My partner and I originally booked to stay in a different hotel (Kenzi Club Agdal Medina) in Marrakech but were sent to Les Jardins on arrival due to a double booking. We stayed here for 3 nights before moving back to the Kenzi. The hotel itself is beautiful, very authentically Moroccan and we couldn't fault the level of cleanliness. The staff, on the other hand, were just awful.
It was very obvious to us that we were an inconvenience because they had to provide food and drinks on an all inclusive basis as this is what we had booked at the Kenzi (the hotel normally only includes a breakfast buffet). For some reason we have yet to work out, they set up a makeshift bar for all inclusive guests of the Kenzi, which was basically a fold-out table with a few spirits and juice cartons on it, rather than just serving us drinks from behind the normal bar. It made us feel really cheap and uncomfortable because it made us stand out from the other guests as if we didn't belong there or couldn't afford to pay for proper drinks!
On our second night, we turned up at the restaurant - my partner was wearing longish shorts and flip-flops. The man spoke only a little English and we did out best to communicate with him using our limited French vocabulary. He pointed to my partner's shoes and told him they were not allowed in the restaurant. We were quite shocked that only he had to change them because I was wearing flip-flops too - apparently the rules are different for men and women! Although it was inconvenient because our room was quite far away from the restaurant, we made the effort and went back so he could change his shoes. We returned to the same man who was then happy to let us in and he showed us to a table outside on the patio where the temperature was still very high. After being served drinks we stood up to go to the buffet when the man who had let us in and another (who spoke better English) rushed over and told us we had to leave again because it was actually shorts that are not allowed and not flip-flops. We were pretty outraged because the man had seen quite clearly that my partner was still wearing shorts and he had let us in with a smile and without saying anything. Furthermore, there were at least three other men already sat down eating who were wearing shorts too!! We would have been happy to accept the rule and that it was a misunderstanding if the 'no shorts' policy was actually enforced and if the staff were nice about it - or if there had been a sign up stating the rule. The two men who challenged us (very loudly in front of the whole restaurant) were very rude and tactless - saying it was our fault for not understanding at the beginning. It seemed pretty obvious to us that if someone points at your feet and says "you must change", they mean you must change your shoes. The whole thing was handled terribly - they should have apologised for the miscommunication rather than getting incredibly defensive about it and saying it was our fault. They clearly saw that we had made the effort the first time and perhaps the second time should have just said "there's been a misunderstanding but tomorrow please wear shorts" rather than kicking us out again. It was almost like the original man thought the policy was 'no flip-flops' and was now covering his back with his boss because he had got it wrong. The other male guests who had been wearing shorts were all French - we really think that we were being unfairly treated because we are English and also because we are young (early-mid 20s). When I pointed out a man wearing shorts, they said they would tell him to change too. We didn't stay long enough to find out if this was true - to be honest I doubt it. Because of the mix-up with the double booking, the Kenzi offered a free shuttle on demand between the hotels. We left the restaurant and went to the Kenzi straight away. From then on, we only slept at Les Jardins, spending all of our awake time either out and about or at the Kenzi (which was superior in every way).
We went on a day trip to Cascades d'Ouzoud after our 3rd night at Les Jardins for which we had to leave the hotel at 8am. On our way out to the reception I quickly popped into the breakfast buffet to grab a croissant to go and to get a bottle of water. When I asked a member of staff for a bottle of water he said I had to pay for it. He didn't know I was not sitting down for breakfast. When I told him I had paid for all inclusive he said water was not included at breakfast - even if you are sitting down! Refusing someone a bottle of water - the most basic of drinks - I have never heard anything so ridiculous!
We returned to the hotel at 7pm after a very long day trip, looking forward to a nice cold shower after being in the 37 degree heat all day. As soon as we walked through the doors of the lobby, the receptionist ran over and said we had to leave and go back to the Kenzi right away. We said we would need an hour or so to freshen up and pack our suitcases and he exclaimed "one hour?!" as if I had just told him we were planning on staying forever! He told us we had to leave right away and gave us 10 minutes to get back to our room, pack and get back to the lobby to be taken to the other hotel. Bearing in mind, our room was about a 3 minute walk each way, it was going to be pretty impossible for us to be back in 10 minutes. After we had been gone for 15 minutes, there was a knock on our room door. It was the porter who had been sent to bring us down and help with our luggage. We were almost ready anyway but were shocked that they wanted us out so quickly they sent someone to get us rather than just wait for us to come down. Despite being told at check in that we could stay at Les Jardins for all 7 nights of our holiday if we wanted to, it felt like they couldn't wait to get rid of us. The feeling was very mutual - we couldn't wait to leave!!
Despite being authentic and beautiful, the hotel had no atmosphere. It felt like we were constantly being watched as if the staff were waiting for us to do something or ask for something. There's nothing wrong with attentive staff but when they are watching you like a hawk and waiting to swoop in straight away when you want something, it is very off-putting and made us feel very uncomfortable. It's not even like they were attentive and friendly - it seemed as though they were attentive and resentful.
If you like being made to feel unwelcome and unworthy - this is the hotel for you!! But if you like friendly staff, a nice atmosphere and a huge selection of food then go to the Kenzi Club Agdal Medina. Despite double-booking us (which was very annoying!), we can't fault the Kenzi. In a strange way, we are quite glad we experienced such awful treatment by the staff at Les Jardins because it has made us appreciate and love the Kenzi so much more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the beautiful Avenue Mohamed VI, a few minutes from the center of Marrakech and the jemaa El Fna square, The Jardins De l’Agdal Hotel & Spa has 17 suites and 241 rooms Comfort, space, luxury and modernity are provided in each room and suite, allowing some Families to end up in complete privacy :Direct telephone, Internet, flat screen satellite TV, minibar, safe deposit box without charge, air conditioning sum up the basic equipment. The hotel has 04 restaurants, 02 bars, a SPA, 02 pools ... more less
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