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MAISON MNABHA

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TRAVEL REVIEWS

 

Food & Drink   10/10     Budging form these rooftop terraces proves increasingly challenging with each multi-course breakfast sunset toast, and decadent candlelit dinner.  The culinary secrets here are your hosts' well-travelled palates, deep knowledge of local speciality ingredients, and daily expeditions to the Kasbah souk for ultra-fresh ingredients.

The Telegraph Travel   December 2015

 

'In the Kasbah of Marrakesh, this mansion is the culmination of over 300 years' worth of expert craftsmanship.  Rooms, strewn with berber carpets, feature hand-cut mosaic tiles, painted cedar wood and carved plasterwork.'

Lonely Planet Traveller   Extraordinary Places to Stay  February 2015  

 

'Treasure-hunters will seek out this 17th-century kasbah mansion for adventure and authenticity'.

Lonely Planet: Morocco     August 2014

  

'Rose petals and candles mark the way to chandelier-lit salons and roof terraces, where celebrity chefs, noted authors and fellow travellers chat over seasonal cocktails and inventive canapés.  Peter and Lawrence and manager Aziz offer valuable antiques advice and cultural insights (Peter holds a PhD in Kasbah history), and arrange restorative massages, traditional beauty treatments and eco-adventures'.

Lonely Planet: Morocco     August 2011

 

'Maison Mnabha: a beautifully restored guest house.'

Cambridge Edition     May 2011

 

i-escape Guest Awards 2010

Based on scores from real i-escape guests (no fake reviews here!), we bring you our 20 most popular hotels across 5 continents.

Maison Mnabha: top spot out of 26 Marrakech riads. "Our hosts were extraordinarily thoughtful", "attention to detail was second to none"’.

 

‘Maison Mnabha is an admirable example of Islamic art.  It was restored by the two English owners who have made it into a ‘maison d’hôtes’.  On the first floor the reception rooms reflect its rich legacy. The lofty and finely decorated ceilings made of cedar wood are complemented by polychromatic zellij, columns, berber carpets, rare textiles and carvings.

The sunny rooms are heated in the winter season and are personalized with furnishings and beautiful objects from around the world.  The atmosphere is informal and friendly and the same applie to dinner when traditional meals can be enjoyed in a candle lit atmosphere.  The roof terrace has panoramic views reaching to the High Atlas Mountains and is very romantic at sunset.'

BELL’EUROPA   December 2010

 

This Aladdin’s cave of antiques, rugs and beautiful carved wooden doors is ideal for the shopping traveller interested in buying antiques.

With excellent food, this is a good choice if you want to stay in the Kasbah area and enjoy a room with items only a truly discerning collector could have gathered.'

Cadogan Guides     'Marrakesh, Fes and Rabat'     2010

 

Maison Mnabha is a 17th-century kasbah hideaway.  Dining rooms and bedrooms are filled with antiques, including North African textiles.'

Lonely Planet Magazine     'Winter escape mini guide: Marrakech'     December 2009

 

'Hold court with the best of them at Maison Mnabha, a wing of a former courtier's mansion, whose grand first-floor reception room with soaring cedarwood ceilings and polychrome stucco work offers a royal welcome.  No wish seems too outlandish here: vegetarian meals, eco-excursions to hidden mountain villages.  The Mnabha's five rooms are arranged over three floors and interspersed with social spaces.  Guests include celebrity chefs, famous authors and savvy adventurers who reckon the Kasbah's authentic Moroccan atmosphere away from the Djemaa el-Fna is worth the short trek.'

Lonely Planet Magazine     'Our favourite places to stay'    November 2009

 

'Maison Mnabha is an exquisitely restored townhouse in the centre of Marrakech’s Kasbah. If you are looking for an inexpensive and authentic base from which to explore the city, Maison Mnabha is ideal.  Owners Peter and Lawrence will treat you as friends in their home.  Moroccan houses are designed to conceal their interiors from the outside gaze, and Maison Mnabha is no exception. Once inside, this small maison d'hotes boasts sumptuous fittings and classic Moroccan architecture.'

