Before I start I would just like to say that I am a travel agent working for a well-known brand and I have booked a lot of people into this hotel and others in Marrakech.
My best friend and I booked a 3 night stay at the Club Albatros from 11-14th November. The flight departed on time, our taxi was waiting for us as soon as we came through to the arrivals hall and check in at the hotel was quick and easy. We were allocated a room on the 4th floor in the Al Riad building, overlooking the pool and Atlas Mountains. The rooms are huge with 2 double beds, large bathroom and spacious terrace. Also our room (4085) had another door, so it could be an interconnecting room if needs be.
Food: We found the food fine. Any all-inclusive that you go on gets repetitive after a while and it did seem like there really was no waste as far as the food went. The most bizarre was scrambled eggs for breakfast and then jazzed up at lunch as a cold salad with anchovies! But to be fair, it was actually quite nice (minus the anchovies-yuk!) On the outside station at breakfast time you can have onion, tomato and cheese omelette cooked fresh or pancake-like flat breads that you then drizzle loads of honey over. We both said they could serve the pancakes for breakfast lunch and dinner and we would devour them! There were also yummy croissants and pain au chocolat, cereals, yoghurts etc. Lunch and dinner were also buffet style with beef, chicken and fish- pasta, couscous or rice- potatoes, veg and a massive salad buffet, bread and loads of calorie laden desserts! Unfortunately I had to avoid most of the desserts as I have a nut allergy and just didn't want to risk it, but my friend tucked in quite happily and said they were lovely.
Having read quite a lot of reviews before we went, I took it upon myself to clarify a few things with the hotel.
Albatros Gardens (AG) and Albatros Club (AC) are on the same site. AC is the main all inclusive section. You can book AI at the AG also, but it mainly tends to be BB. The AI includes the following:
Breakfast, lunch snacks and dinner at The Brasserie
Drinks from the AI menu at La Caseta, Le Charlot and Le Columbus bars.
The Casablanca bar, Mediterranean, Asian and Tagine restaurants are not included in the AI. I can't comment on the pool bar as it was closed when we were there.
There are 2 pools, one in the AG and 1 in the AC. We tended to stay at the one at the AC as it was quieter.
The cleanliness around the hotel was fantastic. There were staff cleaning constantly, whether it be mopping the floors or cleaning the sunbeds. The toilets were spotless and the staff always said a friendly hello to us.
We weren't due to fly out until late on the 14th and the hotel allowed us to keep our room on until just before we left for a small charge.
All in all, I have no issue with booking more of our clients into this hotel. Ok, so it may not be what us Brits class as a full 5*, but it is a lovely hotel and I really don't have any complaints. In fact, we are planning to go back for another shopping trip in March next year and we will be booking to stay here again.
Location: Just outside the Medina (the old part of the city - Gueliz is the new part- we never made it there as the old city is perfect for what we wanted!)
Shopping: Well, what can I say? Apparently there are 4000 souks in Marrakech and my feet feel like they have been to all of them! We had booked into Les Bains de Marrakech on our first morning- we had a hammam and hot stone massage for the princely sum of £41 each. The whole experience was amazing, although I probably wouldn't bother with the hot stone massage again, as it wasn't hard enough of a massage for me. We got a taxi on our first jaunt and Mustafa our taxi driver was an absolute godsend. (TIP: once you find a good cab driver, get his number and he will be your guide for the rest of your trip!) He took us to a fixed price shop (they are the government run shops) and we used the prices they were charging in there as a guide to what we should pay in the souks. He then took us to his friends spice shop where we proceeded to spend quite a few Dirhams on lovely spices, mint tea and loads of argan oil goodies! He then dropped us back at the hotel. Time taken 3.5 hours. Price charged for the whole time 80 Dirhams. Price in Sterling £6.22.
We called him the next day as we wanted to go to Jemaa Al Fna Square and try the souks for some serious shopping. He dropped us there, we called him 4.5 hours later, and he came and picked us up. He was only going to charge us 50 Dirhams, but we gave him 70.
The souks really are out of this world! We absolutely loved them. We never felt hassled or unsafe at any time and although they try and coax you in to their shops they are never pushy. The only problem we came across was the henna women on the square but, just keep walking and ignore them and they soon get the message. Also, don't allow any of the men with the click clack maraca things ( not sure what else to call them) try and get a picture with you, as they will then demand money and then get quite aggressive when you won't part with your Dirhams or Sterling. The same goes for the men with the monkey and snakes. But we found that just ignoring them made them leave you alone.
Moroccan Dirhams are a closed currency- I never knew that, until we tried to change into it over in the UK. Yep, you guessed it; there is another tip on its way! When you get your money changed at the airport make sure you keep the receipt they give you. If you lose this ensure you keep any ATM receipt that you get. They will not change your left over Dirhams back to any other currency unless you have a receipt- government policy apparently. I was a bit confused though, as it's a closed currency and you can't get it anywhere else but in Morocco so why won't they change it back? Anyway, minor gripe! Luckily I had an ATM receipt so they allowed it- however we only had £17 in Dirhams left and the guy behind the counter only had a £20 note, so we had to move onto the next currency change booth and they could only change it into euros (which you can spend airside at Marrakech airport) A bit stressful, but not a deal breaker!
All in all, Morocco is an amazing country, the people are really friendly and the shopping is ace!
Al Riad building 4th floor upwards
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.