dirham). If you have plans to explore Marrakech at night, the hotel also provides a free first-come-first-serve shuttle service, which runs from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.
Marrakech has a new city and an old city. The old city (the Medina) is the old, walled city center where you can explore the souks, Jemaa el-Fnaa (the main square of Marrakech), stay at a riad and more. The “new city” — where the Four Seasons is located — is basically everything outside of the Medina. The hotel was less than a 10-minute car ride to the Medina.
I landed in Marrakech around 9:00am and arrived at the hotel shortly after that. Given that I booked with Amex FHR, I was hoping for early check-in and a room upgrade, but we were notified there were no rooms ready yet and that no upgrades were available. However, the check-in staff was super friendly and welcoming.
One of the first things I noticed about the property was the combination of lush palm trees, and a water feature in front of the opposite building — a picture-perfect scene that I could've stared at for hours.
I continued to be in awe as I walked around the property more. Everything was new, and the grounds were perfectly manicured — as you'd expect at the Four Seasons.
The check-in area itself was our first taste of Marrakech. The check-in desk had fresh flowers and we were served Moroccan tea (a must-have when in Morocco) along with poufs and a Moroccan rug on the floor.
We were escorted to the lobby area to wait for our room to be ready. The breakfast buffet was still out, which was a relief — we were quite hungry since we'd already been awake for many hours.
I made myself a plate from the buffet and thoroughly enjoyed my meal — everything tasted fresh and was prepared well. After about an hour or so of waiting we got word that our room was ready for us.
During our wait, I explored a little bit of the public areas. The balcony right off the lobby provided fantastic views and did a great job of reminding me that I was in Morocco.
The lobby even featured birds! I don't recall another hotel that I've stayed at that had birds in the lobby — it was a nice touch and certainly added to the sunny ambience that the hotel created.
A bellman showed us to our third-floor room. When we arrived, our luggage had already been arranged in the closet — service touches like these make a difference!
We also found a welcome amenity that consisted of fresh fruit, a large bottle of water and dates waiting for us.
The king-sized bed was fantastic — I got two perfect nights of sleep. My perfect sleep was aided in no small part by the pillows on the bed. They were, in a word, amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I would love to order a pair for my bed at home.
As good as the bed was, my favorite part of the room definitely was the balcony. It was spacious and featured two chairs, a small table, a ceiling fan for hot desert days and a day bed set under an arch — the perfect place to relax and read a book.
The views of the gardens from the balcony were beautiful, too. I absolutely loved gazing on to the green palm trees and the fountains that were directly in front of my room.
Back inside the room, the bathroom was huge, which is much appreciated — especially when traveling with someone else. The double vanity — something I'm not accustomed to in my small NYC apartment — is a must when on vacation!
The shower receives high marks, though the bath does not. On one of my nights, I decided to draw myself a bath. However, I gave up after 20 minutes because the drain refused to get blocked off and thus the tub wouldn't fill up all the way.
The shampoo, conditioner and body wash were in bigger bottles than I'm used to at hotels, which made me think that they were refilled in between guests. That would certainly be odd for a super-luxe chain like the Four Seasons, though, so I could be wrong. There were a toilet and bidet in a separate water closet — a necessary feature in any modern bathroom.
The hotel closet is worth noting, as it was positively huge. There was room to spare after all of our luggage was in it. Though the drawers (one of which housed the room's safe) looked a little worn — a bit surprising given that this hotel isn't that old.
Food and Beverage
As I mentioned earlier, we arrived at the hotel while the expansive and frankly gorgeous breakfast buffet was still out in the main lobby.
For dinner that evening we returned to the lobby, which had transformed into a sleek and authentic Moroccan restaurant and lounge called Inara. The food was absolutely delicious — the most memorable dishes of the night were the Sea Bass and the traditional Moroccan meatballs. Both dishes were perfectly portioned and plated, and were just done so well. The Spicy Mojito perfectly complemented our meals and matched the ambiance of the lounge.
The following evening, I dined at Quattro — the on-property Italian restaurant. The space was romantic — mainly thanks to the fact that it was actually Valentine's Day. I was given a rose as I was seated, and a singer with a guitar meandered through the restaurant singing love songs. Overall, I thought the food was less stellar than what I'd had at Inara, but I still enjoyed my meal. Our server suggested a beautiful Moroccan wine that paired well with our meal of tuna carpaccio, pizzola and a mixed seafood plate.
The bar at Quattro served up specialty cocktails in an attractive setting.
The second morning we also chose the buffet — this time, though, we sat outside, taking in the stunning setting around us.
The Four Seasons Marrakech has two separate pools — one for families and one reserved for adults. We spent our time at the adults only pool, which was certainly a treat. I can't say enough positive things about the staff — they simply didn't miss a beat. They made many trips around the pool deck, bringing smoothie samples, pistachio popsicles and other little snacks in tow. What more could you ask for?
The family pool was larger in size, and was considerably louder.
There was a kids club adjacent to the family pool complex that resembled a sand castle in a way, but still had a Moroccan aesthetic.
I was determined to not let me $100 spa credit go to waste — I used it to help pay for one of the best massages I've ever had. I left completely and totally relaxed after a long day of tourist-ing in Marrakech. The spa also featured a hot pool, cold pool, sauna and steam room that you could use before and after your treatment. Every detail of the hotel had such a unique Moroccan design — and greenery at every turn!
The fitness center was huge and had two separate rooms — one for weights and on for cardio. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I had absolutely no time to use the gym...
There were also a few red clay tennis courts on the property — a nice amenity that I wish I'd had time to use!
We were excited to explore the Medina, and a friend advised that the best way to do so was to book a guided walking tour to ensure that we'd see the best parts of it. The hotel's concierge helped us book our tour with a guide named Aziiz. He met us at the hotel and then took us out for the day. To say he was a popular guy in the city would be an understatement — it seemed like he knew everyone in the old city! He showed us all the best restaurants, shop and photo opps in the old city. We had a phenomenal day with Aziiz and highly recommend him if you're planning a trip to Marrakech — our half-day tour cost 550 Moroccan Dirham (~60USD), and he offers full-day tours as well. You can contact him directly at email@example.com. He's truly the real deal — he's given tours to celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Lionel Richie!
The Four Seasons Marrakech was one of the most beautiful properties I've stayed at to date. From the impeccable landscaping and the Moroccan design flourishes to the top-notch service, my stay was memorable and as close to perfect as I've ever experienced. I hope that I can return to this property sooner rather than later, and definitely recommend the property to anyone looking for a super-luxurious stay in Marrakech.