Review: Es Saadi Palace, Marrakech

They say Marrakech is a city that awakens the senses. A city where sight, sound, smell, taste and touch is served in exotic abundance to transport you to another world. And if the offerings of the Es Saadi Palace and Spa are anything to go by, it appears they would be right…

Nestled away in 20 acres of sumptuous gardens, the Es Saadi Palace and Spa is a luxurious escape right in the heart of Marrekech. Centrally based in the exclusive Hivernage area, the Es Saadi is just 10 minutes from the vibrant Djema El Fna Square. The Palace was built by famous Moroccan Architect Azis Lamghari with the intention of being something truly spectacular. Hats off to Azis, he did a bloody good job.

Relaxing by the Es Saadi's vast pool complex with chic rounded sun beds and roman style columns - the perfect escape from the city's hustle and bustle

Relaxing by the Es Saadi’s vast pool complex with chic rounded sun beds and roman style columns – the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle

Made with TLC

Every minor detail of this place has been selected to the highest of standards, and upon arrival, it is evident why The Es Saadi Palace and Spa is a serious contender in world-class luxury accommodation.

Stepping into the palatial reception hall certainly sets the pace for what’s to come, starting with a charming door man dressed head to toe in traditional Moroccan whites, greeting guests with a warm smile. The stunning architecture creates an immediate impression of grandeur with a 17 meter high and 12 meter wide dome, surrounded by traditional ornate Moroccan plaster work. Directly below the dome lies a white marble pool adorned in rose petals. The soft trickling fountains create an ambience of purity and tranquillity which flows throughout the whole of the Palace.

I absolutely loved the unique architecture and tranquil ambience of the grand entrance hall

I absolutely loved the unique architecture and tranquil ambience of the grand entrance hall

Behind the hand painted door of an Es Saadi Palace suite lies a spacious Moroccan inspired haven, complete with king size four-poster bed, wet room and large balcony overlooking the beautiful Atlas Mountains. Finishing touches such as a bowl of savon noir by the supersize bath, fragrant rose petals and original Moroccan artwork make each suite truly distinctive.

A Spa fit for Kings

In October 2010, The Es Saadi Palace opened the handcrafted wooden doors of their 32,000 square feet Spa which has been built around their iconic 100 year old Eucalyptus tree. The tree symbolises renewal and transformation – perfectly in keeping with the ethos of The Spa. Despite housing a staggering twenty four treatment rooms over three floors, the Spa maintains an intimate environment which whisks you away from the stress of daily life. This is escapism at its best.

The spa's epicentre - the ancient Eucalyptus tree

The spa’s epicentre – the ancient Eucalyptus tree

A collection of Signature massages are offered to guests as the epitome of indulgence and are exclusive to The Es Saadi Spa. The Blissful; a 90 minute four hand massage, uses a magical combination of touch, pressure and warm water balloons that evoke a unique feeling of weightlessness and relaxation. Four hands bring a surprising new dynamic to the massage experience which must be sampled by even the most hardened of spa-goers.

Post treatment relaxation comes in the form of a cool top floor sun room, adorned in crisp white water beds for lounging on. If heaven had a hospital ward, it would look like this. Once the ‘come down’ process is complete, you are free to enjoy an assortment of Morrocan teas, nuts and dried fruit. And for those like to stay active, a five star gym complex is at hand to harmonise well being and fitness with state of the art equipment, studio classes and personal training sessions.

The heavenly relaxation room in the Es Saadi Palace Spa

The heavenly relaxation room in the Es Saadi Palace Spa

Dior Institute

The heavenly Spa is inspired by the architecture of oriental palaces and is home to the second Dior Institute in the world (with the first, quite rightly, being in Paris). Bright white corridors lined with classic Dior sketch art and iconic Dior photography gives the Institute a real sense of identity and nostalgia of the brand. The elegant décor of the Dior institute houses a full collection of women’s and men’s treatments adhering to the House of Dior’s products, techniques and traditions.

Setting the hotel apart from its contenders is its super chic and exclusive Dior Institut

Setting the hotel apart from its contenders is its super chic and exclusive Dior Institut

The Pathway to Purity

As well as housing the world famous fashion and beauty brand, The Spa is proud to offer a unique sensory experience in their Orientale Thermale. This detoxifying concept consists of a playful pathway between hot and cold rooms, which feature eucalyptus, mint, seasonal herbs, aromatherapy and an ice fountain to rejuvenate the body and mind.

What makes this offering really unique is that the Es Saadi Spa therapists are at hand to design your very own bespoke programme. Whether you want to feel relaxed, invigorated or simply want to flush out last night’s fifth G&T, there is a programme to meet your needs.

Discover the Bouchet-Bouhal Family Legacy

The Es Saadi Palace is a three-generation family business of the Bauchet-Bouhals, a prestigious family name descending from French Moroccan heritage. Elisabeth Bauchet-Bouhal is the current General Manager and it is clear that this enchanting woman has put every inch of love and care into making The Es Saadi what it is today.

It was an honour to meet Elisabeth during my stay at the Es Saadi

It was an honour to meet Elisabeth during my stay at the Es Saadi

Elisabeth shares her passion for Art with all of her guests, displaying the impressive Bauchet-Bouhal family’s collections throughout the entire Palace. It’s as if every piece of art, ornament and lavish furnishing is part of a family history that you are welcome to discover in their family home.

Culinary Delights

Perfectly aligned with the rest of the Palace, the dining options at The Es Saadi Palace and Spa certainly do not fall short. But its no wonder, as the Head Chef Sebastien Bontour trained under the famous Pourcel Brothers (two Michelin Stars).

The restaurant's artistic interpretation of the nations classic Lamb Tagine... the slow cooked lamb literally fell apart !

The restaurant’s artistic interpretation of the nations classic Lamb Tagine… the slow cooked lamb literally fell apart !

The stunning La Cour des Lions restaurant offers guests the height of creative Moroccan cuisine, with artistic twists on the countries classic dishes. Elaborating on the classic Lamb Tagine, La Cour des Lion’s seven hour slow cooked Lamb in Oriental spices is a delicious work of art. Your fine dining experience takes place at the top floor of the Palace, with breath taking panoramic views of the Atlas Mountains. A gentle candle lit glow, soothing music and Andalusian-Arabic design set the scene for a gastronomic feast.

The Es Saadi Palace and Spa offer an unforgettable experience of Moroccan luxury and is sure to create blissful memories that will stay with you much longer than your sun tan!

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