This was our first All Inclusive holiday and it won't be our last. The staff here are all so friendly, helpful and efficient.
I was a bit worried that as budget holiday people we may feel like the poor relatives, but that is not the case. I did take a couple of posh frocks but I really didn't need to get dolled up as it is more smart casual than dressing for dinner. Phew.
The food was very good, lots of choice with local and European food. This had been my biggest concern when booking, I like to eat local food and was worried that everything would be bland, stodgy and boring at the hotel but this was not the case. There was something for everyone at every meal, steak, chicken, lamb, vegetarian options, fantastic salads, and of course Tagine. The bread was truly amazing. On Sunday there was a champagne breakfast.
The room was clean and spacious, beds comfortable and we looked forward to seeing what swan towel we would have each day. The option of having heating on was welcome as the nights were chilly and there was frost on the ground most mornings.
If you go in the winter take a coat for the evenings as you may have to walk a fair way from your room to the main hotel and it can be chilly.
We went on a number of trips and also into Marrakesh on the courtesy bus so really did not take full advantage of all the hotel offered. The outdoor pool was cold so not many swam there, but it was warm enough to sunbathe most days. The indoor pool looked lovely but never used it or the gym, despite good intentions.
This hotel and holiday offers something for everyone. If all you want to do is eat, drink, relax, swim and sunbathe, you would be happy. For the health concious there was lots of lovely healthy food and opportunities to exercise. For the adventurous, plenty of good trips are available from the hotel. One young couple we met had booked a 3 day trip to the Sahara independently for a lot less than the tour operator trips, and loved it.
As we were very lazy we booked with the tour operator and possibly could have got better prices elsewhere, and with one exception thoroughly enjoyed them. the one we were not happy with was the one visiting the Kasbahs. It was too long, from 7am to 7pm, and you really didn't visit many Kasbahs and everyone on the trip agreed we got little cultural experience. We joked about it being a drive, stop, ordered to take a photo and leave experience. We advised Thomsons that they would be wise to review offering this trip. Food on both the all day trips was good.
Once we got used to the hassle of the Souks etc we just fell in love with Marrakesh. It is so different to anywhere we have ever been and is a bit overwhelming at first. Donkeys and buses and moped and bikes and taxis and cars and people crossing in between all of this chaos. Take note of all the warnings in previous reviews about snake charmers and henna tattoos and be aware that most people do not like to have their photo taken and those that do will expect to be paid. Take lots of change. And go into the Medina at night. The street food market is fantastic. the Cafe de France has a great terrace to watch all that is going on (including fights between snake charmers) coffee is cheap and the toilets are clean. We visited one of the herbalists and were almost duped into buying goods at over inflated prices from him. As he showed us his herbs and oils packets started to pile up on the counter (which we didn't ask for) and he totalled them up to 900 Dirhan. Fortunately I had programmed the exchange rate into my phone and knew this was about £66 which for anywhere is a very expensive pile of herbs and spices. We said no and he turned very unpleasant. Tip here is to say you have no cash of cards on you as he was very keen to get all his customers to pay by card. Even better take very little cash and no cards with you. You can always go back for that must have Argan oil another day.
The two day open bus trip is good value and a good way to see more of Marrakesh. We shared it with a number of noisy but well behaved football supporters from Brazil. The stop at the Jardin Marjorelle http://www.jardinmajorelle.com/ is a must. Check the bus times though as you could have a long wait.
My little (and they very minor) niggles about the hotel are:
The wifi signal was very weak. It seemed to be strongest near the bar area. Normally this would not be a problem, but I am a non smoker and this is the only public area where smoking was permitted.
RIU, please re think you smoking policy please.
And improve your wifi.
Shampoo/shower gel are in measly sachets, and we had to request additional ones (which were supplied very promptly). I was surprised that shampoo etc. is not supplied in dispensers. Not sure this meets the environmental standard they claim to meet.
Delays to check in the room on arrival. We were on a 7 am flight so had been awake since 3 am. We arrived at the hotel hungry and tired and in need of a shower. As three flights arrived at about the same time there was a long wait to check in on arrival at about 11.45 and rooms not available until between 1 and 2. It would have been better for the guests if the hotel could open the lunch facilities slightly earlier and let us all check in after lunch when rooms were ready. I also question why rooms were not available when the hotel was not full to capacity.
Totally confused about tipping policy. No staff hung around expecting a tip (good) especially after the hustling that goes on in the city. Guidance would be very useful.
As I said these are minor niggles.
Would we go again? At the price we paid definitely. Most people were there that week as it was a very good pre Christmas bargain. Some came the same week every year as they knew they would get sun and a good hotel at a very good price.
the overall experience was so good that I would definitely consider going to another RIU hotel. And now I know they are still a family business and not a faceless chain even more so. This makes me very happy and I get the impression that it is a good company to work for from all the staff I spoke to. Happy staff = Happy customers.
First floor rooms have private balconies, we were on the ground floor and never opened the curtains...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.