My husband and I have just returned from an amazing All Inclusive week at the Kenzi Club Agdal Medina Resort in Marrakesh!
I wanted to get this written while it is still fresh in my mind!
I have absolutely no complaints; we had a really fab holiday ... a slight concern here and there, but nothing really to complain about!
My concerns, and they are slight - were that the Reception staff were a bit “hopeless” ... definitely friendly, and helpful to a certain extent, but hopeless in some areas, and that was with regard to the issue surrounding our airport transfer ... 4 times I had to go back to Reception before I was finally given a pick up time! My only other concern was the loud music at the pool side, which wasn’t really that annoying as it wasn’t on all day ... but if you happened to be on a lounger or if you were up at the crack of dawn and lucky enough to get a poolside cabana, and it just happened to be near a speaker ... you’d want to move!
On arrival, which was approx 9.35pm, I was extremely impressed with the Hotel Reception, it is really stunning, it does have a Moroccan feel, but it is very modern in appearance.
We were quickly processed through their computer system, given our AI wristbands, and escorted to our Riad (La Roserarie – Room No’s 400+ ... our Riad was quite a walk from the main hub of the complex) via a “Golf Buggy”! They things can’t half move! We arrived in our room by 9.45pm ... with only 15 minutes to spare before the restaurant closed at 10 ... our porter said he would take us to the Restaurant, escorted again in the golf buggy, and we arrived there a moment or so later, door to door service, and we had enough time to grab a quick bite to eat before hitting the bar, where we had some very tasty cocktails! The bar area that evening had a DJ playing really chilled out relaxed tunes, the atmosphere was fab, just what we need after our journey!
The gardens within our Riad were beautiful and very well kept, the smells are gorgeous too as they grow all different kind of herbs there, our room was also very nice, it was a great size, with plenty of storage areas, and it was cleaned every day with new fresh towels.
We had concerns about going to Morocco during Ramadan, as we had previously been to Turkey a few years previous and were woken up at all ungodly hours, with the prayer calling, we did not hear one mosque, and slept soundly every night.
Our first morning we went to reception, exchanged some money (Rate of Exchange was 12.76 dirham to the pound), and paid our deposits for our towels – 150 dirham each (just under £12) refundable on departure. We also enquired about booking the shuttle bus for the following day (Monday) that takes you into Marrakesh main Square – Djemaa el Fna – it was however fully booked for the times we wanted to go! We decided we’d just get a taxi and were informed it would cost approx 70 dirham there and the same back ... £5.50 each way.
The shuttle bus service from the hotel, runs every hour on the half hour - up until I think half 5 and the last one back from the main square is at 6.30pm, so if you want to eat at the square during Ramadan you will be required to get a taxi back to the hotel, as the food stalls are not open during the day. I think all other times of the year; the food courts are open all day.
Then it was off to breakfast – the main restaurant is spectacular, the wave structure going the whole length of the roof with the little fairy lights is the main feature, it really is lovely in the evening when they are all on!
Breakfast was fab, a very varied selection was on offer every day, most days we had omelettes (made especially for you) or a selection of cheese and ham with crusty baguettes and some chocolate croissants! But there was everything imaginable, you were spoilt for choice. The coffee was also very tasty, and I don’t usually drink coffee! I also cannot fault the waiters or waitresses, they were first class, always bringing water, fizzy drinks, wine (in the evening or at lunch) or appearing at your table with a bottle opener if a bottle of beer was needing opened ... whatever you required, they were great, and genuinely friendly.
We found some sun loungers in a “quietish” area around the pool, the only thing ... it was at the opposite side to where the toilets and pool bar were, so you had a bit of a walk to get a drink or to use the facilities! It couldn’t have bothered us that much though, as we stayed that end of the pool the whole of our stay! If you are going in high season, I would definitely recommend getting loungers under the electric fans, that spray a cooling mist on you all day – they are amazing inventions when its 44 degrees!
The pool bar throughout the day is probably the poorest service, however in saying that, it wasn’t bad! They were a bit slow in serving as they were always busy, and from 4pm to I think 5pm (maybe 6), they serve a selection of cakes, or made to order crepes!
We got speaking to a member of staff on our first day at the pool, who runs the kids club, I think his name is spelt Medhi, and having spent some time in the UK his English was definitely the best throughout all the Staff at the Kenzi Agdal Medina, he was very helpful and informative and we spent quite a bit of time speaking with him and finding out lots of tips for when we were out and about in the main square and souks. He told us to haggle when in the souks, to actually quarter the price that they first say and then work your way up ... I tried this many times, and got some great bargains! Actually getting items at a quarter of what was initially asked, or just over it!
Lunch in the restaurant was also very good, as was the evening meal. Again an extensive variant of foods was on offer, ranging from 3 or 4 different types of pastas, with accompanying sauces, beef, lamb, fish tagines, cold meats, salad bars, pizzas, Panini’s, cous cous, potatoes, chips, cakes, ice cream, there really was something for everyone.
