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Reviewed November 10, 2012 via mobile

Nice stay, big and clean rooms, good staff, wifi in lobby and restaurant, location 30 min on foot from city centre, nice pool, noizy but big rooms, hard beds, hotel restaurant = good (repetitve tastes at dinner).

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Timdemartelaere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

before i start and go into more detail, may i just say that the diwane is an excellent choice for a first time stay in morocco. it is incredibly well placed 30 min walk to the souk,with a supermarket about 5 min down the road, lots and lots of restaurants and cafes within spitting distance. also it is, opposite the renaissance hotel, (which has an amazing roof terrace which serves cocktails and drinks) you can get a free map from the tourist information opposite, ( easily recognised by its red facade).
if you want a cab (petit taxis) walk away from the hotel and flag one down. this means you will get a working driver rather then one who’s hanging around outside an attraction hoping for a large payday. they are by law required to use their meter (le counter). don’t pay any more than 20-25dh. a lot of them will try to charge you 40 or even more. just say ’non merci’ (it helps if you have a bit of french as most don’t speak english) and get out, there will be another one along in a minute, quite often the driver is then also then prepared to drop the price. remember everything is haggleable in morocco.
the diwane is on the surface a very impressive place, large entrance hall, comfy sofas arranged in groups, shiny stone floors, magnificent chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
our main reason for choosing it was for it’s excellent gym facilities. we like working out first thing and then having breakfast afterwards.
however on the first day we discovered that the gym does not open until 10am and breakfast finishes about the same time. when we asked reception for a key so that we could get in earlier they said the rules would not allow it. they suggested that we write a letter of complaint to management. the chap who is in charge of the hammamm and gym was even less helpful his main interest was trying to sell us his spa services. we did try out the equipment once, the space is warm to the point of uncomfortable it being very close to the sauna. half the equipment isn’t plugged in or working, in fact some machines had large weights from the weight training equipment placed on them, you figure.
the room we were given was reasonably spacious, a bit outdated but generally well equipped, beds have firm mattresses and we even had a small balcony, not enough hangers in the cupboard and only one synthetic pillow per person. i asked housekeeping for 2 more so we could sit up in bed and read and some extra hangers. to our surprise the pillows which arrived were feather ones. the bathroom had seen better days and could have done with a deep clean, mosaic tiles, white and forest green. you can rent a safe for about £12 a week. there are no kettles in rooms, in fact it states at the entrance that no food or drink was to be brought in from the outside and beverages consumed to be bought at the hotel. we ignored that and no one said anything. on the first couple of nights the staff put petals on the bed which was a nice touch.
the air conditioning unit was very noisy.
on the day we arrived we tried the restaurant for lunch.i had the spaghetti bolognese and my partner the kefta skewers. the pasta was soggy, nearly disintegrating on the plate with a tiny amount of tomato sauce in the centre, the cheese was of indeterminate origin slightly resembling mild cheddar. the keftas had a sweaty perspiring look and were swimming in grease, the chips which came with it were the cheapest of their kind. i think we lost the will to live at that point as we hadn’t eaten since 6 in the morning and were absolutely starving, apart from breakfast we never ate in the hotel again.
music is played at a fairly high level thoughout restaurant and pool areas through very poor speakers
for breakfast you won’t get you full english, but they did do a nice omelette, coffee is very weak, teabags are available, fresh yogurt served in a large bowl, orange segments on a platter freshly squeezed orange juice, delicious.
also available are toast, french bread, reconstituted meat masquerading as ham, danish pastries and little cakes, didn’t see any cheese.

we asked reception to phone a hammann in town and make an appointment. when we went to have our massage and rubdown the staff then told us that the hotel had asked for a cut. now i can understand that the hotel would have arrangements with various businesses in town but i don’t think they had a previous relationship with this spa. this incident left as feeling slightly uneasy and we never asked reception to make any more arrangements.

if the food would have been just bit nicer i would have hesitation of given an extra star.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank sunshineand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

No real howlers, room clean and tidy. Bath is abit stained though. Room is large and with fairly high ceilings. Good views of the pool. Some building work going on near by so is slightly noisy. Food is fairly varied and hot. Lifts are troublesome, sometimes working. Othertimes not. got stuck in one once but was released after around 5 mins. Would i go back. YES

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank DarkArtsUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2012

The Diwane hotel offers a good base to explore Marrakech.

Summary:

Arrival - Marrakech airport is relatively small and if you are arriving at the same time as other flights, it is likely you will be backed up at security. Took us 40 mins to get through, which was a touch long for my liking, but by no means excessive in relative terms. As you cannot get the Moroccan Dirham outside of Morocco, we exchanged some of our pounds at the airport, which offered a reasonable, commission free rate - you can get better rates at the hotel or in the centre of Marrakech, but not significantly different. We decided to take bus number 19 to the hotel. If you go out of terminal 1 and turn left, the bus is a short 50 metres walk and is signposted. Return costs 50 MAD (£3.80) per person, takes about 35 mins (could vary depending on number of drop offs), and stops outside the Diwane. Taxis are also available, but we didn't price them (very cheap to get around the centre of Marrakech in a petit taxi, but I believe they are tariffed at the airport and a bit more expensive).

