We arrived in Marrakech after taking the overnight train/ferry from Spain via Tanigers exhausted as the sleeping car was oversold (bad weather cancelled the ferries for 2 days) and had to sleep in first class chairs than the preferred bunks. Different story, different day. We would usually go to see at least 3 hotels prior to making our decision on which hotel was the best value/service but my travel companion was too tired to care and we got dropped off in the central square with the facade of the CTM Hotel glaring like a newly formed star. The only GOOD thing about this hotel is the location to the square which dies down after your first or second visit into the market.
Now onto the hotel itself. To enter or exit the hotel every time you must dodge a series of street peddlers and gawkers in a Moroccan version of running the gauntlet. Literally, there is a maze of at least 10 gentlemen trying to sell you Chinese plastic goods like a bubble gun or a LED helicopter laid on a bed-sheet on the street feet from the entrance of the Hotel CTM hoping to slow a tourist down just enough that you buy a plastic trinket.
Once inside there is a cramp lobby with only the front desk counter and a stairs leading up to the courtyard (no front door to be seen.) THE PRICE LIST IS LOCATED ON A SMALL POSTCARD SIZE PAPER ON THE PILLAR NEXT TO THE STAIRS. Note the prices. As of April/May 2012 the prices off the top of my head is 180D for a single room 220D for a double without bathrooms. 250D for a double with shower and 300D for a triple with shower in the older rooms off the square. The newly renovated rooms as 400D for a double and 500D for a triple facing the square and noise.
Not knowing better or seeing the price list, the old innkeeper told us its 50 Euros a night for a double with private bath. Coming from Spain and myself from Canada thought 50 Euros a night is pretty reasonable for a hotel on the square. And my girlfriend being very impatience wanting a warm shower to refresh herself insisted that I hand him 50 Euros not getting them converted losing 50D off the bat and PAYING DOUBLE for the room than what was listed than lose the room to some other tourist seeking accommodation. Let me state this! Unless the Olympics are occurring in Marrakesh or its Easter Week and free Ryan Air flights into the city (we travelled a week prior to Holy Week) there are PLENTY of hotels to go around for every buddy. This place was empty and so were many other hotels in the city. Do not be pushed into thinking you found the only room in town. Also if you wish to stay at this place I think you can play hard ball and drive the price down a bit as he would rather have to stay and get some money than have an empty room for the night. Marrakesh has PLENTY of hotels so there is a lot of competition. The overpaying was the first bad thing to occur at this hotel.
Anyways the shower did not have hot water the entire stay and at best was at 6am when the cold water hitting my skin produced steam. The hotel is next to the square so there is quite a bit of noise generated by the street performers and yelling shopkeepers during the evening and night but the back rooms (non-renovated) lowered the amplification of the square quite a bit. This did not stop someone from banging on our door in Arabic in the middle of the night. The front desk would often be left unattended so anyone could in theory just walk in and do mischief. We speak 5 languages between the two of us but Arabic is not one. My girlfriend was scared and did not have a good night but I did not care and slept like a log. The bed was sub-par at best and I don’t think the sheets are cleaned as I saw a couple checkout and the house keeper just tided up the room for the next family to check in. The rooms have BIG bay windows that open out and pretty much can act as a doors so you can see what’s going on in the other rooms when the shutters are open due to the poor lighting within the rooms.
Anyways the innkeeper is very unfriendly (actually the entire trip each of the 6 hotels we stayed in had very unfriendly hotel staff) and did not help other than to try and charge us 5 euros for a map of Marrakesh which was free at another hotel down the street.
Finally, the free breakfast. Plan for an hour but give yourself two. I don´t know what is going on in the back but the breakfast was surprisingly fair but took 50 minutes to arrive. This is just 2 breads, a pinch of jam, some butter (really good), store bought orange juice (after a day in Morocco everyone becomes a connoisseur of orange juice) and a green mint tea. It’s as if he went foraging for the oranges and mint to produce the breakfast. Many guests (the hotel was probably at 45% capacity) left as they could not wait. In fact he gave me a hard time as my girlfriend was sleeping and I was going to eat alone thinking I was trying to eat twice or pull some scam. He quizzed me, that I was going to eat now but not later with my girlfriend. And when she wakes up to have breakfast where will I be? And I believe he went down to the front desk to verify if I was a guest after asking for my room number when the key along with a giant metal fob listing the name of the hotel and my room number was plainly sitting on the table. After this little chat and security check it took 10 minutes till I finally stopped him and asked in French (spoke no English) that I would like to eat now and ordered. From my observation the waiter would appear to look busy but actually doing nothing. Walking from point A to B. Going in and out. But not producing a single meal for 25 minutes at a time. Guests would enjoy the view (3 stories above the square facing off from the good parts) and would leave to enjoy a fresh orange juice in the stands below for 40D (30 Euro cents or 50 cents Canadians/USD). I held tight and received my meal 50 mins later after waiting 20 mins to order. Checkout was simple, hand your keys to the maids standing right at your door pressuring you to depart faster. Also when we arrived they wanted to wash our laundry for a fee but we just entered Morocco the previous night. Everything at this hotel comes at a price and they go out of their way to save as much as possible. Like going down and asking for toilet paper then waiting 10 minutes as if I was the first possible person to ever come up this this outlandish request. Where is the toilet paper? I am going to have to call someone who will have to call another lackey only to discover it being in a cabinet right behind the front counter full of toilet paper. These guys give Treasure Island a run for its money.
- Location to the Central Square
- Butter in the breakfast
- Entrance is a maze of street hustlers trying to sell you garbage or be your guide or future husband.
- Con Artist working the desk over changing guest more than double the list price.
- No Hot Water
- Request for toilet paper
- Unfriendly staff
- Lack of security
- Axe Murder banging on the door in the middle of night in Arabic
- Not so clean beds
- Very very slow breakfast
- Just not a good place to stay.