I had an amazing week at Riu Tikida Garden Hotel 22/11/13 – 29/11/13. Upon arrival you are welcomed with a delicious cocktail and huge smiles from all the staff. Check-in was fairly swift (fill out a form/collect your wristband) and then we had our luggage taken up to our rooms. Thankfully the rooms were ready despite us arriving early at 11am and we were told we can eat lunch straightaway by the helpful reception staff.
BEDROOM: Sufficient but not luxurious. The room itself was spacious. The thing I loved was the amount of surface space to store your belongings on and the wardrobes were an excellent size with ten hangers per room. Our room (305) was a ground floor room and had two single beds pushed together. Ask at reception if you require softer pillows. Air con and heating both worked. The positive side to the room was it was right next to reception and the main restaurant for breakfast.
SLEEP QUALITY: The negative side was my wall was next to Zanzibar so at night I had to wait for the music to stop before I could sleep. Also as a very light sleeper I didn’t appreciate the other noisy guests stomping about and slamming doors as they returned late at night (the people in the room upstairs had a tendency to start dragging their furniture at 1.30am).
VIEW: Just some bushes really. I booked with First Choice and did get a great price for the holiday... BUT unfortunately the room with a view we paid for was not provided by the hotel (and the Thomson Rep was useless so we did not get to move rooms). They did send us a 'gift' midway through the week.
BATHROOM: This was cleaned every day, new towels, loo roll replenished. Amenities included shower cap, tissues, soap and shower gel/shampoo which were replenished daily. I didn’t like the fact the toilet was in a separate cubicle to the sink. Shower pressure was good. I would recommend taking your own hairdryer if you have long hair.
SHUTTLE BUS: The free shuttle bus drops you off in the new town and then you have 20 minute walk to the old town. Start queuing up early. Approximately 17 people could travel each time but be prepared to stand your ground if you were there first! I think this service should run more frequently and in the evenings as it was busy. A large taxi from the hotel to the Jemaa el Fna square is 100 dirhams one-way and there is rank outside the hotel (don’t pay any more than this even at night). You can use the ATM at the hotel to get cash or change money at reception to get you started.
FOOD: The food was plentiful with a wide variety of vegetarian dishes and meat dishes which were labelled in several languages for each meal. Nobody ever went hungry as there was always a lot to choose from although it did get repetitive after a while. TIP: at breakfast if you want an omelette you have to select your ingredients e.g. tomatoes, onions, put them into a bowl and then hand to the omelette guy. He will then make your omelette - I saw so many people confused about this! ‘Les Rosiers’ is the poolside bar where you can have lunch and if you miss lunch they serve enough snacks (paninis, chips etc.) to fill you up. L’Orangerie is the buffet restaurant where breakfast and dinner were served. Make sure book early to eat at the ‘1001 Nights’ Moroccan themed restaurant at least once to try it (we received lowered lights, candles, and the live musician to add a bit of atmosphere). I personally liked the A La Carte food.
ENTERTAINMENT: There are two main bars; Zanzibar and Bar Salon. Zanzibar is the smoking bar which also serves hot drinks and has the usual karaoke, bingo and tacky ‘dance’ competitions aided by the guy on the piano. The karaoke songs are not for those born in the 90’s but the older crowd loved it. Only on one occasion they had traditional, live Moroccan music which was great as the staff all joined in. Towards the end of the week the entertainment options improved – the African Show in Bar Salon was AMAZING in comparison with fire-eaters, dancing and singing. I also enjoyed the Moroccan Night where they brought in acts from all over the country and had a belly dancer.
DAYTIME ACTIVITIES: I played table tennis, darts and joined in the golf tournament with the entertainment team (Ibtissam, Huseyin, Sam & Mounir were all fantastic). Sam also teaches you how to make Moroccan tea. The entertainment team are not pushy if you don’t want to join in which I preferred. Ibtissam and Huseyin stayed consistently helpful throughout the week,
SPA: I went for the 29 euro package which was okay. You are given slippers, a robe and a locker key. You get changed into your bikini and then walk into another area where you shower. Then you sit in a semi-lit steam room with others (you can request before booking to ensure only female clients are present although couples were allowed together). Then a lady comes in and rubs black soap all over you. Eventually she calls you outside to shower, remove your upper garment and then you go for a massage. The massage only lasted about 15 minutes. Then you get changed and the hour is literally up!
MARRAKECH: Such an amazing city with so much to do. I’d go the big square both in the morning when it’s calm and at night when it comes to life – you must try the delicious, fresh orange juice which only costs 4 dirhams. I also went to Ourika Valley for a day trip (I’ll review this separately) and others I travelled with went on a camel ride. For shopping if you’re not a haggler I’d recommend you get a taxi to the fixed price ‘Complexe d’Artisanat’ (rue de la Kasbah) as prices are reasonable for Argan oil and the staff are both professional and lovely.
OVERALL: The staff at this hotel really try to keep their guests happy and their dedication is clear as you do not even have to tip them to receive good service. On one occasion I had a sore throat and one of the waiters (might have been Adil?) at the pool bar made me a strong Moroccan tea even though they had just closed which I really appreciated. The hotel grounds are lovely for walks and maintained to a high standard by the hardworking gardeners. For the price I paid I got an excellent deal and although it rained for a few days we got some solid sunshine towards the end of the holiday. Don't be put off by any negative points I've raised. If I got the same price again I would happily book this hotel :)
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Tikida Garden Hotel Marrakech
- Le Tikida Garden Marrakech
- Hotel Le Tikida Garden
- Tikida Garden Marrakech