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Captured Audience?

Bournemouth
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6 posts
127 reviews
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Captured Audience?

We came to Marrakech last year over Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Our hotel put on a special Christmas dinner and some small but charming entertainment.

We heard that New Year was an even better time to be in Marrakech and so we booked again for 2013/14, looking forward to more of a party atmosphere.

However, we were shocked to be sent a programme a few days ago (Moroccan folklore, belly dancer, fire eater and DJ) and menu ( a welcome drink, 6 decent looking courses and 1 bottle of wine between us) at a price of 160 Euros per person. We felt a bit trapped, so emailed back and are still waiting for a reply from the hotel as to what our alternative is if we dont want to join in their festivities without forfeiting our dinner!

If we wanted to go into town our major challenge is that we are a few Km outside the main city and dont know if the hotel shuttle will operate at that time or whether taxi drivers from town will operate or charge special rates (as they do in the UK).

The next challenge is what to do when we get into town on the 31 December. I dont want us to skulk in our room over New Year and we certainly want to celebrate but I feel like a captured audience at those prices and would appreciate a choice. Are these prices normal? Are there any other ideas we could pursue? All forums about New Year are a few years old now so I would appreciate some up-to-date pointers. Many thanks.

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Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
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marrakech
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1. Re: Captured Audience?

Hi,

You are kind of trapped by the hotel and the only alternative as you say is to come into Marrakech for dinner. Taxis will operate as normal (don't know about the hotel shuttle) but may well put their prices up as they know it's New Year. Up-market restaurants will also have special menus with inflated prices and some entertainment laid on. You could just eat at one of the cafes round the square or even the foodstalls. The square is packed on the 31st so is quite an exciting atmosphere.

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Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
norfolk
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38 reviews
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2. Re: Captured Audience?

do check, though. many hotels make this event compulsory. you do not have to attend, but you will have to pay anyway.

as a comparison - an hotel i stay at regularly, where the price for dinner with wine would be around €50, charges €300+ a head for nye gala event, and it is not optional. this in addition to the inflated room charge. i do not go for new year!

Taroudant, Morocco
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2,848 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Captured Audience?

Can you not cancel everything and choose some other hotel?

After all it's only the middle of November.

Bournemouth
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6 posts
127 reviews
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4. Re: Captured Audience?

Thanks everyone for your useful replies.

Shimmin - its good to know that there is a buzz about the square and street food could be fun. I expect the taxis would be more expensive but not as dear as 320 euros I'll bet!!

Pam, Wow! I didnt imagine that the dinner would be compulsory (still waiting to hear from the hotel) so thanks for the advice to check. If it is compulsory then they did not declare this when we booked the holiday months ago so there would be a 'discussion' with the manager on that one. I suspect there would be others perfectly happy to take our place though.

Daoud, the option to cancel is a thought although we loved this place so much last year and the manager offered us a reduced price. That is our dilemma.

Things to think about and I am very grateful for all your time and advice.

Thank you

Castril De La Pena...
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5. Re: Captured Audience?

160€ per person—1760dh—including half a bottle of wine (so generous!) is an obscene amount. You could eat at ANY of the top Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK for less.

There must be people who will pay it not realising it's the equivalent of about 25 days wages for some of the lowly-paid hotel staff.

I guess it's down to supply and demand, but Marrakech is starting to price itself out of the market.

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Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Agadir, Morocco
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69 posts
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6. Re: Captured Audience?

Yep, they have certainly trapped you on this one.

It might actually be more beneficial financially for you to stay overnight in another hotel in the city for new years eve. But you would have to book very soon to avoid the last minute rush.

You should be able to get a half decent Riad in the Medina for around 40 to 50 euro per room, even on new years eve.

That way, you can take the hotel shuttle to the Medina (for free) early on in the day, take an overnight bag with you, check into your medina hotel, go out on the jolly for the night and then take the hotel free shuttle back to your expensive hotel on 1st January.

Hey presto! you've enjoyed Marrakech on new years eve for just 50 euro between the two of you! leaving you more of your budget to enjoy a nice Meal and some drinks.

I found the Chinese restaurant on new years Eve was good for food and Neobarocca in Gueliz for some party atmosphere.

Edited: 19 November 2013, 21:31
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Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Gueliz
Gueliz
800 Reviews
Marrakech, Morocco
Taroudant, Morocco
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3 reviews
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7. Re: Captured Audience?

Gidonald, I will risk your coming to Taroudant and beating me up, by saying this:

My dear, you are not the Queen of England, so use some common sense. Follow some of the good advice given you here especially @5 & 6. You can have a great time while at the same time conserving your money.

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England
England
United Kingdom
Marrakech, Morocco
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8. Re: Captured Audience?

A "half decent riad" for the equivalent of 560 MAD? Over the festive period? I think not MoroccoBacker! This is high season and most establishments surcharge or apply normal high season tariffs.

Edited: 20 November 2013, 12:27
Taroudant, Morocco
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2,848 posts
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9. Re: Captured Audience?

During High Season, I intend to stay at home in my apartment where I pay 1000 dirhams monthly!

Bournemouth
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6 posts
127 reviews
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10. Re: Captured Audience?

Thank you very much for this great idea MoroccoBacker. I hadn't thought about that. Will get moving quickly. As you say - time is marching on.

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