I'm re-posting this review as trip advisor removed it thinking it was for the wrong hotel but this is 100% for the Riu Palmeraie in Marrakech.
Well I'm writing this review while currently sitting in another Riu hotel in Agadir this time... and its only really in hindsight that I realise how average / poor it really was.
Firstly its miles out on its own just off a main road. Dont think about popping out of the hotel to walk to get anything as there is nothing for miles (Ok a petrol station about 300m towards the city but thats it). Not the end of the world if the hotel was perfect... which it isn't.
We booked with Thomson for our honeymoon so part of the blame should be with them and I'm not normally someone who expects something for nothing... but a honeymoon is perhaps the one time you'd like to be pampered. Despite telling Thomson this was a honeymoon there was no record of this at the hotel or with the Thomson reps. Whether or not this would have meant we got a nice room or not, I'm not sure.
The room was 5025, which was quite a walk from reception, past the pool and out back, looking at the tennis courts. The room itself was dark and cold and the fittings had seen their best days many years ago. Stains on the lamp shades and sofa cushions, electrics that worked one minute and not the next, paper thin walls and ceiling so you could hear every move your neighbours were making. I complained to reception after the first night and they said they would fix the room as they didn't have any others. The room wasn't fixed but to be fair we did get some petals on the bed and some champagne.... the champagne helped us forget about the crap room for a few minutes which was nice. In general though the room was not a nice place to spend any time what so ever.
The aircon / heating ONLY blew out freezing air even though I switched it to heat mode and asked reception to fix it, so that wasn't great either.
The pool area was ok although the swimming pool was also freezing cold.
Staff were all friendly and although I never tried one of the girly cocktails, the local free beer (from a can) was perfectly drinkable. (Wife now says she was 'indifferent' to the cocktails)
Food was hit and miss... the main restaurant was actually better than I was expecting and we filled ourselves up there quite happily. Some dishes were a bit tasteless but on a mass scale like that it wasn't bad.
The italian was the worst.... OH MY WORD... what an embarrassment. They need to shut that place down. I couldn't eat a single thing and we both left laughing with disbelief that you actually had to book this place in advance like it was a special occasion!
The Moroccan was ok but only the same stuff that you get in the main restaurant anyway so also felt like a waste of time.
Its a shame as they could do so much with it to make it nice and actually style the rooms nicer... but they are just massive brightly lit rooms with zero atmosphere.
Another sub standard thing was the wifi. Now I know people do'nt go on holiday to sit and surf the web but come on... this is 2013 and even most travelodge's in the UK can get wifi in the hotel room (ok...at a cost... but it works!)... The free wifi was only in the main reception area and its so poorly set up using 5 different base stations all named differently. In the mornings you could connect and just about send an email, but past lunch time and in the evening with a load more people in there and there was no chance. I'm not an idiot with computers and I tried on my macbook, ipad and iphone and none would connect. Simply not good enough.
Another down side I've just remembered. We had 2 single beds pushed together. Thanks Thomson and Riu! Just what we wanted on a honeymoon. I was sort of willing to accept maybe it was just a result of being in a different country and thats how things were done, but here in Agadir in another Riu (a nice one this time) and we have a MASSIVE double bed in the nicest room!
I'm trying to think of some positives...
The room was cleaned daily to a good standard
All the staff were friendly and greeted you as you were walking around the hotel
Hotel common areas and grounds were clean and well kept
The pool area was also very clean and well maintained.
As nice as it is writing some positive things above, to be honest they are what you expect in a place like this so it hardly makes up for all the negatives.
The only truly positive memories from this section of our honeymoon is Marrakech itself. The city is fun and vibrant and I'd go back... but never in a million years to this hotel.
Its hard to believe the hotel I'm in now is run by the same company. I'll write my review on this place in a few days but its already miles better. The hotel I'm in now by the way is the Riu Palace in Agadir.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Opening winter 2009/10 * Located in Marrakech * Main building and 2-storey annexes * 65,000 m2 gardens * 5 km from Marrakech’s old quarter * 800 m from various shops * 13 km from the airport * 900 m from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa ... more less
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