More about Korakia Pensione
This is the third time I've stayed at this gem and I have NEVER been disappointed. The bed and breakfast has one section which is of a morrocan style and, directly across the street, a mediteranean style. I prefer the mediteranean side as the pool is absolutely lovely. No phone, no tv, just beautiful surroundings and an opportunity for real relaxation. See -------...SQ
Emperor's New Motel
If you like to stay at places that are as phony as a Hollywood set and be treated badly by the wait staff, then Korakia is the place for you! We considered Korakia when we were planning our wedding, having seen Korakia's website, and thought it was a promising location. Were we ever disappointed when we went to visit. The grounds seemed initially kind of funky and cool, but the pool area was sort of unfinished with this ugly asphalt blacktop area that ruined the effect. The staff was insufferable, rude and joyless. The strident little Miss Manager hissed with hostility the unbelievably prohibitive by-laws for weddings at Korakia as we backed away towards the exit. Not exactly the place we would choose to spend what should be one of the happiest days of our lives.
A place for the spirit
Staying at Karokia is perhaps not for most people, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much. Most people will want TV. Korakia doesn't have them in any rooms or anywhere else. Most people will want to be in a room that's identical to the room next door, which is identical to the room in the other major hotel chains in town, which is identical to the rooms in hotel chains in every city. Karokia is not like that. Rooms have character and qirks and a wide range of prices from $130 for clean and small to $600/night for the adobe house with private hot tub and waterfall. Ours was $180 and had an odd broken antique out the back door. The room was clean. The feather top bed was exceptionally comfortable. It was incredibly quiet. If you need constant motion and comotion, Korakia is not for you. Our goals were more along the lines of reading, sunbathing, talking and that's about it.
Most people will not get to meet Mr. Mariotte. Doug is the guy that built, owns and runs Korakia. You want to meet him - he's right there by the pool. Go say, 'hi'. It is a B&B. Not a luxury resort. Not a hotel. Doug is a world traveler and general Bon Vivant. He smiled at me like he knew me. His wife answers the phone and recommends restaurants. They are really nice people who take their inspiration from wonderful travel experiences around the world. It's his place, filled with spirit, emotion, stories and warmth. Those aren't things I'd say about the Ritz Carlton's I've stayed in.
You'll meet all kinds at Korokia. It would have been easy to strike up conversations, but my wife and I just kept to ourselves because with 4 babies at home we don't get enough time for each other. The other guests were friendly and they acknowledged you. People smile. If you want to blend into the crowd and not be noticed. This place isn't for you.
They do have movies in a community space (right over the Bocce lane actually). The perfect movies for the settings I think would be Last Tango In Paris by Bertolucci, Roman Holiday, or Breakfast at Tiffanies. Those movies aren't for everyone, so perhaps that's a tip if this place is for you. They showed Billy Eliot when I was there.
Bottom line, this is a great place for romantic getaways and quiet time for yourself. It's great to meet people and it's a unique experience and a great B&B. When I go to mt. bike races in Big Bear, the Motel 6 is fine. When in Manhattan, the Grand Mariotte on Times Square suits the purpose and the W in San Franciso or the Monaco are great. Go with the right expectations and this place will leave you rejuvinated and with a wonderful memory.
Escape to Morocco
After our stay we could not understand the negative reviews of some. This is an absolute perfect escape to another time, place and state of mind: A historic 1920's Moroccan villa, beautifully restored and decorated, complete with the friendliest, most down-to-earth staff possible.
No, this is not the common "McHotel" so those expecting immaculate cookie-cutter rooms filled with shiney technology will surely be disappointed. Quite the opposite, the rooms are each individually designed to be simple, relaxing and even sexy, staying true to the historic original architecture and essence of Med culture. To us, that made it fun, more of an escape -- An experience as unique as the property itself and the people staying there (the other guests we met seemed to be an eclectic mix of well-traveled creative professionals). It's simply more authentic and less contrived.
