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“Not for English speakers”

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Club Med Marrakech La Palmeraie
Ranked #73 of 500 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 September 2013

I will pre-empt this review by stating that I normally do not indulge in all-inclusives, so if some of my points seem unfair for is type of holiday, I apologise.

Fundamentally the resort, facilities and staff were ok, but the stay was hugely let down by the lack of English. My GF and I pretty much disclosed from most activities because we did not speak French. And god forbid I try - I got bored of the scrunched up 'huh!' From bar staff as I asked for two mojitos please (this might be the French English cultural divide of 'if you can't get it right, don't bother trying').

The arrival started at a 4trident level for us. We were greeted and given cold flannels, drinks and the view from reception was georgeous. Sadly, down to 3.5tri ad the receptionist didn't speak English and just walked off. Another staff member came over and gave us an intro. Our bags were taken to our room (back up to 4tri). We spent the afternoon taking in the facilities and then having lunch. So far so good.

But sadly the week was no as good. Evening entertainment was in French, with no effort to identify us as what looked like the only English speakers. Most loungers were taken by 8am, and as much as I hate it, we had to take a similar tact of dropping our towels on our spots before breakfast.

The GOs that spoke English where very nice, the bar staff didn't care and were slow - except for pretty French ladies who got served by 2-3 staff at once. Again, this may be a cultural thing, but for the 1st three days I was ignored at the bar whilst 4-5 people where served before me - I know, I am British and I like to Q... :)

Lunch and dinners got progressively worse. If you couldn't find a seat, staff plonked you on someone else's table only to have that seat taken as you get food. Once we mastered the art of leaving belongings on our seats, the food was only just warm by the time you sat down. But saying that, I found the variety and quality very nice.

The two 'cirque du soleil' type shows the GOs put on where amazing for amateur performers - highly recommended.

Sadly more criticism as things did feel a little run down. Even as I am typing this in the main bar, a guest has just tripped over a floor board that has come out! Out air con in the room didn't really work and I asked for an Iron which never arrived.

In hindsight had I known when booked what I know now, I would have looked at a different resort - still club med but maybe asked if there was one that was genuinely more multi-lingual.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
9  Thank FairWeatherDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 - 155 of 3,432 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2013

one week of holidays with no time to chill out:
a lot of sport with fantastic go's : Geneviève for the tennis, Omeyr for the golf, montain bike, jogging early in the morning, lovely swimming pool,...
what about the bar ? : so cool with all the team coming from Senegal. a lot of parties and very good cocktails
the girls from the receptions are so beautifull and the buffet in the restaurant so tasty.
I will be back

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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Thank fredbrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2013

This is the third time I have visited the Palmeraie for summer holidays. Unfortunately it is likely the last time I will return.

As with other reviewers I noticed a marked decrease in variety of the food on offer - in the past I was spoiled for choice, this year I struggled to make a selection. Everything was clean and spotless, but a lack of cohesion of menus and dishes left the idea they were penny pinching and hoping no one would notice.

The local staff who work in the kitchens, restaurants and housekeeping were very amenable and friendly as always. The same could not be said for most of the mainstream GO's who wore painted smiles, spoke only when required and reflected the least amount of effort and enjoyment in the routines, crazy signs etc. The worst year ever for GO morale - an unusual brand of exuberance that usually drives me crazy, but was missed when absent.

Whilst the village itself has definitely benefitted from some improvements in hygiene and quality around the general public areas, there were aspects of the wider environment that appeared less well organised. Most notably - Availability of sunbeds was a MAJOR issue this year, something which had never caused concern previously. Not only were the beds reserved with towels by 8am but there was also an ethos where people would occupy your bed and dump your belongings if you went to lunch!!

The new Chef de Village appears to have had a major impact on the place - all of it negative. His attitude is being filtered through to the GO's who were less enthusiastic and much less willing to interact with people unless required, most particularly with visitors who spoke any language other than French.

Under the previous Chef, who was I believe Italian, there was a multi-lingual approach even though the major part of everything written and spoken was French. For those two years I muddled through very happily using bad French, bad Arabic and mimed English. It got the job done.

