We booked this hotel despite reading mixed reviews about it. We arrived there on 09/09 for one week. We found it on Thomson holidays but booked it cheaper on Last minute as we booked 2 weeks before. We arrived around 11pm and the reception people were really nice and was given a welcome drink which was a really nice touch. And as we were starving hungry (as Thomson airways do not give meals, you have to purchase it) we were pleased to find out that the Italian restaurant opened until 11:30 pm. We didn't like the food but we said maybe it was late and the food will be better tomorrow.
We were given our all inclusive band but they didn't give a band to my 10 year old son and the next day he was stopped by security while wondering in the hotel and taken to reception where he told them which room he was in and confirmed our names. We didn't take much notice and we laughed about it. But the reception should have given our kids there bands once we arrived. As they have lots of day visitors that use the water park.
Breakfast was not as we expected. It had some weird looking food and lots of it didn't look appealing at all. And some was a bit dodgy. But there was a lady preparing a local kind of bread called 'mosamin' which was delicious and freshly made. It was worth queuing every morning for 15 minutes to have It hot with honey. Also they had omelette that the chef made to order. But other wise we stuck to bread and butter. And they also had one kind of cheese slices and one type of cooked meat slices. It was disappointing with other meals as well. The worse restaurant was the Italian as the chefs there were so unfriendly and had no idea about how to make a simple pizza sauce or proper spaghetti. It was so bland. No herbs no spices in any of the food which was surprising being in Morocco. They had crêpes served daily which was nice as a snack between meals. My kids really enjoyed it. It didn't get any better during the evening meal as we expected to have Moroccan Tagines but as I said before it was a variety of bland food with no real taste to it. One night they barbequed kofta and as there was a big que our kofta was raw in the middle. I felt sorry for the chef as he was outside with nearly no light to see if the meat was probably cooked or not and it was lightly raining. Most of the week they had a fish dish but the best was fried fish and others had no taste. Desserts were horrible and if the chef brought out any good tasting cake or cookies they would go as soon as the plate was put down as it wasn't enough for everybody. We might sound fussy but we usual go to a different country every year and the food we had in Cyprus and Turkey was much much better. The head chef has to be changed. The food really let's the hotel down. And we took a decision never to go to morocco again after this.
When we arrived the hotel was quieter than expected. But we were there after the summer season finished. so most of the hotel was occupied by Moroccan families. So few of the slides were not open and the pools were not that busy. Which was a good thing. But a few days in our stay other British tourist started to arrive. And the hotel got busier.
The pools were amazing. The best. Clean and Fully supervised from 10am till 6pm and the lifeguards were very good. They rescued 2 children during our one week stay( parents fault as they left young children unsupervised nothing to do with the hotel) which made me feel at ease knowing that my 3 year old is safe having him in the kids pool and my 10 year old in another pool. The slides were amazing (some scary). I have to say the water was freezing. And the weather didn't help as it was cloudy most of the time. But we chose to go September and people working at the hotel said it was really hot July and August. So maybe September wasn't the best time but it was hot enough for us and good weather to visit the market( it's very hot with all the people inside the covered area).
The hotel had a free bus service twice a day, morning and afternoon, to the market but it's best to visit in the evening but the hotel will charge around 400 Derhams to take the bus and taxis outside will charge the same. There was a shopping centre on the way to the market and the driver of the bus will happily drop you off there on the way to the market. Which we visited for shopping and bowling when the weather wasn't so good to swim.
Most of the hotel employees spoke Arabic and French which was a bit tricky for English people and when British tourists came to stay a few days into our holiday. The animation team done there best to speak English as well. It wasn't that hard for us to communicate as we are fluent in Arabic but I felt sorry for people who knew no French or Arabic as it was a bit harder to communicate.
Another positive thing about this hotel was the animation team. Really nice and most spoke English. They were really friendly and worked so hard. There was a really lovely lady called Souad she run the children club and kept the kids entertained in the evenings. She was very friendly and sweet my son loved her. He still talks about her now. The children club was nice. They had some games and cartoons (in French) and took the kids to the restaurant for tea as well which was a great break and it gave us grown ups time to visit the water park and sunbathe.
The hotel rooms were clean and spacious enough. I read some reviews about not enough towels or toilet rolls. But we couldn't complain about that. they cleaned our room daily and we had fresh towels and enough toilet rolls. But when the hotel had more people staying a few days after we arrived we noticed that the hand towels were taken to be washed in the morning and brought back early evening just out of the dryer as they were still warm which indicated they didn't have enough.
Check out time was at 12. And as our Thomson flight was at 11pm. We spoke to the reception to ask if we could stay for an extra few hours so the kids can get washed and dressed after swimming. But they said we have to pay extra to stay in the room and have meals all day. We explained that we arrived at 11pm and were charged for a full day but they insisted that we pay an extra 500 derhams. Feeling we had no choice we paid. But the next day the weather was too cold to swim and we ended up hanging around the pool until we went to the airport.
Another negative thing was the WiFi. So so weak. You can get connection in the lobby and some very little places around the pool. But none in the rooms. And we went in a less busy time I really feel for people who went in peak season they probably had no internet at all.
To sum it up the hotel is very nice but needs some improvements and it's great if your planning to stay in the hotel most of the time as it's location makes it hard to visit Marrakech town as often as you want to as your left in the mercy of taxi drivers which could be expensive. We had a great time. So relaxing and peaceful. Having better food would have been great as we all suffered holiday tummy for the last 3 days and 3 days after we were back! It must be the raw meat.
- 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