This our third Club Med experience (after Opio and La Palmyre) and definitely our best. We (two adults and three kids 8, 11 and 15) spent a week at La Palmeraie over Easter. The weather wasn't always kind to us but at least we got to see the resort in rain as well as sun.
So, for the plus points ....
First, the setting is stunning with beautifully landscaped grounds and thoughfully built accommodation and public spaces. Above all, there is plenty of space everywhere and certainly no difficulty in getting a table in one of the four dining rooms on a cold evening, or on the terrace on a sunny lunchtime. The reason for all the space is that La Palmeraie was the sports ground for the original CM at The Medina in down(old)town Marrakech. The accommodation and then the 5* Riad were added later. However the facilities at La Palmeraie have to cope with potentially 1000 plus people (ie everyone staying at all three sites). La Palmeraie was apparently full when we were there (and The Medina was shut for refurbishment so no two way traffic) but we were never pushed for a seat in any of the dining or bar areas on a wet day - unlike the nightmare that is La Palmyre (France) in the rain.
Second, although you are in the CM 'bubble' there is enough of the local colour in the architecture, landscaping, food and atmosphere to ensure this doesn't feel like just another CM.
Third, we now really appreciate the difference between three and four tridents. Four tridents definitely ensure a better dining experience (the patisserie and boulagerie are wonderful here - though you have to fight the birds) and there was lots of Morrocan cuisine on offer.
Fourth, the rooms were delightful and more than adequately spacious. Lighting however was a little too 'atmospheric'. As our teenager remarked drily 'it's bit like a branch of Hollister'. We asked to be moved away from the main drag and found ourselves in an idyllic spot overlooking lush greenery by the perimeter wall. Housekeeping was also excellent with an elaborate line in rose petal and towel origami. Staff generally were charming and there was a far greater sense of 'service' than in other CMs.
Finally, it's an easy transfer from the airport and getting into the centre of Marrakech is simple on the shuttle bus. (We would definitely recommend Rachid from Medina Walking Tours for an excellent guided tour of the history and culture of the old city.)
A couple of downsides .....
The pool is unpleasantly cold and the kids (or anyone else - aquarobics was abandoned) just couldn't swim in it for long. Clearly the management were aware of this and suggested parents took their children to the pool at the kids club which is heated. However, the KC pool isn't really suitable for older kids who like to swim seriously as well as mess around.
The birds! Thousands of small, pretty - but somewhat aggressive - birds. The birdsong is wonderful. The sight of them perched all over the boulangerie in the dining room pecking at the bread and cakes less thrilling. Ditto the high level lighting which they used as perches. This really was a case of check your salads! Hard to imagine that your average Environmental Health Officer would be enamoured with the set up. And don't leave your breakfast - even a glass of orange juice - on an outside table while you nip in for an extra fork. You won't be the first to take a sip / bite. Along with the birds are tens of cats in various states of mangyness. However, they by and large kept themselves to themselves (and certainly had nothing to do with the birds).
There is open water everywhere. Unlike the other CMs we've been to the pool isn't fenced off. This was a bonus for us - none of that cramped round the perimeter fence business. However parents of small children with a penchant for aquatic activities watch out. In addition the shape of the pool although beautifully landscaped also means you cannot have a clear view of your kids (in a way we were grateful it was too cold to swim in). Apart from the pool there are lots of water channels and fountains throughout the site. Very inviting and easily accessible (also not well lit at night).
All in all a very enjoyable escape for some much needed blue skies and sunshine - even if it wasn't everyday!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Great Member,
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Thank you very much for writing this review on Trip Advisor after your stay in our Marrakech la Palmeraie Club Med Resort. We are glad to see that you and your family had a great time and that you enjoyed the Resort location -close to the centre of Marrakech-, its spacious environment and its local colour.
Besides, we are pleased to see that you appreciated the food quality, the comfort of your room and the dedication of our staff on site!
We would like to thank you for your comments with regards to the temperature of the pool, the birds and the ‘open water’ concern. It is only with constructive criticism such as yours that Club Med will be able to monitor and improve its offer in all its Resorts worldwide. Thus, we can assure you that they have been forwarded to the relevant departments in our organisation for their perusal and to the Chef de Village on site for his attention.
We hope to see you again soon in one of our Resorts.
Your Club Med UK Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.