This is a review of both the hotel, thomson and Marrakech in all!
We arrived on the 11th July 2013 and arrived home on 18th july 2013.
I must admit i did A LOT of research on Marrakech and the stuff to do out there before i went, which thankly was a god send.
The hotel was fantastic, my boyfriend was blown away as he's never been to a posh all inclusive hotel before and fell in love within an hour of being there!
We arrived late thursday evening, and the staff were brilliant and welcoming, had some hot food put out for our arrival in the restaurant which was a nice touch as we'd been travelling all day.
Unfortunately the bars close at midnight so we only had an hour or so to indulge ourselves before they closed.
The staff are really friendly, however a few were very pushy for tips which is always a bit annoying.
Friday we spent getting our bearings really, checked out the hotel and surrounding area.
The surrounding area is very much for locals however there is a shop to the left of the hotel entrance which sells all the stuff the hotel 'boutique' sells for much lower price [the hotel shop wanted 900 DH for a hat - thats like £87. ridiculous]
As my boyfriend is diabetic it was handy for him to be open all the time to buy choccie bars or sugary drinks in case he felt unwell.
The hotel gives you access to a free shuttle bus that takes you into the new town - the times are a bit inconvenient, the last one we could catch back from the town was 5pm but I think these were less due it to being Ramadan.
We were told by a very moany couple that it cost them 250 dh each way to the new town in a taxi, this simply is not true - you should not pay anymore than 100 dh each way - i know many people at the hotel who didn't pay more than 50 dh! (expert hagglers obviously)
In the new town there are shops like monsoon, zara, mango etc which aren't cheap as in any main city shopping area, also has a kfc or mcdonalds. The bus drops you at the side of a massive roundabout, which is a bit daunting as the traffic in Marrakech is nightmarish. You just need to GO and go FAST.
They will usually move out of your way, but be aware there are so many bikes, motorbikes,carriages,cars and trucks bombing about so keep your wits about you - my trick was to watch the locals, if they cross, cross aswell.
We were told that it is a 20 minute walk to the old town from there, we set off with a bottle of water and after a while we asked an english couple who were heading the other way if we were on the right track. They agreed that we were BUT it was a long way to go and it was better just to get a taxi as it should only cost 20 - 30 dh. so £2.50? We hailed a taxi and the lady was right, it was AN AGE away. How Thomson feel it is ok to say its a 20 minute walk when it could easily take you an hour in the scorching sun is adhorrent, especially if an elderly couple or family with young kids attempted the walk.
Please don't try and walk there, it is NOT 20 minutes, and for £2.50 it is worth it.
The medina during the day is DEAD. don't visit it until about 5pm onwards, which is when everyone sets up their stalls and there are so many places to eat properly cooked morracan and english food in a fantastic atmosphere.
- nice to have a change from the hotels food - which is very nice, but doesn't change from night to night.
However you can opt to book into the Moroccan restaurant in the resort which is very nice too, but also the menu doesn't change - free to eat there too, not sure how many times you can eat in there as we only stayed a week.
The medina comes alive at night with snake charmers, monkeys, orange juice stalls, roof top restaurants and bars, especially during ramadan there are so many prayers during the evening and its lovely to experience.
The place to visit during the day is the Souks - please DO NOT BOOK THROUGH THOMSON. the price is ridiculous and never a convenient time. Just go to the reception at the hotel and ask if you can have a guide.
We asked for one and he arrived in 15 minutes! He is from the board of tourism and lives in the souks, and was really nice and helpful. He costs only 150 DH for 3 hours and takes you to see anything you want. You do have to pay for the taxi to and from the hotel but he gets you a reduced rate of about 30 dh. Totally worth it, please don't attempt the souks on your own, it can be a daunting place if you get lost and many will take advantage of this and offer to show you out but for a very hefty price.
We booked the quad biking trip through our thomson rep [who by the way is called Sam - he is as useless as a chocolate teapot, has apparently live there 3 months but i know more about the area in 10 minutes of googling than he does. He is rude and sarcastic so please don't expect him to tell you what you can do in the surrounding area as all he wants to do is sell you their trips] and paid about £55 each for a half day trip, it was really really great and wish we could've done a full day. In all honesty the equipment used was no better than if we'd booked through a local excursion company, and the whole of the cost would've gone to the people running it, not to thomson. So please don\t rely on the thomson trips as they use THE EXACT SAME COMPANIES, but take a massive cut.
i was expecting to have quadbikes that had working electronics and not be taken past rubbish dumps and be giving local people lifts in our minibus because we had paid so much extra through thomson.
i would've expected what we received from buying it from the stalls in the medina, so in a way i was disappointed but the trip itself made up for it.
The following day we did the camel caravan through thomson, also a big disappointment. lots of money just to be taken in a circle on some very poorly looking camels.
the rep was very rude when i asked what the trip entailed, he said 'you ride on camels?' implying i was stupid when i meant what were we going to be shown or do.
I would've rather booked it through a local company, and have them use the money to keep the camels better.
The room at the hotel was really beautiful, balcony we had was huge looking over the pool. The whole hotel was spotless, the pool was superb, i always saw things going on like ping pong tournaments, belly dancing classes and aqua aerobics - probably much more by the entertainment staff during the day but we were always busy with trips and only vegged out by the pool in the afternoon! However the evening entertainment was boring, some themed evenings but not alot going on so definitely take a trip into the medina.
We visited Armana spa just off to the lefto f the medina for a couples hamman, was fantastic 500 DH for both of us to be washed down, scrubbed and massaged. i also got a free manicure, i can't imagine how much that would've cost in the hotels spa, the prices were extortionate.
Also a nice trip in the evening is to jump into a careche, a horse and carraige - 350 dh for a few hours and a tour around marrakech, saw loads of stuff we hadn't seen on other tours, definitely worth it and very relaxing!
Overall, had a fantastic holiday, the hotel is superb!
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Tikida Garden Hotel Marrakech
- Le Tikida Garden Marrakech
- Hotel Le Tikida Garden
- Tikida Garden Marrakech