We stayed at the Sofitel at the beginning and the end of a bicycle trip around Morocco and had two very different experiences. While the Palais Imperials and Lounge & Spa share a facility and management by all appearances, our overall experience was far, far superior at the Imperial.
We found the reception cold and somewhat surly throughout our stay at the L&S. Check-in took an eternity (particularly painful for those arriving from overseas) and lacked warmth, which was pretty much true of every encounter we had or witnessed at the front desk. In fact, we had to make four calls -- finally seeking assistance from the Accord folks who had to patch us through -- just to get someone pick up the phone there to book transportation from the airport prior to our arrival. We had reserved a room with two beds for the kids and got a double, and they made no apparent effort to accomodate a request to change. We were sent off to find our rooms on are own upon arriving, and the service failed to improve after that.
We had just the opposite experience, however, at the Imperial, where the staff without exception welcoming, friendly and eager to make sure guests felt appreciated. We were escorted to our room by a guest service specialist, greeted by name every time we walked through the lobby and saw the same specialist who checked in with us a few times during our stay. Everything in the hotel smells fresh and floral - there are beautiful bouquets throughout and lovely furnishings.
The Spa is pretty and calm. Indoor dip pool there is for adults only and the small gym is just that - small and quite aromatic, not in a good way. Another area of the S&L has a foos-ball table and pool table, which is fun, but the noise from folks playing can be heard in the rooms above.
The pool area (shared by both hotels) is simply fabulous - vast and gorgeous with ample comfortable seating and pool beds (including the world's most comfortable hammocks), two bars, chair service (slow but friendly) and cute touches like a cotton candy/gelato stand and small swinging cribs for infants. The food was decent at the poolside restaurant and people watching marvelous. The entire area is covered with flowering vines and gorgeous landscaping, and feels very special.
Breakfast is great at the restaurant buffet, but the lunch less so. Service is very spotty. At no meal was the service particularly efficient or friendly, and pretty much the same can be said for the terrace off the main lobby where we were twice ignored entirely and once waited more than 20 minutes for a simple drink. We had one meal at the Orangerie which was good but for the sticker shock when it turned out that our two Kir Royales were charged at US$ each!
The rooms are lovely with comfortable beds, nice bathrooms, Hermes bath products and nice robes/towels. Our suite in the L&S was so poorly lit you couldn't see a book to read after the sun set, but the suites on the Imperial side are wonderful on every count. The views are fab of the Atlas mountains and pool area.
Westerners should not worry about what to pack for a stay here as it is anything goes at the pool, restaurants and lobby area. Most guests dressed quite fashionably and few felt to compelled toward the modesty in dress that would be more appropriate in a Riad within the medina or in areas frequented by locals.
There are several restaurants and clubs an easy stroll from the Sofitel if you aren't up for the chaos of the walled city and the souks, although that is a must-see at some point during your trip. It is more fun and less intimidating with a guide as it is truly chaotic and VERY easy to get lost. Taxi to the airport was a fixed rate of 150 dirhams.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Report response as inappropriate
Thank you for your feedback and taking time to post your comments. We are pleased to read that the misunderstanding was resolved and hope that it did not impact your stay and the possibility of returning back to Sofitel Marrakech. Thank you again for your comments.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.