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“This is a lovely hotel, but needs some work to be 5 stars”

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Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa
Ranked #114 of 500 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 October 2009

My husband and I just returned from 2 weeks in Morocco. We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights. It's a pretty hotel, but the service level is not what it should be.

The lobby is beautiful, but the desk staff are more than a little cold. We had a problem with our bill, and it took 45 minutes to correct. I think another 5 star property would have been more accomodating, but we found that in Morocco, the service in general is very forced. One often has to beg for service, and then it's given grudgingly.

The rooms are fine, but not spectacular. The hallways are a little dingy, just a little. And the TVs are old school (why Sofitel?) but the beds are nicely upgraded, and the bathroom was also quite nice and appropriate for a 5 star property. This place is a bit sprawling. Our room was a full 5 minute walk to the lobby, you may want to ask for a closer room.

The restaurant for breakfast was great. Yes, it's expensive, but what part of 5 star hotel do people not understand? The prices here are on par with any other property of its caliber. The bar doesn't have much to offer, and we did not dine in the upstairs restaurant.

The pool area is quite nice. And one does have to ask for service, but we found that once we did, we got served well. The lounge chairs are comfortable, the place is serene and relaxing.

There are things to do in walking distance from the hotel, but it's a bit of a walk. The concierge made a couple of suggestions I'd like to comment on: 1. Chez Ali Grand Spectacle-very touristy, but kind of fun in a cheesy way. Ask about it. 2. One concierge suggested that we buy souvenirs at the government authorized price fixed store, as it would be less complicated for us. SCAM. Not price fixed at all, but really beautiful things. If you go, prepare for haggling. Most tourists don't know they can haggle, and pay 5x at least what the item is worth. 3. Dar Rhizlane Restaurant, about a 5 minute cab ride from the hotel WOW! The best meal we had in Morocco BY FAR. What a BEAUTIFUL RIAD (actually, you should look into staying there) but DO EAT THERE. Wow.

We did get a guide from the hotel for a few hours, with a car. Though pricey, it's really the best way to see the city. Just for 2-3 hours. At the very least, one gets to ride around and see the local scenes. I've been to the tannery twice, and it is interesting. The imperial gardens are really not worth the visit. Spend most of your time just being driven, so you see the scope of the city, maybe see a palace, and then get dropped at the big square, that's where the life is. Especially after dark on Fri-Sun. Fun.

Marrakech is an exciting city, and the Sofitel is a good choice.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank alexanddeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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904 - 910 of 2,905 reviews

Reviewed 23 October 2009

Went for a long weekend at the beginning of October to the Sofitel Marrakesh. Having arrived quite late in the evening we were escorted outside to a special bar that had been set just for us. Excellent, even in the night lights we could see the hotel looked beautiful and was in lovely surroundings. Unfortunatel the stupid card that opened the door wouldn't work and we had to have another room for the first night. The people were so apologetic and offered all manner of things for the inconvenience. A bottle of morrocan wine, sweets and a basket of fruit later and we were in heaven. The rooms are practical and large enough for two and the beds are fantastic and so comfortable. Rose petals were stren all over the bed and bathroom, lovely. We ate breakfast in the hotel every morning and it was buffet style and more than adequate for anyone. Ate at the pool bar one lunchtime and the food was lovely but the serve poor. We ate out the rest of the time as we were on an organised tour. Comptoir Darna is a must for a dining experience. Quad biking and camel riding in the atlas mountains is a must for anyone also as the scenery is spectacular. We also wet to the Margharita Olive Grove for a traditional moroccan lunch which was beautiful. The souks and markets of Marrakesh are amazing just to sit and people watch or try your hand at haggling which is such fun. I even got myself a few freebies just for trying my luck (maybe it was the scottish charm). I wasn't really looking forward to this trip but it was an amazing experience and I would return again. I was only just settling in when we had to come home. I loved the Sofitel and found the staff amazing and at your disposal all the time.
The spa was great. I had a full body massage and facial and enjoyed every minute of it although the girl could not speak a word of english. It was quite funny understanding each other but we got there! The two pools are wonderful and the staff escort you to your sunbed and put out towels etc for you, which for me took a bit of getting used to. I would return to this hotel again no problem and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: October 2009
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1  Thank Lilianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2009

