My husband and I travelled to the Aqua Fun Club last week and there were so many things that we were dissatisfied with that I compiled a list while we were still there to ensure other travellers were warned about it! Marrakech is an awesome place, but I think our holiday would have been much better if we had stayed elsewhere! Apologies in advance for the length of this review - there's lots to say!!
Check in: We arrived late and were surprised to find the whole complex silent and apparently deserted. The reception staff at this point were pleasant and checked us in quickly. We were given a fruit juice, which we thought was a nice touch, but strangely no wristbands for the All-Inclusive (we realised we needed them the following morning after seeing fellow guests with them) and no card for beach towels. We then proceeded to wait for what felt like an eternity while another family (who checked in after us) were shown several rooms apparently not to their liking. As we waited, several staff were milling about and ignored us, even though it was late and we just wants to get to our room and sleep. We were given very little information about the hotel facilities, or a map of the site, which was huge.
Reception: Staff rude and unhelpful. Laughed at or looked baffled with everything we said. Did nothing about any query we had. Very thankful that nothing serious happened that would have required their help, such as illness or injury - would not be confident that they would give a toss! All to happy to use the "language barrier" as an excuse when they didn't want to understand. Kids EVERYWHERE in reception, sprawled out, running around, screeching and shouting. Wifi was terrible due to them all using iPads etc constantly. The only time I could get a decent wifi signal anywhere in the hotel was at 3am when all of the kids had gone to bed.
The room: Extremely basic and absolutely nothing like the pictures online. No way typical of a room in a 4* hotel. Big TV and fridge, which was good. Surprised to find (after unpacking most of our things) that there was no balcony, but just a sliding door that looked like it opened to a balcony, but led to a railing. Disappointing, as we had specifically booked a room with balcony, and annoying as most of our things were unpacked by this point so it would have been a pain to pack up and traipse over to reception to ask to be moved. The bed was big and very comfortable, but the under sheet was not big enough to cover the whole mattress, so there were gaps at the top and bottom. Not the best for hygiene, I don't think. The day before we left, housekeeping changed the bed (odd, as they hadn't done it for the rest of the holiday and seemingly pointless as we were leaving the next day) and removed the duvet cover altogether, expecting us to sleep with an exposed duvet. Again, unhygienic considering that others could have slept in it that way. I visited reception about this and phoned them three times to ask for a cover - no response. Receptionist hung up on me the last time I called. Pillowcase had a mascara stain on it. The bathroom was modern, yet dirty - lots of mould/scale about and hair in the plug hole when we arrived. The maids did not appear to clean it when they came every day. Toilet kept on running, shower fluctuated violently between freezing and scalding, maids broke the shaving mirror and left it hanging off the wall one day - my husband fixed it in the end. Towels were scruffy and had holes in. The air-con was ok, but you need better than "ok" when it's 45 degrees outside. One day, a plug socket fell out of the wall, leaving electrics exposed. I went to reception (again) and phoned twice...nothing. The maids must also have seen it on several occasions and did nothing. The bulb was out in the shower, resulting in having to shower in semi-darkness. The maids did nothing about this either.
Food, drinks and restaurants: The food was excellent. Lots of variety, many options at all meal times, freshly cooked creeps, eggs, omelettes, pizza and pasta made to order. Food was very tasty and I enjoyed every meal I had. The website says that there are 4 restaurants or so, which is misleading as three of them are actually together, with different serving areas. The food ey all served wasretty similar too. Restaurants were spoiled by the other guests and staff. I've been to many all-inclusive hotels in the past and have never encountered such messy, greedy and rude fellow guests. It was as if they were scared that they wouldn't eat if they didn't manage to fill their plate NOW! Lots of children running about, which is dangerous when you're carrying plates of boiling hot food and waiters are carrying heavy stacks of plates. Parents were just as bad, pushing in, eating with their hands from the buffet etc. Lots of people piling tables full of food and not eating half of it. Even worse, the floor was absolutely littered with food and debris each meal. Tables were covered in crumbs and sticky stuff - the whole week I NEVER saw a waiter wiping a table. They must have done at some point though, as I saw a filthy cloth lying on top of a stack of clean(?) cutlery that they were about to lay tables with. One day, there was a bread roll (amongst other things) on the floor and five waiters walked past it without cleaning it up. People would just leave litter, food, cups, glasses wherever they finished whatever it was they were eating/drinking, leading to litter in random places throughout the hotel. Every other plate I picked up was dirty. If you came to the buffet at a busy time, there were no plates or glasses. That said, there were always tables free and lots of places to sit in the evenings. There were hundreds of wasps around the drinks machines and bars. The all-inclusive was good though; they were not fussy about how many drinks you ordered at a time, the soft drinks were self-service, lots of variety in drinks, and beer was in cans, therefore not watered down and easy to take to drink a last couple in the room. One morning there was a hair in my toast. It wasn't just sitting on the top either, it was BAKED IN.
