After staying at the Riad Saba in the medina (you can read my review of that here) – the heart of Marrakech – and spending a night in the desert, we were more than ready for a relaxing two days in a fancy hotel and spa. We booked ourselves into the Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa, which is a fortress-like luxury hotel outside the city. It’s also the subject of this review.
Situated in the middle of nowhere, the Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa can be quite scary with its castle-like proportions. With high concrete walls and large, heavy wooden doors, you do get a sense of being closed in. Though I guess in some sense this is the real appeal of the hotel. It’s an escape from
the bustle outside.
From a personal point of view, I preferred the look and feel of the humble Riad Saba. The Sirayane Boutique Hotel observes the modern, minimalist styling of high end city hotels. However in doing so, our room looked a bit bland and uninspiring. The bathroom in particular, looked a little like a prison shower.
However, the grounds of the hotel had the tropical trappings I liked. With olive trees lining the pathways, two outdoor pools and loungers aplenty, it was no wonder that our fellow guests were either on their honeymoon or celebrating their anniversary.
Despite not loving the decor, or lack of, I did appreciate the ample space we had in our room. Upon arrival, we were told we had a free upgrade with a private garden and direct access to the pool. I was
very excited, until my husband claimed that this is no less than what he had booked and what he was expecting anyway. Still, it seemed pretty impressive.
Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa review – situated in captivity
One downside however to a hotel in the middle of nowhere is that you really are held captive during your stay as there isn’t much to escape to. This proved slightly problematic for hubby and I, who didn’t really rate their overpriced restaurant and got bored easily.
The hotel did have a DVD library, but I use this term loosely. It was a small collection of films, many
However, the hotel did boast a minivan which shuttled guests to and from the Medina. So despite our eagerness to stay at the Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa – we went scuttling back to the old town for food on our second night.
One thing I loved about the hotel, however, was its expansive breakfast buffet. Yes, I’m a fatty. And the breakfast is an important factor for anywhere I stay.
There were eggs, potato gratin, halal sausage, cold meats, salads, toast, the works. When I filled my plate with potato gratin, tomato, fried onion and sausage, my husband asked me if I was enjoying my lunch. I was, thank you.
The Sirayane also had a spa and gym. I wasn’t bothered about the gym, though I was keen to unwind in
the spa. At this stage I hadn’t tried a hammam – and absolute must in Morocco.
After spending the night in the desert in a bed of sand and generally a bit gross, a deep clean was most
The hammam at the Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa
So we booked in for a couples hammam. This basically included a cleanse with black soap, followed by a scrub with a very coarse mitt, before being massaged and enveloped in a body mask.
This was all carried out in a steam room, which is basically what a hammam is.
One thing to warm you about with a hammam is that you are expected to just sit it your pants. So be
prepared. If you book as a family or group, you may see things you don’t want to.
We had two women carrying out our treatment, which was good as we had their undivided attention. However, I think we got our ladies mixed up. My husband had a small, dainty woman who could barely lift his leg.
Meanwhile, I had the strong, athletic girl who launched an assault on me during the massage, pummelling my back, twisting my limbs and even punching at the heels of my feet. It all seemed a bit harsh and unnecessary really. However, the entire treatment paid off and the results were impressive.
I know this sounds gross, but I literally could see rolls of dirt coming away from my skin as she was scrubbing with the mitt. And then the massage, though abusive, incorporated Argan oil. So at least I was soft as well as achey.
Would I recommend the hammam?
After the treatment, I was relaxed to the point of falling asleep. Clearly the whole experience is quite draining. However, along with the buffet breakfast, it was one of the highlights of our stay at the Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa. However, at £100, it was an expensive experience. But most private hammams charge a similar price, plus we were captive. The only other option was a public hammam. But this is single sex, so I’d be minus hubby, surrounded by local women. However, whether opting for public or private, I would definitely recommend trying a hammam.
So I did enjoy the downtime at the Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa. But if I’m honest, I liked our humble Riad more.
However, I can totally see the appeal for honeymooners. It’s an abyss away from the busy medina. And if you’re happy to just chill by the pool, with the odd trip into town, then it’s ideal.
Sirayane Hotel and Spa costs around £110 a night, while the hammam treatment costs around £100 for two people.
For a guest house in the old town of Marrakech, check out my review of Riad Saba.
For my review of things to do in Marrakech, click here.
For my take on the beauty scene in Marrakech, click here.