Finally got to sit down to write my 2 cents on this one ...
We went there for 3 days . I thought that it was expensive but as you know the wife won as they usually do . Nothing prepared me though for the rip off prices in the hotel . Absolutely shocking ! How can they justify that is an absolute mistery to me . Don't get me wrong we travel a lot and stay in good hotels but this was far too much . Not only the service is very poor , we there waiting for a sandwich by the pool for 1 hour ! I sat there waiting for a waiter to come talk to me for 30 minutes then decided to go to the bar myself, they were all having a chat , then tried to involve me in the conversation so I just said : 'Can we have some service over there ...' Cheeky sods ! then the rooms we stayed in what they call 'prestige suite ' what prestige ? A suite with no cofee maker , and old TV that looked like my gramma's , no ironing board , i mean seriously for Stg 400 / night.
Then you've the staff in reception , there was a lot of empty rooms in the hotel but they just refused to move our friends to a decent room ( not overlooking the hotel's rubish dump) when they finally did they moved them to the next door room , go figure !
Basically the hotel is ok but that's about it .
Don't expect service , don't expect a smile from reception staff and don't expect a superbe room .
Room service was good though I must admit.
If you happen to stay there by mistake , well use the caf / restaurant not far from the hotel. It's much cheaper , good service and very good value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Najib O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2009

This hotel doesn't deserve it's five stars. It is all show and nothing else. It's like the designers built the entrance, reception and pool area and thought well that looks impressive, we needn't bother putting any effort into anything else!
I rarely splurge on expensive holidays, don't get me wrong I like to travel to exotic places and stay in beautiful surroundings, but I rarely stay anywhere 5 star and when I do I expect it to be worth the money. In the past this has been the case however, I have never recieved such poor service in my life. When we arrived we handed over our expedia booking details to a woman (certainly no lady) on reception who asked us to take a seat, she then ignored us for 45 minutes. Fair enough the reception area was busy it was midday and people were coming and going, but to ignore people sat in front of you for such a long time is in my opinion dispicable. No offer of a drink to boot. But what tops that is that when we approached again she didn't even have the decency to apologise! Outrageous. A belated emotionless apology came when she finally developed some observation skills and sensed my annoyance. I couldn't even complain I was that livid. Plus I got the distinct impression she couldn't care less that she'd left us waiting so long.
As I say the hotel reception and pool is very impressive, in terms of decor at least, however the rooms weren't exactly special, devoid of personality and could be likened to a travel lodge. Very disappointing given that Marrakesh is home to such fantastic interior design and the sofitel claims to be a luxury 5 star hotel.
I felt like I wasn't able to relax fully by the pool as the drinks prices were just ridiculous. I think it was something like almost £4 for a large bottle of still water, and similar for a can of coke or sprite. Very irritating when it a cost you can't avoid. What planet are these people on! I'll tell you what planet they are on, one where they are busy designing a food menu for dogs, (yes really!) while they forget about the needs of the people they should be serving. When this £4 drink arrives, don't be suprised if it takes a good ten minutes to get to you, and you'd be expecting too much it seems to expect a clean glass to drink it from or ice cubes made from mineral water, so you can enjoy them without consequence.
We were lured into booking this hotel by the impressive looking pools, which were lovely, it's just a shame we dehydrated at the side of them to avoid remortgaging!
What a let down, enough to put you off luxury.
Get your act together Sofitel, you could be so much better.

  • Stayed: October 2009
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4  Thank TravelBugBittenM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2009

The hotel was lovely, beautiful grounds outside, lots of sunbeds etc and high standard of communal areas. The only let down is the corridors, they appear dark and a little dingy but if that was put right, it wd be a first class five star hotel. The restaurant upstairs looks more like an American sportsbar; downstairs where breakfast is served is much nicer. For some reason, red wine is served cold from the cellar - room temperature is a totally unknown quantity to them. The breakfasts are very good, lots of choice and very helpful staff. The pool bar restaurant is boring and limited. The best restaurants locally are Le Comptois and Jad Mahal, both within walking distance of the hotel and both serve red wine at correct temp! Morocco is very casual; don't bother taking your best clothes - even in very nice restaurants like the ones mentioned, they are not required! The spa is extremely expensive, around £60 for a massage. Unusually web access is free in the business centre, most hotels charge but the Sofitel do not which was a nice change. We stayed in a superior room which was lovely; each evening the maid sprinkled rose petals in teh bathroom in the bathmat.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank BelmontLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2009

The Sofitel Marrakech is absolutely beautiful.

We were very impressed with the service and staff. The gardens and grounds are immaculate.

