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“Nice Hotel but with a few niggles” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Decameron Issil

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Royal Decameron Issil
3.5 of 5 Inn   |   Circuit De La Palmeraie, Marrakech 1572 , Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #537 of 1,065 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel but with a few niggles”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2011

After reading all the various reviews I thought i would keep an open mind about as what to expect. The hotel is in beautiful, well kept surroundings and the rooms are large, rustic and perhaps in need of a refurb especially in the bathroom. I guess i am going to be really boring here and follow suit to say the biggest whinge i have is that despite English guests all the animation is only done in French and that is what you can hear all day long. As Thomson and First choice are in this hotel you would imagine the english are catered for but sadly they are not. Saying that the staff are all very friendly and will make an effort of speaking in english even though most of them speak very little. At breakfast time if you got down after 9am you would quite often find no cups left at the drinks machines or no juice left in the machines either, certainly not of a 4 star standard. If you can get over these little niggles you wll probably have a lovely time but in my opinion i would not class this as a 4 star hotel

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the pool
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rabat, Morocco
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2011

After reading the nice reviews on tripadvisor, let me tell you I was surprised when I got hit with the sad reality :
Rooms : Large, yet BASIC rooms with a really tarnished furniture that looks quite old. Same goes for the bathrooms, they provide you with 2 big towels that are washed out and the bathtub looks dirty (I attached a picture) & the garbage can is of the worst I’ve seen, there should be some of the same price that look more sophisticated & less yucky!!! I must admit that the beds were quite comfy & the sheets clean. Once, my husband found a big cockroach inside the room, we assumed it was normal as we were next to the garden & the balcony was kept open, but what wasn’t normal is that when he took it outside & killed it, it stayed in the corridor during the whole stay until there were enough aunts eating from it, & you’d think some staff will pick it up.. nah, it just was a part of the picture for the rest of our stay, how sweet!
As for the sleep quality, it was fine until 9am. You’ll just hear all kinds of noise & can’t sleep over that time, people shouting of housekeepers talking out loud, even if you have ear plugs (my case) you’ll still be an early bird! Unless of course you have a room by the pool, you won't sleep before midnight & will wake up at 8am.. good morning dreamy vacation!
Food : We went for an all inclusive formula, & it was the worst idea I’ve had in years. Yes it was huge & there had been food for everyone, but it was tasteless & blunt & basic. Except maybe for the breakfast, it was ok (even if there were no fresh juices & that you had to wait for more than 20min to get an omelet). Not to mention the sandwiches in the pool area, we ended up eating only the French fries & their so called pizza. Ah, the drinks, beside the usual coke, it was a shame to serve the worst beers & wines there were in Morocco!
The service : Very slow was my first impression as it took us half an hour to check in & there were people behind yelling! & then for the rest, they were really cold & we never felt welcomed!
Hotel’s SPA : The hammam was really nice but it wasn’t warm enough. As for the massage service, the masseuse was excellent but the room TOO cold & they were using regular beds instead of the ones used for massage services!
The grounds – Other hotel’s facilities : This is why I rated the hotel as a 2 stars instead of 0.. seeing the hotel from the outside, it was beautiful, very clean & well maintained. The pool area was large & there were always enough sun beds for everyone. Also, there were tennis courses, mini golf area, excursions, shuttles to downtown & a lot of other activities going on every day. The “animation” team was really nice & the only stuff smiling during our stay.
Based on my own experience, I’ll never go back to this hotel, I think that in Marrakech there are tons of places to choose from & Descameron Issil is just not the one to pick up.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2011

What you really need to know about this hotel is that it is more than competent in providing everything you need for a short break or week-long holiday.

It is clean, friendly, the rooms are big and spacious, and the food and drink plentiful and of a decent quality.

Yes, if you're English and you love joining in English-speaking animation events then, well, the Decameron Issil may not be the hotel for you.

It is clearly very much geared towards a French audience, and certainly while we were there - Oct 30-Nov 3 - it must have been 90 to 95 per cent French-speaking visitors. But this has absolutely NO adverse impact on your holiday.

The staff remain friendly and helpful. The bar staff know enough English to serve you whatever you like, and everyone is keen to be friendly.

