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Hotel Riu Tikida Garden
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Reviewed July 22, 2011

For a 4* AI we couldn't have asked for more for the price we paid.
Food was good (though perhaps a few more Moroccan dishes and all-important LABELS for dishes would have been nice), the Moroccan restaurant was lovely and provided a different experience, food was also available almost all-day in one form or another (perfect if you missed one of the 'main' meals), the AI drinks were constantly flowing with a varied selection on the menu (with staff willing to make other cocktails on request), staff service was great - always friendly and engaging from the chefs and bar staff to the housekeepers, and the hotel itself was clean and well maintained.
Daily entertainment was perhaps lacking in variety, and some members of the animation team were a little irritating - though I concede that it's ultimately their job to try to encourage guests to participate, and more often than not they did (eventually) take "no" for an answer with a smile!
Outside of the hotel is a different world which is well worth exploring, but do heed the advice of the Rep if you want to enjoy the experience. The team of Thomson Reps in the resort were the most enthusiastic I have encountered anywhere when it came to talking about their resort, and didn't go in for the 'hard-sell' in the welcome brief, devoting time instead to explaining the area and places worth a visit.
All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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9  Thank ItchyFeet82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2011

We booked this trip as a bit of a last minute one just needing a cheep getaway and got a really good price on a last minute deal. That said, if we had paid the full going rate for this hotel I would have been sorely disappointed.

The hotel itself has recently been taken over by Riu from Best Western Hotels, and in my opinion it still has a way to go, especially in regards to the food, drinks and evening entertainment to make it to the standard you would expect from such a chain.

When we arrived at the airport it was quick and easy through and then a Thomson Rep pointed us towards our pre-booked taxi, the driver was polite and the car clean, it was about a 25min transfer at 9.30 at night.

Upon arrival the porter took our bags and we checked in with ease, the man at the reception desk gave us a lovely fruit cocktail and asked if we would like dinner or to go up to our room first, we opted for our room. When we got to the room it was spotless and the air-con was on which was really nice and refreshing. The porter was helpful when we arrived showing us how to use the safe and the air-con. We gave a small tip in english pounds which he was happy with. All in all a good start.

Dinner on night was was pretty much the same to dinner on nights 2,3,4,5,6 & 7... there was very little variety to the menu, which was fine but it did get a bit boring. Due to the country there was no pork and I am guessing due to being 'in-land' very little seafood. There did seem to be a good and varied selection of vegetables. Unfortunately lunch had a similar look to dinner... so you could pretty much have the same meal twice a day for a week if you so wanted. We also had a small issue with no quite cooked chicken. One thing I did notice, although it made no difference to us, was that there was a lack of a "children's menu". Often in other hotels there has been what I would call kiddie food, which parents always seem to be happy with, this hotel had no such thing.

The bar was very red and very hot, if you sat close to a window it was more pleasant, but not great, if you asked for a cocktail behind the bar it would never taste the same twice, unless made by Wafa, she was amazing... (I have it on good word that she makes the best Mojito's although ask Mohamed for a Strawberry Daiquiri) The evening entertainment was abysmal... 'Piano man' couldn't sing or play the piano and the "DJing" was really bad and only had 1 CD on replay for the whole week!

Ok... Positive points re: Hotel (of which there were more than the negatives)
Room was great - air-con worked a treat and was a welcome treat when you had been out in 42C heat all afternoon!
Maid Service was excellent - our room was cleaned to a high standard everyday
Pool area was lovely
Entertainment team were friendly - yet would leave you alone if you did not want to join in.
Moroccan Restaurant was good - nice for a change to the repetitive main dinner hall.
Reception staff were helpful and spoke great English
Rep (Sandra) was very helpful and knowledgeable about the hotel and the area and nothing was too much for her!

Marrakech was amazing, great city... you can see all the main sights in a couple of days or take a more leisurely take on it over a few afternoons. There is a shuttle bus from the hotel which runs to Place 16 November and its a short walk from there to the Medina (about 20mins) or there is always a Cab. Be strong in the Souk, if you don't want to buy something, don't make eye contact and just say no.