Pools: Excellent. I counted 9 just from our balcony. Very well-maintained, generally clean and with a lifeguard at each all day. Very easy to get a sunbed at most - a couple were busier than others. The little four-poster beds looked awesome, but guess you'd have to get up at at least 3am to reserve one (should have done this when I was up using the Internet!) however, lots of the sunbeds were broken/torn/stained. Felt misled, as one of the main reasons we booked this hotel, despite thinking it would be full of kids, was that there were "2 adults-only pools" - there weren't. Lying around. The pool wasn't as relaxing as you'd think, as there was CONSTANT loud music being played that could be heard everywhere in the hotel. It went on until 2am one evening. Complimentary towels were a nice touch, but these were tatty, stained and only available during a small window of time each day. Around the pools and th gardens were being cleaned/tended to constantly. However, water from the pool was used to clean the paving, which I'm guessing is not the most sanitary. Whenever the gardens were watered, a terrible stench of sewage was released. It also seems that pool water was considered all-purpose as we also saw it used to cool down a barbecue which food was being cooked on at the time.
Aqua Park: Brilliant! Lots of excellent slides, no queues, different little boats to go on and lots of sunbeds if you wanted to lounge there. However, I saw lots of people slip over due to water everywhere on shiny tiled floors, one was a lady carrying a small baby. Most of the pathways were painted dark red, which was too hot to walk on without flip flops (then what do you do with them when you're on the slides?) It also said there was a wave pool, which there wasn't or it was broken (like many things in this hotel) The bar in the Aqua Park was pay only, which was annoying as we had wristbands, which should have made it obvious that we were hotel guests.
Entertainment: The animation team worked really hard with the kids, and seemed to have lots of energy, even in 45 degree heat! Night-time entertainment was terrible. Kids' club started at 9.30pm, and was th same drills each evening. There wasn't anything worth mentioning for the adults. One night was Moroccan night, but nothing worth noting apart from a "snake charmer" (guy who flung a couple of snakes and a scorpion about by the pool) I must have heard "Gangnam Style" and "Diamonds" a million times on this holiday, and I hated both even before I went! The piano bar upstairs would have been a good place for adults to relax and entertainment, but again this was overtaken by kids plonking on the piano and screeching/running about.
We took the shuttle bus to Marrakech, which was brill. The shuttle was on time, free and only took around 20 mins.
Check out: We were beg collected at 9pm and as usual were asked to check out at 1pm, which was fair enough. The hotel posted a note under the door to say that it would be 200 Dirhams per hour if we wanted to keep our room (£15. An hour.) Ridiculous! We declined and used the showers in the Spa to get ready in. There were 3 showers and one worked (no bulbs again - bulbs must be expensive in Morocco) Good job there weren't a lot of people waiting to shower, we might still be there now! Reception seemed to think it was perfectly fine to leave our packed suitcases unattended in reception all day while we were by the pool. I wasn't comfortable with this (At the airport: "Have these cases been in your sight since you packed them?" "No, I left them unattended with loads of random people in a hotel reception for eight hours" - I doubt they'd let you on the plane!) As a result, we had to take our cases with us around the pool all day. Maybe I'm too untrusting, but I'm not sure I'd feel confident that the reception staff would have prevented anyone from fiddling with my cases if I'd left them, or that one of the dozy bellboys wouldn't have accidentally put them onto someone else's coach!
Overall, I feel that this hotel was let down by the people in it, both staff and other guests. It's in bad repair, dirty and not looked after, seemingly by anyone who comes into contact with it. It seems that too many people who don't care have been through it's doors, and that the people in charge haven't done much to keep it as nice as it clearly must have been when it was refurbished back in 2011. No way way is this anywhere near a 4* even by standards abroad. If you're one of these people who are happy to make mess, leave litter and let your kids run wild, then you'll love this place. If not, then use your money elsewhere.
- 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