We recently stayed at this hotel in Dec '11/jan '12 for 4 nights. My husband booked this hotel after searching on booking.com which allows you free cancellations. It was very expensive to stay in expecially on new years night. We had arrived by ferry from Spain into tangers and then took the overnight train to marrakech. the train station was a bit isolated and we took a cab to the hotel. Its situated along a wide hotel lined road- avenue Mohammed, but away from the Old parts of marrakech. Not too far but nowhere within walking distance of the Medina. My intial impression about the hotel was very good. Its a huge resort style property with typical red adobe style architecture. Our guide explained that all the buildings here have to confirm to this color which is evocative of Marrakech.
Now for the hotel. Its a huge complex with its double tier of building blocks clustered around a central pool area. The entrance foyer is quite nice and well done up. It leads to the outside courtyard where you first encounter the main restaurant where you will eat all your meals. there is another bar/disco to the right. There is a huge pool with water slides though it was quite cold to swim in Dec. There is another deeper pool to the side which may be heated as it was covered and uncovered everyday. There are plenty of canopied cabanas and deck chairs around to soak in the sun. Amenities for the kids include a kids club where the hosts take charge in leading the children in games and other activities. There is a basketball court, tennis court, archery, and I think they could play soccer or volleyball, I forget. Daily activities included belly dance lessons, tennis lessons, archery lessons etc for adults and kids. There was always music playing and a bar serving drinks- coffee tea juices all day long. Our kids really enjoyed staying here, especially as one night they got dressed up in traditional Morroccan clothes and danced to music. There was also a hammam/spa which had its own indoor pool and turkish steam room and a gym and hair salon. All charges were extra. Though the experience was not as good as one in istanbul.
Now for the rooms. Since we were four, we had a suite which was quite nice. It was located all the way out towards the back of the property in the 900's, but which we dint complain about even though it was a bit of a walk to get to and initially difficult to find especially at night, as there is no good signage leading to the rooms. An outer room with a half bath and two beds and then an inner bedroom with a king bed and full bathroom with tub and shower. Since we were on the ground floor there were glass doors leading to a small patio and path outside. Luxuriously furnished rooms, clean and neat and modern. But we had a problem with the bathoom. The shower was built in, did not have a door and even though it had a curtain , it kept falling down and all the water streamed outside into the bathroom. Drainage was very poor. Same for the bidet and toilet area. The fixtures weren't of good quality.
Apart from that, the food in the restaurants during all meals was very good. Lot of choices and variety even though it was repetitive sometimes. Do try the traditional pancakes with honey and the sweet moroccan tea. yummy food most of the times thats why the New years fiasco was so surprsing. The staff was very friendly as well and took quite good care of us. The problem we had was on New years eve, where the hospitality group had planned a surprise party for all the guests. It started at 7 pm in the main restaurant where they had a sit down dinner. The program was very good with good music and dance performances even though it catered mainly to the french crowd. And the compere spoke only in french too which we couldn't understand. The food was a big problem and left a lot to be desired. It was mainly seafood based which we do not eat. Therefore for 2 hours we were sitting hungry until fianlly a fter making repeated requests to the manager we finally got served something we could eat. I found that very perplexing as to how they could serve a complete seafood meal, with caviar, fish, shrimp for all courses to all the guests, especially if some body may have a seafood allergy or dietary restrictions. They should have had choices for this night whether it was sit down or not. we had a paid a lot of money to stay in this hotel for New years eve night and certainly deserved a better dinner rather than staying hungry for more than 2 hours. The service was so bad that even when we asked for soda we weren't served until we repeatedly kept calling. One of us had to get up and walk over to get the managers attention. This was most appalling. And also that the staff should speak in english which being a universal language is understood by most tourists. Hardly anyone spoke english here and even if they did they had limited understanding. If this is a five star resort, then the amenities and conveniences certainly aren't. The assistant manager mr. Mustafa was nice though and took good care of us once we had his attention. the next day when we were leaving for casablanca he packed us a nice cold lunch. Thank you mr. Mustafa, but the manager should have been careful on New years eve.
Also There are free hotel shuttle buses to Jmaa el Fnaa sqare but they have limited tmings and when we got on we were told that we had to return within a set time whcih was just an hour and half, and only if we accepted that we could board. that w as quite crazy in my opinion. And of course wandering in the Jama el fnaa square, looking at the Kutubiya mosque and it s environs, wandering thru the huge souks of Marrakech cannot be seen in an hour and half. We had to take a taxi back which was a bit expensive.
We also booked one of those adventure treks from the hotel from a tour operator that didnt speak any ENGLISH. but thank fully it was a fun trip though expensive. one of those dune buggy rides. Was quite an experience and really enjoyed the sweet Moroccon tea experience.
Another trip we took was to Ourika, loved going for the drive alongside the mountainside, even though we didnt get to trek to the waterfall( it was dusk by the time we reached). We stopped at a berber house along the way. the taxi driver took us to one of those Berber gift shoops which sell everything quite expensive and try to rip off tourists so beware.
We did enjoy our stay here barring these few hiccups amd maybe the hotel could improve their services and upgrade their bathrooms. I do travel quite a bit and here's my thing- that if a place wants tourists to visit, then they should speak a universal language so that guests feel comfortable visiting and donot experience any problems.
All in all they could do with a bit of improvement. If anyone has a specific query, feel free to ask me.
- 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