We took an excursion through the atlas mountains out to some of the kasbahs and the city of Ouarzazate... IT WAS AMAZING! If you have a spare bit of cash it is well worth the trip... although it was a really long day, the 4x4 picked us up at 6:50am and dropped us back at about 20:30. Well worth the effort though, you see some of the most amazing scenery, visit two UNESCO world heritage sites and have a very very yummy lunch! Money well spent!

Room Tip: There is a new block (room numbers 400+) which were bigger and nicer (as well as quieter)
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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7  Thank Naomi_Gabrielle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

OK, the hotel - we arrived at around 11:00pm and were greeted with an odd fruit drink and asked to go into the main restaurant for some food - after a 12 hour journey, all I wanted to do was get my suitcases to the room and relax but never mind. The porter took our cases and showed us around the room - if you tip him (even if it's just an English Pound coin) he will then show you around the room and how the safe and air-con works (which are free).

The room itself - the bed was probably one of the most comfy that I have ever had abroad. Rooms clearly weren't cleaned properly between guests as I found an empty plaster wrapper, long piece of cotton and sticker in the bathroom from someone's eyeliner. Nice! Other than this, the rooms were cleaned daily, clean towels if required, funky shapes made out of your nightwear if you leave it on the bed and new bottled water left daily - I'm not sure if everyone got this service as the service provided in Morocco seems to be dependant on tips - we left a Pound coin every day for the maid). There was bottled water in the room on arrival as well which was nice. The air-con is a bit of a joke, it takes the searing heat off the room but nothing else but it was better than nothing and the noise of it actually helped my sleep as it blocked out the noises from around the hotel. The halls leading to all rooms are tiled which amplifies new arrivals etc but at least there was no noise from people above so well insulated ceilings which makes a change!

Food - OK, so breakfast is a bit odd for us English people, weird little 'sausages', no bacon but then, we were in Morocco! I always found something to eat, even if it was toast and eggs (once I'd wrestled with and figured out how to use the toaster all was well although I did have one minor fire incident) - and there is every type of egg you could possibly want! Lunch is served in the pool bar. There is usually a good choice, pizza, pasta, salad, chips, tegine, odd stuff I'm not sure what it was etc but all tasty. Evening meal is in the Orangerie, the main restaurant - good choice again but very similar to lunch - the only thing is, there is a good selection of food each day - but each day it is the same. Vegetarians will be OK - those who have other food allergies will struggle.

Grounds - immaculate! There is a small army of people out every day pruning, weeding, lopping and watering - I even saw a chap repainting various bits and pieces to keep it all looking neat and tidy! There are some lovely plants in the grounds and the most fragrant blooms as you walk around.

Amenities - there is a large pool which is spotless and cleaned every night. In the main reception (which is open 24 hours a day by very patient staff who speak so many languages) you can change your Sterling to Dirhams without problem and the rate is the same as banks so don't bother joining the huge queue at the airport when you first land - no need!! There is also a pool table in the reception area which is 50cents (change available at reception) and a small shop where they do lovely safe henna tattoos for 150 to 200 Dirhams. Yes, you can get these cheaper in the Medina but I wouldn't recommend it - have a test done at the shop, see if you have an allergic reaction and have it done safely rather than getting a black henna one done in the Medina and end up scared for life - people were getting the black ones done and had some horrible reactions to them! The main bar is horrendous - Pontins from the 90's with a sauna feel to it. Entertainment is shocking and we had to walk out after a couple of nights. Drinks are not bad although don't expect the same drink every time, even if you ask for the same thing! I'm sure they water the alcohol down though as unless you are prepared to drink enough to float a small whale, you won't get drunk!! There is an onsite seedy looking bar/club - I hear it is a strip joint but having poked my nose in and found it empty at 10:00ish I'm not sure when it opens! The Tikida Balneo is an onsite spa - I didn't see anyone using it and the prices are extremely high. There is also a covered pool but this is chargeable.

