We travelled as 4 mid-twenties girls looking for a fun budget holiday. We had not been to Marrakech before.
The resort was refreshingly clean and tidy after reading worrying reviews, with only one (dead) cockroach seen on our whole trip. It was a nice, pretty resort on the whole, with basic but very busy pool facilities and lots of kids. The rooms themselves were OK, the kettle didn't work but other than that it was more than adequate. It's a gated complex so we felt fairly secure, although one of our windows wouldn't close which we weren't comfortable with at all and fixed by ourselves.
It is however in the middle of nowhere and a 15 minute taxi is needed for everything if you want to leave the resort. Most of out money went on taxi fares. You will need to leave the resort as the one restaurant is terrible and overpriced, and there is no poolside refreshment service, all vending machines are also broken. The only location benefit - Nikki Beach, which is definitely worth a visit, is only a two minute walk down the road.
The MAJOR DOWNFALL of this resort were the staff. We failed to find a single receptionist who spoke competent English, and our pigeon French wasn't much help. We were given conflicting information by staff a number of times- being told we were able to use the shuttle bus for the supermarket one day, then being charged for it the next. Being told we could use the pool facilities at the nearby Golf Resort for free, someone else told us we weren't allowed at all, and then we were also told it was thirty pounds each to spend the day there. It was very frustrating and no one had a clue what was going on. The Golf Resort however- where we did spend 3 (free) days by the pool, is exceptional in comparison and definitely worth visiting if the reception staff allow it on that day!
General Marrakech extras-
Taxis were a massive rip off as expected, with locals paying 1/10th of the price of tourists- if you stand your ground on price (we usually offered a third of their initial price- which is still a rip off) and walk away, they accept your offer every single time. As 4 Western girls we had expected to be hassled in the city, and it exceeded expectations. Even when completely covered at night time we felt intimidated as local women are rarely seen after dark- it was not a threatening atmosphere but neither was it relaxing- so we took taxis everywhere! Once inside resorts, restaurants or bars it was fine.
There are hundreds of people desperate to be your 'guide' for the week- not just locals on the street but lifeguards, taxi drivers and waiters too. You don't need a guide at all, don't be conned, even for the Souks and tourist attractions - take a Lonely Planet travel guide and grab a map from reception and you're sorted. There are also people who will outright lie to you- we were told when getting out of the taxi at the Souks that we had to cover our shoulders and that he would take us to a scarf shop so we could buy something appropriate- complete rubbish. That being said, there are some lovely and genuine local people, just use your common sense!!
Avoid Marrakech during Ramadan if you're wanting to experience any nightlife!! Clubs don't open until midnight, and get busy around 2pm- we did have some good nights out at some of the main nightclubs but many places were empty.
Overall I would say we got what we paid for, but wouldn't stay again!
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- Also Known As:
- Palmeraie Village Marrakech
- Hotel Palmeraie Village