Sirayane Boutique Hotel and Spa, Marrakech

With fresh rose petals on the sheets, and double beds surrounding the swimming pool, the Sirayane hotel and spa in Marrakech was geared up for couples, but turned out to be perfect for a short break with good friends.

This week, me and four pals flew to Morocco for a few days of relaxation to mark a significant (but unmentionable) milestone birthday. Our criteria for the break had been a bit of luxury, sunshine, a decent pool and flight times that meant we had three full days to ourselves. A friend’s sister had previously stayed at the Sirayane so it immediately made the shortlist and the price we got by booking around six months in advance sealed the deal.

Being a boutique hotel, the Sirayane was small but perfectly formed and centred around a beautiful pool area. We got upgraded to rooms with private gardens just a few steps from the water’s edge. The super king bed was so comfortable I slept for hours, which if you’ve read my post about my insomniac tendencies you will know takes some doing. Full marks were awarded for the abundance of power sockets by the bed, and others by the mirror (hotel designers, these things are essential!). The Alexa-style sound system was a bonus.

The shower room offered a reminder that this probably was a hotel frequented mostly by couples in that it didn’t have a door. This is something I will never understand as nothing is going to kill romance more quickly that catching a glimpse of your significant other getting busy with the soap. At least the separate loo was enclosed. Anyhow, the bathroom was well-stocked with a selection of luxury organic Damana bath and body products. I’m a sucker for hotel toiletries and it was a thoughtful touch to be provided with aromatherapy-based products in a spa hotel.

Breakfast was included. We skipped the cauliflower cheese (?) and instead enjoyed omelettes made to order, local bread and pastries, yoghurt and honey. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant one of the evenings and lunch on our final day. The main menu was divided between local Moroccan cuisine and more of a European menu. I tried the local mixed starter which consisted of several salads flavoured with delicate spices – the aubergine and pumpkin salads were amazing. My main course was a tagine of the most tender lamb with crunchy walnuts and sticky figs.

The hotel offers a courtesy shuttle bus to Marrakech’s medina (around 15 minutes away) giving you a chance to experience the souks, palaces and other sights. If you’d rather stay on-site, there’s a small gym, sports bar and spa, offering traditional hammam and a range of massages.

I can’t review the Sirayane without mentioning the staff, who really made our stay. The manager introduced himself as we arrived and presented us with a tray of traditional (and frankly addictive) mint tea and pastries. Our bags were spirited away to our rooms so we headed to the bar, where the restaurant manager sought us out and greeted us warmly. Throughout our stay the staff seemed genuinely keen to ensure we were enjoying ourselves; at around 10pm on our final night when we decided we fancied going quad biking the following morning, the night manager picked up the phone and arranged a private tour for us.

If you’re after a secluded and peaceful hotel where you can completely switch off and relax, but have the option of spending time in the bustling and beautiful city of Marrakesh, do check out this gem.

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