9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"The website looked amazing but sadly the reality proved slightly different. We arrived late on the 13th and moved on to Marrakesh three days later. The Kasbah and grounds were certainly delightful, as was our luxury tented accomodation, but what was not pointed out, was that the property is boarded by two roads, which are now incredibaly busy (one member of staff told me the hotel has tried to complain to the authorities about the weight of traffic using these now) and we were woken every morning around 5.30am by this noise. The latter was noticable throughout the day.
The staff were always enthusiastic although many clearly lacked experience and I am afraid the one dinner we had there was disappointing as well as expensive, particularly when compared to dinners we had elsewhere. The 500dm charged by the hotel for a return trip into town was just greedy..
For the rates paid, this is definately not good value and the road noise now makes this a definate no no....."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of October 2006
An average holiday
"Our aim was a quiet holiday in 'luxury' to recharge our batteries and we paid accordingly. We have just returned from a 7 night stay at the Kasbah Agafay - it was too long and too quiet and fell short on the luxury bit too. . On the positive side the rooms were lovely, weather hot, very peaceful, staff friendly and polite. But sadly they failed to impress us. The hotel had hardly anyone staying and with no entertainment of any sort (we didn't expect a brass band but the odd local entertainer would have been interesting) , the dining room at night was deadly quiet and hard work. The beer was never cold after we had gone looking for someone to serve us, the food average and very 'samey', lunch expensive and not worth it and taxis expensive every time you want to go somewhere (where is the hotel mini-bus with reasonable local rates ?) The Spa - after the worst pedicure I have ever experienced (leaving me with an open wound on the TOP of my foot) I complained and was told that he (the manager) had tried all the girls with facials and they were ok but he couldn't have a pedicure ...... sorry and here's a bottle of champagne ... I think that, in a nutshell, the attitude of the management all round is whats at fault and why, under the surface, things are not as they should be."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of May 2006
Beautiful and Exotic Getaway
"My wife and I had a lovely couple days at the Kasbah Agafay. The setting is terrific -- on a hill in beautiful countryside with the snow-covered Atlas mountains in the distance -- and the building has been restored beautifully. We stayed in one of the tents, which are fun, spacious and scarcely feel like tents. We noticed the traffic noise around the tents, however, while we didn't hear it elsewhere. So light sleepers might prefer the rooms (the traffic didn't bother us). The service was gracious and the breakfast and lunch were excellent, while dinner was fine. If you're a runner, the side-road by the property makes a great route -- nice landscape, very little traffic, and just a few gentle hills. We also appreciated the fact that, even without asking, the management volunteered to let us stay late on our departure day with a separate room set aside for us (the tent was needed for new guests)."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006
Falls short of its promise
"I have just returned from the Kasbah Agafay and while I had a good time in my view it fell far short of the promise of luxury hotel and for the price you could do much, much better.
On the positive side: (1) The views are stunning. Its set in an old fort at an oasis in the desert. Surrounding you are the atlas mountains across the desert. (There is a road nearby but it doesn't intrude on your hearing very much and on your sight not at all). (2) The Hotel itself is beautifully decorated and evocative of North Africa. The rooms are comfortable and the beds in particular. The suites aren't really worth the extra money because they are not much larger than the ordinary rooms. However, the tents did look lovely. (3) The staff are very friendly and helpful. I single out Brahim the Maitre D' in particular. (4) The cookery course is great.
On the negative side: All the problems lie with the management. They must be cutting corners at the Kasbah because everywhere they stint on the necessities:
(1) The Hotel is poorly laid out from an administrative view because it is not purpose built but an adaptation of an old fort. In consequence the guests are scattered around the building and often far from the kitchens and the bar. This wouldn't be a problem if they had enough staff but they don't - not by a long way. While I was there I would say there were at least 35 guests at one time being served by between 2 and 4 staff. Not only that but during the 9 days that I was there I never saw anyone but those same 4 staff members who seemed to work from 7am till midnight every day. Naturally they were shattered and incapable of handling all the requests coming from diverse parts of the hotel at once. On new year's day there were no staff visible till 10am and then there was only one person until midday! Orders couldn't be taken, food came late and by the evening all the guests were starving. They need to sort out staff numbers as a priority.
(2) The quality of the food was not great. It was perfectly edible (although our party did get bad food poisoning on the last day) but pretty unexciting. However, each meal was very expensive (40 euros a head without drinks) and far from worth the price. Moreover, there was little choice. There is no standing menu just a three course set menu (with limited options for each course) for both lunch and dinner. Breakfast is identical every day. You can make requests but they have to be pretty straightforward - pasta was ok, the burger and chips was not.
The old chef at the Kasbah now does just the cookery courses and the food we ate with him was a totally different experience. Bring him back!
