Right from the start my wife and I were suitably impressed. Having read up on the other Trip Advisor reviews we knew what to expect and were delighted to discover things were indeed exactly as described by so many other previous guests..
We had come with Thomson on an almost record breaking 3 hour flight (positive tail winds) to arrive 35 minutes early in resort so staff were not expecting us so soon but they swung into action immediately upon our arrival.
The reception staff were highly courteous and efficient. We were all given a welcome drink as we lined up to check in having already filled in our registration cards on the bus from the airport.
I had e-mailed a room request based on what others recommended on Trip Advisor. The young lady dealing with us duly gave us exactly the type of room I had requested. By the way, they responded to my e-mail within 2 hours when I sent it back home. Many hotels would probably not even do that.
Luggage was delivered to the room and the cases had been placed inside when we returned from the evening meal.
We ate in the main international buffet dining room on the first night. It’s a huge place and was busy but the tables are nicely spaced so you never feel ‘packed in’ as you might do in other hotels. We always like a ‘salad course’ and there was a great choice for us to do so.
The waiters are really attentive. They brought us wine by the glass and water but there’s a drinks area as part of self service where you can get your own soft drinks if you wish.
There was also a very good selection of food for main course typical of buffet style offerings everywhere but with a little Moroccan twist. Meat eaters, like myself, are extremely well catered for but ‘veggies’ like my wife can also find something for them also.
There’s also an Italian and Moroccan restaurant which guests can choose instead of the main international one by booking a day in advance. There is no extra charge for this. We really enjoyed the Italian restaurant on the three occasions we dined there. It feels a lot more exclusive and there is definitely an effort to provide Italian-style food. We did not try the Moroccan restaurant but adventurous foodies will want to sign up for that I’m sure.
The accommodation was delightful. We were put in block two facing the morning sun rise which came up suitably early. We do enjoy standing out on the balcony watching the sun come up before breakfast.
Our room had a separate toilet and bathroom. There was plenty of wardrobe space and a good-sized in room safe as well. We had a small fridge with a litre of complimentary water already cooling inside when we looked. There was a second complimentary bottle of water uncooled.
I had not expected so many international channels on the TV but you’re spoilt for choice. Amongst the English ones were Sky News, CNN and BBC World. However, I also enjoy French TV and you’ll get France 2 and TV5 Monde with more besides. There’s a good selection of German channels and local Moroccan ones also.
Wifi is important for me. Unfortunately it’s not available in room but it’s free in reception areas. Many people were using their portable devices including laptops, ipads and mobile phones. Some reviews mentioned intermittent connection and that’s because of the huge demand made on the network at peak times when uploading photos will be difficult. However, by connecting early in the morning the entire network is available with fast connection speeds for all your uploading requirements. I made a habit of doing all my wifi stuff very early before breakfast when there’s no demand on the network.
The Thomson welcome meeting follows the normal, well-established format and it’s always worth attending for the insider tips and excursions. Our rep, Stacey was bubbly and very efficient. We booked 3 separate half-day trips for an ‘offer price’ of just over 600 Dihrams and a separate excursion into the nearby Ourika Valley. The hotel has a free courtesy coach into Marrakesh which shuttles back and forth five times a day but booking the day before is essential since demand is always high.
There are taxis outside the complex but the rather exorbitant fare of DH100/£10 (day fare) seems to be the tourist fixed price which is set out on a board just outside reception. People using taxis in the evening will be charged DH150!
Serious sun worshippers will love the pool side area because it’s vast and has huge numbers of sun loungers. However, there’s enough space to accommodate everyone without it ever seeming packed in or claustrophobic. There’s a large bar in the centre of the pool which opens first before the much more conveniently located one which everyone uses after 12.30. There are also self-service drinks dispensers at one end of the pool available at all times during the day.
Being all-inclusive means guests can basically have as many poolside drinks as they like whist taking in the delightful Moroccan sun.
This hotel is very popular with French guests which is hardly surprising since Morocco came under their jurisdiction during colonial times. French is also spoken by all the staff. During our stay there were other northern Europeans as well as Brits there. We did enjoy the cosmopolitan mix of guests. It’s definitely different from being in the Spanish Costas for instance. There were also large numbers of small children and babies so this is very much a complex for families. I suspect that some people barely leave it, spending their entire holiday within its cosseted confines. After all it’s excellent value being all inclusive. The kiddies can consume as much as they like without extra drain on parents’ pockets.
People who want activities will not be disappointed. There’s a highly-active animation team offering lots of things to do should guests wish. The in-pool aerobics always seemed to be popular. There’s a kid’s club for the little ones as well.
Morocco is a fabulous place so I would recommend either taking some excursions or doing it yourself. Marrakesh is a riot of colour, commotion and smells to assault all the senses. It would be tragic to come here and miss it. Some reviewers mention the cost of tour operator’s trips. They may be a little over the odds but they are convenient and easily fit into your holiday schedule. More independent people will still do it their way though. Either way, you must get out there and experience something of this fantastic location.
Special praise must go to all the staff from reception to waiters and poolside attendants. Everyone was really courteous and smiles were the order of the day. As all the other reviews mention, they really cannot do enough to help you and, for such a large hotel operation, that is impressive indeed. Essentially they provide an exclusive level of service for a mass-market clientele. We have never experienced such high levels of service before on any package tour.
This is definitely the kind of hotel most people would willingly wish to return to. There’s very little not to love about the Riu Tikida Palmeraie. To find faults would, I feel, just be nit-picking. I really do not think a package holiday gets any better than this!
The only point I’d make is its location. This huge complex is a resort on its own so there’s nowhere in the neighbourhood to walk to and immerse yourself in. The other RIU hotel, the Riu Garden, is nearer into Marrakech with a bustling local community right outside. However, it is a case of swings and roundabouts here because the Tikida Palmeraie is the more luxurious of the two having a much larger pool and sunbathing area.
If you like privacy definitely ask for a 1st floor room.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.