I'm surprised by some of the positive reviews this place receives. Maybe they're from people who didn't stay long or from friends and family of the owners and staff.
I had always dreamed of gong to Marrakech, but lovely photos of this hotel give a false impression: we had an awful experience and a ruined holiday.
Day 1: room very basic, view over Sofitel, towels hard as sandpaper, fluffy dressing-gowns in the picture not included, minimal toiletries, fridge didn't work, WiFi didn't work in room, woken by music from hotel's roof garden. NOT five star.
Day 2: room upgraded after we complained: now had working wifi, fluffy gowns and towels plus a nice window seat, bowl of fruit in room, rose petals…for one day. Thereafter occasional rose petals but no fruit. View of building site, disturbed all night by nearby lift with loudly squeaking metal parts. Fridge didn’t work here either, and the two electrical sockets were hanging out of the wall and buzzed when we unplugged TV to charge phone - a tricky manoeuvre as the socket was extremely inaccessible. (The more accessible socket was hanging out of wall on a wire ad looked too dangerous to even touch). We complained about this, the manger said they'd fix them the next day. We complained 3 days running, but of course they didn't fix anything and the receptionists started to 'disappear' when we came downstairs.
Second lift was out of order for the duration of our stay.
Food and drink prices were extortionate. The food in the allegedly 'genius' chef’s restaurant was lousy and the men's toilet has a window open onto the eating area - as we discovered when we were subjected to a rather extravagant breaking of wind during breakfast. Nice touch.
- Dinner: 1 meal OK-ish, 1 meal awful, bill VERY HIGH.
- Breakfast: very poor selection, although surprisingly nice scrambled eggs - but it was the same every day with no variation whatsoever of the very limited selection. (Def not 5 *. I’ve had better in a Parisian 2*). The ‘Selection of cheeses’ amounted to one chedder-like cheese every day and the occasional glimpse of brie. They ran out of decaf coffee on our 3rd day and didn't ever get any in (we were there for a week).Waitress dropped bread on floor, dusted off on apron, replaced on display. Juices were in containers designed to hold iced water but there was never any ice, so they were slightly warm and all the juices - yes even cucumber and carrot juices - were heavily sugared. Some days there were tongs to pick up dried fruit, other days nothing, so people used their fingers.
We had a very nice waitress though and tipped her every day because she did do her best - but no way is this 5*.
Pool area: in shadow most of the day with view of building site. Beware of ordering from pool area; the price is based not on what you order, but from which door waiter brings your order. Milk shake ±£3 when delivered from door on left, £7.50 if delivered from door on right. We had a 30 minute argument with an astonishingly rude waiter, showed him price on menu, but he insisted he was right, stating we had ordered from another menu, which we hadn’t even seen. When we insisted on looking at it, the item in question was not even included. The waiter stalked off offering no apology. Eventually the restaurant manager apologised and said it would be refunded on our bill, but it wasn't - and when we left at 5 a.m. next day, we discovered how many other things we’d been overcharged for. Finally we were hit with a substantial ‘city tax’ we knew nothing about beforehand.
None of this could be rectified (of course!) because the only person on duty at 5 a.m. had no authority to change the bill. Suspect this is a calculated strategy (i.e. hold back bill / receipts until client rushing for plane) because they'd refused to give us the receipt the night before (we had prepaid but they take your credit card to cover food and drink), and were not keen to provide a receipt next morning either. They probably figure that you’re won’t risk missing your plane to argue about £40 worth of overcharging.
The utterly cynical rip-off mentality at the Hivernage was sickening. Never again.
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- Also Known As:
- Hivernage Hotel And Spa
- Hivernage Hotel Marrakech