I stayed at this hotel for my mum’s 60th birthday and a friend’s wedding (luckily the wedding was not at this hotel).
Prior to arrival, I was liasing with the hotel to confirm my reservation and room bookings. I had to book 2 rooms as they could not accommodate 3 people in one room. Despite numerous calls from London, where the call would be disconnected, put on answermachine for more than 40minutes or being passed from one person to the next, I managed to confirm my booking and in particular an early checkin (due to our flight arrival), luxury room with pool view and balcony (which was upgraded as there was availability and due to the inconvenience with the calls) and non-smoking room (I had numerous discussions with Hanene from Guest Reservations, who actually didn’t action anything what was agreed, so wasted my time and incurred my telephone costs).
Upon arrival, I was told both rooms were not available. I was told I would be contacted within an hour, having given them more than 2 hours I went to the checkin desk and told to wait. The reason the room was not ready was the mini-bar – I don’t think it takes 3 hours to check the mini-bar, even at the slow pace they work. Normal checkin time is 3pm – it was agreed prior to my arrival to have both rooms that I booked ready for 12pm (with Hanene who disappointinly failed us). I did not get my room until 4pm – to my shock was given a disabled room with an awful, shocking smoking smell. One of my family members is an asthamatic and cannot stay in a smoking room. Also, there was no balcony as I was offered a ground floor room (not as per my room booking). I dealt with a staff member called Fatima who was rude and unhelpful. Having expressed my concerns and after another hour (5pm), I was then offered a ‘decent’ room for the 1st night, and then moved on the 2nd night to a room which was originally agreed (Marouane – Front Office Supervisor managed to sort out after all the inconveniece I was caused) – not a great start to our holiday!
The shocking bits:
Firstly, although the pool is nice what we saw was horrific. When guests leave the pool their towels remained on the sun loungers/beds. The towels are left to dry for a period of time with the pool attendees coming to check if dry, if not they are kept out. The pool attendees then come to check if dry (by patting each towel), then folded for the next guest as they remained on the sun lounger/bed. Not only disgusting and unhygienic but not what is expected from a Sofitel chain. I even had to tell some of the guests to ask for clean towels as this is what they had done and were about to use the ‘used’ towels. When questioned a pool attendee, the response I got was ‘this is what we are told to do!’ My advise if you do stay at this hotel – bring your towel from the room!
At breakfast, as lovely as the display of foods. One day, they served melon and pineapple that was gone off and I got severely ill. When I told the chef, they tried it, admitted it had a ‘funny taste and must be bad’ and removed it from the breakfast. This resulted in 3 days of me having diarrhoea and severe vomiting.
The staff would handle the pastries with their hands despite servering cutlery being available – no wander I found facial hair (eyelash) in both crossiants and pastries – basic hygiene requirements need attention. Breakfast is simple fruit and pastries – no cooked breakfast.
I was on a half board basis – warning: you need 3-4hours for dinner. It takes 30minutes to just bring a menu, another 45minutes to bring drinks. The pace at which they work is alarming, and they have no sense of time when serving – whether they want the restaurants to look busy or genuinly are sluggish I do not know. You might as well eat out, as the food standard is not of a typical Sofitel expectation.
Housekeeping – be prepared to ask for toiletries and towels as they often ‘forgot’ to replace when towels were clearly on the bathroom floor for replacing and the toilet roll had finished! A lot of chasing, and had to look for them as they didn’t come within an hour to replace.
Check your bill on checkout – despite half board basis, I was charged for meals. I requested the staff to check the bill and correct. I was told to come back in 2 hours. Again after painful 2 hours, nothing had been done by the reception desk staff at Lounge and Spa. At this time, the reception desk was closed and I had to go to the other Sofitel desk to sort out. They charged me for minibar use and restarant bills which was inaccurate – corrected after checking restaurants bills that I supposed ate when I was on a day trip and when all minibar items were accounted for – becareful they don’t cheat you and take a copy of all signed bills. The hassle to sort this out was painful and the checkout staff were extremely rude (Aberrahim) and again sluggish, they clearly have time but don’t realise you don’t! At least the duty manager (Mohammed) tried to sort it out after 2 hours.
I was so surprised at the standard of this hotel – definitely not a typical 5 star hotel. It is cosmetically nice, but when it comes to service and hygiene it wouldn’t even meet a 3 star. It was such a disappointing holiday and a hotel from hell– I would never go back or recommend anyone to stay here – you are better staying at the Hivernage Spa and Hotel which is round the corner!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by a splendid garden and fountains, Sofitel Marrakech is a premier Marrakech Morocco hotel. Its 346 Marrakech hotel rooms offer terraces or balconies with views of the mountains, swimming pool, or gardens. Guests at this luxury hotel in Marrakech, Morocco, will enjoy restaurants serving local and international cuisine, 3 bars, a nearby nightclub, a poolside snack bar, 3 bars, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre with a Jacuzzi, and a Turkish steam bath and gym. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Marrakech Lounge Hotel Marrakech
- Marrakech Sofitel