My family and I stayed at the Riu Tikida Gardens for the first two weeks in August.
The hotel grounds are amazing. The gardens are well kept and beautiful to walk through. Keep your eye out for the odd turtle here and there! The pool is a good size but there is not enough room around the pool to fit the required number of sun loungers - hence the 6:30am towel run. Yes it's annoying but there are lots of people wanting the same beds, so you might as well join in. I would place towels and then return to the room for a snooze and then go for breakfast. The days we were going out into Marrakech we didn't save sun loungers as we didn't think that would be fair - shame others didn't do the same! The two main bars are good, smoking upstairs and no smoking downstairs in the Bar Salon. But saying that, the level of smoking was never much of a problem, we are just not used to it anymore in the UK.
Our room had everything we needed - beds, bathroom, toilet, air con, safe and fridge. The beds were two large single beds pushed together and a fold up bed for our son. The mattresses were very firm but absolutely fine. The fridge held three bottles of water and kept them cold. Air con was amazing and just what we needed after a day in the sun! If you want to leave the electricity on whilst you're not in the room I found that a Boots Advantage card fitted in the key slot perfectly! But we kept the curtains closed during the day which meant that the room was cool enough without leaving the air con on whilst we were out.
The food was very good and there was always plenty of it. Every day the food on offer was very similar to the previous days. I didn't find this a problem as there was so much to choose from that I managed to have something different every day. A special dish was also on offer every day so something different to pick too! As long as you don't just pile your plate up with a bit of everything you'll be fine! We also had two nights at the Moroccan restaurant which was great! There were interesting starters on offer (including lamb's brain) and the mains were individual tagines - either lamb, chicken, fish or couscous. Wine was plentiful and the service was great. Lunch in the pool bar was fine and snacks were available in the afternoon. Plenty of salads and deserts too! If you like chocolate orange try the "Orange Sorbet" in the evening!
Entertainment was organised by some of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met! The Animation Team organised tournaments throughout the day - darts, French Boules, table tennis, badminton, etc. There were tennis courts, football and mini golf available too. The pool was used for activities too. Before lunch was the Pool Aerobics and there was also water polo (not for the faint-hearted!) and "Crazy Games". All the Animation Team try to learn as many names as possible and they greeted us every time they saw us. Our son loved to go to the Kids Club which wasn't structured but allowed them to play out of the sun. Abdel and Sam were great and seemed to be enjoying themselves! Our son really got on well with Asharaf who seemed to be the youngest/ newest of the team!
The Animation Team also ran the evening entertainment in the Bar Salon. The quality and entertainment value depends on your point of view. The first show we saw was "The Best of Show" which was where they were basically miming to a range of songs! Random, but fun to watch! Karaoke was fun, but not many people joined in the first night, it was better when held upstairs in the Zanzibar. "Mr Riu" was fun to watch and there we other good night. We weren't impressed with the night where you had to choose the most popular songs to fill the dance floor, but our son loved collecting tickets in the "Lotto Dance". The best nights were the Moroccan Night and the African Drummers. Both shows had professional performers and they were every entertaining.
On the whole, the staff were great - especially as the first week was the end of Ramadan and most of the staff wouldn't have eaten all day. Bar staff were great and didn't expect tips at all. The chambermaids did a great job and the hotel was always clean and tidy. The reception staff were a bit grumpy, but you don't interact with them a lot, so it didn't matter. Point of warning, they would not exchange money that had writing on, even if it was where someone had written a total eg 200. But that wasn't much of an issue. Oh, and every impression of an English person they do is cockney! Tried to teach them Yorkshire, but it didn't work!
The hotel is not near the main markets but there is a free shuttle bus. Unfortunately the bus only runs to the new town and not the main Jemaa el Fna square. The square is a good half hour walk away in the heat, but it is only following one straight road. We had a walk around the new town but there was not a lot on offer but the Jemaa el Fna square and the Souks are much more interesting to look at!
The square itself was amazing. There are lots of people trying to sell you things and tell you where to go, but if you look like you know what you're doing, and you're polite, most people will let you get on. We took a caleche through the narrow streets, around the palace and through the new town. This took around an hour and cost 250 dirham and we got to see the full spectrum of Moroccan life. Shopping there is an experience - you must haggle! If you don't feel up to haggling the Ensemble Artisanal has a range of different smaller stalls with fixed, and reasonable, prices! We visited a supermarket for snacks and very cheap coke! There was also Mohammed's "Chop" outside the hotel entrance. He has loads of stuff in there and it's a lot cheaper than the shop in the hotel. Not amazing quality, but less hassle! Our son loves his "Magic Box" but the pouffe we bought for a friend didn't seem as good quality or value as the ones we saw in the Ensemble Artisanal - but you live and learn.
Over all Marrakech is an amazing place to visit and the Riu Tikida Gardens was the perfect place for us to stay. Take an electronic book or you will feel out of place!
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Tikida Garden Hotel Marrakech
- Le Tikida Garden Marrakech
- Hotel Le Tikida Garden
- Tikida Garden Marrakech