We also booked into the a la carte restaurant ... The Moroccan ... this you had to pay for, at a cost of a 100 dirham per person (£7.80 each approx), I personally think it was worth it, “The Moroccan” was stunning, it had a mystical quality about it, and the food we were served (5 courses) was gorgeous, however we spoke to others who had also been an alternate night and were a bit disappointed with the food, saying it was more or less what was served in the main Restaurant? The menu is different each night, we must have picked the best night! But nothing we were served had we saw in the main restaurant, the food was lovely. An elderly gentleman plays an instrument in the Restaurant, it looked like a guitar, but we were informed it was not a guitar; it was some sort of Moroccan flute? He serenades each table ... maybe a bit cheesy, but after a few glasses of wine, I rather enjoyed!
The Bar ... ok, it was a hit or miss really, sometimes you’d walk up to the bar and were served immediately, others you’d have to wait a while! They served a wide range of cocktails, which were all very nice, however there were some cocktails available that weren’t on the list ... e.g. ... Mojito’s ... but 2 nights they did run out of Rum ... they had plenty of other spirits, and I had a mojito with tequila one night!!! It was “drinkable”. The wine, house white, was gorgeous, and most nights I stuck to that, we’d take our ice bucket from the restaurant, the waiters would open another bottle and bring this out to us, we’d either stay at the outside bar area, or head into the nearby cabanas, as they were close enough for us the hear the music ... and extremely comfy for a chilled out night with our glasses of wine!
The entertainment ... well ... it was all in French ... but as the area is predominantly French, we didn’t really expect anything else! We did go the “Theatre” one night for the Comedy Show ... but left after 10 minute as we didn’t understand! They have dancing some nights, and their professional dancers are amazing to watch ... or you could participate if you so wish ... other nights ... there is a lady singer, overall it’s not bad ... we met with other guests and just enjoyed the company.
There are several security guards throughout the hotel grounds, they are very friendly, they don’t speak a word of English, but we had a laugh with them nonetheless. They didn’t mind to much either when we jumped in the pool at 2 in the morning neither!
On 3 occasions we ventured into the main square – Djemaa el Fna – they were incredible experiences, we went in on the Monday, really just to have a rekey and get our wits about us, it is so hectic, but so vibrant, colourful, and the smells, which are mostly amazing, all the spices, and leather, and then after sunset (during Ramadan) the food courts ... we returned on the Wednesday, and did lots of shopping, haggling with the souks owners and getting (in my opinion) lots of bargains, we stayed and ate at the square, we were served lots of little dishes of cous cous, chicken kebabs, lamb kebabs, salads, olives, bread ... and it tasted delicious.
Some people asked “did your stomach cope with the food in the square?”... Yes, mostly, my husband had an upset tummy on the Thursday night / Friday morning ... but that really could have been from anything. Too much sun, too much to drink ... or even from the restaurant at the hotel ... we’ll never know ... I will say there were 4 of us who ate at the square, we all ate the same thing ... more than 24 hours later only one of us had an upset tummy? We ate at food stand No 75!
You can’t buy alcohol in Marrakesh, unless you are eating a restaurant, we tried to order some beer, but were informed they did not sell alcohol! You can get as much alcohol as you wish at the hotel though.
The ladies who do the henna tattoos are the ones to watch; before I knew it half my hand had been “painted” ... so if at all possible ... put your hands in your pockets!!! Or have your wits about you when you’re in their sights! I ended up paying 100 dirham for something I didn’t really want!
We returned to the square on the Friday afternoon, to finish our shopping, I was really sad to leave ... we had a great time there ... I was a bit concerned about the begging etc, but I needn’t have worried, a polite no was all that was required. Although I was swore at once when I informed our “wannabe” guide that we knew our way about and we didn’t require his services! He knew perfect English then!
I also had concerns about bringing my expensive camera, and opted for a small compact one, but I really wouldn’t have had any problem taking my SLR. Lots of people had them.
Kenzi Agdal Medina also provides a free wifi service.
All in all ... we had an ace time ... Would we go back ... most definitely - in a heartbeat! Would we stay at Kenzi Agdal Medina ... same as above - without a shadow of a doubt ... if you are thinking about this hotel ... go for it ... you will have a ball!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A pioneer in its category. This hotel-club provides a full range of activities together with the best contemporary design by architect Imaad Rahmouni. Modernism and discovery can be shared by families or friends, in one of the best leisure hotels in Morocco, located by the Atlas Mountains, in the middle of 10 hectares centenarian olive trees.Accommodation 9 riads 254 double or triple rooms (32 m²) and 60 suites (53 m²) – all with private balcony . ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kenzi Club Agdal Medina Hotel Marrakech