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“A poorly managed hotel with serious health and safety issues”

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LABRANDA Aqua Fun Marrakech
Ranked #120 of 501 Hotels in Marrakech
Reviewed November 8, 2012

We spent half term at this hotel and it was probably the worst holiday of our lives. Below is an extract from the letter we have written to the CEO of Pickalbatros. Before diving into that, there were a couple of positives: the spa staff are very good as is the animation team led by Ismail.

Stay at this hotel and you take your life in your hands. A week later I am still in agony and on strong pain killers after a serious fall on an uneven smooth slippery flagstone beside one of the flume pools. Who lays smooth flagstones beside pools? People were sliding everywhere; my partner's son also fell but was lucky not to sustain an injury. I thought I was being careful but still didn't avoid a fall.

Here are the complaints we had during our week at Aqua "Fun" Club:

There were ants in the bathroom throughout our stay; despite bringing the situation to the attention of the reception staff on the first morning nothing was done about it.

One of our rooms had no hot water for two days.

On one day there was no running water in the entire complex for around five hours.

The shower curtain and rail in one room fell down and nothing was done to repair or replace it.

There was no information folder in the room to advise guests about spa facilities, animation / activities, restaurant availability, shuttle buses, TV, phones, etc. We were only able to find out information by repeatedly asking at reception.

We were unable to access the room safe on arrival. It took three attempts with unhelpful reception staff to get the safe opened so that we could use it. This wasted valuable vacation time.

There was only one shuttle bus to the city centre each day. On the day we arranged to take the bus it was overbooked and there were a number of very dissatisfied guests who could not get on the bus.

On one occasion we asked reception to arrange a taxi into the city centre. We were told it would cost 100 Dirham, which we accepted. Two minutes later we were told it would cost 300 Dirham, which we refused. We made alternative arrangements and made the journey for 100 Dirham. We suspect there may be some financial irregularities occurring at the reception desk.

Our bed sheet was too small and could not be tucked in at the edges, resulting in a very uncomfortable night’s sleep.

The public areas are very unsafe. There were people slipping and falling around the pool and slide areas. Two of our party had nasty falls, one of who had to attend an accident and emergency centre on return to the UK and is still recovering from severe soft tissue injuries to his back.

The towels in the rooms were grey, torn, and ragged, and smelled of bleach.

The rooms were not cleaned properly and as mentioned above, ants pervaded the bathroom on a daily basis.

The pool tables in Chaplins Bar are in a state of disrepair. The baize is rucked and the cushions have no rebound. The pool cues are warped and have no tips. There is only one triangle between two tables.

The wi-fi has poor signal, even in the reception area, and is unreliable.

The snack bar is inaccessible and there was no choice of food. We had four meals served on one plate as there were no more plates available.

The water in the shower is a health and safety risk as it fluctuates wildly from freezing cold to scalding hot. This is very dangerous.

The booking information indicated availability of satellite TV, but there were no specific English entertainment or news channels.

It was not possible to call reception from the phone in the room…. There was never a reply. We were also unable to use the phone for room to room calls.

There was a constantly barking dog close to the block where we were staying.

The toaster in the dining area is a health and safety issue as it is very easy to sustain a burn when using it.

There are no locks on the toilet doors in communal areas.

On leaving the hotel on our last day we were asked to pay 200 Dirham to obtain a receipt that had to be shown to the gatekeeper on leaving the site. We absolutely refused to pay this charge as it was not explained to us on arrival that this charge would apply, and the receptionist was unable to provide an adequate explanation as to why the charge was being made. The young lady who presented herself as “Manager of front of house” became very rude and laughed when we refused to pay.

All in all a very very bad experience. If you book a holiday package there is no "room tax" or "escape money" to pay when you leave. We suspect this money may not find its way into the hotel's books, but clearly can't prove it....

I guess its all about personal standards and expectations, and what you are prepared to put up with. Even those who didn't sustain injuries were glad to get home from what felt more like a trial than a vacation.

