Fit for (and built by) a king; the best hotel I have ever been to

The Royal Mansour was commissioned by the King of Morocco without any budget, and it shows. Every inch of the place is stunning. No surface is left unadorned or undecorated. The first thing you will notice upon entry is the beautiful lobby.

After check in we were given a small tour of the hotel and then shown to our “room”. Room is a misnomer because every “room” in this hotel is actually a riad (a Moroccan home with courtyard and indoor garden, usually fully enclosed). Even though we booked the lowest category of “room”, our riad was still three stories tall, complete with 2 bathrooms, living room, courtyard, bedroom, rooftop patio and plunge pool! Check out these videos. No words can describe how luxurious this place is!

After getting settled we decided to have lunch. This is where I was surprised to find that the staff had no idea what was and was not open for lunch. Two different people gave us different info. One said the Italian restaurant was open, and the other said it was closed. Because of this confusion, we settled for the French restaurant La Table. It was actually a welcome change from having Moroccan food everyday which is good, but the menu tends to be repetitive. We stared with and amuse and some delicious bread and butter.

Then some house smoked salmon to start.

…and roast chicken and pomme puree for my main…both were ok and the pomme puree was “Robouchon-ish”.

After lunch we checked out (but did not use) the pool and had a stroll in the gardens.

However, no matter how nice the grounds are, what you will want to do here is savor every single minute and area of your riad; and that is exactly what we did before dinner.

First, enjoying some coffee in the courtyard.

Then having some wine in the living room and sitting room.

…lounging in the master bedroom…

…and finally, getting some sun on the roof and plunge pool…

For dinner, we ate at La Grande Table which is described as “Moroccan fine dining”, but it was probably the only part of the experience that was disappointing. We started with some meze, and for my main I wanted to try something different, a blue lobster tajine. The meze were average and extremely overpriced. The lobster was tasteless and also overpriced. Although the space was beautiful, and the service was good, I would avoid this place. The only thing good here, as with all places in Morocco, was the bread.

After dinner we had drinks at the bar. They also have a piano bar, but the performer was done by the time we arrived.

In the morning we had an early pick up to go to the Sahara desert so I had to use the gym prior to its opening time. After some back and forth, the hotel agreed to open it early. The gym is located in the spa, which was beautiful like the rest of the hotel. The gym is well equipped.

After the gym, I went back to our riad and ordered breakfast on the roof. After I was done my shower, the meal was ready. Before I talk about breakfast, let me say every product the hotel offers is of high quality and luxurious. From the lotions to shampoo, everything is top notch. As I climbed the stairs to our rooftop, I was in for a surprise.

Everything was beautifully laid out, the butler had lit the fireplace, and the sun was shining. Regarding the butler, each floor of your riad has a service door so when you request something, the staff can come in and out virtually unnoticed. Back to breakfast. EVERYTHING WAS DELICIOUS! Having this food on the roof of a gorgeous hotel, starring at palm trees with the sun shining was one of the highlights of this trip.

Even though I don’t usually rave about breakfast, this one is still stuck in my head:

  • the mangoes rivalled Philippine mangoes in soft sweetness
  • the harira soup was so delicious I wanted more and ordered it at every place in Morocco that had it from this point on though none equaled the version at the Royal Mansour
  • the shakshuka was perfect
  • the breads were perfect
  • the Moroccan pancakes with honey, argan oil etc were so good

    After breakfast, our driver picked us up and we headed to the desert! This hotel was an experience I won’t forget. Moroccan design is beautiful and once I got home, I tried to incorporate as much of it into my own home as possible starting with the beautiful candle holders which create a special pattern from the candlelight to the amazing scents of orange. I would highly recommend you to experience this hotel for yourself, even for one night.

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