Same with the staff -- They are as friendly and warm as can be, making you feel as if you are truly at home and otherwise staying out of the way. They did this extraordinarily well in our opinion, making us feel as if it were our own little villa, only making their presence known when we needed. They are not, however, at your beckon call which is rather nice; All the more reason to share a laugh with them and learn about their knowledge of the villa's history.
So, with all due respect, I suspect the bad reviews are from people demanding to be catered to or doted on in four-star fashion. That is very simply not the mission of this quiet, relaxing B&B-style retreat. If you prefer Vegas vacations and demand disciplined, uniform Ritz service, this just may not be your place. But if you appreciate travelling and experiencing the cultures or asthetics of the far parts of the world, I would venture to guess you will love Korakia.
My wife and I recnetly celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at Korakia. After reading the reviews we were a little hesistant because some people not only complained about the rooms but also about the staff. We took a chance and stayed decided to give it a try. We had the most amazing time. It's obviously not for people who want to be pampered like at a five start hotel. This place is for people who want to escape and be alone with themselves or significant other. We stayed in the Nash house and the vibe of the room couldn't have been more romantic. We were hundreds of miles away from home but it seemed like thousands. The grounds were beautiful and the breakfast each morning was great, especially the huevos rancheros. The Nash house has this wonderful outdoor shower so in 2 days I took about 6 showers and one in the rain. I don't understand why some complained about the furniture. The furniture was very unique. The lighting in the Nash house was dim but it only helped set the mood.
We found the staff to be very friendly and warm especially Paulette. She made us feel very welcomed as soon as we stepped foot on the property. She's great! One morning the owner came over to our table during breakfast and introduced himself. He also told us if we needed any suggestions on things to do or where to eat to feel free to ask. Because we didn't have the distractions of a tv or phone we were really able to re-connect which is exactly what we needed.
Some people will say they are experienced buisness travlers and used to staying a nice hotels and complain about the mini Hersey's candy on the pillow. This isn't for business people who are used to being pampered and having staff kiss up to them. This is a place to do some soul searching while relaxing. It surprises me at how spoiled some people are and how they focus on the little material things that really aren't the important. I loved this place and the staff and would recommend it to anyone!
Last time we were in Palm Springs we stopped by the Korakia to check it out. We talked to the very nice owner who told us it was a boutique hotel that people only tell their friends about. He had no rooms to show us. We decided to stay there this trip. We originally planned on two nights but after 10 minutes in the room quickly cancelled the second night. $200 per night for a cold stark concrete room with no robes and no rugs? No thanks! Also, we didn't enjoy the ugly blue 1920's sink in the bathroom with no stopper and a toilet that barely flushed. We had to be very careful when showering not to skin our elbows in what my husband nicknamed "the shower cave" - a very dark, very small stone shower.
Our french doors led to a small patio with a weird ugly old broken chest. (Maybe they were using the area for a storage area for old junk. Oh wait, everything in the room was old junk.) The refrigerator was so loud it kept us awake at night and for heat we had to roll out a portable heater. Upon checking out I asked if the room was supposed to have robes, thinking maybe they forgot to put them in, and the girl seemed annoyed with me for even asking.
Palm Springs has many cute boutique-y hotels. I'll try a different one next time.
Gone Downhill ( except the rates) - bad service & lame furniture
I recently popped in to Korakia, while in town, just to have a look around at the property & see if it had been taken over by new management yet. Sadly, after being there 10 mins. I already experienced, once again the arrogant attitudes & saw a sad decline in the appearance of the property. It seems they have removed alot of the decor that used to be around the grounds. Looks more stark that it used to, yet, the prices are higher. Furnishings were still junky looking. I antique quite alot and appreciate rustic character, but this was just plain old unkept junk. The front desk staff was unhelpful & unavailable as usual. It is so sad that this property is under the management/ownership that it is. I keep hoping one day I'll pop in & it will be under a new owner. I love Moroccan art and architecture and this could very well be my favorite hotel, easily. But under the current ownership it is just a way overpriced, full of itself, motel. It could be sooo much more! WHAT A SHAME. Note to the owners- do your community a favor and those travelers who would cherish a gem like this & sell it someone with more innkeepers/hospitality experience. Please. I would love to stay here again! And a note to those reviewers who think the negative feedback is just from business travelers who are familiar with Marriott like amenities & service- NOT TRUE. I am a well-seasoned traveler who primarily stays at boutique or B&Bs. It's about being hospitable making your guests comfortable! I am young AND hip and this place is still lacking in those very basic areas. Shame on the owner for allowing his staff to mistreat his guests. He's not shy about taking thier hard-earned money & that makes it practically robbery. SEll!!!