Room Tip: Don't stay here! Try a different hotel.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 5, 2012

My wife & I along with our 15 year old daughter took a half term break to Aqua Fun Club Marrakech. Firstly you will need the patience of a saint at passport control on your arrival to Morocco & pay no more than 400 dirham for a taxi to the hotel 300dhm is better. On arriving at the Hotel (about 10pm for us) the staff was very helpful getting us through the check in process & showing us to our room (very good standard & size rooms). The buffet was still open (until 11pm) so after getting suitably refreshed we had a look round. We were greeted by a member of the animation team (izzy) who in the days to come became a very valuable source of help and a constant smiling face at the AFC. His knowledge of not only the hotel and its timetable was fantastic but also outside the hotel the Moroccan culture, trips to town and the mountains and even helped me get to and from golf (not organized through the hotel). The hotel is cleaned constantly it's a wonder there is a pathway left the female staff work tirelessly to keep the place spotless. All the staff are friendly and very hard working, the water park was very clean with a very good selection of slides etc 33 at last count...

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

I always look for the good in places I visit, and was much heartened by the largely positive reviews the hotel had. However I left feeling distinctly confused that we had stayed in a different hotel than the one the other reviews were based on. We were certainly not alone in thinking this.
On the plus sides the hotels is very clean, the beds were comfortable, and when we did need to complain things were rectified. Also the kids loved the water park.
We paid about £550 each for 2 adults and 3 teenagers, during half term so I wasn't expecting a 4 star establishment.
When we arrived we were allocated room 4109 and the kids were in 4106. Their's was fine although a little cramped for three of them. Ours was small but seemed okay until we had a shower. From talking to others it was not just us that took their lives into their own hands when doing this as the water fluctuated from warm to scalding hot and was not controllable. This situation was never rectified.
Our room had just a shower which was so badly constructed that every time you has a shower it completely flooded and was like a swimming pool on the floor.
After a night and a couple of showers each we asked to be moved to another room. This they did, although initially they said we would have to wait till the next day but then gave us the key to an empty room next door. In the bathroom was a bath with a shower which was okay but we did have to grapple with the shower rail falling off on several occasions!
Ishmael who headed up the entertainment team (3 people) was lovely and very warm individual.
The front desk staff tried their best but were a little battle weary I think, having to deal with so many complaints.
There were nowhere near enough bar staff, and you had to wait some time to get a drink.
The food was bland, with little choice other than unappetising pasta and tasteless tagines.
I have been to quite a few all inclusives before, and expect that after the first week you would have menus repeated, but this was on a daily basis.
We took a few trips out, the best being the one to the Atlas Mountains. Lovely day but beware of being taken to a restaurant not of your choosing. There were many others along the place where you have lunch that are about half the price of the one they would like to take you to.
The night visist to the souk was not worth it. It cost £15 each and you get a much better experience during the day on the free shuttle bus, which you need to book. Be warned though we booked for one of the trips and when the bus turned up the guy had a completely different list and there were quite a lot of rather angry people.
If you do take a trip through the hotel either pay in Euro's or DHM which you can change in town. If you pay in sterling it will be a third more expensive than paying in DHM!
The souks are great fun, but rememeber Haggle, haggle, haggle. You shouldn't really pay more than a third of what they are asking MAX! Walk away, if they do not come after you they won't go lower.
I hope this is of some help, I geneuinely do not mean to bad mouth an establishment but many of the other guests I spoke to described it as a Moroccan Fawlty Towers!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank harvey42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We're a family of 4: two mid-late 40s with girls 14 and 11.Previous travel to Tunisia but first time to Maroc.

First and foremost,only read the 2012 reviews.The hotel was being built before then.Its now complete.

Before you arrive: airport is modern.Boarding cards need signing.
Take pounds,and exchange in the two 24hour official cash exchange places on the right as you enter the main foyer.
Dirhams are about 13.4 to the pound at the moment ( compared to 10 in the hotel foyer).they buy back at 14 so take more for the trips/ gifts than you think you may need ( we spent 450 in a week)

Taxi...will cost 400 dirhams to the hotel.Don't haggle as they are all the same.
The return trip will cost you 300,booked by the hotel staff.

