When rating a hotel I always try to balance price against quality. 4 nights at Club Eldorador cost £361.80 in March through Expedia (approximately £45 per night per person) so expectations were not particularly high, but we'd hoped to have a reasonable stay.
We arrived around 11.00am and even though the advertised check-in time was 2.00pm we were given a room straightaway.
The rooms are pretty basic - quite hard beds, hard foam pillows and 'hairy' blankets! Toiletries were pretty much non-existent - a tiny bottle of shower gel and two tiny bars of soap. Thin towels. Hot water in sink not really hot enough for a decent shave, but good shower pressure. Tiny balcony with flimsy plastic furniture - which resulted in two glasses smashing on the floor when trying to get up from a wobbly chair and knocking the plastic table lightly with my knee!
The first key cards wouldn't work - or so we thought! After going all the way back to reception to have them changed, the new ones wouldn't work either ... until a chambermaid showed us the reason. Unlike every other hotel I've stayed in, the doors don't unlock when you first insert the card .... when you insert the card the lamp initially turns red - but if you leave the card in the slot, after a second or so the lamp then turns green and unlocks the door!
There are two pools - the smaller (Zen) pool appeared to be the most popular, but we spent our time by the larger pool. The sun beds must be the most uncomfortable I've ever encountered. There were two types - canvas or plastic. The plastic beds had no cushions, and the canvas beds had lateral bars to support the fabric that dug into your back.
If you want a drink by the pool it can be a bit of a trek to the (dismal) beach bar. If you're lucky they'll let you have glasses, if not you get tiny plastic cups to take back to the pool. If you're a smoker then you'll need to find an ashtray to take with you as there didn't appear to be any provision made anywhere in the pool area.
The gardens around the pool area are quite attractive and reasonably well maintained. If you want a beach towel you will need to go to reception, pay a deposit (10 Euro or 100 Dhiram), get a token and then trek to the towel cabin (hidden away near the Zen pool). Apparently this closes for around 3 hours during the lunchtime/early-afternoon period.
Onto the bar and restaurant. The main bar is fairly uninspiring in its décor and ambience. It doubles as an entertainment area in the evening so can be a little noisy at times. We generally sat outside in the quiet (no smoking inside). Local alcohol and beer, weak juices. Early evening bar snacks are laid out on a table - great if you like olives, not so great if you don't!
On first entering the restaurant we felt things should be OK as there's a fairly wide selection of food to choose from but, sadly, we found it all to be of pretty poor quality. None of the hot food was actually hot (always a worry having had bad food poisoning from hotel buffets on more than one occasion), most of the main dishes looked highly unappetising. Salads were mostly watery and dressing were pretty much tasteless. The bread was pretty good though! Desserts were what you come to expect from a hotel buffet, mostly stodgy cakes and 'shaving foam' mousses. We didn't sample any of the wines they served in the restaurant, but were told they were pretty dire.
Breakfast? Egg station where you could get omelettes and fried eggs. Pastries were pretty stodgy but, being fresh each morning, the bread was nice! They regularly ran out of butter, and unless you like block margarine on your toast or rolls, the best thing is to ask a staff member to get more butter for you. Very runny preserves, unless you choose the small plastic tubs of apricot jam which contained a solid, unspreadable jelly!
If you don't have a smattering of French you may find it difficult here. The vast majority of guests are French. The majority of the staff speak very little English, and some of them seemed not to want to understand basic French (asking for deux bière you'd expect to get two beers, not a blank look and then a single glass!) and my French accent is quite passable!! Some of the staff were really friendly, others were morose and seemed unwilling to even bother serving.
Don't necessarily rely on reception staff to give you accurate information. We asked about quad biking and were told that the nearest place was in the city (strange concept really, quad bikes in the city). Fortunately we later found a quad biking (as well as dune buggies and camels) place literally across the road from the hotel gates! And I have to say that this was great value for money - around 2.5 hours on a quad bike for just over £40 per person (a bike each). Thoroughly recommended.
In summary, even though this was a relatively inexpensive short break the poor food and overall quality of the hotel left a lot to be desired.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Basically, it is a beautiful 11 hectares gardens resort that is located within the Palm Grooves area called "La Palmeraie" only 20 minutes on a free shuttle bus from the Medina / Jamaa Fna square and Town center. Its an All-inclusive based accommodation, it also has two gorgeous a la carte restaurants, Italian & Moroccan in the All-inc concept. Flying art trapeze all year long for All age: A very unique activity here in Marrakech. Baby Eldo for babies up to 2 yrs old, and Mini Eldo for kidz from 4yrs old up to 12, a studio ado's only for kidz from 13 up to 17 yrs old. Conference rooms are available for any type of events, Three pools, one annimated, a chillout one, and kidz pool. A Night-Club to loose your head out. A smoke free Resort. Basically, it is the place to be this summer with the kidz. Simply Check us on clubpalmeraie,com to find out more... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Eldorador Club Palmeraie Hotel Marrakech
- Hotel Eldorador Palmeraie
- Eldorador Palmeraie Hotel