This year however the ethos was very much changed, with a permanent focus on French with English offered as an appeasement when someone DARED to require it. And then it felt like you were being punished for being so needy and un-French.

Chef Stefan one evening began an introduction then called out "Does anyone need this in English?" in the brief pause offered no-one was brave enough to shout out YES, so he proceeded En Francais... fair enough... but what he then said in French amounted to "Oh Thank Goodness, we can get on with this "... Much to the amusement of the French visitors who joined in his laughter.... Not the all-inclusive approach we are looking for really.

I met a Dutch family who were experiencing language issues for themselves and their children. On requesting golf lessons the father was told to save his money because there was no GO for golf who had enough English to teach the course effectively. Just one of the many many examples where non-French guests were made to feel awquard and unwelcome.

But the fall in security and safety on site causes me most concern, closely followed by the attitude of Chef and his staff about such incidents. In all my visits to Palmeraie I have never had a moment of worry about the safety of my family or my belongings.
This illusion is now totally shattered.

On day 3 of an 18 day holiday my £200 camera was lifted from my hand bag at the bar. Attending my childs show the parents were asked to come up on 'stage' with their kids.. when I return I find that the furniture is being moved around, my bag has been moved, and later when I find it has been handed in at reception the bag is empty.

What follows is a lengthy 3 days of visits to reception, repeated filling in of forms, repeated assurances that a police report will follow... I find myself wasting more and more of my holidays on this matter and losing patience with the staff in general.

Eventually I discover that the police have NOT been informed AT ALL and my personal insurance is not valid because 24 hours has passed since the crime. BUT I am then assured that ClubMed will make good on recompense when I return home and notify them of my claim. (now I am back and have discovered that their insurance company believes they bear no responsibility and nothing further will be done.)

Whilst I was there I spoke to the Chef about the theft of my camera and the apparent lack of security at the Palmeraie. He had an unusual take on it. He informed me that they would usually have 3-4 unfortunate events of theft or such in any given week at the village, which he though I should agree was not a lot (?) and that the village was at full capacity for that week so there was a lot of people, maybe 900+, so 3-4 thefts out of 900 people was statistically not such a big thing (!) and add to that, they currently had a very high percentage of teenagers, and they were always making trouble, so that would further increase the chance of loss and/or problems at the village........

OH?? well statistically that's OK Then! I will just put the loss of my £200 camera down to a bit of bad luck and teenagers !?!?, and all my lost holiday snaps, AND all the pictures I cant take for the rest of my trip, and all the days I have wasted trying to sort it out!! ....
.......Or Maybe I just got the wrong end of the stick because I cant speak good French!?

Don't get me wrong. We made the most of the trip. I would still tell people we had a great time. We went there for the sun - which is almost guaranteed in Marrakech. We ate, we slept, we swam, which is all we wanted to do... But I will say that at the end of the last two visits we were eager to book for the return trip. This time I will be looking elsewhere, probably in Marrakech, but nowhere near Chef Stefan. And based on the treatment and handling of the unfortunate stealing I will be looking to avoid ClubMed who, it seems, is not the premier company it once was.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank weespud101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2013

We spent a fantastic and unforgettable week at this place in Marrakech. This resort is just amazing and so beautiful with so many activities to chose from. The atmosphere is incredible eventhough it was RAMADAN all of the go's were super active, always smiling, so energetic and amazing. Everyone here is so friendly and welcoming...

The food is great, I highly recommend trying the couscous at 'el kebir'! The coffee was not too good but that is basically the only negative comment I've got about this place.

Overall, we had an amazing time and would LOVE to return there in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank C M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2013

Stayed here for a week in June with husband and 2 young daughters. Overall we had an enjoyable holiday, the weather was great, the pools are lovely and the resort is lovely.
However, the resort is old and tired and badly in need of a refurb. We had adjoining rooms and both bathrooms had large damp patches and the smell of damp greeted us every time we opened the door. The cushions in the bar area were really tatty, and floor tiles in the bedrooms and communal areas were cracked. My second issue is how almost everything is conducted in French, I know it's a club med but other ones conduct everything in English and French. We missed an important instruction about our bags as it was listed in French only. My children attended the petit and the mini club but due to everything being conducted in French neither were very happy there. The food was okay, I stayed in club med in Turkey last year where the food was much better. I loved morocco and would have returned to this resort had the experience been better. Also the beds are awful, poor mattresses, hard and uncomfortable, definitely need an upgrade!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank bm174
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

