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“Pleasant stay in La Palmerai”

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Royal Decameron Issil
Ranked #601 of 1,160 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 25, 2013

We stayed at the venue for 10 days in mid July - with scorching temperatures. Since Marrakech has a dessert climate 43+ degrees is quite doable and the hotel is built in Kasbah style which means the rooms stay pleasantly cool - even if one switches the airport off at night.
Animation team is a mix of local and French - they barely speak English - the same goes for most of the staff. I like it - but if you don't speak any French it might be hard. Both staff and animation team are quite professional and very friendly.
The garden the hotel lies in is maticulate and I really admire the small army of (male and female) gardeners who are constantly at work to keep it that way.
Service is fine - but they only go out of their way on your last day :-)
My husband and daughter really liked the food - for me it might have been a bit more fragrant. The centre of Marrakesh is only 5-10 minutes away by taxi or shuttle bus. It is easiest to take the shuttle bus (free) into town than barter a decent price for a taxi back. Most we paid was 60 Dirhams.
Do try the Hammam on the hotel premises, not overly cheap - but for €60 per person you get pampered for two while hours and the scrub treatment allows you to tan beautifully! Again, lovely staff, they gave my daughter a manicure for free, which was greatly appreciated since she has learning difficulties and to her this meant a huge "I'm a big person" experience.

I have decided out of the North African countries I've visited (Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco), I liked this location the least. The people in the city were a bit too focused to getting my money and not always in the most charming way. Could well be that Marrakesh is not a very good representative for Morocco as a whole and it certainly had nothing to with the hotel and staff. They were just the ticket for a restful stay in the sun.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank IlonaAmersfoort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 115 of 773 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

We have just come back from 7 nights at this hotel and had a fabulous time. We took our 3 year old daughter and she had so much fuss and attention as the staff love the children. Limited English spoken as most of the guests are French but we got by and had a great time. Great location to see all the Marrakech sites. Taxis quite cheap and they will take you to all the local sites so worth paying them to take you as worked out less then £30. We took a horse and carriage ride which our daughter loved and saw the old Marrakech and new part which is great for eating out. The hotel had a great selection of food everyday and I'm a vegetarian but plenty to eat and children are catered for also. I would definitely go back to the hotel again.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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3  Thank tcat68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

The hotel is lovely. The evening bar staff are brilliant, friendly and helpful as are the waiting staff.
The food is superb, catering for everybody.
I totally agree with Quizor on the language.
Nobody talks to you so you don't know what's gong on in the hotel, but we like are own company and got by fine. The entertainment staff mostly asked us to join in with the aerobics and games etc.
3 of us travelled my mum, my daughter and myself, we got by very well and enjoyed every minute of it. We are very polite and they appreciate that. We quickly learnt how to say thank you in Arabic and they replied in English. Its not hard to order what you want in French.
The reception staff could improve quite a lot, one guy was very helpful and that's it. I felt if they had got somebody from the hotel to explain to us how things worked we would have felt a bit easier
The Arabic people at the market are nice and friendly.
We would go back and quite possible if the price stays sensible to this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sharon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