Marie Claire Travel     June 2009

 

'In the antique–filled salons, the celebrity chefs, famous authors and other regulars ooh over Khadija’s seasonal cuisine.  Peter and Lawrence and manager Aziz are a wealth of impartial antiques advice and cultural insight (Peter holds a PhD in kasbah history), and arrange restorative massages, henna tattooing and eco-conscious desert adventures.'

Lonely Planet:  Morocco     February 2009

 

'There is nothing lacking in this 17th-century palace filled with antiques.  Five-star luxury.  Real attention to detail, highly personal service and excellent meals.'

AA CITYPACK Guide: Marrakech  (Luxury Hotels)   January 2009

 

'Maison Mnabha, a wonderful Riad in the historic Kasbah.  Many of these riads have been restored lovingly, as this one has, and turned into guesthouses for lucky travellers.  At Maison Mnabha there are two delightful patios decorated with hand made bricks, there is even an infusion of Asia as many of the pieces scattered around the building have been collected from Thailand. Breakfast is served on the roof top patio and we couldn't wait to get up there each morning and survey the skyline to see what was happening in the neighborhood. You can see as far as the Atlas Mountains, closer the elegant palm trees that border the Royal Agdal Gardens as well as glimpses into the roof tops and courtyards of other Riads in the neighborhood. The breakfast was to die for with all fresh local products, such as apricots in syrup and fresh orange juice and home made muesli. The staff could not have been more helpful but discreet.'

 Hot Spots 2 Shop (Places 2 stay)     Australia     August 2008

 

'Treasure-hunters seek out this 17th-century Kasbah hideaway brimming with elusive finds.

Marrakech Encounter (Lonely Planet Best of Series)   March 2008

 

'Once inside the Maison Mnabha, the owner offered us crystal glasses filled with fresh orange juice in the lavish candle-lit, columned receiving room that had been the heart of a 17th century home.  Bright colours and intricate designs on ceiling beams, interior columns, plaster walls and tile flooring reflected the opulence of a Moroccan palace.  Incense perfumed the air.

Breakfast on the roof of our riad was an introduction to Morocco's culinary delights. One morning we had sliced strawberries dusted with a subtle mix of spices and on the side, a bowl of honeydew melon balls sprinkled with two types of tiny seeds; another morning it was sliced bananas bathed in orange juice, topped with walnuts and spiced.  Always there were individual pitchers of freshly-squeezed orange juice and baskets with pistachio nut-flavoured flaky pastry.'

San Antonio Express News   July 2007

 

'Lawrence and Peter were among the first to open their doors to the public. Originally part of a pacha's palace, the riad was once used as a greeting and entertainment area and still maintains that salon feeling. Far East antiques are scattered with loving abandon, while English satellite television provides a taste of home. The two are a wealth of information (artist Peter wrote a dissertation on the Kasbah) and spend most of their time chatting with guests. Home cooking is traditional and very good.'

Fodor's Travel Guide: Morocco   February 2007

              

‘The experience of staying at Maison Mnabha is like being in the comfort of a five star hotel but with the ambiance of a ‘home away from home’.  There is an open roof terrace where you can watch the sun rise and the sun set and from which you can see the Royal Palace of the King of Morocco.  On the second floor there is a salon where you can relax or read.  The salon is spectacular with a particularly beautiful painted wooden ceiling and used to be where the upper class owner of the original house entertained.  Lawrence and Peter are continually adding features to enhance the wellbeing of their guests.  Located in one of the prime areas of Marrakech … most of the places you should visit are within walking distance and above all you are able to experience the everyday life of this ancient district in which time seems to have stood still.  Maison Mnabha feels very private and exclusive.  On arrival you are given two keys – one for your room and the other to let yourself in and out of the house.  As a guest you are received as a friend in a heartfelt way.  The staff are outstanding.  All of them take care of you - as do the owners - with sincere hospitality and genuine smiles.'

