We stayed in this hotel between 5th and 12th Feb. It was a bit of last minute booking and having 1. never been to Marrakech, 2. nor anywhere in Africa. 3. never visited a city as a package holiday, and 4. never been been on an all inclusive holiday before, I used and scanned Trip Advisor daily before going, in order to make sure I knew what to expect. So I thought I should give a little back and share my experience of this hotel.
For me this hotel gave us everything we needed for our trip. We were not visiting Marrakech to explore the city. Indeed, if we were, we would not have booked a package holiday to a hotel outside the city. That is the first thing - the hotel is a good 15 min bus ride into the city. If you are visiting Marrakech to get under its skin - this will not be the hotel for you - stay in a riad in the medina. Our objective was to go somewhere to get some heat and relaxation in February - and the hotel delivered just that. Staying at this hotel to explore "real marrakech" will just be a hinderance because of the location. Whilst there are shuttle buses offered by the hotel - these are not that regular and the last one is at 7pm. A taxi however does only cost 80 dirham (£6/7).
If the purpose of your holiday is to relax then the location of this hotel will be perfect - indeed we felt it gave us the balance we needed - being able to explore the crazy aspects of the city of Marrakech on a few days when the weather was not the best but being able to escape the hustle and bustle and relax in the sun when the sun was out.
The room accomodation for me lacked the finishes and special touches of a top hotel. It seems like the hotel has spent most of their budget on the main communal buidings in the hotel (which are stunning) rather than the bedrooms. That is not to say our room was not very nice - the rooms are styled in typical moroccan interior and furniture, which is a nice touch and our room did cater for everything you need in a room whilst on holiday. The only draw back was the lack of sound proofing which meant long lies were not always an option when housekeeping was cleaning the adjoining room or the hotel buggy-car passed your door.
As I mentioned, we had never gone for an all inclusive holiday before, preferring to spend our evenings visiting various different restaurants in the locations we stay in. This is not an option for this hotel as it basically sits in an isolated part of the city. However the all inclusive offering did not dissapoint. 3 restaurants are available - all buffet style (morrocan/italian and general). The moroccan and italian restaurants require advance bookings but worth doing. One slight dissappointment was the moroccan restaurant where I think (because of the ambience they have tried to create - a little bit more subdued and special, when compared with the other restaurants) could have been better served via table service with a set menu. Nonetheless the food throughout our holiday was all very very good - puddings especially. The drinks that are available cover all bases - beer, wine and most spirits and mixers. The "Springtime Cooler" cocktail was my drink of choice throughout our stay - refreshing and yummy.
Within the hotel there is lots to do - the outdoor pool is very large but very cold. Dont think as I did (when I read other reviews) that pool temperature is a subjective thing - it really is freezing and I was only able to swim a couple of lengths before getting brain freeze - hopefully it is just a winter thing. There is also an indoor pool, tennis courts, table tennis, pool table, bingo, football tournaments, petanque,gym, fitness classes etc. Evening entertainment was always available - cabaret acts etc but we never experienced this, opting to sit in the main bar instead.
There are also spa faciliites with various beauty treatments available - these are however an additional cost, as you would expect. I had a back massage on our last day which was ok but not fantastic. Simple things like having some chilled tunes would have made a big difference and also maybe a firmer handed massuese - but that is of course personal choice.
Finally, the staff within this hotel are brilliant. They are all very personable, going out of their way to make sure you are kept entertained and happy at all times. Nothing was too much trouble.
All in all this hotel was very nice and very good value for money based on the all inclusive package. It is a young hotel so expect unmatured landscaping and some unmade paths - this did not in anyway spoil our enjoyment in the hotel.
Be impressed with value for money (based on Feb 2010 prices) for a combined relaxation trip with some flirting with Marrakech's culture but underwhelmed by quality finishes/touches and location if your aim is a city break to explore Marra.
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