See Part 1 of our Marrakech trip posts here. Our stay at the beautiful Hotel Capaldi was by fortuitous accident. When we booked our Marrakech trip, we had done just that: booked 3 nights in Marrakech. However, when flight prices skyrocketed overnight (thanks, British bank holidays), we were forced to travel a day earlier than planned. Woe was definitely us, for we decided to skip the bustling city for that one extra night in favour of a sun, tranquillity and nature walks out in the Atlas Mountains.
Well, we got some of those things. But not all.
Firstly, because the God of Weather and Irony decided to smite us that day, the promised ‘brilliant sunshine’ (AccuWeather’s words; not mine) we were expecting was dutifully replaced with thick cloud. So much cloud. For nearly the entire Marrakech trip. Sadly, we had mountain-obscuring cloud for the duration of our Hotel Capaldi stay. This put a cloud (total pun intended) over our Capaldi stay somewhat, but we were determined to make the most of it, clouds’n’all.
For proof, though, look how beautiful those mountain views look with sunshine instead of cloud. Image via Hotel Capaldi’s website:
Let’s step back a bit first, though, and talk about our details. We booked our Hotel Capaldi stay through iEscapes, which gave us a standard room and a special hammam/grommage treatment each during our stay. Stag also booked himself in for an hour long ‘Tonic’ massage, which is the equivalent of a deep tissue.
When we arrived, we were sadly not upgraded. Now okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Eire, why would you assume you would be upgraded?” Why indeed, except the hotel seemed so very empty the entire time we were there, so much so that I was surprised they wouldn’t have just done it. We also found out that a girl we met on our plane ride in was serendipitously checking in the day we left, and she was upgraded.
However, our adorable — albeit slightly dark — standard room was, in fact, perfect for our one night stay. Charming, with small details that screamed ‘You’re on a Moroccan holiday’ without being too garish. The bed was ample, the bathroom huge, and really, who’s spending that much time in the room for such a short stay? No one, not when there were so many comfy loungers lingering outside.
The grounds and pool areas were also a huge positive of our stay. Helped by the fact that it was, as I said above, nearly empty during our stay, allowing us to have free reign of the pools and loungers. Immaculate gardens shrouded pristine pools — two, in fact — with cabana-style ‘reading nooks’ nestled around the grounds. It really was beautiful, and I can only imagine we would have been even more in awe if there had been an ounce of sunshine.
Rather than the typical pool loungers, Hotel Capaldi opts for actual beds, each in their own private enclave of shrubbery. Stag and I both commented how we actually preferred this, being the romantics that we are, and I think it’s quite telling the type of clientele they must get to have no individual seats available. No under 18’s are allowed to stay, meaning the entire place was quiet, serene and, well, magical.
When the clouds (slightly) cleared, we were given a glimpse of the awe-inspiring view of the Atlas Mountains shown in their promotional pictures. Stunning, with the view even better from a rooftop lounge area near one of the pools. Seriously, the grounds in Hotel Capaldi really do have everything you could want from a luxurious remote hotel.
However — because nothing is perfect — we did experience one big negative during our stay. One of the main reasons we chose Hotel Capaldi to stay in was it offered the luxurious relaxation that I wanted and the Atlas Mountain hiking options that Stag wanted. One of the ones I had read to do was walk out to the nearby Lalla (lake) Takerkoust, a 45-minute hike to be followed by a relaxing lunch at Le Flouka. Because of the mountain location and generally reviewed ‘nature’ element of the hotel, we assumed this would be a nature walk.
Instead, this hour-long walk was through narrow streets of small villages, where (unlike those we encountered Marrakech), the people were not too friendly to us tourists. There were cars constantly driving by, and most of the way had little in the way of nature or views. It was also very muddy, which was a bit of a silly decision on our part to walk that on our first day of the trip!
After this very unrelaxing ‘nature walk,’ finally made it to the restaurant on the lake, which unlike the trail really didn’t disappoint. Nestled in a garden, this French-owned restaurant really is a gem. The views here, in contrast to our walk, were incredible, and we finally got a wink of sunshine just as we finished our meal.
Unsurprisingly, we opted for a taxi back to the hotel. We had our traditional hammam & gommage treatments, which I can only describe as “the best bath and body exfoliation you will ever have in your life.” I honestly won’t need to exfoliate for a month after that treatment. It was a unique Moroccan experience that I would absolutely recommend to try, particularly if you’re staying at the Capaldi.
It was finally time for dinner, which we enjoyed beautifully al fresco in the hotel’s beautiful outdoor dining area. Fairy lights covered the trees, and you could even smell flowers blooming. By this point, we finally saw 2 (!) other couples staying at the hotel, but that was it, and the privacy and tranquillity of our meal were unparalleled.
Dinner and breakfast. The food at Hotel Capaldi was so mouthwateringly good.
The food, though. Superb. Stag says his lamb tagine was one of the best he’s ever had, rivalling some of the famous ones we had in Marrakech. Our breakfast the following morning was the breakfast highlight of our entire trip. We both were wishing we could have had it every day.
We spent the next day reading by the pool under thick, grey cloud, relishing the sound of nothing but birds singing. Making up for the lack of upgrade, the manager kindly allowed us to use our room until we decided to leave. We booked our goodbye taxi for 2 pm, feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for the hustle-and-bustle of Marrakech.
Would we stay there again?
Yes — but purely to have a 2-3 day relaxing holiday, nothing nature related. And hopefully with some sun!
The Capaldi Hotel
Km 39 Route d’Amizmiz
Lalla Takerkoust, 42202, Morocco