Entertainment team - several things happening during the day - water polo, water aerobics, yoga, various games etc. The team also leave you alone if you don't want to join in.

The birds - if you suffer from Ornithophobia or have any kind of bird issues - DO NOT GO TO THIS HOTEL!!! The birds are there in the hundreds and will almost eat the food from your plate if you chose to eat outside. I personally loved them but I saw it causing a couple of people problems.

The ants - the hotel grounds are over run with them - if you don't like them, get a bed near the pool - the grass area is alive with them.

Watch out for lizards, they are pretty cool but difficult to spot and the HUGE grasshoppers which are bright green and about 6 inches long.

Sunbeds are plentiful and not reserved too early, I was never there before 10:00am but never struggled to find a bed except for when the Italians arrived at the weekend (who incidentally were incredibly rude but this was not the hotel's fault although it does appear that they turn up every weekend!)

Now, the actual city of Marrakech is disgusting, smelled of urine and rotting meat and actually made me feel sick. I'm normally a good traveller but it got to me. I came home half way through the Marrakesh Discovery full day excursion as I hated the place so much!! DO NOT drive here - you will get yourself squished! 5 people on a scooter and a glass table balanced on the heads of passengers - asking for trouble!!!

Excursions offered by Thomson that I went on - Marrakesh Discovery - mentioned above - also of note is the carpet shop that you get taken into and hassled to buy a carpet! Atlas 4x4 Adventure - not bad, not stunning. In July there is still some snow on the mountains but we didn't get to stop where we could take good photos and the food at the lunch stop had beetles in it and the food hygiene was appalling.

All in all, it was a good holiday, the staff really were friendly and Sandra, the rep, was fabulous. She's at the hotel every day and can't do enough to help you. Apparently the hotel has recently been taken over by Rui so it's got some improvements to do but considering the rest of Marrkesh, this place is like an oasis!

Room Tip: On arrival, if you are not happy with your room, speak to reception, they are very accommodating if you have problems.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Joolz74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

We arrived around 11pm after a short transfer to the hotel. On arrival we were greeted with a warm drink and informed that there was food available within the restaurant. This food was only the leftovers from the dinner service of that night. The hotel has lovely gardens set within the grounds and are well kept, the hotel rooms are very clean and were cleaned daily by the helpful maids. The reception had some members of staff that were helpful but the majority were abrupt and rude when asking for help.

The hotel bar is nice and well set out the only down side to the bar is that within the 14 night we stayed at the hotel there was a woman behind the bar who never once served us with the correct drinks. The drinks are not that nice in fairness with the cocktails tasting different every time you ordered them. The local spirits were of poor standard. Within the bar there was entertainment on of a night witch was just a man playing a keyboard singing songs that he kept forgetting the words to. This bar could have a really good vibe if they provided the right entertainment

The food was nice for the first two days of the holiday but after that its the same food for dinner and well as tea. While staying at the complex there was quite a few people sick for periods of 2 days or more there were also occasions were some of the meat was not cooked.

This hotel could be a fantastic place to stay but for is not yet up to Riu standards and after speaking to the hotel manager witch he informed us that it would take up to 5 years to get it to that standard

When traveling outside the hotel be careful of the man on a motorbike that says he's a gardener in the hotel he's not, he is just someone trying to charge people to take them into the center to his friends or family's shop.

morocco is a lovely place and this hotel is a lovely hotel it's just let down by the bad standards of food and drink and entertainment t of a night and also some of the rudeness of the hotel staff on reception

we would not visit this hotel again

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank nogger01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2011

We stayed here for a cheap break and found it good value for money as we paid around £300 each.
The food is ok, with some days much better than others. Generally there is a good choice of food available.

A shuttlebus is available to the centre, but it is small and you may have to put up a fight to get on it.

The hotel falls down on entertainment at night especially. A terrible DJ and a washed out singer seemed to take alternate nights. Our tour opporator did stay they were trying to address this but with the holiday costing so little you can go out for entertainment. Just don't go in to the night club within the grounds as it is actually a strip joint.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank MixMasterMoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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