Safety: this is a very safe hotel.The place is run by the pickalbatros group,owned by Boutros Boutros Ghalli,with chains in the US and Egypt.Security is important and there are security staff on the gates,and front door.
The waterpark is well staffed with staff on all rides.

Hygiene: v high standards.Staff clean regularly.Tips are appreciated.

Reception..efficient.Tip the porter.Will ask for passport details on arrival.Remember room tax to be paid at the end.Adds about 100 pounds for a family of 4.

Rooms...modern,with up to date toilet furniture. Hairdriers in rooms.We had 3 double beds! Maids folded our night clothing and left real petals on the bed each day!!
Flat screen tv but we didn't use it.
Separate toilet and shower rooms.Lighting a bit confusing!

Choice...lots to do...if you want a Poolparty hol,then the Ents team will sort an excellent one for you .Issy,Sala were great fun,cared about the guests but were discrete too.
If you want the park,then 16 rides await you all.Our two girls loved it,but Dad did too.Most rides are in dinghies but some are mat based.
If you want peace and quiet though,there are pools without music too.

there are kids areas too,but we didn't use them.

Sports are catered for too.There is a clay court,and a parallel court for volleyball and basketball.A small grass 5 a side area is present with 2 lots of goals.
Pool tables are scattered about,although they can be short on balls.

There's crazy golf, giant chess,swings ,climbing frames for the kids too.

Meals: fantastic smorgasbord dining.Cooked breakfasts,pastries,cereals,fruit ,omelettes for breakfast.
Late lunch..pastas etc
Evening meals from 7pm...quality dining.At least 16 meals to choose from.Drinks from bar or from staff.A chance to try some new things from the tangines.
Usual rules..avoid ice, salads..

Bar snacks..various pizzas,burgers and grilled sandwiches.Every drink you can think of.

Evening entertainment.Kids disco and then shows.We saw a Moroccan show and a Moroccan band.Half an hour was enough.The Chaplin bar is open in the evening but needs some music really. The foyer has 2 TV ,free Internet and a bar too.Take some cards or board games.
Most kids have IT gear,but ours didn't take phones so we had better interaction.

Tours..we went to the village of L' olrika based on the river of the same name.900 dn for the 4 of us,sharing with 2 others.Stopped for a camel ride..yuk,pottery shopping,argen oil cooperative and then a 500 metre climb (trainers fine...NO heels) to a waterfall.Shops up there about 2/3 of price of Marrakech as they pay no tax ( but then don't have an nhs 24/7 or a welfare state)
Don't drink the freshly squeezed orange.My wife did and has the big D for 4 days!,
Take cameras.Opens your eyes to Morocco.

Night tour to Marrakech worthwhile.Two hours so really just a trip to the medina with the knowledgable aforementioned Issy,to see some of the famous mosques,visit a local shop and wander through the souks.Prob best with older children,as chaotic roads.Would prepare you for a day trip if you fancy one.Tour cost 550dh.

Gym...excellent new kit.6 weights machines+ skipping ropes.The Ents team do a session at 12.30 5 days a week.

Spa...amazing massage for one hour after a jacuzzi,steam,scrub.Both adults went for this and loved it.Pay 500 dn. Two and a half hours.
Massage alone 400dh

Health tips...take dioralyte,Imodium and buscopan + own plasters.Hotel kit was very limited.
Both adults ended up with D.Nothing major though.

Remember this is Morocco.Don't expect a uk 5 star all in for under 40 pounds a person a night.This is Moroccan 5 star though,and very very good.
The staff are friendly,most speak some English and a good chance to practice that O level French again as for most it's the second language.


To the staff..Beslemma,shokran.

Room Tip: 1000 block is above the restaurant 2000 block is opposite the aqua park 3000 block is where the fa...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Jez1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Modern Hotel with most amenites. Mostly closed during our stay but the staff offered to open some slides for us. We want to return with the children later on. Food better than average with brilliant breakfasts. Dinner a bit bland but the choice would cater for all. We returned for the day with the kids in July and all was open. Mainly catering for families but as a city break it was better than most. Plenty to do if you have kids but adult entertainment plentyful. We spent most nights in one of their bars because the live band were so good. Had an episode of no hot water but they just moved us to another room. In the pain near the Atlas mountains so sitting in the heat watching skiers playing on the slopes. Fantastic scenery. About 18miles outside Marrakech but they offer a shuttle service into town or you can grab a cab cheaply enough. Would recommend as very clean and enjoyable stay.

