If you get here by taxi, you're doing well. Hotel Crystal isn't commonly known in Marrakech -even to locals- perhaps this is because there is no sign for it, even on the side of the hotel. After a couple of blank faces from taxi drivers we tried 'Hotel Pacha' (Note that this is in fact another hotel on the other side of Marrakech. We discovered this after being dumped outside of it.) After arguing that there WAS a hotel associated and on the Pacha complex he dropped us at the door of the nightclub.
First Impressions- let me set the scene. A long very westernised road lined with hotels- the medina and infamous tower in the distance. In between each hotel is wasteland and a dumping ground for these new builds. A large terracotta building with the odd tiny window- and a huge 'PACHA' sign above an open double doorway. Either side you've got your black suited bouncers even at 1pm. I asked where the hotel was- he pointed us on down the road in the direction of the next hotel But after some Arabic babelling amongst one and other we were ushered inside the lobby. A large reception desk- unmanned, and a sparse yet beautifully modern interior. A few moments of awkwardly waiting prompted the bouncer to point us to the lift and he sent us to the first floor. His english? Non-existent.
The first floor, again- beautiful and modern. If you've stayed at one of Standard hotels- the interior isnt dissimilar- with projectors etc, but on cold grey walls. Reception seemed to be up here despite what appeared to be reception downstairs. The Check in wasn't particularly problematic. Communication was minimal, no information was given about the hotel or area & in awkward silence the receptionist showed us up to our room. The hotel lift serves 3 floors- You could probably walk to the medina in the time it takes to come to the required floor.
The room and the hallways are large and very American. Think Vegas. There are great amenities from internet access on the flat-screen T.V's through to Grey Goose in the fridge. The initial concept and design of this hotel is flawless. If modern luxury is your thing this is the right place and Pacha do it well. They just dont do it well in Morocco.
The attention to detail is diabolical. Cracks down the walls, polystyrene to fill the gaps in the floor, dried cement-drips from the ceiling in the bathroom. Stained sofas and cushions- a cracked glass front to the mini-bar. Non functioning T.V internet. Broken wireless. An airport transfer which we were told was unable to take us because it was busy- yet we were one of two rooms and an in-room phone which doesn't permit international calls.
This hotel and the Pacha complex has unquestionable potential. It's beautiful and has been designed to an incredible standard. The attention to detail, upkeep, management and marketing of the hotel let it down to the point that it is a complete shambles and shouldn't be associated with the Pacha brand.
The complimentary breakfast only covers continental breakfast. The waiter doesn't inform you of this when he recommends the traditional Moroccan breakfast- which doesn't even come in its full described entirety. When we questioned the excess £34 on our bill for two breakfasts and explained the situation- the hotel manager wasn't willing to accommodate, rectify or appologise for the situation.
I could continue with further things which truly disappointed me, but I hope this paints a suitable picture. I can only further resonate points made by people below. The young un-uniformed staff are still there and their English or service hasn't improved.
SAVE yourself some money- stay in town and experience the culture of Morocco- opposed to ten minutes outside in a substandard Westernised hotel.
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