We loved the two pools, jacuzzi and the whole outside space. Very peaceful with lots of sunbeds huge padded seating areas, hammocks and bean bags so you can always find a nice spot to relax. There is also a huge chess board to keep you occupied. Could not fault it.

We stayed in the Classic room. The room is more than adequate and styled with a loose morrocon theme. Although the room was not as stunning as some 5 * hotel rooms that we have stayed in but it is more than comfortable. There is a separate toilet as you enter the room and a separate bathroom with washbasin just off the bedroom. A window seat and balcony to enjoy the views of the grounds. One gripe that I had was that the bed was comprised of two large singles put together rather than one large double bed. But this was only a minor irritation.

The location of the hotel was perfect around 10-15 minutes from Jema el fna (main square). Well within walking distance and no need to take a taxi.

We did not eat in the hotel as it was very expensive my Morrocan standards so we had breakfast at a local cafe/restuarant (Cafe Blatt), which was 2 minutes walk away from the hotel. It was very nice food at a reasonable price. The Cafe has a european menu with the restuarant upstairs serving a mixture of european and morrocan food.

Top tips from our trip:-

-We learnt quite quickly that petit taxi's (small cabs i.e. not the big mercedes) would take you pretty much anywhere in Marrakech for 20 Dirhams. If they asked for more we would simply walk away to the next one. There is always one around.

-Do not let a taxi driver take you to some shopping centre; it happened to us when all we wanted was a supermarket. Although the shopping centre was very nice and we spent around 30 minutes looking at the equisite furniture; it was not where we wanted. The driver was probably on some kind of commission. If you want to go to a particular site make sure thats where they drop you.

-Pay no more than 100 Dirhams to and from the airport (less if using a petit taxi). We paid 70 Dirhams.

-Always agree a price (for excursions, taxis or claeches) first and dont be afraid to haggle.

-Make sure you check what is included when you book an excursion i.e. lunch, guides etc. We met a couple that paid the same as us for an Atlas excurision (300 dirham) but then they had to pay extra for lunch when we did not.

-Ignore anyone who offers to give you a guided tour or information about certain sites (they will most probably want money for their services). Part of the fun is wandering around getting lost. A gentleman came over to us started telling us about a site and then suddenly asked for 20 dirhams!! the cheek. Just refuse politely and walk away.

-In hindsight we would not have bothered eating in Jema el fna; worst meal we had in Marrakech but I suppose it is one of those things you have to do.

-Make sure you visit the Atlas mountains, Musee de Marrakech, Ben Youseff, the Souks and Jardin Marjorelle. Stunning!

-Haggle like mad in the Souks! Some of the prices are far to expensive when compared to what you would pay back home; So just think of what you would like to pay for an item and stick to it.

-Purchase items that you wont necessarily get back home i.e. hand decorated tea glasses rather than the factory made versions (which you could purchase in the UK), plates with designs carved in to them rather than just painted on etc.

-Politely refuse any item that is presented to you that you do not want. A simple La Shukrun ("no thank you") should suffice.

-take a collapsable bag in your luggage if you are planning on buying from the Souks.

-If you get lost ask a shop keeper or fellow tourist.

Marrakech is an amayzing place and we thoroughly enjoyed our break there.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sheraz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2009

You cannot fault the service, location or facilities at Sofitel Marrakesh but you could question their pricing. £6 for a can of sprite!!! Whilst the hotel itself is very expensive, the pool and room made up for it. It is an excellent location to explore the amazing Marrakesh and it only steps away from the gorgeous le comptoir restaurant. You must agree a price with the taxis waiting outside the hotel otherwise they will fleece you. As the Sofitel is seen to be the best hotel in the area taxi drivers charge an arm and a leg just to get into town. The hotel is within moments of the main square and you can walk to the other side of town, with it's Hammams and dodgey shops, within 15 minutes.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank WellTravelledKW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa

Address: Rue Harroun Errachid | Quartier de l'hivernage, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#65 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#86 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#104 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#170 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: £127 - £218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Marrakech Lounge and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by a splendid garden and fountains, Sofitel Marrakech is a premier Marrakech Morocco hotel. Its 346 Marrakech hotel rooms offer terraces or balconies with views of the mountains, swimming pool, or gardens. Guests at this luxury hotel in Marrakech, Morocco, will enjoy restaurants serving local and international cuisine, 3 bars, a nearby nightclub, a poolside snack bar, 3 bars, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre with a Jacuzzi, and a Turkish steam bath and gym. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Marrakech Lounge Hotel Marrakech
Marrakech Sofitel

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