But then you are in a country where Arabic and French are the main languages - so if you don't like the French or French language I suggest a Blackpool guestroom for you.

This is Morocco. This is Marrakech. And the hotel is a great base for exploring it.

Getting there:
Brace yourself for a bit of a culture shock after getting out of the modern looking Marrakech airport. If you don't have a transfer booked then a taxi will be your chariot...and there are plenty lining up to take your cash.

There is a poster with the tariffs up outside the airport (about 50dh to get into the old city - around 100dh for Palmeraie I think it was). The reality, is that while there may be agreed prices, brace yourself for price hikes. We probably could have negotiated it down a tad more but we paid 200dh to get to the hotel...about £20. It was worth every penny when you hit the incredible mish-mash of ages and cultures on the roads of the city. Camels, donkeys, mules, carts, bicycles, mopeds, coaches and cars all converge on the roads and expect equal respect from other road users. Or perhaps lack of respect would be better.
The taxi ride is a good 20 minutes or so, wrapping tightly around the old city walls and out towards the Palmeraie area.

You pass the Riu hotel just a few hundred yards away and then...behind locked gates is your little oasis of calm...

The hotel:
Everything is a shade of pink or red in Marrakesh and so it proves at the hotel too.
It's not got enormous communal areas, but the bar - half inside, half out - was modern, spotlessly clean, and offered a range of cocktails, spirits and beers (mojitos are recommended courtesy of the use of one of the natural treats in these parts - namely mint).

There's also fruit juices and decent coffee too. Plus they have mint tea (local delicacy) should you wish to get into the swing of things.

The choice of food is not enormous, but it is adequate and tasty. There were several meat dishes every night, always a fish dish, and the tangines were delicious. Pasta and salads were in abundance and the deserts - normally a range of cakes or fresh fruit - were tasty. It wasn't gourmet, but then it never pretended to be. What it was was tasty and the dining area was pleasant enough.

The swimming pool in the centre of the complex was not enormous but big enough to keep the handful of kids - and big kids - on the park happy. Plenty of sun loungers too, plus a bar which did snacks (chips, pizza, crepes depending on the time of day) plus a coffee machine.

There's also an indoor pool situated in a different park of the complex which looked lovely, but you did have to run the risk of the massage girls who spent their days trying to sign customers up for treatments (pleasant enough - they're only trying to drum up a bit of business, and they take no for an answer...eventually).

Our room was one of those which surrounded the pool - set back amid the palm trees and grass. We had a little patio area with table and chairs, and despite the pool being visible you felt well protected with enough privacy to be able to sit back and relax.

There was a maid service every day and the room was always spotless with fresh towels each day.

As for the entertainment...well, this, in truth, is where the hotel will come up a little short for the English speakers, But then only if you actually need the hotel to generate entertainment for you. We personally don't much care for it so it didn't bother us in the least. But as the crowd is predominantly French-speaking so the entertainment is too.

We read much about the noise from the pool/bar area before we went - and on one day, the Monday, the music was very loud but that was it...all over by 9.30pm-10pm-ish and for the rest of the week the music was audible if you sat outside but not a pain.

There is music around the pool from around 2.30pm every afternoon - seemed to be the same songs on a loop - but harmless enough. Nothing that would spoil your stay unless you crave silence.

There's a small shop on the site - offered lots of fixed price stuff all a few quid above prices you'd expect to pay in the town, but handy to have.

Getting into the city centre:
There is a very handy shuttle bus which operates hourly in the morning, breaking between noon - 3ish and returning hourly from the city centre. We used it every morning to get into the Medina (old city). Yes, it drops you off 20 minutes walk away, but it's not the biggest deal in the world. It puts you down close to the Place d'Liberte near a crossroads....simply take the first left then stroll right on the next main road and you will come to the main square - Jemma el Fina.

A remarkable place, a real onslaught on your senses and difficult to do any justice to with words or pictures - a place you need to experience for yourself.

Conclusion:
Don't fall for the 'fine only if you're French' silliness of other reviews - this is a perfectly nice hotel with some classy touches. And given the cost of some last minute deals to be had (cost us £200 each for four nights all inclusive and flights via Ryan Air) it really is an exceptional bargain. Safe and secure and a great place from which to dive into the centre of Marrakech.