Elle Decoration (S E Asia) January 2007

 

'The appeal of the house – or at least of the downstairs – is one of royal refinement, the upstairs area, which is brand new, has a much more modern, breezier feel, containing four main bedrooms and private and public roof terraces.  The rooms are not large, but they are modern and comfortable and with their complementary mix of south-east Asian décor – Buddha heads from Thailand, silks from Laos – and Moroccan ornamentation, are good value for money.  The main terrace has great views over the Kasbah, les Jardins Agdal and the Bahia Palace.  Peter rather handily has a Ph.D. on the Kasbah and is a fountain of local knowledge.  Snacks and dinner are made to order.  Wifi connection keeps you in touch with the rest of the world if necessary.'

A Hedonist’s guide to Marrakech      January 2007    

 

'This lovely riad in the Kasbah area of the medina is English owned and run, yet still a Maison de Charme.'

City Spots Guide to Marrakech    Thomas Cook 2006

 

'An ornate and historic riad in Marrakech’s calmer Kasbah district.  The décor can be a little OTT but the welcome is warm.’

The Guardian  Travel Section   December 2006

 

'Like a prized diadem tucked away in the royal Kasbah, this luxe little guesthouse faceted with terraces is just what savvy travellers come to Marrakech to find.  Delightful English hosts Lawrence and Peter and manager Aziz have decked it out with flowers and antiques and keep fascinating company, from Lebanese journalists to five-star British chefs.'

Best of Marrakech  Lonely Planet   February 2006

 

'English-owned boutique heritage hotel Maison Mnabha in fashionable Marrakesh is enjoying a new breed of guests from Southeast Asia …Maison Mnabha in Marrakesh’s historic Kasbah is an eclectic property in a city of contrasts.  Maison Mnabha was bought by its present owners (one of them Dr. Peter Dyer, holds a PhD on the Kasbah and is a fountain of local knowledge) in the early 1990s and was painstakingly renovated.  The aim of the owners at Maison Mnabha is to conserve the original features of the house and create a comfortable and calm family-run environment.  Guests tend to be people searching for cultural pursuits away from the sterility of oversized five-star hotels; many are female, either travelling on their own, or in small groups … The decoration of the formal rooms at Maison Mnabha reflects a traditional palace architecture that developed independently of neighbouring influences.  Ceramic mosaics, carved stucco and painted wood have been integrated into an overall surface design rich in colour and bold in conception.  The 17th to 19th century decoration here is characteristic of the palace style but intimate and domestic in scale.  The upper patio, terraces (which offer views of a minaret studded horizon and the Atlas Mountains) and bedrooms have been remodelled to synthesise traditional Moroccan elements with those of Southeast Asian and African design.

 In terms of value for money, attention to detail cultural interest and personalised service, there is no better place to stay in Marrakech.'

 Lifestyle + Travel (Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan)   January 2006

 

'The Kasbah is a very safe, friendly area … much more open and less congested than the areas surrounding the main square of Marrakech ... The original rooms of the 17th-century house have been converted into the main salon area, where the décor is influenced by the styles favoured by the royal court of the sultans of Morocco.  From top to bottom, the house is decorated with objects … collected over the decades from Morocco and elsewhere.  Many are antiques.'

A Place in the Sun   November 2005

 

'A very welcoming maison d’hôtes run by English brothers who focus on providing true Moroccan hospitality, helping organise sight-seeing tours and providing much needed shopping advice.  They have thought of everything from the DVD library to quality cooking, which includes Mediterranean salads as well as traditional tangias cooked in the hammam.'

Morocco   Lonely Planet  2005

 

'The owner of one of the most stylish hotels in Marrakech, Dr Peter Dyer has gradually restored Maison Mnabha, which is now sought out by the fashionatas.  A beautifully restored building has managed to create an extraordinary oasis of calm amid the bustling city.  The hotel is now beloved by the artistic set. The guests are predominantly British who want to get to know the real Morocco.  The exclusivity of the place inevitably attracts travellers looking for something a bit special and has won acclaim for décor and elegance.'

