We booked a 5 night stay at the hotel through a Groupon deal with EasyJet Holidays. Overall the hotel is excellent value for money and we wouldn’t hesitate to return again if the same deal came up again.
The hotel is located on the Avenue de la Menara which is a short taxi ride from the centre of Marrakech. We felt the hotel was ideally positioned, being close enough to walk to the centre (on cool evenings we were able to walk to the Place Jemaa el Fna in around 25 minutes) but being far away enough from the hustle and bustle of the main square so that you can relax by the pool in relative tranquillity.
Our room was large, clean and generally well appointed. The bathroom was also a good size and had a separate bathroom. Satellite TV was very handy for those moments when we wanted to chill out (literally) in our room after a day in the heat. The housekeeping was spot on too, although they were late one day.
We ate breakfast on the terrace by the swimming pool each morning. The buffet was simple but well stocked. The mint tea was excellent although not available on all days. We chose to eat in the centre of Marrakech as opposed to the hotel during evenings so didn’t sample the many restaurants the hotel offered. We bought water from the bar and noted that it was far more expensive than if bought elsewhere, which is to be expected.
The onsite facilities were good. We used the larger of the two main swimming pools each day. The pool was big and had a range of depths making it equally good for serious swimming or general cavorting. Helpfully there were sunshades dotted around the pool area so you could escape the heat if necessary.
The public areas of the hotel were well maintained, and there seemed to be a small army of staff tidying up the communal areas each day. The main reception was very impressive with marble floors, deep rugs and leather sofas. The hotel also has a small shop which was handy for snacks; the prices were reasonable.
The hotel was obviously built to a high quality but does not appear to have been refurbished since it has been opened. This didn’t detract from the experience in any way and for the price the hotel was brilliant. It’s worth noting that the Hotel Albatros’ 5 star rating is not the same 5 star rating that applies to a famous 5 star hotel nearby.
We found the staff on the front desk helpful and they assisted us with booking various day trips and other activities. Moroccans (or in fact other non-British tourists) have no idea how to queue which could be particularly frustrating when waiting for assistance. However, we found politeness and being courteous meant you were helped quickly. We saw many other guests being exceptionally rude to reception staff and receiving the same treatment back, which in our opinion is fair enough. This is a foreign country and it is ridiculous to assume everything will be the same as in Britain. We found that smiling and making the smallest attempt to speak French got us a long way.
In relation to taxi prices, barter to pay 20 dirhams each way to and from the Medina during the day and 30-40 dirhams in the evening - make sure you get a petit taxi as grand taxis will demand more and aren't any better (although they are bigger so may be necessary if you’re travelling in large numbers)! Airport taxis are more expensive, we paid 110 dirhams to get to the hotel (2 people in a grand taxi with 1 large and 2 smaller bags). Going from the hotel to the airport you will likely be doing well if you pay under 100 dirhams – you’re more or less a captive audience in both directions!
Staying at the Hotel Albatros allowed us to combine two types of holiday relatively seamlessly: (1) an oftentimes frenetic journey into a culture that is totally different from home and (2) a relaxed, pool-side holiday where you can sun-bathe and read a good book.
Overall this was a pleasant hotel in a good location, with decent amenities and we would definitely visit again.
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- Also Known As:
- Albatros Garden Hotel Marrakech
- Marrakech Royal Mirage
- Royal Mirage Hotel Marrakech