I will not attempt to repeat the comments of previous reviewers, I will just try and put them into perspective.
This hotel caters for 1,400 or more guests in almost 700 rooms. This should be remembered when reading the reviews posted about it.
700 rooms means that it could not possibly be as ‘exclusive’ as it appears on its own website. I must say that I was surprised just how many rooms there were because they were in a number of two storey buildings that are well away from the main hotel reception, bars and restaurants. Our room was a standard room, large, clean and with a good sized balcony. The hotel cannot be held responsible for people who don’t attempt to close their doors quietly at night but the heavily sprung doors with hinges that could do with a drop of oil doesn’t help. This is a minor point as to be fair, it didn't happen too often. Closing my own squeaky door quietly took a bit of care and the tiled corridors make the sound ‘carry’. No noise at all from next door so sound insulation between rooms seems good.
The main restaurant is big, sensibly furnished and laid out to cater for a huge throughput of guests. As a result, the inevitable echo does make it sound like a bit like a canteen. Not a criticism, just a fact. The food choice was good and has to cater for many tastes. Inevitably there will be some repetition, but in my experience the food was hot, the wine OK and the service good. The layout of the serving area was good. There was the occasional small queue for those counters attended by staff who were serving food (e.g. omlettes cooked to order at breakfast) but it certainly was not chaotic. The Italian and Moroccan alternatives were a nice change (you book in advance) and had a better atmosphere.
The bar staff worked tirelessly and I found the drinks to be OK. When you have 1,400 people to cater for you are never going to be able to make the perfect Whisky Sour from scratch in the time you have available so yes, some drinks are premixed but I viewed this as an innovative approach to catering for huge demand as an alternative to keeping people waiting for ages.
The pool is huge and like in any hotel there are ‘prime spots’. I am an early riser. I usually get up every day before 6.30am without the need for an alarm and most days I simply grabbed a spot (not a prime one) by the pool and watched the hotel ‘wake up’. My observation is that if you want a prime spot, you have to be up early. If not, I would say that getting a sunbed up to 9.30am would be no problem. Sure there were some people who ‘marked their spot’ then went back to bed and in some cases never actually used the beds they had reserved. This is selfish and I wish the hotel would enforce the policy posted on one of the signs by the pool that said they would remove towels and personal belongings if the beds were vacant for more than 90 minutes and take them to ‘lost property’.
1,400 guests means that there are all kinds of people here. Some do their own thing and some rely on the efforts of the Animation Team to make their holiday complete. How can the Animation Team know what type of guest they are speaking to in advance so one man’s overfamiliarity is another man’s dream come true. Personally I did not bother with day time activities but they still spoke to me and were friendly but not intrusive. Some people smoke, some not. This means that you will, at some point, smell cigarette smoke. It wasn’t as bad as some people have sugested in my view but I must say that it is more noticeable in the indoor areas probably becasue you don't smell smoke indoors anymore in the UK.
The Gym was small but good. I used it most days. The most important two features in any gym are water and stuff to clean the equipment with and this Gym had both.
I have one concern that did not affect my experience of the hotel but could do if I ever returned in a few years time and that is maintenance. The hotel is less than 4 years old I think. Whilst the gardens are immaculate, if you look closely there are little things that, if left, will make the hotel look very shabby in a few years’ time. I have mentioned hinges that need oil but in addition there were a number of cracked tiles in our room & round the pool, a couple of tatty door frames in the indoor pool and the clock above Reception showing Marrakech time was broken. The plug in our Bidet didn’t work but rather than report it I decided to see if anyone would notice if I left it full with (clean) water. Nobody did. Some of the canopies for use above certain sunbed areas were also getting worn. I think that with such a large number of guests the hotel could become run down very quickly unless management keep on top of this ‘wear and tear’. This would be a pity as its currenty very nice. Perhaps these issues will be addressed when the hotel is less busy.
It was full to capacity (or so I was told) during a large part of our stay and coped exceptionally well and never felt over crowded.
It isn’t ‘exclusive’ but it is very nice and the staff were really friendly and helpful so I would recommend it. If it were closer to the centre of Marrakech I would consider visiting it again.
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