The Four Seasons Marrakech Resort is a luxurious and contemporary take on Moroccan accommodation for those who wish to dabble in the exotic charm of Northern Africa’s largest city without straying too far from the western home comforts and reassuring order of business that the Four Seasons brand is known for. Choosing such an establishment could prove very wise as the intensity of the legendary medina may try the patience of even the most hardened traveller. Your home from home in Marrakech should be an oasis from the chaos. The Four Seasons appears to be just that.
The 40-acre walled garden sanctuary sits a mere 2.5 miles from Marrakesh Menara Airport, making the Four Seasons an ideal destination for a long weekend, when time is both precious and of the essence. Travel this same distance again to the east and you will find yourself in the very heart of Marrakech medina, at the Djemaa el-Fna. The location seems to tick most boxes unless you desire the ability to walk right out of your hotel and into the hustle and bustle of the city (in which case, look elsewhere). Although it is possible to walk to some roadside restaurants and shops, it isn’t picturesque.
So let us begin with our first impressions of the property. After a short 5-minute drive from the airport terminal we spot the high stone walls that adorn the Four Seasons logo in regal gold lettering. Passing first through a set of iron gates then a second security check point is a reassuring start to proceedings. The hotel car (which carries a minimum charge of roughly £53 despite such close proximity to the airport) meanders alongside precisely manicured gardens and circles a large water fountain outside of the hotel lobby. The famous Four Seasons greeting is friendly, warm and genuine enough.
Our check-in experience is very pleasant. Rather than standing at a desk whilst formalities are completed, we are shown to a comfortable sofa in the lobby. Brightly coloured artwork sits boldly against the cool, neutral walls and lanterns hang at staggered heights above a scattering of seating areas. We are sat in front of an impressive arrangement of red roses and carnations that fill vases across the whole span of the table. The romance of Marrakech has been captured in this very spot. Refreshments were offered although we were checked in before we could finish them (no complaints there).
We were soon whisked up to our third floor room within the main building. Upon entry, we were informed that our entry level Superior Room had been upgraded to a Premier Room. A double upgrade is a sure fire way to create a great first impression but I will try to remain impartial. It’s no secret that the Four Seasons name demands a premium price tag. Room size is often compromised in favour of world famous service and facilities. But the open layout flows well and every inch of the 42m2 room has been immaculately maintained. The light and bright decor is contrasted by decorative dark wood and the occasional splash of bold and colourful artwork.
The outdoor space is a generous covered balcony that is large enough for a breakfast table and chairs as well as a pair of very comfortable sun loungers. There isn’t a lot of direct sunlight but the view of lush gardens and sparkling azure swimming pools compensates for that. The traditional wooden ceiling fan is a nice touch and the decorative wall lanterns cast beautiful shadows across the clay tiles at night. The Superior Room and Deluxe Rooms have similar – albiet slightly smaller – outdoor spaces. The sun loungers are substituted for a cosy little alcove filled with cushions – a very clever use you space. Views from these rooms are likely to be towards the gardens rather than the pool.
The food and drink offering at Four Seasons Marrakech is extensive. The Arancino Italian restaurant occupies the ground floor of the Bleu d’Orange pavilion and extends out to a gorgeous alfresco dining area at the back. On the first floor of the Bleu d’Orange pavilion you’ll find the Last Call Vintage Sports Club which is a great little sports bar that seems to lack any sort of promotion by the hotel (we found it by accident). If you need to check the football score or catch up on the latest Formula 1 action, you can do so here. On the very top floor of the Bleu d’Orange pavilion you’ll find Zest which is a charming space for cocktails and casual eating. Brightly coloured sofas are hidden between exotic potted plants and traditional Moroccan lanterns light the space after dark. You get some great views of the resort from Zest. I highly recommend coming here for cocktails and shisha at sunset.
Beyond the pavilion you’ll find the Inara Bar and Lounge in the main building, just across from the lobby. Inara is a casual dining spot for light meals, afternoon tea and drinks throughout the day. The outdoor terrace at Inara is quite lovely. Below Inara you will find Solano. Solano offers an excellent international breakfast buffet and, at night, traditional Moroccan cuisine to the sounds of a live Sintir. Last but not least, the Azzera grill sits by the poolside. Azzera has a good selection of grilled meat dishes as well as tagines and sandwiches. The highlight of Azzera for me was the ice cream parlour!
Throughout the resort we found that the food was generally very good. The cocktails were imaginative and tasty but a little weak for my personal taste. The service throughout all of these eateries was friendly but very patchy. At Azzera we sat for around 15 minutes before we were eventually told that it had closed. At Zest we sat without drinks for long periods of time and had to order at the bar when we started to get thirsty. We also had to chase people down for our bill on more than one occasion. The staff were very sweet but very forgetful. The only time that things seemed to run smoothly was when the French restaurant manager from Arancino popped up. He helped us out when Azzera turned us away. He took us to Zest and made sure that we were attended to. We agreed that every bar and restaurant in the resort needs someone like him running the show. It made a big difference in our experience.
The adult swimming pool is quite beautiful and well attended to by staff. The luxurious sunbeds are very comfortable. Fresh towels are provided on arrival and menus are provided for refreshments and treatments. Cabanas are available to those seeking a bit of privacy. This does highlight a bit of a problem with the adult pool area. It does get busy and you can sometimes find yourself lying rather close to your neighbour. It’s a shame that guests may find themselves having to choose between personal space and sunshine. The cold water jacuzzi at one end of the pool is a nice bonus and the showers function well.
I had intended to indulge in a Manipura body treatment at the spa but unfortunately, I had burned and was unable to go ahead. I did ask if it was possible to have a manicure and pedicure instead but I was told that this couldn’t be arranged until much later in the evening. I’m not sure if it was because they were understaffed or because they were very busy but I didn’t see any other guests around at the time. I was disappointed but I suppose it was my own fault. My husband had arranged a hair cut the night before. The stylist did a good job and got it done nice and quickly. While I waited, I had a nose around the spa garden, thermal pools and relaxation area. The space was small but well formed. It has a bright and airy feel with lots of natural light which was pleasant but lacked a little atmosphere.