Travel + Leisure magazine has announced the winners of its “2019 World’s Best Hotels.”
Rabat – Marrakech’s Royal Mansour and Kasbat Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains won their categories.
Travel + Leisure runs an annual competition, where readers of the famous monthly travel magazine vote for their favorite hotels based on the quality of the rooms and facilities, location, service, food, and value.
This year, readers voted the Royal Mansour of Marrakech as the best city hotel in North Africa and the Middle East.
It is yet another award for the luxury hotel in the heart of Marrakech. In 2018, the Royal Mansour won 7 awards including the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide annual award and the World Luxury Spa Award.
The hotel was commissioned by the King of Morocco. It is spread over five stories and an estate, with multiple restaurants, 53 riads, and a 2,500 square meter spa.
Many guests report having an “exceptional experience” on TripAdvisor. “Positively amazing in every way. [sic] This was our 4th time to the Royal Mansour – you are treated like royalty from the moment you arrive until the second you leave,” says one guest. For another, “the surroundings/service/décor/food/everything [were] the best I have ever experienced in a hotel.” The riads cost between $1,195 and $6,752 per night.
Of the nearly 600 reviews, most are excellent, although some are more critical. “The common area is filled with people posing and taking photos,” complained one reviewer. “The design might appeal to some guests, but for my taste, it screamed gaudy and pretentious,” they added. A minority report having a “terrible” or “poor” experience. “Pure esthetics over genuine service and quality,” reports one guest. “For those with more money than sense,” finds another.
For Travel + Leisure readers though, the Royal Mansour deserves recognition.
Marrakech’s Four Seasons Resort and the famous Mamounia Hotel, also both made it to the top ten list.
Travel + Leisure also awards the readers’ “top five resort hotels in North Africa and the Middle East” located outside major cities.
Kasbat Tamadot won this category.
Kasbah Tamadot is the former governor’s mansion at the base of the Atlas mountains. The 28 room hotel near the Toubkal, Morocco’s highest summit an hour’s drive south of Marrakech is owned by the British entrepreneur Richard Branson.
The hotel has collected hundreds of positive reviews on Trip Advisor. “100% over the top AMAZING,” says one guest. “The place will make your draw drop! Wow!,” says another. “When you arrive at the hotel, it feels almost magical. The grounds are unbelievably beautiful, complete with a pool overlooking endless breathtaking views,” describes another.
But you can’t please everyone. “Seriously disappointing! In fact, pretty downright awful,” complains a guest.
“The fixed smile Branson-worshipping management, recently transferred from the Caribbean, were irritating to everyone we talked to and were better suited to a Virgin gym reception than a Moroccan hideaway in the mountains,” criticizes another.
The rooms and suites cost between $600 and $2,700 a night in the low season.