The first thing to say is that this is an "all inclusive" resort. That means you'll be given a wrist band to wear for the duration, the meals are buffet style, drinks will be served "en-mass" (most if the time) and the wine isn't going to be Chateau Rothschild 1986.
That being said, this is an excellent, quality, very safe, value for money, family holiday that I highly recommend.
The resort is situated 20-30 minutes from Marrakech International Airport. If you've arrived via the Thompson/First Choice package then your transfer is per-arranged. If, like us, you're do-it-yourself, then you'll need to get a taxi which, despite official signs stating the price as 125 Dirham, it could be up to 200drm (depending on how confused your taxi driver can make you). Don't worry though, this price fluctuation (up or down) is an everyday event in Marrakech, with haggling for price an essential part of most transactions. Get into it....you'll enjoy it as do the Moroccans themselves!
The rooms are basic but comfortable. The air-conditioning works very well and is quiet enough to sleep with on. Large bottles of mineral water are replenished every day as the water in the taps isn't drinkable. There is a small television with channels in various languages including a few favourites that we'd all recognise. Each room has its own small porch leading onto a private grass area.
All restaurants and the auditorium are fully non smoking however the main reception building and bar allow smoking inside. This can be annoying for non-smokers but in a country where smoking is usually allowed everywhere, it's a small inconvenience as you don't have to spend much time there if you choose not to.
Wifi is available but notoriously unreliable and only available in the main building. Its particularly poor in the evenings when every man, woman and child is attempting to access the Internet. It's very frustrating and something they need to resolve.
The pool is huge! An adult can stand up everywhere into pool with the depth going from 0.8m to 1.5m as you move around. One whole side has a long, gentle slope into the pool. Unfortunately the European habit of placing towels on sun loungers at ridiculously early hours of the morning is thriving at the Riu Tikida. If there's more than two of you (we are a family if 4 with small children) you'll just have to get used to this and get involved if you want to ensure a place with shade. The upside of this is that the clientele is predominantly northern English and French so the moreTeutonic tendency to remove belongs from "saved spaces" doesn't happen. Towels are available from reception throughout the day. This can be inconvenient if your room is far across the property and an exchange "at pool side" would be far more sensible. The grounds are extremely well maintained with gardeners constantly at work keeping the grass lush and the flowers blooming.
The staff are wonderful; extremely friendly and always on hand should you need anything. A small tip of 20drm greases the wheels and keeps everyone smiling. Entertainment occurs constantly throughout the day either by the pool, in the pool, in the Mini, Maxi or Teeny Clubs and into the night with kids disco, kids movies and a family show every night.
As mentioned and despite an earlier posting re smoking in the restaurants, these are all now completely non-smoking. And the food is far better than I expected. You can be as healthy or as decadent as you would like at Riu Tikida with a buffet restaurant available for all every night in the main dining room or you can book 24 hours early for a sitting at the Italian (not fantastic) or traditional Moroccan (very good) specialty restaurants. I've eaten in some very exclusive restaurants all over the world and I'm happy to say I enjoyed all of my meals at Tikida.
The gym is very well stocked with relatively new machinery and is air conditioned. The Spa is very nice with excellent, well priced packages for everything from a back massage to a 2 hour indulgence!
A coach transfer to and from the Medina is available at various times throughout the day although I would highly recommend booking in advance as places fill up quickly. Also worth booking in advance (8am the morning before you leave) is a late check out. Most UK flights leave late afternoon and with an 11am checkout you could find yourself storing your luggage and showering in the Spa. At 500drm for a very late checkout its well worth the investment.
With a 5 year old and a 9 year old to feed, water and keep entertained I rate this property very highly as an excellent family get away.
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