silvia
Silvia Pisci
Palais Namaskar
Route de Bab Atlas, No.88/69, Province Syba,، مراكش، Morocco
20th November 2015

“Disconnect” and “indulge” are the two keywords I’d use to describe my experience at Palais Namaskar. “Grandeur” and “Fengshui” the ones around which its concept is built. “WOW” is probably the word that sums everything up.

Location
Where else could Palais Namaskar be set if not in the exclusive Palmeraie, at what used to be the Kuwait royal family’s pied-a-terre in Marrakech?
It takes 30 minutes to reach the airport and 25 to the Medina. The hotel organises complimentary transfers to the city and airport by luxury sedans and minivans, but if you’re ready to add a couple of zeros to your bill, you should definitely try Palais Namaskar’s own private jet – for sure the most convenient way to reach the hotel from Casablanca!
Who stays?
Easier to say who should NOT stay: singles. I was very seriously warned by a few colleagues before I checked in so I “forced” a friend (poor him!) to join me during the stay… Thank God I did! They were totally right: Palais Namaskar is the ultimate paradise for couples and honeymooners, and generally for whoever is looking for TOTAL relaxation and seclusion. The main reason is: you get so much space to enjoy at your private gardens and pool(s), and you’ll enjoy room service so much that you really won’t feel the need to venture out of your room.
Families with small kids or, vice versa, grown-up boys/girls will find here all the room they could ask for a relaxing family holiday. If you travel with active kids and teens, instead, this is simply not the best place for you. I was under the impression that most of the clients were Europeans (French, English, German). Generally speaking, a younger and very chic clientele (including non-guests) was animating the restaurant and bar in the evening.
Style and Character
As soon as you enter Palais Namaskar you’ll have the impression that the place was built for giants: all spaces seem (no, they actually are!) MUCH bigger than what we “peasants” are used to in the outside world. If the grandeur of the spaces will exalt your Ego and make you feel like a royal, the “Fengshui concept” around which the resort was built will bring deep peace to your soul. Water is the absolute protagonist: of the 12 acres on which Palais Namaskar lies, over 6 are “floating” – these include huge private pools on many of the rooms, as well as Balinese-styled water gardens (you must be extremely careful if you’re going back to your room at night in high heels, maybe after a glass or two of wine…!). The atmosphere is extremely relaxed and chilled in the common areas during day time, while a deejay brings some cool vibes to the bar and restaurant in the evening.
Service
Who knows Marrakech knows that here more than anywhere else the service makes the quality of a luxury hotel. Generally speaking, service is often too slow, the Staff doesn’t have good English and communication with the guests can be either too poor or, sometimes, inappropriate. I stayed at Palais Namaskar on my very last days in Morocco, and I admit they made me reconsider all the above.
You must know that you’ll probably overindulge in room service here, especially since rooms and pools are best enjoyed on a private romantic dinner or with poolside canapees at sunset… #youareaqueen !
I was very impressed by how fast the service was. In no more than 25 minutes they could deliver a full breakfast or a plate of warm appetizers – impressive if you think that it took 5-7 minutes just to reach the room from the restaurant.
They once forgot to bring the water I asked. They apologized profusely, brought it 5 minutes afterwards, and took it off my bill. I was of course very pleased!

Oh, should I not mention that room service always included a fresh rose for Ms. Pisci? :)

Check-in procedures were easy and smooth, late check-out until 2pm was granted without batting an eyelid.
You need to keep in mind that the hotel is 25 minutes away from the city when you ask them to book a taxi, but they usually manage to find one for you in less than that. Their complimentary transfers to the city and the airport work perfectly, although you need to wait for other guests sometimes (just call the reception and ask the exact departure times).
Rooms and Suites
Ok, here we need numbers just to get an idea of the spaces. 41 rooms spread over 12 acres. The smallest room is about 135 sqm (room + private terrace and plunge pool). The biggest is the Water Palace, 460 sqm indoor and 2,000 sqm of private gardens and pool. I stayed at a Pool Villa, 127 sqm of interior WOWness and 500 sqm of outdoor space - for sure the biggest room I’ve ever stayed in. 2 days is the minimum you need to explore it all and enjoy at least 10 minutes on each of its perfect-relax spots, such as the hammock, the queen-sized sun bed, the pool-side sofa (perfect for sunset drinks and canapes!), the extra comfy leather recliners and poufs in the living room…

Of course, to enjoy the pools you’ll need much more than 10 minutes. The heated one is perfect throughout the day (bring the phone next to you for room service!), the cooler one is a morning bliss! I jumped in it when I woke up and felt toned up and fresh the whole day.
I finally managed to get out of the pool to get ready for dinner… only to find myself filling in the open-air bath in the backyard little garden! It feels tiny at first, then you realize that it’s still bigger than any regular bathtub.

The design is contemporary and delicate, again in accordance with the Fengshui concept: all five elements are in perfect harmony, and everything is arranged in order to please your eyes and instill a sense of peace.
Warning: DO NOT touch the bed before going to sleep. It was quite simply one of the most comfortable ones I’ve ever slept in.
Lastly, the “minibar”: here they actually mean a mini-bar! 3 doors filled with full-sized bottles and a table with Nespresso machine, macarons and more…

To be a nitpicker: I would have liked to have more plugs in the room.
Food and Drink
It’s clear that Palais Namaskar has gained a strong reputation in Marrakech for its fine dining, which attracts guests and non-guests alike. The atmosphere is chic but relaxed, smoothened by a cool resident deejay who seems to know what you’re drinking and pair it with the right playlist. Two main options: French/Moroccan fusion or Thai. I went for French/Moroccan, and it was sublime. A true sensorial trip led by Executive Chef Antoine Perray, a pupil of Alain Ducasse. The dessert… I was full already, but I even finished my friend’s!
I had breakfast in the room so I didn’t see the whole buffet but I can only imagine it is glorious, considering all the varieties of fresh bread, cereals, milk, fruits and cheese they brought. Everything was perfect, including my coffee and the cheese omelette (they brought it in an oven so it would stay warm). Hands up.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
Honestly, once you check into your room you will not want to leave it for any reasons. Anything will seem too far away, too much of an effort… I only visited the Spa (again, one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in Morocco… I know I’m repeating myself!) but did not try any treatments, although I’d had some amazing feedback from other guests and colleagues. I LOVED Ila toiletries.

There are plenty of activities that can be organized if you want, like air balloon experiences, desert excursions, golf, as well as top-level yoga classes. But again: if you only have a limited time like I had (and coming from a very hectic week in the city), you’ll be perfectly fine just floating on your pool and venturing to the restaurant from time to time…
Perceived Value
There is an incredible competition on luxury hotels in Marrakech, with the world’s top brands opening flagship properties here (Aman, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, …) and more exciting openings on the pipeline for the near future… Consequently, rates have to be competitive, and so they are here. Palais Namaskar is definitely not for everyone’s pockets, but you’ll hardly get the same amount of space and quality of service for these prices anywhere in the world.
Verdict
Palais Namaskar is with no doubt RASK’s first choice in the Palmeraie. A destination in itself, it’s the ideal place to escape the world for a short winter holiday. A stunning pearl among Oetker Collection’s unique properties.