I have been thinking about how to address this review for a few days and it seems that reviewer DV29 has been reading my mind !
Firstly I will say that we are great fans of both Morocco in general and Agadir and have stayed in various hotels around the resort over the past few years.We are also keen on RIU Hotels and have been very satisfied with the standards at the ones in Marrakech.Having paid quite a lot more money for the Palace we were interested to see what we would get in addition to the services offered at the Tikida Palmeraie which is 4*.
Arguably the decor is very good and they have also managed to make the vast reception/bar lounge very welcoming and somehow quite homely. The staff are friendly and polite and eager to please on the whole.The bedrooms are well furnished, however the total lack of drawer space was a nuisance - I had my underwear balanced on top of the safe for the whole week- and the beds were ROCK hard.Whoever decided to put louvred doors on the toilet must be into exhibitionism - not everyone is sharing a room with people that they know well enough not to wish for some privacy when using the toilet. However unlike DV29 we found the housekeeping standards ok on the whole and the maids were very pleasant girls.
The food in the buffet restaurants was VERY good with a vast choice. It seemed that many of the staff were inexperienced and there was an obvious lack of senior people to keep an eye on them. The poor restaurant manager looked stressed most of the time but was asking guests for their opinions and did appear to act on their responses.The lady in charge of the lunchtime restaurant was doing a great job - they need more people like her.The chefs were very much in evidence and keen to find out what you thought of the food, and I am sure that they got very positive remarks from most people.
We only managed one visit to the speciality restaurants - the Krystal Fusion.Apart from the Appetiser we thought that the food was excellent but the service was terribly slow and I think that I had had so much to drink during the forty five minutes that we had to wait for the starter that my judgement of the food may have been impaired !!! Once again the staff were trying hard but didn't seem to know what they were doing and there was no senior waiter to guide them.
We didn't sit in the pool area as most of the sunbeds seemed to have towels on them by the time that we got round to sitting down, but instead used the outside bar area which was lovely and the bar staff were FABULOUS. This was spoilt on occasions by the awful piped music which was also too loud. If people want music they listen to their MP3 players not some woman singing Eric Clapton songs badly.
In our opinion this hotel should not have opened until about the middle of May as it is not finished and many of the services that we were promised in the brochure were not yet available There was no Spa unless you went to another hotel, no Italian Restaurant,no hairdresser, no Riu Art ( which my husband would like to have used ) and the beach area was still being worked on and not condusive to relaxing in the sun.I feel that we have been used as guinea-pigs by the holiday companies to test the services prior to the main season.
The toilets in the reception have wonderful decor but only one hand-dryer works efficiently in the ladies and there are no paper towels.The disabled toilet has a wash-basin but no soap or dryer so where does the disabled person wash their hands ??
The difference between a good four star hotel and a five star is in the small things which lift it to luxury standards. As has been previously said nice decor and friendly staff do not do this. I asked whether there was an ATM and was told to go to the bank across the road and therefore walk around the streets with large sums of money in my bag. Having been to Morocco before I know that this is relatively safe but other people would not.I would like to see an internet room ( which they have at the Riu Tikida Palmeraie ) and possibly hotel transport down to the Marina.
The hotel shop was just being fully stocked when we left and sells good quality gifts at fairly reasonable prices and we would recommend it to those who don't want to shop in the town.
This fabulous looking hotel has the potential to be the best in Agadir but it is definitely not five star at the moment.It needs more time for the services to develop and for some of the staff to get more experience before it can offer the real five star experience that we were hoping for.
Regarding Agadir in general there are a few fixed price shops around if you don't want to haggle and a trip to the Uniprix is a must to get cheap sweets etc to take back for the kids. Also has a large selection of alcoholic drinks at low prices if you want to take something home.I bought some of the best silver rings EVER from the man situated on the steps of Uniprix at rock bottom prices.All prices are fixed so you know what you are getting.
For drinks on the promenade go to the Nil Bleu where the waiters are very friendly and the views of the wonderful sunsets are to die for. Posher shops are to be found around the Marina which are good for browsing, and the whole area is nice. Go up to the kasbah for fantastic views of the bay but beware the camel owners who will hassle you for money if they think you are taking pictures of the camels.I did ride a camel up there a couple of years ago and it seemed quite safe although they tried ( and failed ) to charge a huge sum of money for this.
There isn't a great deal to do in Agadir but it is wonderful for a relaxing holiday in the sun with lovely Moroccan people.
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