Food - Overall, I was a touch disappointed with the food provided by the hotel. We went on a HB basis, which did allow you to take the breakfast and then choose between either lunch or dinner, which I though was a good, flexible option, but the standard was low. Breakfast consisted mainly of continental options e.g. bread, cakes, croissants, pancakes etc. There was a chef who cooked fresh omelettes, which were okay, but apart from that, not really to my taste. The fresh orange juice was refreshing. The dinner is a buffet option containing fish, beef, and chicken, along with salad, soup, pasta and rice. The soups were generally really nice, but the meats weren't great, which meant a struggle for me to enjoy it.

Room - We were allocated a great room on the fifth floor that overlooked the nice courtyard. It was spacious, had AC, a plasma TV (for those that spend time watching TV on holiday, there is the BBC world news and an English movie channel), and a fridge, which was very useful for chilling drinks. The balcony was quite large, and the bathroom was also of a good standard. Maid cleans and changes towels daily. Overall, was impressed by the room.

Location - Situated in the Gueliz district, in the north west of the centre of Marrakech, and about 20 minutes walk from the Djemaa el fna square. There is a supermarket (ACIMA) about 10 minutes walk from the hotel (take a left then first left again and walk straight), there are also various restaurants close by, and you are not far from the main train station or shopping malls. Gueliz is still in development and I think is classified as the modern area of the city, but it can look scruffy in areas, but we found it safe and a good base.

Entertainment - There isn't any entertainment at the hotel, and the hotel does wind down pretty quickly after dinner. You can have some drinks in the courtyard, but there is a lack of ambience. Better to go out and explore if liveliness is what you're after.

Excursions - Unless you enjoy soaking up the sun at the pool, which can be good in Marrakech with its late 30 degree temperature when we went in September, it is best to try and explore the city as there is a lot to offer:
1) Ourika Valley - This is a great trip and well worth the money. Based at the bottom of the Atlas mountains, it involves a trip to a herbal garden, a berber's (indigenous North African people) and a beautiful waterfall trip. Takes up a full day and costs around 200 MAD (£15.20). Note the hotel offers this trip at 270 MAD, but better to book outside of hotel to get cheaper, or at the very least negotiate the price with the hotel, which they are willing to do (everything in Marrakech is negotiable).
2) Majorelle Gardens - Very small and won't take up a lot of time, but for 50 MAD (£3.8) I think it was worth a visit and isn't too far from the hotel (a bit further on from the ACIMA supermarket).
3) Essaouira - Supratours take you there in about 2 hrs 45 mins for 70 MAD (£5.3) each way. There is a beach there and a lot of markets. Wasn't overly impressed by this trip, but if you have time then it allows you to see another place in Morocco. Book your return ticket when you arrive in Essaouira.
4) Local Hammam - We went to the Hilton Hammam, which is modern and a bout a 20 minute walk north from the hotel on avenue mohammed. For about an hour session, it cost 250 MAD (£19) for a sauna, wash, scrub, and a massage. You can get this cheaper in other places, and especially local places, but we were recommended this and thought the price was okay. Was definitely an experience, but preferred the Turkish baths to this.

Miscellaneous:
-The driving standards in Marrakech seem a touch questionable and you have to be wary of the motorcyclists. Should be okay if you watch out for it, but be careful.
-Morocco is quite an open country and can be internationalised in some areas. Yes, they have their local customs and religious beliefs, but in general, possibly due to the income brought in by tourists, they seem quite accepting to the western culture.
-Being honest, I didn't find the local people overly friendly or sometimes appreciable of your custom. This is quite a general remark, but they can get worked up if they are unable to sell you something, they try and rip you off (negotiate on everything and agree the price and content in advance of accepting/participating), will stare at you in the street, and even the hotel staff aren't overly friendly, other than the young lady at reception who was really nice. Just be careful with them and appreciate their customs and religion and you should be fine.

In summary, I was surprised by Marrakech in that I enjoyed even more than I thought I would, and for the price we paid at the Diwane, it is hard to complain really.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank GAZZ83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Returned from Marrakech Thurs eve. Was apprehensive before going as we where 2 women not knowing what to expect. We found everyone to be really friendly and polite. The hotel staff could not have been nicer. The hotel courtyard was very pretty and a welcome retreat after the heat and hustle and bustle outside the hotel. We only stayed B&B and found the breakfast very nice. We did the bus tour around Marrakech which is right outside the hotel and helps you get your bearings. You can jump on and off throughout the tour and always a welcome breeze on the top deck. We where a bit nervous when first going to the Medina but where so surprised as we didnt really get hassled at all, We smiled a lot and got a lot of smiles back we treated everyone with respect and felt we got treated the same. We ate out every evening at different restaurants (you can only get alcohol in the hotels) however did find a restaurant that sold Sangria and after that we are both ill. (forgot Ice and fresh fruit in). We booked a day trip to the Atlas mountains through the hotel which cost 270 dirhams each. We where picked up by a minibus with 5 other people. We really enjoyed this trip and stopped off at the same places as everyone else the Berber house and the Herbal garden and then had lunch on the banks of the river. We also went to Yves St Laurent's house which is worth seeing (however you can't go inside). As an Animal lover I did get upset seeing the monkeys in the medina with chains around their necks and the horses pulling the carriages (one got hit by a car) so we didn't stay too long in the medina. I am glad I've been to Marrakech it is an experience but I wouldn't go back. 37 degrees at 7.30 in the evening it was too hot for me. Beware of the dutyfree shop at Marrakech Airport. They put your Alcohol in plastic carrier bags unsealed so I had mine taken off me. You can pay for food in the airport in Dirhams but the Dutyfree shop will only accept English Pounds or Euros and will only give change in Euros.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank archiebabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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