Normally I had another hotel in mind but when I checked some chains I noticed there was a new Holiday Inn hotel in Marrakech, the first one in Morocco. It is also one of the only 5 star Holiday Inn hotels in the entire world. I booked the best non-suite room with breakfast around 15 days in advance on their website. There were not many reviews but I did not have many expectations because the price was lower than others in Marrakech.
We arrived by train from Casablanca and at the right side of the new build train station we took a taxi. The fare quoted was 120 MAD to the Holiday Inn. The taxi ride was about 25 minutes but the driver did not know the hotel in the beginning but when we told Hotel Du Golf he knew where he should drive.
We arrived at the new hotel and got out of the taxi. Immediately someone came to take our luggage and we were brought inside. On the right side was the reception and we headed to the only lady not occupied. She did not have a name tag but here name was Ms. Safia. We gave our Platinum Priority club card and she said we could have a seat while she checked us in.
A few minutes later we received a juicy welcome drink and 3 papers to fill in with all our details regarding our passport, occupation, addresses, …. The only one missing is : How much do you earn. Instead of making a simple copy of our passports and copying our addresses from our priority club account, we had to fill it in.
After 15 minutes waiting already, Ms. Safia came to us and asked if we had a reservation because she could not find it in her system. We told her clearly we had a reservation and I gave her my confirmation page. She made some phone calls and after another 10 minutes she came back and told us she couldn’t find it but we got our booked room. Unfortunately she did not know the platinum status ,nor the benefits. She asked my platinum card even though she had it in her possession for 30 minutes. Then I had to explain her the benefits of the status but when she called her Room Division manager we got an upgrade to a Junior Suite, room 6155.
Ms. Rim, a Guest relation executive brought us to our room. She had some difficulties explaining everything in English but luckily we speak French too. She was still quite young and explained us some essentials like breakfast hours, internet and facilities. Strange thing is that she gave me other hours of breakfast than Ms. Safia told us. Our room was on the same floor as the lobby and almost at the end of the long corridor. Our Junior Suite had a big entrance with many closets and a special Laptop safe inside one of them. Then on the left side was the bedroom itself with a big King size bed with a sofa on the right side. There was also a brand new TV, nice and modern IP phone and a cupboard with the mini bar in it. The room had a fresh looking wooden floor and further left in the room was the bathroom. There was a bath and a sink. The only problem for us was that the left window in the bathroom overlooked our small terrace and without any separation we could look in the bathroom from outside. There was no curtain at all. The same problem at the right side of the bathroom.
On the right side in the room were the toilet and a separate sink. There we had that problem too. When I was making a picture of the toilet I could see my neighbor one level higher just watching me standing next to the toilet. There was no curtain whatsoever.
The television was not working and some minutes later they brought us a welcome basket of fruit along with some other small snacks. Unfortunately no drinks whatsoever not even a small bottle of water. We were also missing a kettle for making some tea. The room was very modern and quite new. Unfortunately when I was in the shower in the bath, the room above my flushed the toilet or flushed the bath. There were liters of water leaking into our bath. Water along with pieces of the roof was falling on me. The towels were gray, the same for my bathrobes.
I went downstairs and told the reception about this but they could not understand my problem so I had to ask the duty manager. The Room division manager Mr. Karim listened to me and immediately called and arranged another room. He apologized for it and gave us new keys for another Suite but this time with a bigger terrace. We got room 6165, this one was the last room in the corridor. They offered us to move our luggage but as it was just a few rooms away we did it our self but they send someone for moving the extra bed.
Ms. Rim took us to that room and showed it to me. The room had no big entrance but also some closets at the right side with fresh flowers on it. On the left side was a non-windowed bathroom with a big modern bath and a separate rain shower. Further behind another door was a toilet. The bathroom was big and modern. It was very nice and had full privacy like it should be.
The bedroom had a big King size bed, a desk and again a TV. Unfortunately we could not find the remote so we called the reception for it. The right side of the room had a sofa chair, sofa and the extra bed. Our big terrace surrounded our entire room and we had a nice view on the golf and also on the rest of the hotel.
I went to the concierge desk on the right side of the entrance because of the sign information. There was no one so I asked someone. Ms. Rim came to me. I asked for a map and the major sights but disappointingly she did not explain anything at all. I had to ask for the directions of the city center and she told me for the first time the existence of a shuttle bus. She told me that from the next doors hotel departs a shuttle bus and it stops also at our hotel but when it was full it did not stop at our hotel. She told me so it was better to go to the other hotel because last days it did not stop here. She wrote me down some hours but she could not give me further details. Instead of calling the other hotel I had to go myself there by foot. I followed some sign and passed a winter village with ice skating facilities till I came in an older style lobby. The unfriendly chief concierge gave me more info but gave totally different hours than Ms. Rim gave me.
