As someone who regularly turns to trip advisor prior to booking a hotel I was appalled at the difference between the great feedback I had read for this hotel and the awful reality I was faced with upon arrival. I'm not quiet sure where the previous people stayed but it was no way the same hotel I stayed in.
LOCATION: The hotel is off the main road and quiet a far walk from the main square or main street in Marrakech. As two girls travelling alone safety was my first concern with regards to coming back to the hotel late on a badly lit street. The hotel itself is in major need of redecorating the reception area is filled with old red velvet sofas which are stained and hugely uncomfortable to relax in, for an apparent 4 star hotel the lobby boasts no air con as well as no offer of refreshments during check in - I'm not a fussy person but if your expecting a 4 star hotel these are usually things which come as a standard. The fish tank was dirty and the other was empty and had not been cleaned out properly.
CHECK IN & ROOM: Checking in took at least 40 minutes with a very unhelpful man at reception who spoke barely any English - this is the case for 90% of the staff in this hotel. Myself and my friend where finally given our room keys and told to make our way upstairs; there was nobody on hand to offer to take our suitcases to our room - which we where more than happy to pay for. So we made our way into a tiny elevator where the buttons have the wrong floors on them so have been re stickered with the corresponding floor next to the button?! Upon entering our room we attempted to turn on the air conditioning we where previously told about unfortunately this did not work following a day of 40 degree heat the room was boiling and offer of a room change was given. The water pressure within the shower was that of a failing tap and we had to shower with flip flops on as the bath was dirty, once reaching for a towel from the rack the towel rack fell to the floor.
FOOD: Breakfast was only another disappointment and we only decided to go twice the offer was of a few veg, fruit, and selection of mini pastries and cakes, no offer of hot food or at least an omelette or scrambled egg which is not hard to make.
STAFF: On our second day we spoke to the guest advisor Nadia who spoke very good English and arranged for a room change for us. Luckily our second room had good working air con but the rest of the issues with bad showers remain. The cleaning staff also come to collect your towels at 12 midday but do not come to clean your room until 2ish which is fine but they do not replace towels when cleaning. There where numerous times we would return back from an excursion at 3pm and find our room clean but with not a single towel to hand; when we would ask we where told we would have to wait until later despite being covered in dust from quad biking.
Whilst in the hotel we spoke to other families who had been on the plane with us and where staying at the hotel and it was clear that others where experiencing the same issues with the rooms and hotel that we where. Having stayed at other 4* and 5* resorts this resort is certainly NOWHERE NEAR 4* if anything this is a 2* hotel. The upstairs bar area is nice to sit at however all the sun loungers where taken by 12pm but Nadia was helpful and managed to get us some to relax in. The bar food is ok and nothing special if you are hungry I recommend you order early as you will be waiting up to 40 minutes for a few chicken skewers. The swimming pool would have been lovely if the water had been cleaned, the water was misty and even if you where in it the bottom of the pool was not visible. One of the pool lights has clearly broken a while ago but remains on the side of the pool with all the cable wires still attached! And the pool attendant comes by during the day with a cloth which he uses to clean the marble on the side of the pool with and then rinse in the pool next to you!
Room service is non existent and when it is the staff only understand orders in French and even then you don't know what your ordering until it arrives. During our 5 night stay (should have been 11) we where only able to order from room service twice as no one answers the phone usually, the second time we tried to order we waited 30 minutes only for the waiter to come to our door after all that time to tell us that the food we ordered is not available and all they have are sandwiches!
The only up side to this 'hotel' is Nadia who will take her time and plan your stay and excursions; however this is her job at the end of the day and she does it well. I would highly recommend the waterfalls and quad biking, as well as a cooking class at La Maison Arabe which was wonderful (this is not available through Nadia). I would also recommend a trip to Essaouira to anyone visiting Morocco.
Half way through our trip our room key stopped working and we where issued a new one. That night while myself and my friend where falling asleep at 2am a man entered our room with a room key. As I called out and jumped out of my bed the door shut and the person left. As two women travelling alone we where horrified and shaken by this. We opened the door after to see if the person had come in by accident and was still in the corridor to explain what had happened but nobody was there. We went to reception only to be told that two people had just entered the hotel and to simply go back to sleep and we would talk about it in the morning! This is simply not acceptable and we later found out that wrong room keys where not only issued to us. The hotel staff did not see handing out wrong room keys to other holiday makers as an issue at all and we where so disgusted and shaken we decided to pack up and cut short our stay there. Our original holiday was booked and paid for 11 nights in this hotel and WE CHECKED OUT AFTER 4 DAYS! The hotel took no responsibility for allowing someone else access to our room and had we not been in the room who knows what would have gone missing, the hotel have no security staff who don't care and have terrible attitudes and a manager who is never available to talk to and when we tried to make an 'appointment' we where told we would only be able to see him at 10 am as he does not come in earlier and in the afternoon he is tired. We where unable to make this appointment as we had excursions booked however I doubt that it would have been any use going anyway.
I WOULD SERIOUSLY NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL TO ANYONE AND WOULD NEVER GO BACK EVEN IF IT WAS FREE
We later checked into two other hotels one in Essaouira called Riad Dar L'Ouissa which was lovely please see my review for more information and in Marrakech we checked into La Renaissance hotel which was a HUGE improvement on Imperial Plaza and was actually a relaxing place to be.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Swiss International Plaza is an exquisite hotel, centrally located with rooms opening to views either of the Marrakech city with the backdrop of Atlas Mountain or of the lush green hotel courtyard. A fully serviced hotel with facilities for both business and leisure travelers with its location making it an ideal hotel to discover the rich culture and tradition of Morocco. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Imperial Plaza Marrakech