I went to Marrakech and stayed at the Issil from the 4th- 9th December – tip for those going in the winter – take lots of warm clothing for the evening I was freezing!
The hotel itself is stunning, set in large well kept grounds, with 16 accommodation blocks scattered around in traditional style Moroccan colours and design. The rooms are very large, spacious and clean. The outdoor pool is huge although far too cold for us to swim in at that time of year however they also have an indoor pool which was a must – like swimming in a warm bath. Lovely.
I had read comments before we went about it being aimed very much for the French with those outside of that being left out – yes a lot of French stay at this hotel but in no way did we feel excluded, the staff were all very friendly and their English was fine. We made the effort to greet and ask how people were in French – I think it’s only polite that you use/learn a bit of the locals language (we don’t like it when people in England can’t speak English!)
The animation team are all French / Moroccan but again we never felt bad vibes from them, we partook in the archery from 10am and they were all really helpful and funny. Even though there was a language barrier we all had a good laugh. The hotel had quite a few activities – tennis / ping pong / step / aqua aerobics so there is plenty to keep you busy if that’s what you like.
Food – this was the only let down of the holiday and felt we were hungry most of the time!! I’ve experienced all inclusive hotels before so knew what to expect – we never went without but there were a couple of nights where I had a chip butty! I am particularly fussy with my food so im sure this played a big part. Out of the 5 nights we were there there was only a couple of nights where I didn’t fancy anything on offer and resorted to chips. The Moroccan night I found was the best and would have liked to see more of – lentils, chick peas with roasted aubergine and peppers – it was delicious. Instead of going to the restaurant for lunch we had burger and chips from the pool bar which was actually very nice – the chips hot from the fryer and the burger cooked there and then with lots of fresh salad.
The weather was hot (sunbathing weather) a couple of days and we did just that – relaxed around the pool. We went into Marrakech town a couple of times and what an experience it was. Personally the people hassling put me off a lot. I loved seeing it as it’s so diverse and different to anything I have ever seen before but when I stopped to take a picture I had about 3 people grabbing on to my arms trying to get me to get henna or pay for something – someone even tried to get me to pay them for taking a picture of their snakes from 100 yards away! Personally I find it extremely off-putting and just want to get out of there – I knew to expect this but it was still annoying. The Souks (markets) are a maze, interesting to walk around but again because of the hassle we powered through glimpsing the beautiful colours around us.
The highlight of the holiday was a day trip we arrange before we went with Adil (firstname.lastname@example.org) – he picked us up at 9am and we drove towards the Atlas mountains – which are stunning. We started by stopping for a camel ride then on to a Berber market – people that live way outside the city and live a life from 100 years ago - Adil showed us all the fresh veg/ fruit and herbs on offer along with where the ‘dentist’ pull outs your teeth and the ‘doctor’ cures any ailments! We then went onwards and upwards to a place where we stopped to climb up to waterfalls – really enjoyed this part – be warned its hard work and steep so wear trainers! This took about an hour or so. Again up we went – the scenery is stunning – I think you go 2k feet up the mountains. We finished up with lunch in a lovely ladies house at the top which was the best meal of the holiday. Adil certainly knows how to make mint tea! I would definitely recommend doing this when you go. All in all I think it cost about 200€ for everything for two.
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Decameron Issil Hotel Marrakech