Room Tip: If you are disabled please ask to stay in the main block ground floor as there is a bit of walking f...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank slowmeup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at aqua fun club Marrakech. First impression are very good, food was ok, staffs are friendly and efficient. Never seen an hotel that gets cleaned so often.

My only gripe about the hotel is its location, middle of nowhere with nothing nearby, you have to travel about 20 km to get to the square/ market. The hotel provided a free shuttle but once a day which was a good alternative to paying taxi fares. Would be great if they ran the shuttle twice a day - I'm sure people will be happy to pay.

All in all was a good hotel about 3-4 stars European standard.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank absz72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We were in this hotel from 21st to 25th October. It was the perfect holiday. I went there with my husband and 13 year old daughter. My daugghter had the best time ever and we had the nicest time . There is so much to do in the hotel you wouldnt want to go out.
the rides are good for anyone from small age to teenagers to adults. The hotel staff was very friendly and ever willing to help.
The hotel rooms are a bit run down, the showers were acting stange with only a tricklle of water and unable to control the temperature, as it would be very very hot or very very cold. When we told the reception they came and had a look and said it was some fault with themain hotel suppy, So struggled a bit to have a shower during the last few days.
The food was very good, lack variety but very tasty.
All drinks and cocktails were free and barmen was ever willing to make you a cocktail however many times you would ask him. For the children there were non alchoholic cocktails which the barmen was ever willing to make. (with a smile)
The holel was very clean and there are c;leaners cleaning all the time. The staff taking care of the rides are extremely friendly.
ONE WARNING - there are tour guides, specially if you have booked through Hoteld4U, who would come and try to sell you tours at a massively inflated rate,. One such guid called HAMMID who came to meet us the day after we checked into the hotel lied to us and sold us a tour to the mountains telling us that it was going to the waterfalls. We paid him a lot of money and the next day when we were going for this tour it was acctually a tour to the foot hills of the mountains. We then refused to go on the tour as this is not what we wanted and you could get a tour of the mountais and water falls or similar tour for half the price from the hotel. When we confronted Hammid he said that if we come with Hotels4u / medhotels that we should go with them and only with them. I called up Hotels4u and they denied such thing obviously!! Hammid then refused to pay the money back and said he was going to pay the hotel directly to take us to the mountains. We found out that was lie the day before we were to leave and missed the oppertunity to go on the tour. After many arguments and fights, which you don't need when one is on holiday we got the money back and went on the tour with hotel in the last minute.
He is still going ariound the hotel every morning trying to get gests to go on his tours so BE AWARE !!!! check out the hotel rates and the rates with the animation team if you are planning on any tours.

Room Tip: We took a room in 2000 block upstairs, but I think a room on the ground floor more convenient and yo...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank anu A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about LABRANDA Aqua Fun Marrakech

Address: Km 18 Route de L'Ourika, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#67 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#89 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#135 Family Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: $96 - $218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — LABRANDA Aqua Fun Marrakech 4*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The LABRANDA Aqua Fun Club overlooks the Atlas Mountains and is built on 5 hectares of land surrounded by shady olive trees, just 15 minutes from the city center and features magnificent views over the Atlas mountains. It features 16 pool and 2 heated indoor pools and the largest water park in Marrakech. Each air-conditioned room has a modern design and feature a private balcony. The rooms are equipped with a seating area with satellite TV. A buffet breakfast is provided each morning and all guests receive a mint tea upon arrival. The restaurant serves traditional Moroccan and International cuisine. Guests can also enjoy a drink at the bar and have a night out at the private night club. The hotel also offers a tennis court, a beauty salon and a well being center. Also available is a kid's club and free WiFi access in the 24-hour reception. Free private parking is provided. This resort is located 18 km from the Marrakesh Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pickalbatros Aqua Fun Club Hotel Marrakech

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