The Telegraph     April 2005

 

'The biggest attraction is the reception area, which was part of an old 17th century palace and boasts original architecture complete with carved wood, calligraphic plasterwork and painted pillars and ceilings.   The four main bedrooms … are modern and comfortable, and with their complementary mix of south-east Asian décor – Buddha heads, silks from Laos – and Moroccan ornamentation, are good value for money.  The main terrace has great views over the Kasbah, les Jardins Agdal and the Bahia Palace.  Peter rather handily has a PhD on the Kasbah and is a fountain of local knowledge.'

A Hedonist’s guide to Marrakech     September 2004

 

'Originally bought as a residence ten years ago, Mnabha has been receiving guests for the last three.  The place was part of a bigger house attached to the court (the Royal Palace is a neighbour) hence the opulent first floor reception room with its fabulous 17th century style painted cedar wood ceiling.'

Marrakech and the Best of Morocco     Time Out Guide      2003

 

'The dreamt of place for a stay with friends.  Maison Mnabha offers five ravishing rooms.  The tiled floors and cedar wood ceilings are authentic works of art.'

Un Grand Weekend à Marrakech     Hachette Guide     June 2003

 

'A great little place to stay in Marrakech is Maison Mnabha.  It's an English-run b&b in the heart of the kasbah with just a few rooms, a roof terrace and delicious breakfasts.'

Marie Claire      April 2003

 

'LUXE FOR LESS: Despite the recent proliferation of riad hotels in Marrakesh, the cognoscenti know that Maison Mnabha offers the best value.  The charming English owners of this former pasha’s palace have transformed it into a splendid five-room hotel, complete with original plasterwork, antique tiles, 17th century painted ceilings and oriental carpets and silks.  Breakfast is served on the roof terrace, which has a breathtaking view of the Atlas Mountains, and overlooks the old city.'

Harpers & Queen     December 2002

 

 

'Peter … showed us to our room, up the stairs past a stunning reception with cedar wood ceiling and mosaic tiles.  The double doors  to our spotless room opened on to a tiled terrace, from where steps led up to the roof.  Breakfast was taken against a background of blue sky and the Atlas Mountains … it’s the best value riad in town.'

The Times     ‘Six of the best … Riads in Marrakech’     September 2002

 

'The charm of Momo with beds.  Breakfast is served outside – sweet, fresh orange juice, croissants and the kind of coffee that kickstarts a day watching the snake-charmers and acrobats in the Djemaa el-Fna souk, just a few minutes walk away.'

Tatler Travel Guide     ‘101 Best Hotels’     2001

 

'The charming Maison Mnabha is English owned.'

 

Harpers & Queen      December 2001

 

Maison Mnabha: a “fin-de-siècle house, with its sumptuous arched and pillared salon and twin terraces that command Marrakesh’s skyline of minarets, was owned by a pacha, a senior court official.”

The Independent      October 2001 

 

'You will be welcomed as members of the family and you could well go back home leaving new friends behind.  The owners will do their best to organize for you a lovely and unforgettable stay.  Excellent value for money.'

Un Grand Weekend à Marrakech’      Hachette Guide     Spring 2001

 

'In terms of value for money, Maison Mnabha is much the best place to stay in Marrakech.'

Condé Nast Traveller       February 2001

 

'Maison Mnabha: one of the five best destinations from Stansted Airport.'

London Evening Standard       January 2001

 

'Cachet in the Kasbah.  If you already know about this treasure, you’re so inside track, you’re already out of sight.'

Tatler Travel Guide     ‘101 Best Hotels’     2000

 

'The deal of the century: with its intricately painted 17th-century wooden ceiling, hand-carved walls, delicate silk cushions and stained-glass archways, it is by far one of the swankiest hangouts in the city.  Take note, Amanjunkies.'

London Evening Standard      September 2000

 

'Where to stay: Maison Mnabha, built 100 years ago, this charming hotel is right in the heart of the city.'

Escape     Spring 2000

 

'Maison Mnabha: tiny, charming English-run.'

Tatler     February 2000

 

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