Love it or hate it
As you can tell from the reviews, you love it or hate it. We love it and will return. It is all about quiet time and space. You must like rustic, small and space. Looking for a hotel style b&b, forget it. Looking for a resort style vacation, forget it. Yes, it is a bit pricey for what it is, but, some things are. It is alot about what room you stay in, and there are great ones and not so great ones. I would tell you which one we love, but then it will never be available so I won't since this place is always booked as it is. Let's just say stay by the pool, which one, I won't tell. Check their web site and do your research. Not a bad idea to stop by to look if you are already in town to see if it is even your thing. Staying by the pool is worth the extra bucks, trust me. It is a very different kind of experience. Please feel free to email with questions.
Great Concept, Needs more follow-through
My husband and I stayed here based on the previous reviews on tripadvisor and the website for the hotel which looked pretty awesome. In terms of our age demographic we are both in our late 20s early 30s and travel quite a bit for business....so when we look for a place to stay for a vacation we really like out of the way type places that are interesting.
The overall decor of the bed and breakfast is really awesome- each room has a different theme and we were really impressed when we first got there.
The whole theme is more "worn" and "vintage"- No TVs or clocks- what a GREAT idea- truly felt like i was away from reality...!!!
However, I would say that there was not very good attention played to details. I would think that this vintage feel would only go so far- however, there were bugs everywhere in our room- especially ants- and huge crickets which infiltrated our room after dark. Secondly, limited privacy where your room looks into other rooms and it is tough to feel "alone" if there are people chatting about and able to look into your room. Also, the sitting area was very uncomfortable since it squeeked everytime you sat down on the couch. The Chinese stone in the shower was a great idea but the bathroom wasn't finished- in terms of any molding on the walls. The sink faucets were wobbly and when you took a shower the entire bathroom got wet. Aveda products nice touch but No body lotion, no hairdryer and nothing was replenished unless you asked. The towels that were given were tattered a bit and little stains here and there.
And then the food- more food and more variety is needed! there is no spread- Everyone gets the same thing. I would rather have a buffet, personally. They need a more experienced chef who is able to provide more interesting food with more options- and that could be the function of being a small establishment. But food is mediocre. Evening chocolates, again nice idea- but why give Hershey chocolates??? i can get them at a supermarket- i thought just a little more elegance with something a bit more high end- chocolate truffles or giardelli- SOMETHING. This again could be my snobbiness of traveling alot.
And FINALLY the service. This is a gripe i have with many hotels who try to come off as a trendy luxury high end place- make sure your staff is well trained!!! The owner was so nice and helpful- it is worth it to have him around more often or people like him to help!!! I think it is not really advantageous to have young, fashionable college going girls running your establishment who are responsible for the recommendations. We asked for restaurant recommendations for two nights and got the same two restaurants both nights which we weren't thrilled with- after which we went to St James just around the corner which had EXCEPTIONAL food and service!!! And that wasn't even a place they even mentioned. In terms of what could have been done- it may be helpful if they went around to the local restaurants and got all the menus and put it in a picture album that guests could look through- I've seen that done and it is pretty effective!
Anyway, here's the bottom line- if you don't have much experience staying at nice hotels, then you will find this place charming and awesome and a great getaway. However, if you are unfortunately well seasoned with business travel, then I am sorry to say but you may find this place interesting at first, but will be dissapointed with the follow-through and the attention to detail which most luxury B&B offer.