We spent two weeks here over the April/May school holdiays & had a really great time. The weather was exactly what we went looking for; always a bonus to go home with a healthy tan, especially when you leave and go back to rain & gloom!
The hotel is set in beautifully kept grounds and is a nice comfortable size in a safe friendly environment, with everything based around a central complex which houses the reception (Turia was always helpful & had a beautiful welcoming smile), restaurant, bar & lounge and leads out onto the outdoor pool (Anas the lifeguard was great with the kids & always smiling & helpful) & poolside bar. All this allows the kids to have the feeling of a bit of extra freedom, as they can circulate with their groups of friends and are still never far from sight. The mini-club was superb thanks to it's dedicated and passionate staff; special thanks to Camille & Seb, who were innovative, patient & lots of fun. We are French speakers, so this certainly made all the difference, even though the staff were only to happy to make an effort to speak English. The restaurant was good, with a plentiful varied selection including some really delicious local dishes available on a daily basis. The rooms were big and cleaned every day.The bathroom was a little dated, but apart from the shower head not moving, everything else was very adequate. The beds were very comfortable! All the staff, without exception, were very pleasant & always helpful. Top marks would have to go to the Entertainment team (Youness, Lucie, Camille, Seb, Estelle, Tarek deserve a mention) who provided; mini club, sports, cultural activites etc. there was a great balance and you never felt obliged to particpate and were quite happily left alone. If you did want to join in, I would recommend Lucie is for sports. I found muscles I had forgotten existed :) I also admit to having a good old boogie to some great 80's hits one evening & it's not often one gets that type of opportunity at home!
Getting out into Marrakesh is a must! Don't be put off by first appearances in the busy areas like Place Jemaa-el-Fna & the souks. They are a myriad of colour and bursting with variety; the term organised chaos often came to mind. The Majorelle Gardens are well worth the visit.
All in all a great good time was had and we came home with happy memories and we would certainly go back!

Room Tip: If you are looking for peace and quiet, request to be in the bungalows rather than the buildings. Th...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sue_Saltburn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013

To get some thing straight first, this is not an international hotel, they cater for the French! Everything is in French and everyone speaks French so unless you have that language it can be a bit difficult. Expect all hotel trips to be in French and it has to be said they were not to keen to take Brits. We had the greatest difficulty finding a company offering English tours but we did eventually. There are loads of poolside activities but again all in French, if you have kids they will certainly feel left out of things .

The hotel covers quite a large area of ground with rooms away from the main complex in small self contained blocks. Ours was quiet and away from things but some are very close to the theatre and night club so this needs to be watched. The room was a good size and clean and quite well painted, no luxury but adequate. The bathroom was clean apart from some mould around the shower guard and fittings which were quite old. Cleaning seemed to be done at different times of the day and towels were delivered at another time, getting enough towels was not always easy. Our room had free air conditioning which worked well and a small patio area.

There is one main restaurant but you can get snacks at the inside and poolside bars. The food is plentiful and looks great but two of us had upset tummies for the whole of our stay there despite taking all the usual precautions with water , salads, ice etc. There were lots of sauces and maybe these contained things we were not used to or maybe not a lot of trouble was taken in the preparation, I say that because even the things cooked fresh like eggs or omelettes for breakfast were if you were not careful undercooked.

We paid for full board and have no complaint with that at all. You can drink and eat as much as you want and the restaurant staff are happy to help and very efficient.

Our Holiday was for ten days in April so the temperature was still not too hot, some cloud and some rain. The large, modern outdoor pool was too cold for all but the most thick skinned but the indoor heated pool was great, warm and relaxing. Plenty of sun beds but be warned some crafty guests get out early and reserve beds, not good when the pool area gets busy as despite the number of beds they soon fill up.

The grounds are extensive, attractive and well cared for, pleasant to walk in and quite safe.
The reception staff are not over helpful, they have Internet which you pay 30DR per 30 mins for but to access this you need to put money in a machine. The hotel never has any change for this and are not helpful in getting you any. It is not difficult to get the impression that the staff will be helpful to a point but would rather you weren't there. An example is that you ask how much a taxi should be from the hotel to say the market, they tell you the 100DR which you will pay if you use the large taxi outside the hotel, they do not tell you to ignore this, get a peti taxi and pay a maximum of 40DR, not helpful. While on the subject of taxis, always go for the small peti taxis, be prepared to bargain and if you don't get your price walk away, there are plenty who will take you. From the hotel to the el Koutoubia mosque is around 40DR if you bargain. This gets you to the centre of Marrakech and most places you will want are walking distance from there. Once hired we found the taxi drivers cheerful and helpful and quite good drivers in these very busy streets.