I went back to the Holiday Inn and confronted her which one were right. She asked some bellman and he told me hers were wrong. She tried to take her written hours from me but I wanted to keep them.
With not very much info I went back to my room. About restaurants she could also not give much info. We could use the restaurant from the other hotel because the Holiday Inn offers limited dinner options.
We ate during our stay 3 times in the Italian Signor Santi restaurant because for us, it was the best option and best value of them all. Service was fluctuation but food overall good.
Next morning we had breakfast in the main restaurant. Two ladies did not greet us but asked us for our room number and that’s it. None of them lead us to a table so we picked one that was ready ourselves. A friendly man asked for our room number again and asked if we would like to drink something. I could just not figure out what the functions of the two ladies were. They were not doing anything, just standing there and talking to each other.
The buffet itself was quite limited without toaster or toast bread and juices that were empty all the times. There was one kind of bread, a sliced baguette and some smaller breads. I asked to one of the two ladies if they had normal toast bread or other kind of bread but before they could answer me, a man in suit, Mr. Souhaide interrupt and took over from them. He could not answer my question but was laughing with it instead. I left with a strange feeling of staff here at the hotel.
Ten minutes later he came back to me and showed me some different kind of bread, still hot for us. He promised me that next day I would have the toasted bread slices. Service was good and buffet was limited. There was cheese, ham, salami, fruits, pastries and juices. When three people entered the restaurant service became more efficient and quicker. It was the General Manager, Mr. Karim, the Guest relation Manager, Ms. Nora and the Food and Beverage manager, Mr. Dominique. Mr. Dominique and Ms. Nora had to assist staff members and had to clean empty bottles of juice from the buffet.
At 11.30 we took the shuttle bus from the next-door hotel. There were 30 people or more waiting for a 14 seated van. It was a disaster but we managed to get on it. The shuttle bus took us in 30-40 minutes to the Fna Square.
In the evening I took the shuttle bus back to the hotel and when I was at the reception I needed to ask some train info. Because everyone was busy, a very friendly Ms. Nora came to me and asked if he could help me with something. I explained her I wanted to book train tickets because on our previous journey second class was more a disaster. She called for me the ONCF multiple times and she even offered me something to drink while she was trying to get someone on the line. After 20 minutes she finally got somebody and because she could not book them she offered me that she would book them at the train station herself. She offered that because she lives close to the station and because she cares about her guests and because she has a good heart.
I passed her some comment regarding my stay that evening and hoping she would pass it by to others.
Next morning breakfast was already better, service good as usual but off course not my promised bread. Juices were unfortunately mixed with each other which was not tasty at all. There were more choices but only the oranges were not tasty and dried out. Again some managers had to help the staff with the buffet.
That morning Ms. Nora informed me the hotel has its own shuttle bus because too many guests had to wait or had no place in the bus. It had the same hours so it was much easier for us. The white van left the hotel a bit too late and dropped us off at Fna Place. In the evening we planned to take it back at 17.30. At 17.25 we were at the spot and clearly could not see the van. Then the other van came but the driver rudely refused us and would not give his name to me. I so called at 17:45 the front desk number mentioned on my reservation. Instead of the front desk I was actually calling the general manager on his cellphone. He told me the 17.30 bus was cancelled and it was mentioned to everyone in the hotel. I was quite surprised because it was not mentioned to us. He told us to just wait for the next bus, one hour later.
At 18.25 the bus arrived and drove towards the hotel, 5 minutes early. My watch and phone are both set right so he was driving to early. Furthermore the driver told me he was at Fna Square at 17.30 and picked up some people. The manager told me it was cancelled.
I told this again to Ms. Nora, she had to hear all my problems every day, I hope when I come back I can say every positive thing to her.
I called around 22:00 the reception for a wake up call at 08:00.
Next morning no wake up call whatsoever.
Breakfast was excellent. Service excellent and an extensive choice for breakfast, more fruit, more juices and even bottled water. The two ladies were replaces by one lady who asks for a room number and lead guests to a table. The best breakfast till now in Marrakech.
We got a call from Ms. Nora apologizing for the wake up call. She asked if we needed a taxi and five minutes before it she sent a bellman for our luggage. We checked out and then the General Manager came to us and I told him some comments for the future and about the problems in our rooms. He took note of them all and assured us they will be fixed in the future.
We thought a staff member would tell our destination but instead of going to the train station the taxi took us to the airport. The porter told him we wanted to go to the airport. Luckily we managed to get on time at the train station.
Thanks to Ms. Nora our stay was very good despite some problems. The hotel has much potential and I do not doubt it will be one of the better in Marrakech. They offer a big golf course, new modern rooms and free internet too.
Owh yes, we got a welcome letter on our day of departure
I will definitely return in the future to this hotel and I am sure it will be much better !
Suites are nice and have big terraces
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.