My boyfriend and I stayed at the Hivernage in November 2012 for five nights. After checking in at the hotel we were taken to our room by a porter, however upon arrival at the room I realised that they had put us in a standard room rather than the Junior Suite we had booked. Just in case I was mistaken, I asked the porter if this was defined as a suite, to which he answered "yes" and made a very swift exit! I then phoned down to reception and asked them if this was the correct room, to which they said all the suites were booked that night and so they had put us in a standard room and would upgrade us to the Luxury Suite for the rest of our stay.
The standard room was actually very nice, with a huge bed and a balcony view towards the city walls. However, we had paid for a suite, and so I was a little annoyed as I think that if I hadn't asked them about the room they would have let us stay where we were for the rest of the week without saying anything!
The next day we were transferred to the Luxury Suite, and it was beautiful! The suite comprises of a lounge area, a bedroom through some lovely carved doors, and a bathroom with separate partitions for the toilet and sauna (yes, sauna!), as well as a jacuzzi bath positioned in an alcove. There were complimentary treats of macaroons and fruit as well as bottled water. There was also a coffee making machine. The bed was very comfy and the air conditioning kept the rooms nice and cool.
Overall, I was really happy with the quality and cleanliness! My only issue with the room was that the shower head over the bath was fitted very low on the wall so you couldn't stand under it and had to hold it in your hand the whole time if you wanted a shower rather than a bath. It was also not very securely attached, so there were a few times when the shower head fell off its hook and onto me while I was in the bath - which hurt a lot as it is a big metal shower head!
We were on half board and so had breakfast and dinner at the hotel most days. Breakfast was a very nice buffet, with fresh bread, pastries, eggs, fruit, cereal - basically anything you could want! There was also water and fruit juice and coffee and tea were served by the waiters. Sometimes it could take them a while to come over and take your order, and if you wanted more than one cup you had to actively seek them out for a refill.
As we were on half board, for dinner we had a specific menu including salads and pastillas for starters, tagines and various meat and veg for mains and apple tarte and fruit for desserts. The food itself was very good, full of flavour and perfect portion sizes. But it took a VERY long time to have dinner! Most nights we only had two courses but were in the restaurant for over two hours each time.
The waiting staff were friendly and polite when they came to the table, but quite often we sat with empty plates in front of us for 20+ minutes before they were cleared away. As drinks weren't included in half board we always had a small bill to pay at the end of the night. This again took a long time to come and then we'd have to sit there for a further 15-20 minutes before we could pay. We did try to catch waiters' attention to speed things up but it seemed like they were avoiding eye contact!
It may be that this is just what Moroccan service is like, and as mentioned, the food was good and the staff polite enough, so it wasn't awful, just a bit tedious every evening!
The hotel is in a great position, just outside the entrance to the city walls with a 20-30 minute walk to the Jemaa el Fna which takes you past the Koutoubia mosque and gardens. As the route is along main roads with wide pavements, we felt perfectly safe walking to and from the city centre, even at night time.
As we were on more of a sight seeing rather than sun holiday, we didn't spend any time by the hotel pool. I think if we had wanted more of a poolside holiday we probably would have stayed at another hotel, as the outdoor pool at the Hivernage isn't particularly big and I imagine it gets pretty crowded when the hotel is busy. It is also at the back of the hotel and so from what I could see didn't really get much sun.
For those looking for a nice, slightly upmarket hotel from which to venture into the city, I would definitely recommend the Hivernage, particularly for the quality of the rooms.
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- Also Known As:
- Hivernage Hotel And Spa
- Hivernage Hotel Marrakech