La Maison Arabe or La Mamounia ?

Feb 14th, 2002, 03:30 PM
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La Maison Arabe or La Mamounia ?

My husband and I will be vacationing in Morocco in April. We will be spending a few days in Marrakesh and currently have a reservation to stay at La Maison Arabe, which was just recently given a high rating in Travel & Leisure 2001 "World's Best" issue. It sounds lovely, as it is small, authentic, and in the old part of the city, an area we want to stay in. My problem is that I keep hearing and reading about La Mamounia, a legendary fixture of Marrakesh. I want our stay to be memorable and am willing to pay more for a great experience (La Mamounia will definitely cost us more). Does anybody have any knowledge or recent experiences to impart to help me make a decision ?
Feb 14th, 2002, 05:21 PM
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I have stayed at La Mamounia and had a wonderful experience - would not hesitate to go back again. I walked through La Maison Arabe, looks wonderful too, but did not stay there. I believe La M. has a better location; either choice would be fine.
Feb 18th, 2002, 12:56 AM
DD McCall
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Hi Amelia,

I was in Morocco for 2 weeks in November, and spent 5 nights in Marrakech. While I did not stay at either of the places you mentioned, I did stay at a wonderful riad called "Villa des Orangers" ( Dripping with atmosphere, beautiful furnishings (everything from the cotton swab holder to the door jams were stylish), great service, breakfast etc. There are duplex suites that have access to rooftop terrace where there is a pool. You may even be able to get a special rate, as we did, by visiting "". VdesO is located about a 10min walk from Djemma el Fna, the Koutoubia, and La Mamounia. Speaking of which, I went there for lunch/spa one afternoon and was quite disappointed with the spa. (see Rants and Raves - I'm "frenzyNYC"). I didn't feel that I was missing anything by not staying there, as a matter of fact, I was happy with my choice. (I too did much deliberating over whether or not to stay at LM ).
Re: La Maison Arabe, I've read good things. Apparently the rooms are on the small side, but the suites are fine. You can also check "" for more reviews on deluxe accomodations in Marrakech. Feel free to email me as well.
Good luck.
Feb 18th, 2002, 01:25 AM
dd mccall
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Hey Amelia,
I forgot to mention that since you're willing to "pay more for a great experience", you should check out Palais Rhoul ( It's located in the Palmeraie, and exclusive neighborhood about a 20 min drive from the medina. (VdesO sends their guests who want spa treatments to PR. Wish I'd done that!)
And if that's not enough, then "Amanjena" part of Aman resorts which is also in the Palmeraie might do the trick.
Feb 19th, 2002, 01:18 AM
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We shall be going soon to Marrakesh and had the same hesitations.
This time we'll go for La Mamounia, since some reviews on la Maison Arabe and Villa des Orangers implied that there were mosks nearby, meaning you may hear the night and early morning calls for prayer...
This is not too much of a problem at La Mamounia, given you stay in a room on the park or pool side.
On the other hand, the atmosphere in a renovated riyad is something wonderful, which you may not have at la Mamounia.
A difficult choice!
Mar 18th, 2002, 08:41 AM
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Thanks to all of you who responded to my e-mail question. I REALLY appreciated all of your input and advice. My husband and I decided to stay at La Mamounia. I believe we will be happy there. We will report back after taking our trip which is next month, April.
Mar 18th, 2002, 05:21 PM
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Amelia-I'm just starting to plan a trip to Morocco so I'm really looking forward to reading your report when you get back.

Quick question: are you planning the trip on your own or are you using a tour operator or a travel agent? What are you doing about local guides and transportation?

Thanks in advance for your help and have a great trip!
Mar 19th, 2002, 07:05 AM
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We are just back from Marrakesh and, for the second time, we organized our trip on our own.
We stayed first at the new Le Meridien hotel which is brand new, offers a good service, good food, and nice-looking (but NOISY) rooms.
So I won't recommend it as I can't stand hearing neighbours talking in their rooms or in the corridor, as well as hearing their TV at night!
After this we went to La Mamounia for the second time and it was great again.
No regret at all, even though prices are very expensive.
All of these hotels do have a shuttle service to and from the airport.
Local transportation is easy using "petits" taxis. Cost is 10 Dirhams (1.2 USD or 1 Euro) for a drive downtown. Just say no and leave the taxi if the driver claims for more!

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