This is my third visit to club med, twice in Marrakech La Palmeraie.
This visit, pick up from the airport went very smoothly, but we had to wait outside the complex for a while while reception got their act to together to welcome us. Our room wasn't ready. The booking was clear, three holiday makers. Only a double bed was ready. I rang instantly and was promised the bed would be ready when we arrived back in the evening. Returned back at 11pm, bed for my daughter still not made. Rang 5 times and they promised to come. First time telling me housekeeping was closed and what did I expect!!! Finally 12.30am the bed was made. Not a good start to the holiday I must say.

The sockets in my room wasn't working, it took two days and various phone calls and visits to reception for this to be fixed.

The chef de Village and his wife, floated around. I stated to him that very little English was spoken when announcements were made in the day or at the shows. Really didn't have much of any idea what was happening. Some GO's were very helpful eg Uxia, caroline (mini club), Hyacinth (archery) and all the circus GO's. if club med wants English speakers, actually any other nationality apart from French speakers to visit, then they need to make more effort in being inclusive.

The quality of the food wasn't as good as previous years. Leftovers form dinner, would appear at lunch. A real risk of food poisoning. The bar was generally good, but kept running out of lemonade and giving my children sparking water!

The trapeze/circus activity was simply the best. They were encouraging, professional, friendly and eager for one to succeed. One of our highlights. Equally, archery was good fun and ran very well by Hyacinth, who was always ready to give suggestions to improve your shot. Cycling was hit and miss, depending who took the session. No English was spoken and hence danger wasn't never appreciated.

My children enjoyed themselves once they made some friends. The location is fantastic, the complex clean and beautiful. Really it should have been a perfect holiday.

I won't be visiting again, Morris the pity.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Lucy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

I was really looking forward to this trip and although all in all we had a good time some aspect do not merit the 4 tridents rating given. Good welcome on arrival although only 1 GO so we had to wait for her to take the other family to their room before we could be taken to ours. The setting is absolutely beautiful and is very well maintained and continuously throughout the day. We had a garden room which was nicely decorated and cleaned daily and served well its purposes as we only used it for sleeping and showering.
The - The food was well below what we have experience at other 4tridents Club Med (we have been going regularly for the last 15/20 years) with a limited choice of dishes especially at lunchtime.
The bar service is very slow during the day with often only one person serving.
The chef de Village is not as present as the one we have met before and seems to be spending most of his time on his mobile phone instead of interacting with ALL the customers (and not just the ones if feels like talking to).
The need to get up earlier as the week went on in order to secure a lounger.

The + Like I said before the setting is absolutely beautiful.
Very nice GE throughout the village be it the rooms, the gardens, the pool or the communal area.
The GE and GO at the restaurant are very helpful and will be quick at finding a table for you or setting up one if needed.
The circus show was absolutely fantastic.
Most GOs were friendly and welcoming. A special mention to Maxime with the password for looking after the "Ados" so well as well as Quentin, who is very approachable and who quite happily jumped behind the bar to help out when things got busy, a genuinely nice guy who will go far. Thank you also to Jorge for his wonderful cocktails.
Will we go back? Probably not

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank cmprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Med Marrakech La Palmeraie

Address: Sidi Yahya la Palmeraie, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Marrakech
#53 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#63 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#159 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: £214 - £437 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Med Marrakech La Palmeraie 4*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marrakech is the Southern pearl, full of charm, mystery and bustle, at the crossroads of the Sahara and the High Atlas. The Club Med Village, set in Morocco's oldest palm grove, reflects the intimate aspect of the medina, fostering its way of life with its gardens, refined cuisine and warm welcome. The Marrakech architecture combines baked bricks, tadelakt, red ochre and colourful zellige, to create a relaxing haven to which you can enjoy returning after a stroll through Djemaa el-Fna square. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Med La Palmeraie Hotel Marrakech
Club Med Marrakech
Marrakech Club Med
Club Med Morocco

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