When rating a hotel I always try to balance price against quality. 4 nights at Club Eldorador cost £361.80 in March through Expedia (approximately £45 per night per person) so expectations were not particularly high, but we'd hoped to have a reasonable stay.
We arrived around 11.00am and even though the advertised check-in time was 2.00pm we were given a room straightaway.
The rooms are pretty basic - quite hard beds, hard foam pillows and 'hairy' blankets! Toiletries were pretty much non-existent - a tiny bottle of shower gel and two tiny bars of soap. Thin towels. Hot water in sink not really hot enough for a decent shave, but good shower pressure. Tiny balcony with flimsy plastic furniture - which resulted in two glasses smashing on the floor when trying to get up from a wobbly chair and knocking the plastic table lightly with my knee!
The first key cards wouldn't work - or so we thought! After going all the way back to reception to have them changed, the new ones wouldn't work either ... until a chambermaid showed us the reason. Unlike every other hotel I've stayed in, the doors don't unlock when you first insert the card .... when you insert the card the lamp initially turns red - but if you leave the card in the slot, after a second or so the lamp then turns green and unlocks the door!
There are two pools - the smaller (Zen) pool appeared to be the most popular, but we spent our time by the larger pool. The sun beds must be the most uncomfortable I've ever encountered. There were two types - canvas or plastic. The plastic beds had no cushions, and the canvas beds had lateral bars to support the fabric that dug into your back.
If you want a drink by the pool it can be a bit of a trek to the (dismal) beach bar. If you're lucky they'll let you have glasses, if not you get tiny plastic cups to take back to the pool. If you're a smoker then you'll need to find an ashtray to take with you as there didn't appear to be any provision made anywhere in the pool area.
The gardens around the pool area are quite attractive and reasonably well maintained. If you want a beach towel you will need to go to reception, pay a deposit (10 Euro or 100 Dhiram), get a token and then trek to the towel cabin (hidden away near the Zen pool). Apparently this closes for around 3 hours during the lunchtime/early-afternoon period.
Onto the bar and restaurant. The main bar is fairly uninspiring in its décor and ambience. It doubles as an entertainment area in the evening so can be a little noisy at times. We generally sat outside in the quiet (no smoking inside). Local alcohol and beer, weak juices. Early evening bar snacks are laid out on a table - great if you like olives, not so great if you don't!
On first entering the restaurant we felt things should be OK as there's a fairly wide selection of food to choose from but, sadly, we found it all to be of pretty poor quality. None of the hot food was actually hot (always a worry having had bad food poisoning from hotel buffets on more than one occasion), most of the main dishes looked highly unappetising. Salads were mostly watery and dressing were pretty much tasteless. The bread was pretty good though! Desserts were what you come to expect from a hotel buffet, mostly stodgy cakes and 'shaving foam' mousses. We didn't sample any of the wines they served in the restaurant, but were told they were pretty dire.
Breakfast? Egg station where you could get omelettes and fried eggs. Pastries were pretty stodgy but, being fresh each morning, the bread was nice! They regularly ran out of butter, and unless you like block margarine on your toast or rolls, the best thing is to ask a staff member to get more butter for you. Very runny preserves, unless you choose the small plastic tubs of apricot jam which contained a solid, unspreadable jelly!
If you don't have a smattering of French you may find it difficult here. The vast majority of guests are French. The majority of the staff speak very little English, and some of them seemed not to want to understand basic French (asking for deux bière you'd expect to get two beers, not a blank look and then a single glass!) and my French accent is quite passable!! Some of the staff were really friendly, others were morose and seemed unwilling to even bother serving.
Don't necessarily rely on reception staff to give you accurate information. We asked about quad biking and were told that the nearest place was in the city (strange concept really, quad bikes in the city). Fortunately we later found a quad biking (as well as dune buggies and camels) place literally across the road from the hotel gates! And I have to say that this was great value for money - around 2.5 hours on a quad bike for just over £40 per person (a bike each). Thoroughly recommended.
In summary, even though this was a relatively inexpensive short break the poor food and overall quality of the hotel left a lot to be desired.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Temporarily closed due to renovation. Will reopen on April 2017. The IBEROSTAR Club Palmeraie Marrakech is a 5-star all-inclusive hotel in Marrakech that is perfect for enjoying with family or friends. In the rooms of one of the best hotels in Marrakech, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a story from One Thousand and One Nights. The hotel’s restaurants invite you to savour the essence of Marrakech in every dish, and its 100,000 palm trees offer a unique landscape to fully experience your vacation in Morocco. Want to learn more? Sweet dreams. The double and family rooms at this hotel guarantee rest for the whole family. They also include a terrace or balcony for enjoying the fresh breeze from the palm trees that surround this hotel in Morocco or sunbathing whenever you like, without leaving your room. Spice up your holidays. With a little bit of turmeric, black pepper and cayenne... And all of the spices that fill Moroccan cuisine with exquisite aromas. Keep surprising yourself by enjoying live cooking shows or trying the flavours of the world in themed dinners. The best part? Everything is all inclusive so you can enjoy every dish, without limits! Oasis of relaxation. Enjoy a relaxing bath in an authentic Moroccan hammam and rejuvenate with an aromatherapy massage. Or, if you prefer, lie down in a hammock by the pool while sipping a gin and tonic. The only requirement is to unwind! Say goodbye to routine. There are dozens of activities and sports available in this hotel with a pool in Marrakech. You can surprise everyone with your aim by trying your hand at archery, learn to dance with various oriental dance classes and even soar in flying trapeze classes like an authentic circus performer. Adventure holidays. In addition to clubs where your children can make friends during their holiday, they will have a blast with slides and water jets, waterfalls, a children’s pool, shows, arts and crafts workshops, and more. Your children won’t have a spare moment to be bored! For avid explorers. There is a free minibus to the city centre, so don’t wait another minute to discover the magic of Marrakech. Strolling through the narrow streets of the Medina, visiting bazaars brimming with thousands of colours, spices and leather or crossing through the Sahara Desert in an off-road vehicle are activities you can’t miss. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Eldorador Club Palmeraie Hotel Marrakech
- Hotel Eldorador Palmeraie
- Eldorador Palmeraie Hotel