My Sister and i just returned from a week at Riu Tikada Palmeraie. We booked last minute and were on a tight budget so opted for our first All Inclusive. A little apprehensive but have to say we were very pleasantly surprised. We could not fault the hotel at all. It is the perfect peaceful oasis just outside a very chaotic, noisy, smelly and hot city (that said we absolutely loved the place!) We were advised by friends that staying in a Riad was the only way to do it but so glad we stayed in this hotel. Although we loved the Medina/Souks it's certainly not for the faint hearted and we were glad to escape after spending a few hours there at a time. Were looking for somewhere we could relax and include a bit of culture and we certainly got that at Tikada Palmeraie. We were looked after from the minute we stepped off the coach. Stacey and Ahmed our reps were great and really helpful and put us at ease being two blonde girls going out on our own. The staff in the hotel were exceptional, unfortunately we weren't sure what the norm was on tipping and didn't tip as much as we wanted to and as all the staff were so good it was hard to know who to give it to. Shame there are no 'tip boxes' located around the hotel.
As I said we couldn't really fault the hotel at all, but if we had to pick things then we were a little disappointed that we had a dark and dingy terrace (4045) which hardly saw the sun and no view. As we were hardly in our room this wasn't really a problem. Also, we did find the cleaning staff in the rooms to be very noisy and starting very early in the morning. I spent a day in bed with a migraine and the screeching furniture and slamming doors went on nearly all day, didn't help that our room was next to the cleaning room!! Our other biggest gripe was the issue of reserving sunbeds. This really is a big problem. We found ourselves having to set an alarm just to get up at 8am to get a sun bed, not really what you want on holiday. By 9am just about every bed had a towel or bag on it and some remained that way until midday. Most of us probably don't like doing it but you have to because the trend has been set and you stand no chance if you don't do it. There are signs around asking people not to do this but the hotel really need to take stronger action. Also agree with the previous comments that topless sunbathing isn't really appropriate (not at all against it normally) the irony of a topless lady guest only a few beds away from a muslim lady in a headscarf and full dress just seemed wrong.
We ate twice in the Morrocan restaurant and once in the Italian. Both more peaceful and ambient than the main 'canteen style' dining hall although the food not much different.
We had a Hamman & Massage in the hotel spa which was lovely, but be warned they expect you to be completely naked. I wasn't expecting this, especially as they told us to go in swimwear but then was asked to take it off. My face must have been a picture a she laughed at me and handed me a pair of the skimpiest paper knickers! Massage wasn't anything amazing but the sauna and scrub down were a great prep for the tan.
Highly recommend paying 500dm (£39) to extend your checkout to 6pm otherwise you are given a 30min slot in the gym shower which can be at anytime during the day depending what time they give you. you need to check availability at 9am on the day before your departure day to extend your room.
Out and about, the souks are great fun and we enjoyed the shopping, however as I said earlier, not for the faint hearted and I think being 2 women we got hassled a lot more than most. One day we got horribly lost and found ourselves quite a way out of the souks and no idea how to get get back (non of the streets have names on them) we did find this a little stressful and we were lost for nearly half an hour. Didn't help that we were sucked in by a group of young men who told us a road was banned to women as it led to the mosque and literally dragged us out then insisted they led us another route and then demanded money. When we wouldn't give them any they became quite aggressive which was a little unnerving. Just be warned!
All in all a fabulous holiday though and definitely won't hesitate in recommending this hotel to anyone wanting a good mix of relaxation and culture, you can do as much or little as you like. Book it and enjoy it as much as we did.
- 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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