In retrospect I wish that we had gone in to town to eat more often. Although the Kasbah is isolated its a relatively short drive (20 mins) to Marrakesh and though the cab each way is expensive too (28 euros each way) by the time you taken into account the cost of eating at the Kasbah its almost the same price but for a much better meal. (Try the restaurant Bo Zin - its great).
(3) A much more minor complaint: The Kasbah is supposed to be an international hotel and indeed at least 50% of the guests had English as their first or second language. However, very few of the serving staff spoke good enough English. This wouldn't have been a problem if there had been more of those that did but the absence of good English compounded the earlier problems of the lack of staff meaning that of the 2 to 4 available half were only really useful for fetching and carrying. On the rare occasions that I asked for something from them the result was, without exception, a wrong order.
The Kasbah has the potential to be great given its location, its decor, the friendly staff and the facilities like the spa. All of these pluses are incapabale of overcoming the frustration of not being able to order lunch or a drink, that lunch or drink coming an hour late and then being mediocre. When you are paying the prices charged by the Kasbah one expects and should demand a great deal more. Personally I wouldn't stay there again unless I heard reports that a great deal more effort was being made by the management."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of January 2006
Beautiful, but value for money?
"My husband and I stayed here for a week over New Year. First the positives: beautifully decorated hotel and setting, very comfortable beds, tranquil, friendly service, excellent maid service, great spa treatments. However, the website and it's inclusion in the "Small Luxury Hotels of the World" group led us to believe that's exactly what we'd get for the money - pure luxury. While aspects of it were great (see above), we didn't get value for money. After some investigation, we found that the source of the problem is poor management cutting corners. The food was consistently pretty good, but when a 3-course lunch is 30 euros and a 3-course dinner is 40 euros (not including drinks), we expected excellence not mediocrity. The day after the big New Year's Eve gala, the hotel was massively understaffed, leading to slow service and - they ran out of basic things like Diet Coke. The staff was very friendly and attentive, but there weren't enough experienced waiters to provide the fast service you'd expect in a luxury hotel. Also, only 3 of the waiters spoke adequate English or French. In an international hotel whose guests are mainly from England, France, and other European countries, it seems silly to have waiters that can't take food & drink orders properly. And finally, although the hotel's isolation was very peaceful after a busy day in Marrakech, it was frustrating not to have the option of eating elsewhere for less than a 45 euro cab ride."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of January 2006
Fantastic time at the Kasbah
"We have just come back from staying at the Kasbah and it's sister hotel the Kssour (a private club) in Marrakech. Both places were fantastic and we had a very relaxing time, especially at the Kasbah. We stayed in one of the enormous suites at the top, just under the ramparts, and the view was fantastic. There is a road nearby, but it wasn't noisy at all....and the staff were very pleasant. Everyday, lazing by the pool, the chef would come and ask us what we wanted him to cook for lunch...no menus.....he would make want you wanted......and all of the food was yummy. Dinner would be served where you wanted too. In the garden, by the pool, or up on the ramparts. The place also looked fab at night as they lit lanterns everywhere. It was very romantic. Try the hammam (traditional Morrocan wash) and treat yourself to a massage in the Spa..All in all we had a fab time and would go back like a shot!!!"
- Travel date: Thu 13th of October 2005
Had a very peacefull and relaxing time
"The actual place was fantastic - shame about the road nearby. The service was very good. The food was great - if you eat meat - however for vegetarians not so good at all.
We stayed in the Caladial suite - which was very nicely decorated - a posh marquee!
We were the only people there for most of our 1 week stay - this was rather nice."
- Travel date: Wed 17th of August 2005
Not worth the money - noisy!
"We stayed for 2 nights at the Kasbah Agafay - we had previously stayed the whole week at Ksar Char Bagh.
The level of service at kasbah was APPALLING. There were only 3 other couples when we stayed but there was nobody around to take our drinks orders or breakfast orders.
The first night there was a party in the gardens with moroccon karaoke which went on until 1am. I dont expect to pay 500euros to listen to music until 1am - we had chosen the Kasbah becuase we thought it would be quiet - even when there is no party this is not the case as it is right next to a major road with lorries/trucks passing by all night.
We had chosen a caidal suite which was nicely decorated with loely bathroom but not noise proof at all - you could hear people eating their dinner on the terrace above. Be warned that there is no privacy in the room either as the toilet is right next to the bedroom and is open!
I would not go there again - for 50Euros extra you can stay at the Ksar Char Bagh which is infinitely superior to this hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of June 2005
Not quite Marrakech
"Fantastic hotel, very relaxing, great service.....but 30 minutes from downtown Marrakech ($40 each way)
There were a couple of days when we were the only guests, we had the pool, the spa centre, the restaurant and all the staffs attention to ourselves. That sort of isolation costs superstars a bomb!
But you really are isolated, there is NOTHING close by, no shops, no bars just olive groves. Each night we had a gin and tonic on the terrarce, on our own and watched the sun go down.....fantastic!"
- Travel date: Thu 18th of November 2004