I stayed at the Meryem hotel in the Gueliz neighbourhood of Marrakesh as part of a one-week all-inclusive vacation. My big mistake was reserving at a hotel at all - if you are spending any time in Marrakesh, you are better off staying in a riad near the Djema el-Fna, you'll have a much more comfortable and authentic experience. Otherwise, you are a 45-min walk away from "la Place", which is still do-able, but certainly not right next door.
The Meryem hotel is a 4-star place trying desperately to live up to its 4-star status. The lobby is grand and stuffy, as are most of the staff. There is a doorman to let you in and out of the main hall, a bellboy to lug your bags to your room, and a whole army of cleaning ladies and waiters in black bow ties and white gloves. Everyone is polite, but it is very apparent that most wish the clientele was more upscale.
We were aware of the hotel's shortcomings listed on this site - most of which ARE true - so we were able to act accordingly and still have a comfortable time. It is true that you cannot bring food into the hotel. You will be stopped if you are carrying the clear grocery bags containing water or food, but we were never searched upon returning from a day out. Thus, you can easily leave with a day pack, buy water, figs or cookies, and return to your room with no problems. Note that we did not abuse this oversight, and only snuck in what was absolutely necessary, such as bottled water or small dry snacks. We ate out at restaurants otherwise.
Do not expect great variety from the all-inclusive buffet. I cannot speak for the lunch or dinner menus, as we did not include them in our package, but breakfast was the same food all 6 mornings we ate at the hotel and not very original. Bread, cheese, yogurt and jam were the main items, and 2 days in a row the dairy truck was late, so we ate a lot of bread and jam...
Our room was in the second tower, past the impeccably clean swimming pools. The room was clean, well set-up with a wardrobe, large bed, chairs and desk. The toilet and shower are in 2 separate rooms, but there is a bidet in the room with the shower. We still don't know how that works out. The water was a little difficult to control in the shower, and often it was more of an exfoliation than a shower!
The bed was a little hard but didn't affect our sleeping and there was a choice of hard or soft pillows in the wardrobe. The curtains block out all signs of light, so even at noon on a sunny day, not a hint of sun comes in. We didn't use the aircon, just opened the window, and we turned on the TV by hand, since the remote was not working, but we only watch the BBC anyway, so no worries there. The cleaning was done every day, if we had wanted, but we're not really dirty people, so we only had the room cleaned every second day to get fresh toilet paper.
From what I could tell, WiFi was only available in the lobby, either on several computers set up in a hidden corner behind the coffee lounge(20dir/hour), or through your own device(free). I used my netbook, and had a fast, easy-to-use connection with no problems. There is plenty of comfortable seating in the spacious lobby where you can connect and do your blogging.
Don't buy your drinks in the coffee lounge if you can avoid it, as the prices are grossly inflated. Head out to either the cafe de la gare across from the Train station(2 streets away) or to Haway, around the corner for your coffee or mint tea at normal prices. Haway is also great for a good inexpensive meal, and friendly. professional service.
In short, stay at Hotel Meryem if you have to, but you can easily find a much better place if you try. Take all the reviews here with a grain of salt and act accordingly, and you'll have a good stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Meryem Hotel Marrakech