We have just returned from a week's holiday, staying at the Riu Tikida Garden Hotel in Marrakech. After reading many helpful reviews on Trip Advisor, I wanted to add my own experience.
We (myself, my husband and 3 children aged 13, 11 and 9) travelled to Marrakech on 12 August. The first thing I would advise is that if your airline gives you an embarkment/immigration card, (if not, pick one up in the airport) please fill this in before you join the queue for passport control. Make sure you have the address of where you will be staying. You will also need to complete one on the way home. The queue is very slow - we only had a small number before us, but the people in front of us didn't have the address of their accommodation and after many minutes of arguing with the passport control staff, were asked to stand to the side. As we were waved through, they were still making furious phone calls to get the information.
The transfer to the hotel is only around 20 minutes and the hotel had welcomed all the guests with a glass of fruit punch on arrival. They also kept the restaurant open (this was around 11.00 pm!) so we could eat before going to bed. The staff were more than helpful. The porter will take your bags to your room, so make sure you have some change for a tip.
The facilities at this hotel are excellent - our room was a reasonable size and very clean. There is a large swimming pool, kids club (although our children didn't use it), tennis and badminton courts, table tennis and boules. There is a spa within the complex, but this was payable. If you notice the hammam on the road outside the hotel, please avoid it. There is a reason why it only costs 10 DH, as my husband found to his cost. There is also some entertainment every evening. The hotel is set in beautiful and very well kept gardens which were really enjoyable to walk around. There are 2 main restaurants and a Moroccan restaurant. This is included in the all inclusive package, but you do need to book. It is definitely worth at least one visit for the traditional Moroccan food. The main restaurants provided a wide variety of food and plenty of it. It even passed the test of our picky eaters!
The hotel is around 3 km from the new town, but there is a shuttle bus which runs 6 times per day. There is no need to book it, just wait outside the hotel door. If you want to go to the souks, which are in the old town, (the medina), you will either have to walk or take a taxi. A word of warning - any taxi we took didn't want to take us to the souks - we always seemed to end up either at the driver's brother's shop or off on an entirely different course. Make sure you agree a price for the journey beforehand - we negotiated 100 DH for a grand taxi (a Mercedes) which we needed for all 5 of us. I think small taxis are around 30-50 DH. Take extra care when crossing the roads, we witnessed 3 incidents of people being knocked down - two of those were within an hour of each other.
We booked some trips while we were there - the Atlas Mountains, History trip, horse-drawn carriage trip (all good) Jardin Marjorelle (good but expensive), Aqua Fun Park (not so good - no lockers available and many of the slides were unsuitable for the under 10s).
We made 2 trips to the souks - one by taxi and one by hotel shuttle bus and a walk. We found there wasn't as much leeway on the prices as we had expected. The souks were certainly an experience - be prepared to get completely lost. Once you are in the labyrinth, it's very hard to find your sense of direction. Once we had finished our shopping, we just kept heading straight and eventually made our way out. One hint, if you have a smartphone, is to drop a pin on the map then you'll have a rough idea of which direction to go. We were offered the services of no end of 'guides', but a simple 'no thank you' sorted the problem.
The Jemma El Fna is quieter during the day, but comes alive at night. Watch out for the monkey and snake men - they are eager to help you part with your cash for a photo. We didn't want any photos so steered clear, but if you would like one, agree a price beforehand. Ladies, don't be surprised if you get some unwanted male attention, my experience wasn't pleasant.
We went walking round the area outside our hotel in the evenings. I was wearing sleeveless dresses and was met with some disapproving glances, especially from some of the older women. The temperature was in the high 40s and low 50s while we were there, so I couldn't even think of adding any more layers!
All in all, we really enjoyed our trip to Marrakech and found many of the people to be very pleasant.
I hope this report is useful to anyone staying in Marrakech, particularly at this hotel.