Back to the hotel, Poolside drinks promise a lot, exotic sounding cocktails with lovely ingredients, in reality some spirit of your choice sloped into a plastic cup and toped up with coloured liquid, the colour seemed to vary depending on who dispensed the drinks. Even the traditional mint tea was insipid and rarely hot. Poolside snacks were available thought the day and seemed to satisfy the kids.

In Marroco you will want to get out and about to the souks and markets, there is plenty written about this but to summarise how I see it, everyone is out there to extract as much money as possible from you, the methods may vary and range from friendly barter to downright threatening, be prepared and do not relax your guard.
Don't be fooled by the guides who take you on trips out, they get a percentage from the places they take you, they will not give you good advice.

For some reason we are told that bargaining for an article is good fun and something to be entered into with that attitude, that's one viewpoint, the other is that you are a money pit to be plundered to whatever depth you allow. Unless you really want something don't bother. The people you will be bargaining with are for the most part selling a load of tat, it is not usually genuinely made locally by the ladies you see in small collectives working away, it comes in crates from China. These people will put the onus on you to name a fair price, you will not want to offend them and will offer more than you want to pay, they will be offended anyway and you will offer more, welcome to rip off Marroco that's how it works. Assume everyone is after your hard earned cash and if your happy with that proceed.

Two things to watch with great care, first in the markets you will see the heavily tattooed or sometimes completely veiled Henna Ladies, do not let these people near to your lady party members, you do not want dirty needles stuck into your skin unbidden! It happens and they can be very persistent and will often approach you in numbers.
Next watch out for the violent thieves who dress in the red traditional costumes. You will see that if you take a picture they want money and are not above chasing you and your party surrounding you and threatening, once again especially the ladies.

You may think the descriptions a little extreme but I prefer to say they are realistic. That is not to say that you can't have a great time and soak up the atmosphere, the noise and the colour but always be on guard, lots of those around you live in poverty and they make their living out of you. This is a hard country, there is no safety net for the poor or homeless, they are on the streets and you are on their streets. It's a great country to visit, our hotel was for the most part pretty good and we had an enjoyable stay, if you are happy in a French speaking environment and if the rather sloppy attitude of the staff does not bother you then you will enjoy the hotel.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
5  Thank Quizor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We're back from a short stay in this hotel.
The hotel is located in "La Palmeraie", a short taxi ride (100 MAD) to Place Djema El Fna.
There are buses that take you for free from the hotel to Place de la liberté a 20 min walk to downtown.
The gardens are well tended. The rooms are large and clean (an extra chair in the room would be useful though). Don't forget to bring your own shampoo/conditionner (only soap is provided)..
The outside pool is not heated but the kids went in easily. The inside pool is big and heated.
The food is good (meat/fish/local specialties), the drinks are "original" brands (real coke, fanta, sprite..).
The entertainement is in French but the staff is very welcoming to all kids and adults.
Overall , we had a nice stay and would gladly go back.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank CatLux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2013

This was our first time in Marrakech and were impressed by the reviews. The hotel is a short distance by taxi from the busy city and offers a welcome relief in its tranquility. The hotel sits in in wonderfully tended gardens (more gardeners than Kew!). All of the staff were fantastic and friendly, language was no barrier, although our French is limited. Great variety and quality of food, and plenty of it. Rooms are large and comfortable and are clean and well kept. Reception were helpful in booking a guide and taxi to get into the city, which was worth the money. If you want an amazing day trip to the Atlas Mountains we can recommend Legendes Evasions, which we booked in England. Just one tip make sure you have several 10 dirhams coins if you need access to the wi-fi. It costs 30d for half an hour and change was almost impossible to get from the hotel. This was a great short break in a very good hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Issil

Address: Circuit De La Palmeraie, Marrakech 1572, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #601 of 1,160 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Decameron Issil 3.5*
Number of rooms: 104
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Issil Hotel Marrakech

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