Me and my girlfriend stayed at The Riu in Marrakech the week of the 9th May. I booked direct with the hotel and flights separately as a last minute get away. Upon arrival you walk into a very nice looking lobby and the staff are very friendly and helpful. We flew in early so our room was not ready but i was cool with this and expected as much. We decided to go for lunch and have a walk about and my initial reaction was one of panic as we got closer to the pool area and could hear loud clubbing music. It turned out we had arrived as the pool staff were doing an aerobics class but i thought i'd accidentally booked an 18-30's holiday for a minute, we had lunch and chilled for a while and went back to reception. I had emailed the hotel a week before asking for a nice room and we were given room 3118 which we absolutely loved. It was far enough away from the pool area so it was quiet and you had a view of the mountains, also most rooms do not face the sun but our balcony was always in it so we could sit and watch the sunset after a day by the pool and before dinner, I was really happy with our room. The rooms are spacious with a separate bathroom and toilet, we had 2 single beds pushed together but again i was happy with that. I got a great sleep on that bed. The air con does not go super cold but the temperature was just right. The week we were there Marrakech had a heat wave and one day was 48 degrees! It was insane temperatures, so getting back to the cool room of an evening was lovely. The cleaners do a great job and every day our room was cleaned spotlessly and there was a towel on the bed in the shape of a heart with petals (nice little touch) also new bottles of water are replaced too.
The garden area and grounds around the hotel are immaculate and always being attended to by staff, there are lots of herbs and lovely smelling plants growing and the little birds are a pleasure to feed too.
The spa is very nice too, we had an Hammam which was very pleasant and relaxing.
The pool area is quite nice, there are plenty of sun loungers and also a few spongey beds where you can tie a big sheet to 4 posts above you if the sun gets too much, we got up early every morning and made sure we grabbed one, they are worth it!
The pool itself was huge, i have seen a lot of reviews saying the pool was too cold but it was absolutely perfect and a life saver whilst we were there. You can perch yourself nicely in the middle island with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other whilst you are slightly submerged in cool water with the sun beating down on your face, this was lovely.
The cocktails are nice and the Mojito's (not on the menu) are very good. During the day there is entertainment staff that do their best to get people participating in activities such as water polo, yoga and aerobics, we just chilled but they are never pushy or annoying and are very pleasant. That goes for all the staff, always smiling, extremely polite and welcoming and make you feel very at home. There is music played now and again but it never becomes annoying, We found it funny when christmas carols came on!
There are 3 restaurants, Buffet, Italian and Moroccan and of course the Moroccan one was the best. You have to book but this is a very easy process. We never ate in the Italian but did in the buffet which always had a huge choice of food, literally something for everyone. That goes for breakfast too, could not fault it.
The hotel offers a free shuttle bus service to the main square which you must do, we took the last bus and got a cab back late which was about a tenna, you definitely have to do this, the square is pure madness!
The wifi is temperamental and only works in the lobby but i like not having wifi on holiday, i don't want want to be on Facebook, i want to be in the pool!
I think holidays are what you make them and you could pick faults with the hotel in places, like occasional cockroaches in the lobby toilet, or you could moan about not having a proper double bed but these are massively trivial and irrelevant. Overall we had a fantastic time, it's not a 5 star hotel, but its clean, staff are amazing and the food is very good, I was very sad to leave.
- 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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