Oh, and the wather was beautiful for all but the final day - mid 20s like a beautiful English summer's day...

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2011 via mobile

The hotel itself is nice, the restaurant is nice and the food is really good. A mix between Moroccan and French mainly, but with pasta and salads a plenty each day. The beer wine and spirits are all good.

The hotel is 90% French customer, which was fine with me, and probably accounted for the good food and wine. Armed only with my GCSE French I managed to muddle through with those that didn't speak too much English.

There is a free bus that takes you to Marrakech, although it doesn't drop you off in an ideal location, so we got a taxi back

Make sure you read up elsewhere about bartering and tipping, and dressing respectfully, but following a few simple rules you will find everyone perfectly nice.

The rooms are the worst bit. They are basic and a bit shabby, not as clean as they could be, but acceptable. The towels looked worn, and the tv was very poor (2 channels in black and White). Having said that, the bed was comfy and clean and the air con worked just fine so we were ok. I thought it was stingy that they made you pay extra for a safety deposit box.

The animation team were also excellent. They mainly focus on the French guests as they don't all speak great English, but if you take the trouble to get involved yourself, then they will continue to involve you in waterpolo, archery, table tennis etc.

We had a great time, and would recommend it, provided you don't expect luxury rooms.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

really good hotel if you dont mind the french and some of the entertainment team are okay best person to see and talk to is kaleial he is really nice and welcoming and so are all the staff will definitly going back loved it to bits

Room Tip: all rooms are good but the best are the ones with a pool veiw
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

To be honest I was a little bit nervous having booked this holiday with First Choice without doing any research on the hotel (unusual for me) and then reading some of the reviews - it didn't help when we were the only family to get off the coach as everyone else was going to either the Riu Palmerie or the Riu Tikida Gardens. However, I kept an open mind and we were greeted by a lovely receptionist who made a real effort to speak English. We were taken to our room which although not modern (slightly rustic) was very clean but we hadn't come to Marrakech to spend all of our week in the room - air conditioning was excellent - a must when the night time termperature did not drop below 30c!

Ok straight to the point - yes the Brits are in the minority and hilariously this is highlighted by wearing blue wristbands for being non-French - I must say though that this was brilliant thinking by the Hotel as you do not get pestered by the French Reps to join in with all of the pool activities and if your GCSE French is slightly rusty then all the staff try their best to speak English.

Staff - Extremely friendly, polite and love children.
Food - Finally a Hotel that has not buckled under the pressure of turning their buffets into a European banquet. Plenty to choose from and always hot.
Drinks - No extra charges for cocktails; Beer was good; Wine was lovely - even the Red wine served straight from the fridge.
Pool - Not huge but still a good size. Cleaned every morning and poolside was cleaned every evening. Massive plus point was no need to get up at stupid o'clock to reserve sun beds as the French appear to not have the desire to vacate their beds in order to do this -
a luxury that both Riu hotel guests did not have as many reported that they were getting up at 6am to get a decent spot!
Evening entertainment - all provided by the French Reps so nothing for the English guests unless you are fluent in French but this was not a bad thing for us even with our 8 and 11yr old girls whom didn't seem to be bothered at all.

There is nothing bad to say about this hotel and I would recommend anyone thinking of going to Marrakech to consider ditching the big 4-5* hotels and go for the less popular one because the benefits definitely out way the negatives.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2011

Beautiful hotel in lush surroundings about 3 miles outside the town centre. Rooms spotlessly cleaned and amazingly comfortable beds. Great swimming pool and plenty of sunbeds, free towels provided for all inclusive guests. Food absolutely delicious and loads of it. Staff friendly and polite. Too far to walk into centre but free hotel shuttle bus provided although at unusual times. French clearly language of hotel, english not easily spoken or understood. Biggest negative was the music, it was unsuitable holiday music with lots of load beats and was constantly blared from swimming pool entertainment bar and made conversation and reading around the pool difficult. Music in the evening didn't always finish on time (stated as being 21.45pm).

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Issil

Address: Circuit De La Palmeraie, Marrakech 1572 , Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #537 of 1,065 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Decameron Issil 3.5*
Number of rooms: 104
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Issil Hotel Marrakech

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