We booked this hotel because it had good facilities so that if we didn't want to leave the hotel, there were things to do. Before we set off for Marrakech, I tried ringing the hotel about half a dozen times to book a car to pick us up from the airport, but was passed from pillar to post. I was asked to send a fax request and to send email requests, but no one bothered to get back to me without incessant chasing by phone. Well, it was "start as you mean to go on"!!
The hotel lobby was impressive on arrival and smelt wonderful - candles were burning and there were hundreds of roses We had two rooms - one was ok, but mine was not great. Firstly, it was immediately over and to one side of the huge porch that is the hotel entrance. There is a driveway with fountains that lead you up from the road to the hotel and on our first night, they decided to start jet washing the drive at about 1.00am and it went on pretty much the whole night. By the time they finished, the fountains (which seem to be switched off at 00:15 hours each night) were turned back on. Then there was all the noise of hotel guests coming and going and the taxis picking people up right underneath my window. Really noisy and not great. In short, do not stay in a room at the front of the hotel. The rooms at the back overlook the garden and the pools - much more peaceful.
Room size was fine and cleanliness also good generally, but housekeeping were hit and miss everyday in terms of whether they left you towels, face clotsh, etc - or simply forgot to replenish them! Ditto re toiletries. For a 5 star spa hotel, there was only shower gel and shampoo in the bathroom and some cotton buds - they did leave me some conditioner once ... overall, rather disappointing compared to the many 5* hotels I've stayed in all over the world.
I used the [very small] gym. It was equipped with seriously old equipment in a small room. Weights were in another small room next door. The indoor pool is only open to those having spa treatments and was too small and too warm to swim in properly. The spa changing facilities are ultra poor - I'm a regular spa-goer both at home and on travels and apart from the waiting area, the spa facilities were the worst I've seen in a hotel. The treatment rooms were clinical and not welcoming, the venetian blinds at the windows let sunlight in even thought they were closed, no nice smells from burnnign oils or candels one would usually expect in a treatment room and to top it all off, there was a lot of noise coming from outside, which I could probably have ignored if there had been some music playing gently in the background, My therapist did not speak English and so I spoke to her in French only to discover that she could not speak French either, which was unusal for Morocco; and of course I could not speak Arabic - so it was like a chicken trying to talk to a duck! When my treatment was finished, there was no one at the desk for me to sign the paperwork - I waited but no one came. So I left but was then asked to please go back to the spa to sign it. I obliged and went along - but no one at the desk again. I tried a third time and success! For a holiday and given that the spa was supposed to be relaxing experience, it was too much like hard work.
The staff at the hotel are lovely, but the service was very poor - basically because it was achingly slow or the staff were just forgetful. You could ask for something and it would not come at all or where at another hotel it would be with you in a couple of minutes, this hotel regularly took half an hour or more and then they only carried out the request because you chased. We ate in the only restaurant open in the evening and the service there was the worst of all. What should've been a 1.5 hour meal on two nights became 4 hours due to rubbish service - even the bill took 25 minutes to come and then it was only because my friend got up and started pacing with a furious look on her face, at which point the BBQ chef (it was a buffet that night) went to find a waiter before there was a scene.
Breakfast is served in the Palmarie restaurant which is only open for breakfast and lunch. 250 dirham from breakfast - flat charge - it's a buffet. There is one evening restaurant only so there is no other choice if you want to eat in of an evening. There's also a bar adjacent to it, which has a nice atmosphere. There is no all day coffee shop or restaurant like at other hotels, which was disappointing as if you stay in, you had to eat during the restaurant opening hours. You could have room service, but it'll cost you a whopping 150 dirham service charge, no matter how small your order! Before I forget - for a 5* hotel this hotel has no tea making facilities in the rooms - it's really basic.
The gardens were lovely (though not as nice as other hotels we wandered into around the same area) and there are two outside pools - one heated and one unheated. There is also a very small jacuzzi. I was mortified one morning to find a massive and very dead bullfrog lying on its back at the bottom of the pool ... there is a lot of muck in the pool if you look closely - can't be helped as there are lots of overhanging trees, but I don't know how often the pool is cleaned. The heated pool got very busy in the afternoons as tourists decided to stay at the hotel rather than wander around in the heat sightseeing, but there as always somewhere to sit, even if it's not where you wanted to sit. Also very noisy as many out of control kids jumped and dived into the pools, despite the fact there were signs saying "no diving". If you want quiet time by the pool, use it when the families are out exploring in the morning, as it tends not to get overly busy until about 3.00pm. Agai, don't expect poolside service to be quick - even askign for a towel took two attempts on my second day - I only asked once on the other day I sat by the pool, but they forgot about me and I didn't bother to ask again!
Basically, lovely hotel with lovely staff, but seriously let down by shoddy service - you can expect better service in a 3* hotel in other parts of the world. I know they have to clean the outer areas some time, but do they really need to start doing it when their guests are sleeping in the middle of the night. Not a lot of thought went into that - says it all really. And complaning doesn't get you very far either! Nevertheless, I would recommend the hotel for its location and general cleanliness and comfortable furniture. Sleep quality was good, marred only by the constant noises. The only good thign that happened was that we wanted to go on a day trip to the Atlas Mountains. We were offered just one trip to the Ourika Valley, so took that one. The concierge managed to arrange it whilst we waited, but the service was not exceptional - just on a par with any other hotel and nothing more and nothing less than expected.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.